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Junior golfer - best next steps after junior sets?


doctorgriffo
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My son just turned 12, is getting better quickly after some lessons and more time on the course, and is growing like a weed. He is 5'2" right now, and carries his Taylormade Phenom driver (which he got as a 10 year old) about 175 yards on average. His clubs are now a little short, but still ok for the time being, and there is a gap in obvious options for this stage of development (he also lost one of the irons so has less than a half set). For those of you with kids who have come up through the various development stages, where do we go next? I have read various options - women's clubs, senior flex game improvement irons with the shafts shortened from the tip end etc - I can do easy club building stuff (trim steel shafts, reshaft irons etc) and am looking for a cost-effective but suitably fitted option (given that he will grow a ton in the next year or two). All solutions (and sets of irons your kid has grown out of!) gratefully received!

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I went with light regular steel shafts for my son when he was 12. We found a set of AP1s 16’s for $400 with KBS 90 shafts. He played them for 2 years and just stepped up to stiff shafts. They were a great gap iron and he was fine with choking up for a year or so. He’s now hitting z585s with modus 105S so still somewhat soft even in a stiff. For wedges and woods, he played stuff that I had sitting around like a 2016 M2 and I ordered a senior 45 gram white tie and some Vokeys that I cut an inch off of. 

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My 13 year old went from Flynn Golf (custom jr. clubs) to US Kids Tour Series Irons (61 inch set) to Mizuno 919F which is what he’s in now.  We got the 919s at 12, but he was a little bigger than your son.  My approach was to get him a good iron head and hopefully only have to change shafts 1 time due to his size (irons are currently 1/2 inch short).  This season we did the same thing with driver/FW/Hybrid (come on Titleist, send them already!).

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My 11 year old son (5'1" 75 lbs.) has a 12* TM M6 driver and M3 HL 4w with Flynn shafts.  I had a set of Mizuno JPX 900 Tours that were B weight heads (lighter weight for overlength builds) that I reshafted myself with lightweight steel shafts (went with Nippon Zelos but I think KBS also has a lightweight junior steel shaft).  He's using Vokey SM7's with the same shafts as his irons.  If you feel comfortable reshafting irons with steel shafts, then this is a pretty easy route to go.

SIM 10.5* Ventus Blue Velocore 6x
SIM 3W Ventus Blue Velocore 7x
UDI 2 iron, Ventus Blue 10X
HMB 4&5, MP20 6-P Modus 125x
SM8 50F, 55S, 60L Modus 125x
Newport

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I’m going to chat with the folks at sub 70 today and see what they could build - there is a big gap in the market for clubs for this age group (too big for the junior sets, but not big enough for adult length and typical weight shafts, and I don’t think he needs much more than a 7 iron before going to hybrids nor does he need a full set of irons right now).

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IT sounds stupid but i will get them fitting so you know your getting correct flex, length and grip size. 

TM SIM Max 10.5 UST V 2 
TM SIM Max 15 UST V2 66g
TM SIM 19 Aldila RIP Alpha 6
TM GAPR Mid 4 iron 20 Fujikara Fuel
TM GAPR Mid 5 iron 23 Aldila RIP 
TM P790 6 Nippon Modus 3 130, Black 7-PW Nippon Modus 3 130
TM xFT TP 50 Nippon Pro WV115
TM Milled Grind 2 Black Wedge 54 Nippon Pro Black WV115
TM Hi-Toe Big Foot 58 Nippon Pro WV115
TM Rossa Ghost Tour AGSI+ FO-74

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Just ordered a set of 739 irons and a hybrid from sub 70 - 6h, then 7 iron to SW with senior flex Aldila NV 55g shafts. They are making them to order with -1”, 1 deg flat and undersized grips based on my measurements and some launch monitor data at home. Super-easy to order, and about 2 weeks to get them to our door.

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On 4/19/2021 at 2:18 PM, sheppy335 said:

IT sounds stupid but i will get them fitting so you know your getting correct flex, length and grip size. 

 

It is hard to juniors fitted, typically they don't have shafts and such to fit their swing speeds.  Having 12 year old 5' 2" is good, but his strength will be the issue.

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An awesome member of another forum set me up with his kids’ hand-me-downs for 2 lofted fairways, and cut the shafts down and installed new grips etc. He also sorted me for a shaft for my old rogue driver, so along with the sub 70 irons, build to spec for him, I think we are all set for about $700 all in.

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Just now, doctorgriffo said:

An awesome member of another forum set me up with his kids’ hand-me-downs for 2 lofted fairways, and cut the shafts down and installed new grips etc. He also sorted me for a shaft for my old rogue driver, so along with the sub 70 irons, build to spec for him, I think we are all set for about $700 all in.

Is your kid playing competitively?

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Older set of Pings with Regular flex steel CFS shafts worked well for my son when he was in the 12-14 age range.

 

Ping irons typically swingweight lighter than most at standard length.

 

Now 14, he is in a set of Ping iE1 with Ping CFS stiff as the CFS plays soft to flex.

 

Driver, fairway woods, hybrid are all swing dependent and for most early teens standard length will be too long.

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Some good options in here and glad the OP was able to find something for his son's specs.

 

My now 15yo is using a set of W/S D200 with graphite R flex shafts that I picked up dirt cheap, he used them his last year in PGA Jr after graduating up from a Cobra Rickie Jr set. He's a wild overswinger but gets the ball out there pretty decently, and his pro just worked on straightening out his ballflight a bit. He was in a US Kids driver that worked really well for him until he shot up, he currently has an F6 in the bag. 

 

The biggest issue his pro usually sees with kids & gear is them being handed adult clubs that their parents cut down without giving consideration to how that changes shaft flex and response. When we were talking about him outgrowing his Cobras, that was the first thing he asked me to make sure I didn't do when getting him a new set.

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47 minutes ago, TexasTBag said:

I know you already bought clubs but did you look at the Prodi G line from Ping? Seems like it would have been perfect since they include a free reshaft/lengthen at a later date for free.

 

Ping Prodi G

These would have been great a few years ago - he is at the top end of the growth chart for these clubs so they only really make sense if you start on these at 8-9ish, then use the reshaft option after a couple of years. I anticipate him being a lot taller soon (his growth chart predicts he will hit about 6’ 2ish eventually).

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6 hours ago, xkilgorextroutx said:

Some good options in here and glad the OP was able to find something for his son's specs.

 

My now 15yo is using a set of W/S D200 with graphite R flex shafts that I picked up dirt cheap, he used them his last year in PGA Jr after graduating up from a Cobra Rickie Jr set. He's a wild overswinger but gets the ball out there pretty decently, and his pro just worked on straightening out his ballflight a bit. He was in a US Kids driver that worked really well for him until he shot up, he currently has an F6 in the bag. 

 

The biggest issue his pro usually sees with kids & gear is them being handed adult clubs that their parents cut down without giving consideration to how that changes shaft flex and response. When we were talking about him outgrowing his Cobras, that was the first thing he asked me to make sure I didn't do when getting him a new set.

 

Yeah.  Cutting down clubs is a no no.  Flynn Golf has shafts designed for kids by UST, KBS Shafts, True Temper and his custom brands.

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  • 2 months later...

The sub 70 irons are working out really well. Hybrid 6 iron, then 7-Sw. I think the 7 iron is 30deg (an old—fashioned 5 iron….), and any less loft with an iron would be hard to get high enough. We tried my old rogue head in a soft shaft, but it didn’t have enough loft (9deg adjusted to 11) so we are going to try a 13.5 degree driver head.

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As a 5' 2.5" senior all my clubs are ladies flex.

An inexpensive driver is a 2004 ladies Big Bertha.  Gender neutral gray and black if that is a consideration.  Price goes up for 460cc drivers.  Even more for user adjustable shafts.

I just bought a 12 degree (11-14) degree driver with an sliding weight, as heavier weights can be purchased on ebay to adjust the swing weight if I cut down the shaft.

 

The ladies Diablo Edge irons also look gender neutral, but the shaft of the Octane 3W may be too feminine for some.  3W is another option for an inexpensive high lofted driver.

My Fusion 4H has a flowers on the shaft.

 

I have a Callaway OS 7I and 2019 BB 6H that are also gray and black.  As well as an Epic 7W.  I think they look gender neutral as well.

 

How is his wedge and bunker play?  Learning the fundamentals now will make a big difference in the future.  Maybe an incentive for really good driver?

Another year and he may have enough strength for a lower lofted driver than that 13.5

 

I got a lot of my clubs on sale.  Put "buy it now" stuff on your ebay watch list and see if the seller will give you a better deal. Then watch your messages. 

This gives you a little time to do your research.

Callaway Pre-Owned had sales for my 6H, 3W, and driver!  Helps to get up when the sun rises.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ShortGolfer
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Women's clubs are standard length for probably 5 to 5'6" woman.  Pick up a quality used set that is a few years old to game for a year or two max - resale and get most of your money back.  Or as I did - passed on to my daughter who will prob game them for a long time.  Some older Callaway Big Bertha Irons 4-SW were about $200 for the set.

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10 hours ago, jb93 said:

Women's clubs are standard length for probably 5 to 5'6" woman.  Pick up a quality used set that is a few years old to game for a year or two max

 

In the late 1960s, I caddied as a semi-upscale country club. The pro was good about handing off trade-in clubs to the caddies for low price. One of the smallest caddies in our group got a lesson from the pro, and the pro put him into women's clubs.

 

The rest of us wanted men's clubs... so... the little guy kicked our butts for the next two years because he had clubs that fit him. When we grew a little more the longer clubs were OK. But until then, we bought the little guy a lot of post-round hot dogs.

 

And, women's clubs seem to be more durable than junior sets, something important if your son continues to play a lot. 

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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