The inherent flexibility of young junior golfers makes it physically easier for them to rotate through the golf swing – however, it is definitely a learned movement and an essential one for high performance junior golfers to master.
Correct rotation through impact is a fluid and balanced movement. Find a great golf coach when your child starts becoming serious about golf to lay the foundation of a good golf swing in the beginning – it will be easier than starting with trying to break bad habits off the bat. Of course the golf swing needs constant attention as the child grows, gets stronger and goes through puberty. It is a constant work in progress, but what remains constant is the need for great body rotation on impact.
Poor body rotation through impact results in the player having to use their arms and hands too much through the swing making it difficult to control the club face resulting in inconsistent ball flight off the club face.
Two small elements can help a junior golfer keep rotation in the forefront of their mind while practicing on the range.
Upper Body Aids
The Impact Ball is a simple training aid, easily utilized on the practice range, that helps to train the body and club to move together through impact. Keeping the ball wedged between the forearms the player should start with small swings and gradually build up to full swings.
This training aid helps to maintain correct arm position through the swing while also ensuring the arms and body work together as the player rotates through the swing. It also helps to control of direction by squaring the face through proper forearm rotation and ensuring the club handle leads through impact. It can also be used for putting practice (between the forearms and also the knees) to reduce excessive body movement.
The impact ball comes in 3 different sizes. The medium size (green/blue) ball is best suited for most juniors from approx. ages 10 and up (5 feet to 6 feet tall). Juniors under about 5 feet should opt for the small size. Juniors of 6 feet and taller should opt for the large size. At around $30-$35 this training aid is well worth the money.
Below is a video demonstrating how to use the Impact Ball.
Tour Striker Smart Ball
Similar to the Impact Ball but slightly easier to use is the Tour Striker Smart Ball training aid. It is a very popular training aid and is used by tour pro's and amateurs alike. The lanyard type strap is adjustable so can be fitted easily for juniors. It can be used for full swings from driver through to putter, to synchronize body and arms and develop a consistent swing pattern while ensuring the arms and body are connected and working together as the player rotates through the swing. The Tour Striker is the original and patented version but you can find cheaper knock-off options at prices well below the $50 for the patented version but be aware that you generally get the quality you pay for.
These are simple aids to use on the practice range that result in improved body rotation through impact by aligning the upper body through the swing.
Pro tip - DIY training aid: You can also just use a slightly deflated football (use a smaller one for younger juniors). It also doesn't harm to have one available for juniors to have fun throwing to each other when not practicing their swings!
DIY Footwork Training Aid
Proper footwork is essential for consistency and power through the golf swing. A good coach will ensure the player’s feet work in conjunction with the rest of their body for a correctly balanced and aligned golf swing and ultimately correct weight transfer.
Hip sway is a power sapper and a common problem for junior golfers. Firm up the hips and you retain power through impact.
A very simple aid to reducing hip sway is to place a water bottle inside and touching the trail foot and make a swing. If you are spinning out of the swing excessively the water bottle will be knocked over.
Stopped excessive sway and feeling like you’re trying to get your trail knee to touch your lead knee will keep you from knocking over the water bottle and produce proper hip movement and ultimately more power generation through the swing.
Body rotation is a key element of a good golf swing that generates power and impacts the ball squarely on the club face. The simple aids outlined above have been proved tremendously effective and are easily implemented for a junior golfer.