ORLANDO — The vast majority of products on the PGA Merchandise Show floor are for adults, but there are still plenty of companies focused on getting junior golfers the tools they need to succeed. The options for junior golf gear improves each year. Here are some of the brands who are bringing junior golf to the next level.
Between its three lines of clubs, you'll be able to find the right fit for the junior golfer in your life. The Yard Club is for beginners. It was designed to be easy to get up in the air and the grip is modeled to teach proper technique. The Ultralight line features clubheads with a thinner face and a more flexible shaft, making it easier to hit shots higher and farther. If your junior has been playing for a while and has a bit more clubhead speed, check out the Tour Series. The shafts are stiffer, so they'll respond better to a player who swings faster.
Beyond clubs, U.S. Kids partnered with Greg Norman to release a new line of junior golf clothing, with a focus on using performance fabrics. And that wasn't the only new item at their booth at the PGA Merchandise Show: U.S. Kids announced that it's releasing an app for coaches that helps them track their students' progress.
It can be tough for teachers who have a lot of kids coming in and out of camps to stay on top of their students' progress with their games before they take three months off from golf for soccer season, for example. With the app, teachers will be able to easily pick back up wherever they left off with their students.
This company was started because the founder and CEO, Kris Bartholomew, didn't love the kids golf clothing options she saw for her own children. The Turtles and Tees line offers a large range of fun, bright colors in fabrics that move and breathe easily. Sizing runs from 3-months old to children's 14/16.
When a kid is learning how to play golf, there's nothing better than when they get to see the ball go in the air. (That can be just as big a milestone for some adults, too.) To make it easier to get the ball airborne, GolPhin made these (nonconforming) clubs and golf balls. They're light, the grooves are deep, the leading edge is rounder, and the ball size is larger than standard. All of these changes help kids hit it in the air. The sets are progressive, so the larger the set, the more they look like a standard adult set of clubs.
GolPhin also released an app that teachers and their students use together. The student can take quizzes, play practice challenges and self-report how they think they're doing. The teacher gets to review all of this data and use it to better help the student progress.
The club manufacturer released a new line of junior clubs, the Lynx Ai. There are six categories of clubs, designated by the child's height. As you progress up in height, the lofts of the clubs, the head size and the shaft change to fit a growing kid's changing height, strength and swing speed.
This menswear brand recently expanded its collection to include apparel for boys. Juniors can match dad in a selection of four golf shirts available now ($50)—with more varieties expected to come this year. The youth line also includes golf shorts and a casual hoodie option.
Headwear can be tough to navigate for girls with ponytails. This female-focused brand designs caps with adjustable openings on the back to accommodate for a variety of hairstyles. Junior golfers who wear bows in their hair have gravitated to this cap for a fun and functional look.