The top junior equipment manufacturers have a clear focus: How can they take a juvenile's swing to the next level? Given the various stages of development, this question has multiple solutions. For beginners, golphinforkids introduces the game in an effective—and more important, fun—fashion. Its products are constructed from aerospace-alloy aluminum, a material making a golf club 30-percent lighter than industry standards for easier swings and thus sound fundamentals. Golphinforkids clubs also feature a sweet spot that's 35-percent larger than average for forgiveness. And the five clubs, featuring color schemes and designs with input from kids, grab a child's attention and interest.
But eventually juniors graduate to the next step, which is where U.S. Kids comes in. The company's Ultralight series incisive fitting system—founded on height—emphasizes measurement for the right-size clubs. Getting the proper club parameters is crucial for improvement, and with multiple offerings, it's easy for parents to find the right set. U.S. Kids is cognizant of growth spurts, which is why its trade-up program, allowing parents to exchange old clubs for credit, is so integral to junior advancement.
However, advanced juniors might want more technology, and for this group there's Ping Thrive. The set—10 clubs, including a bag and an authentic Anser-style putter—is the closest thing to an adult iteration on the market thanks to increased swingweights (with specs comparable to women's equipment) and club length (33-43½ inches). The driver is 460 cubic centerimeters with a titanium head; the fairway wood and hybrid are cast from steel. All feature graphite shafts to produce clubhead speed and get the ball in the air. The irons are perimeter-weighted for accuracy and forgiveness. And to help with aim, the classic Anser putter has been updated with a sight line.
Though these three companies target different sects, all achieve the same result: Helping children become the best golfers they can be.
Beginner: Golphinforkids (five clubs, bag), $171