According to "Golf Digest," Seve Ballesteros used a cut-down 3-iron to hit balls when he was 7 years old. Andres Romero, a winner on the PGA Tour, picked up a club his father carved from a mulberry tree when he was 6. If you are looking for clubs for your child there are much better options today. Just remember to avoid clubs that are too long, too heavy and too stiff. Fortunately, several elite club manufacturers sell pre-packaged box sets made specifically for younger children or those approaching adolescence. Most include a driver that tops out at around 40 inches. If your youngster is especially tall for his age, consider custom made clubs with longer shafts.
Driver Lengths for Youth Golfers
There is no standard, industry-wide maximum height for children's golf clubs, but there is a club length chart for juniors on the Clubmaker.net website. The maximum listed club length is 38 to 39 inches for a youngster who is 5 feet tall. PING makes youth sets with drivers as long as 39 inches that are appropriate for 10-to-11 year olds who are 54 to 60 inches tall.
Clubs that are the correct length can help your child swing better, play better and have more fun. According to top instructor Hank Haney, adult clubs that are cut down for kids are usually too long, heavy and stiff, causing a child to swing with an arc that is flat relative to his height and to hit the turf well behind the ball. Stiff clubs also make it harder to get the ball in the air.
Measuring Proper Length
Clubmaker.net says youth clubs should be 66 percent to 75 percent of your child's height. To determine the right shaft length for a junior driver, Golfsmith recommends having your child stand with his knees slightly bent, his feet shoulder width apart and his arms hanging down. Have the child interlock his fingers at his belt buckle and measure the distance from his wrists to the floor. That is the length the shaft should be.
Clubs can be expensive, especially when your child is growing rapidly. You can mitigate the problem by encouraging her to choke up on a club that's too long. But not more than two or three inches, says Jose Miraflor, product manager for junior clubs at TaylorMade.