One of the more difficult questions I get is “What lengths do I make junior clubs?” Believe me this can be frustrating to explain to a customer or doting parent because there are no standards when it comes to kids clubs. Let me take this time to the reasons why.
First, we have to define what a junior player is. For a parent, junior means their son or daughter is under 18, leaving at home, probably on the couch watching TV, texting and eating snacks when they should be doing homework and picking up their room. For the golf industry that picture is quite different. Junior clubs are primarily designed for pre-teens or for kids that are 12 years old or younger. Usually when they reach 60 inches or 5 foot tall, then they no longer fit into junior clubs. At that point they go to clubs labeled as Teen such as this complete set from Adams Golf. The other option is to use adult clubs, albeit at a shorter length.
Another major difference in clubs marketed as junior, the club heads often made (for the most part) to lighter head weights as younger kids haven’t developed the strength to swing adults clubs. I say for the most part because the larger sized driver head may not always be lighter than an adult head. The other major problem is unlike adult head weights that often don’t change from manufacturer to manufacturer the same cannot be said about junior models. Their head weights can vary greatly.
Any time you change club head weight, guess what? Length also changes as the two are interrelated as you want to maintain the same balance or heft in the player’s hands. Let’s say we were to make two junior clubs at the same length, but one with an adult head and one with a very lightweight junior model. Depending on the length, one might feel like a sledgehammer and the other a feather. This is why the recommended length should be proportional to the head weight.
To gain a better understanding, I have two different length charts. One is for the new Pal Joey Versa junior components. Below each club head is its weight for reference.
||Pal Joey Versa Junior – Component Clubheads
||Starts at $5.95 each
For example, we have a child who is 48″ tall. We really don’t care if the child is a boy or girl or what aged they are as we are only concerned with their height. In our case we would recommend a 33″ driver because the driver weighs 190g. If it had been 200g, we would have made it 32″ like the fairway wood listed.
Now here is a chart for our assembled Acer XK Protege and iBella Daisy sets. Note there are fewer clubs in the set so some of the columns will not be filled in. We added the weights below each clubhead number for reference.
||Acer XK Protege Junior Clubs for Age 9-12 – Preassembled
||Starts at $8.15 each
||iBella Daisy Junior Clubs for Age 9-12 – Preassembled
||Starts at $8.15 each
The common clubhead is the #5 hybrid which weighs 232g in both sets. To give you a perspective of how light this is, most adult #5-hybrids on the market range in weight between 242g and 256g. When we look at the Pal Joey Versa chart, the 30″ #5-hybrid weighing 232g would suggested for a child of 50″ in height while the 34″ #5-hybrid would be suggest for a 58″ tall player.
However, let’s look at the other club lengths in the set. The driver in the XK Protege and Daisy set is 200g and 10g heavier than the Versa driver, thus the length was made at a shorter length so it wouldn’t feel like a sledgehammer. On the opposite extreme, the #7-iron in the XK Protege and Daisy set only tipped the scales at 238g versus 250g for the Pal Joey set. In this case the suggested playing length was longer so it wouldn’t feel like a feather and balance the same weigh as the driver and #5-hybrid.
If you feel like you might need to take an aspirin after discussing junior lengths, you understandably have a valid reason. Until you know the weight of heads you will be using, you really have no starting point from which to begin.