We get a number of inquiries each week and this post answers the question: how should I start my beginning daughter?
Here is my answer:
For your daughter, the main thing I would recommend is to STAY AWAY FROM GOLF BALLS. The ball is really what destroys athleticism, speed & power in beginners. My daughter is 8 and is very athletic doing gymnastics/karate and has an amazing golf swing. However, if I have her hit balls, her swing quickly deteriorates. The reason for this is that the beginning golfer (or really all golfers) start trying TO HIT A BALL. And when the brain just tries to hit a ball, bad things happen.
The solution? Build the skill/movement first, then later hit balls.
There is a great book called ‘The Talent Code’ by Daniel Coyle, get more info here http://thetalentcode.com/
He describes a Tennis Academy in a small town in Russia that put out more Top 20 players in the late 90’s than the USA. The juniors there had to do slow motion/motion training for 3 months before they ever hit a ball. They had to practice for 2-3 years before they ever played a match.
Why? This allows the brain/body to lock the athletic motion in. Once that is locked in, it will use the proper technique when confronted with a challenge (i.e. the ball). Without that training, the brain/body will just do whatever it can to hit the ball and as Ben Hogan quipped, all natural tendencies are wrong in golf.
So, do Y drills and L drills WITHOUT the ball. Do them in slow motion if you have to. Once the motion is correct, then bring in tour tempo. From there, bring in the ball. I guarantee better results and less frustration!!
Shameless plug: The Tour Tempo Speedball/Power Module is a great way to transition into a golf ball. It provides great resistance for speed/power AND at the same time you can’t miss it, so there is positive feedback. I highly recommend it for beginners!!