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DEsler

Hybrids OK for talented junior player?

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First I would like to say that this is the best golf forum I've seen by a country mile.  A lot of helpful and knowledgeable people here.

Enough butt kissing.  (even though it's true)

The background: I have a 13 year old son who is "above average" in skill to be modest.  I'm not saying he is the next Rory or Speith or anything like that, just that he is good for his age.  I have had him hitting golf balls in one way or another since he was 3 or 4 and his hand/eye coordination accuracy and short game have been his strength.

In the last 4-5 months has really hit a growth spurt as far as his strength goes and while we have only hit practice balls off of mats in the last month I can see a major swing speed increase. He doesn't look like a kid swinging anymore.  He would hit his driver about 210-220 on a dry day with his best hits last year, 7 iron around 140.  (I can't wait to see him hit real balls this summer)

The situation: My boss gave me a set of his "old" clubs that were a major upgrade over my 12 year old Wilson Fat Shafts (I don't have a lot of disposable income so some 4 year old clubs were a big deal).  a set of A through 7I Callaway wide soles and Cobra baffler hybrids for the rest.  6 iron equivalent up to a "2".  My son loved them and hit them all well but particularly like the bafflers.

The question:  Should I be encouraging him to hit longer irons instead of the hybrids?  Will it possibly inhibit his growth as a younger golfer with a possible competitive future to use them?

Thinking along those same lines... what about "game improvement" irons like the Callaway wide soles?  Won't they cover up some flaws that should be worked on or does it really matter in the long run as long as he can score low.

Just curious what the good people here think about this.

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Welcome to The Sand Trap!

I think at 13 you want to encourage him to play and practice as much as he can.  He probably likes the hybrids because they are easier to hit.  I'd consider letting him use a 3h and 4h and getting the 5i and 6i for his set so he gets used to longer irons.

As far as SGI, I don't see that as an issue either.  As his game progresses you'll be able to get upgrade his irons to match his ability.

The biggest mistake beginners make (including me) is trying to hit clubs that the pro's do.  IMHO golf is tough enough that you don't have to make it artificially harder by using clubs that are beyond your ability.

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Hitting a long iron had a lot to do with club head speed. Many amateurs can't hit the ball with enough speed to get a 3 or 4 iron up in the air, and hybrids with their lower center of gravity help get the ball up. As far as irons go, hitting a smaller iron or more of a player's iron will not necessarily make Jr a better ball striker. He is likely to make the swing flaws with either the small irons or the GI irons. He should hit something that looks good to his eye and inspires confidence.
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Thank you for the replies!

Newtogolf: Buying the 5 and 6 for the Callaway set was exactly what I was thinking about.

colin007: I think you are 100% right about just letting him grow into the better clubs... I just wanted to hear some other people's opinions.  I'm glad to see that I seem to be on the right track.

I think his increased swing speed this year may push him towards irons in the long run.  I just didn't know if there was something I was unaware of that could "ruin his swing" but I am probably being a paranoid parent/coach.

He did get several lessons from a local pro who saw him hitting two years ago and was impressed enough to offer free lessons for the summer for which I am very grateful.  He knew I didn't have a lot of money and he was taught as a child from a pro for free with the only stipulation that he do it for someone else in the future.

When we started our indoor "training" two months ago my son said he just "remembered everything" his coach said and has just been ripping his swing.  He definitely has some flaws that need work but his hand / eye coordination bails him out.

I think I will take some videos tonight and upload to the swing section.   I learn a lot from reading the tips on other peoples swings.  This place is awesome.   Thank you again!

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That 14 year old Chinese boy who played in last year's Master's tourney, and made the cut, was using hybrids to make plenty of good shots.

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