Whether it's your toddler or teen, there should be nothing childish about the golf equipment they use. Little Bobby isn't going to get overly excited about the 65-yard grounder, so it's important to have clubs that provide the addicting satisfaction that comes with getting shots in the air. These makers of junior equipment differ in approach, but all succeed in producing clubs to make that task considerably easier.
Sometimes that equipment is outside the norm (or even the rules). Golphin, a Scottish-based company that produces golf equipment for children, set out to make golf easier. Golphin clubs are 22 percent lighter and have a 35 percent larger sweet spot than typical junior golf clubs, making them easier to hit.
"I always made sure Tiger had clubs that fit," said Earl Woods, father of former World No. 1 Tiger Woods. Unfortunately for many children, that's not easy to do, especially with the inevitable growth spurts. U.S. Kids' Ultralight model helps in two ways. First, it offers clubs for those from 39 to 63 inches tall. As for those growth spurts, the company offers a "grow up, trade up" program allowing old sets to be traded in for credit toward a new set, with the company covering return costs for trade-in clubs.
Ping's reputation for creating quality clubs extends to its Thrive junior clubs. A 10-club set providing a nice transition toward adult clubs, Thrive is designed to fit boys and girls 13-14 (or 60-64 inches tall), with the shaft lengths, flexes and swingweights all designed with the young teen in mind. A shorter (and colorful) version of the company's L8 carry bag is included, encouraging your young one to hoof it when playing.
Beginner: Golphin (four clubs with bag), $140
Intermediate: U.S. Kids Ultralight (nine lengths, $35-$280 for single clubs, sets with bag)
Transition: Ping Thrive (10 clubs with bag), $599