Let’s bury the long driver

As a golf coach that focuses on youth development, and a Tournament Director for young golfers for over 15 years, I’ve seen well over a million youth golf swings. The one error I see most is the one that too many are the most proud of: The Long Drive.

To be more accurate, it’s the pursuit of the long drive by using a LONG HEAVY DRIVER through a misguided focus on immediate results.

The length of the driver should be no more than 2/3 of a player’s height.

Kids are smart and they’re resilient. If you put a club that’s too long and too heavy in their hands, they very well may learn to swing it — and quite frankly, hit it further (though usually most of that distance will be roll). But there are long-term consequences to using improperly fit clubs.

The all-important sequencing of a golf swing will be jeopardized through the use of long and heavy clubs. To create unnecessary challenges in that sequencing stunts proper swing development which is key for long-term advancement in the game.

The properly fit driver will result in better accuracy, better development and more fun.

There are MANY advantages of a properly fit clubs: better hand speed, higher launch angle, faster rotation, better balance and basic fundamentals learned, and ingrained at an earlier age.

The game is hard enough. Inadvertently and with the best intentions, it is made harder when searching for short-term “victories” by focusing on length off the tee by buying a club versus developing speed and power in the swing itself.

Get your child fit. Find a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach that uses the Fitting System to give your child a chance to learn, to play, and most importantly, to develop in a way that will give them golf for a lifetime.

John Godwin, 2004 National Junior Golf leader as selected by the PGA of America, is Director of Player Development for the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation. He has been instrumental in the foundation’s development of the USKG Certified Coach program, the U.S. Kids Golf Learning Program, the PGA Family Course program, and the U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teachers Award. He is also a PGA Master Professional and serves as the Georgia Section Vice President.

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