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A thread about Kirke

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Got Kirke's clubs built up for the coming season.

pixlr_20191223160844388.jpg

He'll still be using his US Kids driver this upcoming season. The clubs I built from Diamond Tour fill out his set with a FW, hybrid, 6, 8, PW, and SW. Then he'll use the putter from his junior Cobra set from last year (though I'm in the process of making a Stroke Lab shaft for that now).

For perspective, his Cobra hybrid was 331g. The one I just built is 276g, and it's 1.5" longer. The Cobra SW is 377g; his new one (an inch longer) is 291g.

We'll get some SkyTrak numbers as soon as we can.

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13 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Got Kirke's clubs built up for the coming season.

pixlr_20191223160844388.jpg

He'll still be using his US Kids driver this upcoming season. The clubs I built from Diamond Tour fill out his set with a FW, hybrid, 6, 8, PW, and SW. Then he'll use the putter from his junior Cobra set from last year (though I'm in the process of making a Stroke Lab shaft for that now).

For perspective, his Cobra hybrid was 331g. The one I just built is 276g, and it's 1.5" longer. The Cobra SW is 377g; his new one (an inch longer) is 291g.

We'll get some SkyTrak numbers as soon as we can.

I'll be curious to hear what you/he think about these after the season. I have a niece on the way that will be exposed to golf from an early age, and it's good to know what's out there for kids beyond the expensive box sets.

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Kirke had a set of these before we got the Cobras, and they worked really well for him. With beginner golf sets (even for a serious beginner, like Kirke), I can't see any downside to these. The badge fell out of one, but honestly: kids aren't gentle with clubs. At least in my experience, irons are used almost as often as pickaxes as they are as golf clubs.

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On 12/19/2019 at 9:39 AM, GolfSpy MPR said:

I've noted elsewhere on this forum our disappointment with the set of "Cobra" junior clubs we got for Kirke's birthday this time last year. (I say "Cobra" because it turns out that they're a Dick's make with Cobra branding.) While the clubs have all the cool looks, they're just way too heavy for the age group they're designed for.

So I'll be building Kirke another set of junior clubs from Diamond Tour:

 

DTG is mostly known for their clone models of major OEM clubs, but it's hard to top the value on their junior clubs. (I've been bugging Sub 70 [owned under the same umbrella] to get some junior clubs under their branding.) The iron and wedge heads are $9/each. I grabbed a FW, hybrid, 6/8/PW/SW, with shafts, ferrules, and grips, and that was all under $100. The same setup with US Kids is at least double that. When you have a kid that grows out of club sizes on a regular basis, that price difference matters.

I'll likely get these all built up just after Christmas.

 

Good to know about the "Cobra" junior clubs.  I'm assuming that they're the Walter Hagen junior clubs, rebadged.  And those are garbage.  My girls both had them as their first set, and when the lead coach at the First Tee had me hold one of the WH clubs and a US Kids club at the same time, there's just no difference.

 

22 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Got Kirke's clubs built up for the coming season.

pixlr_20191223160844388.jpg

He'll still be using his US Kids driver this upcoming season. The clubs I built from Diamond Tour fill out his set with a FW, hybrid, 6, 8, PW, and SW. Then he'll use the putter from his junior Cobra set from last year (though I'm in the process of making a Stroke Lab shaft for that now).

For perspective, his Cobra hybrid was 331g. The one I just built is 276g, and it's 1.5" longer. The Cobra SW is 377g; his new one (an inch longer) is 291g.

We'll get some SkyTrak numbers as soon as we can.

Awesome looking build.  Hurricane Golf will sometimes have good prices on name-brand iron heads on eBay.

 

5 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Kirke had a set of these before we got the Cobras, and they worked really well for him. With beginner golf sets (even for a serious beginner, like Kirke), I can't see any downside to these. The badge fell out of one, but honestly: kids aren't gentle with clubs. At least in my experience, irons are used almost as often as pickaxes as they are as golf clubs.

Stop by any First Tee on any Saturday morning... 

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After getting some numbers with his new clubs, Kirke did a SkyTrak skills assessment. We set it up to have him hit shots from 25, 40, 60, 75, and 90 yards. He struggled to figure out where 25 yards was on the partial wedge shot; he absolutely plays with his eyes and feels, not with numbers. Without a projector setup, when he just has to hit 25 without a visual reference in front of him, he's not at his best.

The rest of his numbers, though, were quite solid:

image.png

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Took a moment to finish laying out Kirke's course of the upcoming year. As per the guidelines from US Kids Golf, his course for his age 7 season will now be 3,000 yards long. That's a huge increase for him; last year, he played it at 2,225. That previous length was built from the US Kids guidelines, but last August, they revised all of them and lengthened them. Anyway, here's what he's looking at for the upcoming season:

image.png

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21 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

That's a huge increase for him; last year, he played it at 2,225.

Spoiler

 

... 25% increase is a lot. 775 yds. Ouch! I know I'd hate to play any course at 775 more yards. I really like a lot of what U.S. Kids does. I prefer to use US Kids clubs here at our First Tee. I also incorporate some of their program training/lessons/skills assessments into our program. Makes for a good mix between The First Tee and US Kids. I also thoroughly like the Longleaf Tee System. We're currently renovating an old abandoned range/practice facility and building a new 6-hole practice loop. With the loop we're going to incorporate a modified Longleaf Tee System on the course. We'll have kids from age 7 up. We'll also have limited public use. So for all reasons I want people to at least consider playing the proper tee for their shot distances/ability.

I'd recommend you read through the Longleaf system and if necessary rethink Kirke's yardage. Maybe what you have already estimated is good for him. But it might be worth a second look. Generally, and when it's possible take Kirke back out and make some estimates with him hitting this driver. Then work out his course distance - yardages. I think you'll find it interesting. You might even do this for your own game. Most people play the wrong tee - kids, teens, girls, men, women. You name it.

http://www.longleafteesystem.com/

 

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4 minutes ago, PlaidJacket said:
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... 25% increase is a lot. 775 yds. Ouch! I know I'd hate to play any course at 775 more yards. I really like a lot of what U.S. Kids does. I prefer to use US Kids clubs here at our First Tee. I also incorporate some of their program training/lessons/skills assessments into our program. Makes for a good mix between The First Tee and US Kids. I also thoroughly like the Longleaf Tee System. We're currently renovating an old abandoned range/practice facility and building a new 6-hole practice loop. With the loop we're going to incorporate a modified Longleaf Tee System on the course. We'll have kids from age 7 up. We'll also have limited public use. So for all reasons I want people to at least consider playing the proper tee for their shot distances/ability.

I'd recommend you read through the Longleaf system and if necessary rethink Kirke's yardage. Maybe what you have already estimated is good for him. But it might be worth a second look. Generally, and when it's possible take Kirke back out and make some estimates with him hitting this driver. Then work out his course distance - yardages. I think you'll find it interesting. You might even do this for your own game. Most people play the wrong tee - kids, teens, girls, men, women. You name it.

http://www.longleafteesystem.com/

 

I think you've linked to the Longleaf system earlier in this thread, and I think that is really helpful. It looks like the two systems are close to equivalent at the Kirke's ability now:

image.png

We'll obviously have to see how much distance he gains over the winter, but this past summer, a long drive for him would be a total of 120; a 100-yard carry would be a very good drive. I expect that coming into this season, that will be his pretty standard drive. If so, both US Kids and Longleaf are asking for a 3,000 yard course for him.

The big jump in distance seems to be because US Kids lengthened their recommendations. If you go to their recommendations page, there's a note at the bottom that they revised their chart last August. So Kirke was playing the old 6-year-old recommendations, at 2,200 yards. They bumped that to 2,400. Now he's turning 7, and they basically add 300 yards per nine each year.

Obviously, there's a tension in picking yardages for Kirke. Bottom line: I want him to play yardages suited to his ability. That said, if we do find competitions for him to enter (and I'm hoping that we can), he's got to be prepared to play the distances that he would face for his age group.

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On 12/27/2019 at 10:47 AM, GolfSpy MPR said:

Obviously, there's a tension in picking yardages for Kirke. Bottom line: I want him to play yardages suited to his ability. That said, if we do find competitions for him to enter (and I'm hoping that we can), he's got to be prepared to play the distances that he would face for his age group.

No reason you can't mix it up.  That's what I do for Allie.  I try to alternate between giving her a chance to make pars and birdies and making her face what she'll see in tournaments.  What I really took for granted is how much more difficult courses are for kids when greens have bunkers short and firm greens.  I don't give it a ton of thought, but guiding her around the course, I realize that I have to get her to put it in the exact correct spot where she can hit a full wedge to hold a hard green.  Anything longer comes in too low, and anything shorter doesn't have enough spin.

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Around this time last year, I stumbled on a kids' golf swing contest run by a group called Little Linksters. Kirke and I spent an afternoon recording some swings indoors to submit to the contest. We had fun putting the video together, even though he didn't end up placing for his age group.

For this year, instead of recording swings in the basement, I compiled clips of swings from Kirke's past season. Many of these I've posted here before, so those who follow this thread (or my Twitter posting) will likely recognize a few of them:

Kirke just had his birthday at the end of December, so he's competing in the 7–8 age group this year. In any case, it's fun for me to compile a recap of some of his swings from this year, and even to watch it in comparison with last year's video and see his swing improve from season to season.

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Michelle Holmes (a top ranked junior coach and a great follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mholmesgolf) put up a video of one of her students as a beginner in 2015 and then her swing today.

So I decided to compile a video of Kirke's swings since he began by swinging a plastic club that was molded in the shape of a carrot:

 

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I try not to beg public golf figures for retweets, but I tagged Brandel Chamblee in a swing of Kirke's, because Kirke's swing (especially his lifting of his front heel on the backswing) has a lot of features that Brandel endorses. Brandel retweeted Kirke's swing with some kind words:

 

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I really enjoy watching - teaching kids discovering golf and having fun with it. Being a guy that runs a First Tee chapter I get to see lots of boys... and girls just like Kirke. Unlike us adults they seem to enjoy it whether hitting a good or a bad shot. Their expectations aren't high so when they do connect and launch a good shot they're quite excited. And amazed. It can be done!

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Kirke's been working hard...on his club twirl:

 

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42 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Kirke's been working hard...on his club twirl:

His swing looks very good. The question is; can you keep him off Tour Sauce. 🏌️‍♂️😇

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We got the outtake. Still gotta get the successful shot:

 

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We got the outtake. Still gotta get the successful shot:
 


That’s great. I love the quick look like Annika / Duval. Kid’s got some great action
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On 2/6/2020 at 3:58 PM, GolfSpy MPR said:

Kirke's been working hard...on his club twirl:

 

9.9 on the club twirl... deducting 0.1 just to keep him hungry.  I like the set-up and swing.  Are you responsible for this?

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2 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

9.9 on the club twirl... deducting 0.1 just to keep him hungry.  I like the set-up and swing.  Are you responsible for this?

The swing is his own. I've given him a tiny bit of instruction, but he's never had a formal lesson. It's about as natural as a swing can be.

As for the twirl: he's watched enough Tiger highlights to have picked that up from there 🙂

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This one only took a handful of tries: I tossed a ball to him and he picked it clean out of the air:

 

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