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Pre-Teen Clubs


DrEric1
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OK, my 12 year old (58") is getting into it, but finding drivers/woods/hybrids is tough. Any experience with some of the clubs out there?

 

Pro at one store said you can't cut down graphite shafts bc it will screw up the flex.

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My son, although younger and likely smaller, had great results with the Nike set for kids. He fit the blue model of the clubs. I think that both Ping and TM make more high end junior clubs.

Any good shop should be able to do a complete fitting though.

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the US junior sets are pretty good, my son is about ready for the next size. so far he has grown out of 2 sets, this will be the 3rd, but most of them have height limits on the box and the the more flexible shafts with oversized forgiving heads. US kids has some nice sets. I like the look of the Ping moxie sets. Just check ebay for the good used sets. If he like my son he will grow so fast that he won't wear out a set before he grows out of it.

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My daughter is on her first set and they are La Jolla Jr. clubs, they're fine, but its a 4 club starter set for a 9 year old. She'll outgrow them next year. Taylor Made has a trade in program that sounds like a good deal but I don't know the details. I just know a former co-worker did the Taylor Made deal for his daughter and while it was expensive initially he got really great deals when she outgrew her clubs and he got to trade them in for new ones.

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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The US Kids clubs are great as they are weighted to balance like a "regular" set. If you cut down a set you will make the shafts play a ton stiffer and the heads don't necessarily weigh out correctly. My son hits the Nike great.

 

I do have a set of Ping ISI that I'm going to pull the shafts and try out for him. Still trying to figure out the shafts though. I was going to wait till next summer. If the single club works out I'm going to "build" him a set of 4,6,8,PW with the Pings. After he is seeing appropriate gaps in distances I'll build out the 5,7,9,SW. I'm expecting that to happen 4 or so years from now though. All of this is assuming he hits the Ping with new shafts like he hits his Nike iron.

 

I read that Earl had a set built for Tiger as a kid (adult clubs with shorter, softer shafts). Each year he would reshaft them as Tiger grew up. Essentially I'm doing the same with the Ping's. Taking a somewhat light (Pings are generally on the light side), forgiving head that I can bend the lie angles on and will adapted them over time. Time will tell. Woods will be a different story but he won't have anything less than a 12 degree driver for a long time...

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Find a good set of iron heads (womens would make a good candidate as they're generally lighter and sometimes more forgiving) and build your baby a set. You can buy just about any shaft you want to fit them and then cut them down. Flex determined by the swing speed (likely an A flex or something along those lines). Then grip them up with junior grips and adjust the lie angles (or take them and have them adjusted if you don't own a LL machine).

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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My 9 year old son (hes just shy of 5 feet now)wants a full size driver now that hes hitting up to 150 yards with his small 13 degree fairway wood we made for him last year. The problem is finding a shaft / head combo to get his launch angle up. Right now, hes averaging about 8 - 10 degrees. Ive had him try drivers from 10.5 to 16 and his launch never seems to change. Other than casting, he doesnt seem to have any major flaw in his swing that I can see so I cant figure out what to do for him.

Nothing helps you find a lost ball better than a provisional hit straight down the middle.

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How long is he wanting this club? Most "standard" drivers are 45 1/2 plus these days. You can have him in a driver that is 43 or 44 inches and have the club perform correctly, they might have to add some weight to the clubhead to get a reasonable swingweight (C-9 or above). What makes a shaft play stiffer when it is cut down is that the static weights and the swingweight is impacted. The head weight of all clubs are designed to be a certain length, when the club is built shorter the head becomes too light and the shaft will be impacted (less flex), same goes if you make a club longer (swingweight goes up though and shaft feels softer). Have him choke down on a regular men's driver and see what that does. Keep in mind that while cutting it down makes it stiffer making it shorter also changes his angle of attack(makes it less shallow). While making the angle of attack steaper (shortening the club) won't guarantee his launch goes up a very shallow swing arch does guarantee a lower ball flight. Does he hit irons high enough or where you expect it? Meaning, is the driver the only club that he needs to elevate more? If so going longer will probably also mean lower. Tell him Tiger's driver was 43 1/2 when he was the best driver in the world(and the longest)...

 

Hope this all makes sense and is helpful. :blink:

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He doesnt really know anything about club length. I tell him that I hit at 44.5 and hes not as tall as me so he will take whatever I give him in that regard. When he says a full size, he means the head. His swing speed is in the low to mid 50's so Ive been mostly trying womens clubs which are already 43-44 anyway and Ive had him choke down an inch or two on those and he still hardly makes it above 10 on the launch angle. His irons seem to be ok when hes swinging well, but he actually dips fairly often when he hits his irons, but not with his driver or wedges. As of right now, I told him he needs to keep working with the smaller head because it will make him a better player in the long run, that might hold him off till next year, when he will need a new one anyway. Im mostly just frustrated because its a problem I cant seem to fix and I have to have the answer

Nothing helps you find a lost ball better than a provisional hit straight down the middle.

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Understood, as parents we need the answer, as Golfers we REALLY need the answer. :blink: If he hits a perfect drive with the 44'' ladies driver choked down (42''), then nuts it with his 13 degree fairway wood what is the yardage difference? I agree that his launch angle should be higher and the proof of that would be in the fairway wood going further (I bet it does). I can't say I have ever fit a kid (under 15 or so) on a launch monitor but with swingspeeds in the 50's he probably needs a launch angle like 20 degrees (total guess). I don't see that being possible with anything less than 16 degrees or more... Anyone else with more experience fitting a young one?

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