How to Measure Golf Club Length for JuniorsPublished on 09/20/2023 · 10 min readJunior golf club sizing demystified: Golfing Expert Brendon Elliott explains how to choose the right golf club length for young players!
Photo by Doubletree Studio
Greetings, parents, grandparents, friends, and perhaps even coaches of aspiring young golfers! My name is Brendon Elliott, and I am a long-time PGA Professional and industry veteran based in Central Florida. I have worn many hats in my 27 years in the game, but I am probably best known for my work in junior golf.
Since the early 2000s, I have been considered one of the leaders in youth golf.
- A U.S. Kids Golf Master Kids Teacher
- A six-time GRAA Top 50 Growth of Game Teaching Professional
- A five-time GRAA Top 50 Growth of Game Elite Teaching Professional
- A Four-time North Florida PGA Section Junior Leader Award winner
- The 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award winner
It is fair to say that I have earned my stripes in being able to touch on topics that revolve around youth player development.
Historically, one of the biggest mistakes in putting golf clubs in the hands of young golfers has been giving them cut-down adult clubs. This is not a reasonable consideration for kid's clubs, and there are many reasons why. Improper weighting, length, and other aspects of this practice hurt the young golfer and their development as they learn to play. Whether a beginner or a more advanced golfer, a young player deserves something better than hand-me-downs or cut-down adult clubs.
From smaller size clubs with smaller grips, lighter weight shaft options, and clubheads with ample forgiveness and durability for better and more consistent contact. Junior golf club sets should also be capped off with a lightweight golf bag and a kid-centric head cover for their driver.
From a toddler and their first set of clubs to a more competitive teenager looking for an entire set to help them play their best game possible or one day be the next Tiger Woods, putting properly fitting clubs in a junior golfer’s bag is vital to their development and enjoyment of the game.
Club-fitting and proper-sized golf clubs are necessary for all players, including kids. Today, I will share with you briefly the evaluation of club fitting and the innovator in the fitting of junior sets, U.S. Kids Golf.
Additionally, I will talk a little about what some of golf’s major manufacturers do in terms of youth golf fitting and equipment.
To close, I will give you some suggestions on how to measure and fit your kiddo by yourself for clubs when other options are not readily available.
U.S. Kids Golf: The Innovators of Junior Golf Club Fitting
U.S. Kids Golf is the true innovator and pioneer of club fitting in youth golf. Based out of the Atlanta, GA, area, U.S. Kids Golf was founded in 1996 by Dan Van Horn. The entire basis of Dan’s desire to start the company was because he had a difficult time trying to find quality youth golf equipment for his kids. There were few options for junior clubs with proper club lengths, clubhead weight, total weight, shaft flex options, lofts, grip size options, and proper set makeup configurations.
Dan came up with the idea of creating a fitting system similar to what PING did for the adult club market but focusing on kids.
U.S. Kids Golf is not just a junior golf club company. Through its nonprofit U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, they have become the leaders in creating inroads for kids to compete, both for the first time, at young ages, and in higher-level competitive environments such as their annual World Championships in Pinehurst, NC.
They also help educate, certify, and recognize top youth golf instructors worldwide.
At its core, however, U.S. Kids Golf is the innovator and leader in quality youth golf equipment for both beginners and more advanced, high-level young players.
The U.S. Kids Golf Fitting System and Size Chart
The U.S. Kids Golf fitting system is based on a child's height and not their age or an age range, as some other manufacturers may do. Including their Baby’s First Club putter (made for infants), U.S. Kids Golf has 12 height ranges in their color-coded fitting system.
In addition to height, swing speed is a factor in deciding which club model of the four they offer is best for each size group.
Four U.S. Kids Golf Club Models to Consider
Within those sizing categories, there are four models of clubs to choose from based on a young golfer's experience level and swing speed. These include the following:
The Yard Club by U.S. Kids Golf is a great beginner club for kids that fall within the size ranges for the Player 36” and Player 63” series.
Features that make this club great for beginners include:
- A molded grip that helps a new young golfer get a great feel for a proper grip.
- A 30% larger head than traditional pitching wedges.
- A unique, perfectly balanced, lightweight, and flexible shaft.
U.S. Kids Golf’s Ultralight series is great for beginner to intermediate young golfers that fall within the size ranges for the Player 39” and the Player 63” series.
Features that make this club series great for beginner to intermediate juniors include:
- The weight of these clubs helps kids develop a proper golf swing.
- This best-selling junior club series comes in nine height ranges between the Player 39” and the Player 63” series.
- Each size in the Ultralight series has a unique length, weight, shaft flex, lie angle, and grip size.
- The Ultralight series helps make it easier to hit the ball higher, farther, and straighter.
U.S. Kids Golf’s Tour Series is great for intermediate to advanced juniors who fall within the size ranges for the Player 51” and the Player 66” series.
Features that make this club series great for intermediate to advanced juniors include:
- The Tour Series offers clubs of the highest quality. From U.S. Kids’ fastest Tour Series driver to date to beautifully constructed fairway woods and hybrids and on to their 431 stainless steel irons, these are some of golf’s finest youth clubs.
- The shafts in the Tour Series clubs are designed specifically for each size and come in 100% graphite or lightweight steel.
- The wedges in the Tour Series line come in a 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 loft option and have an 8620 satin nickel spin finish.
- Thanks to TrackMan and thousands of data points recorded in the testing of the Tour Series, these clubs are optimized for perfect launch, trajectory, and spin.
U.S. Kids Golf’s epTOUR drivers and putters are great for the most advanced young golfers. The drivers are intended for players who fall within the size ranges for the Player 51” and Player 66” series and have swing speeds between 65 and 90mph. The putters in this series are for players between 51” and 69” tall.
Features that make this club series great for advanced and elite juniors include:
- The heads have a 460cc Carbon Fiber crown and Titanium body.
- These are premium adjustable drivers with the ability to change lofts from 9⁰ to 13⁰.
- A one-of-a-kind shaft adapter that offers eight adapter settings for custom loft, lie, and face angles.
- It comes with a driver optimization kit that includes a settings manual, wrench, and additional weights.
- The four different models in the series have 100% CNC-milled carbon steel heads.
- It comes with interchangeable weights to customize for feel.
Other Manufacturers With Youth Fitting Options
U.S. Kids Golf developed its fitting system and dedication to junior-only products nearly 30 years ago. To this day, they are still one of the only companies solely focused on the junior golfer.
As a decorated junior golf coach of some 15-plus years, I have asked sales representatives from many of the top golf manufacturers why more is not done in the junior segment. Quite frankly, it comes down to a business decision. Juniors make up too small of a portion of their overall customer base. That is understandable, for sure.
Many of these top manufacturers produce very high-quality products for juniors. Still, most offer a different eye for detail and customization than a company like U.S. Kids Golf does.
Big-name brands have stepped up a little more in this area in recent years. The following are some of those champions of the youth golf club market.
In recent years, TaylorMade Golf introduced its Junior Spec offering. With this, young golfers can choose from more than a dozen shaft options that can be put in virtually all the products they offer adults.
The customization in the Junior Spec program offers shorter club lengths and lighter swing weights.
TaylorMade is one of a handful of major golf manufacturers that have begun offering components for juniors that can be used in customizing their standard products. TaylorMade has no specific "fitting system" for kids. They suggest getting a custom fitting from a reputable golf club fitter as always being your best bet.
The problem with this, as is the case with Srixon Golf and other big names, is cost. Even though components fit for young golfers, such as shafts and grips, are now readily available, customizing for juniors can be expensive. That is something that U.S. Kids Golf has somewhat managed to mitigate by specializing in kids only.
TaylorMade does, however, offer the following recommendations for juniors.
Irons and Wedges:
Other companies that offer custom fitting for juniors, such as described above, but do not have a standard youth golf fitting process include:
- Srixon Golf
- Cleveland Golf
A relatively new up-and-coming youth golf club company with custom options is iGEN Golf. Like U.S. Kids Golf, this is a junior-only company. They offer the only junior forged irons and wedges on the market, complete with an adjustable weight system so you can upgrade at a fraction of the cost when kids grow.
An initial investment for a set is as pricy as it gets in junior golf; however, for a ten-club set, you are making that investment in order to be able to save money in the long run. Shaft lengths and clubhead weights can be upgraded as your junior grows, all at a minimal cost for each upgrade.
It is an interesting concept. Here is more on this unique take on youth golf club sizing, including adaptable club length and weighting.
How to Size Kids for Clubs and Measure Your Child’s Golf Club Length on Your Own
There is no universally accepted way to fit junior golfers for clubs. The U.S. Kids Golf fitting system is the industry's only true standard.
Even without that system and U.S. Kids Golf's tools for sizing, you can use its general concepts to size kids for clubs.
The basic things you need to know include obtaining the correct club length, lie angle, and weighting.
To get the correct club length and lie angle:
- Your child’s height: Measure when standing straight up and down.
- Your child’s wrist-to-floor measurement: This is taken with your child standing straight up and down with their arms hanging straight down at their sides and fingers extended.
*Bonus Tip: The length of the driver in your child's set should see the top end of the grip when the club is soled flat on the ground and, resting in front of them, comes up to their belly button.
To get the correct weighting:
- Your child’s swing speed: Measure your child’s swing speed through a radar device.
This data should help you search for clubs when you cannot get fit from a U.S. Kids Golf fitter, another golf sales expert, or a custom golf club fitter.
Next Steps on Getting the Correct Size Junior Clubs for Your Kiddo
I hope this guide has helped you understand how vital proper sizing is for your young golfer. Making the best choice has been much easier thanks to innovators like U.S. Kids Golf.
Many major manufacturers, such as Callaway, Cleveland, and TaylorMade, have learned from U.S. Kids Golf and offer very good options for young players. To learn more about these options, check out my article, “An Expert Guide to Junior Golf Clubs.”
Feel free to contact a Curated Golf Expert for personalized advice if you have any questions about measuring or have other golf-related needs.