It is not everyday when a very dedicated athlete comes for their first golf lesson and have literally NEVER PLAYED GOLF before. Our first step in the lesson was to unwrap the plastic off each of her clubs! The images on the left in the gallery are some of her first swings ever. I was very proud of the work ethic this student portrayed and her eagerness to learn and improve!
From day 1 she mentioned that she wanted to help the golf team and perhaps be a team manager and I thought this was a great stepping stone goal. After about a month of lessons and hours of outside practice her goals started to switch form being team manager to making the team! Long story short, 2 months after beginning the game she tried out and made her golf team!
This does not happen from coaching alone. She has a very supportive father who plays golf with her, and had the resources to hit balls at her house and at a local range fairly close to her house. We did a holistic coaching package and worked on each area of the game. From full swing, chipping, pitching, putting, as well as on-course instruction. The coaching mixed with a heavy amount of outside practice sessions and great work ethic can get any junior on the right track.
What can be learned from this?
When a new pattern is being learned, it is like starting with a blank slate. If the body is taught to use the club efficiently from the start, then you will save hours of re-training later down the road. Playing multiple sports and developing a solid athletic base can play a large part in accelerating the development process, but is not the only piece.
I have a 3-12 year old who is just starting
Getting good technical instruction for juniors ages 3-12 is not imperative as the most important piece at that age is to get them to love the game. If you are looking for coaching for your 3-12 year old make sure they specialize in juniors. These coaches can give them the proper technical and tactical base while making it fun so they learn to really enjoy the game.
I have a 12-18 year old who is just starting
If your junior is starting after the age of 12 and want to play high school or middle school golf, I recommend finding supervised coaching and private lessons right from the start. This allows them to hit the ground running and accelerate the motor pattern development to set them on their way to be efficient golfers.