When most of us started playing golf, we didn’t worry about specialty products like junior golf balls. I found all of my golf balls in the woods of my back yard which protected our house from the 13th green of the course we lived on. We probably didn’t buy golf balls for years! The technology behind golf ball design has changed so much since then that, even if you do live on a course where lots of bad players regularly deposit their Pro V1’s in your yard, it may benefit your junior golfer to take a look at the ball they are hitting.
Most kids will want to play the same ball as their favorite pro. This, however, is not a good idea, especially for beginners. You want your child to be able to get the ball up in the air and hit it straight; distance should not be as much of a concern at this point.
Your child will need a golf ball that will give them a high initial launch and to do that you need a softer, low compression golf ball that is appropriate for their swing speed. Typically this ball would be a compression of 70 or lower.
US Kids makes two balls, the SS*70 and SS*90. The SS*70 ball has the very low compression of 45 and is made for kids with swing speeds of 70 mph or less.
The SS*90 ball has a compression of 62 for junior golfers with swing speeds of 90 mph or less. These balls retail for about $20/dozen. Click here to find out more about US Kids junior golf balls or check out the chart below from US Kids to figure out what type of ball is best for your child.
The Srixon Junior's Jr. Star Golf Balls feature a softer cover, lower compression and are 10% lighter than other golf balls on the market. Offering higher launch, with every club, for increased distance and better playability for every shot on the course. As an added benefit, these golf balls also float, just in case they don't make it over that intimidating water hazard!
Many kids like their balls to be cool colors and the Noodle Ice, about $20/dozen, and the Volvik Crystal, a 70 compression ball that’s about $17/dozen, are good choices.
Based on testing at the US Kids Golf World Championship, average swings speeds for ages 5 to 8 is between 50 and 70. Average swing speeds for ages 9 to 12 is between 70 and 90. The best way to determine which ball would be best for your child is to get a reading on their swing speed at a fitting center or in a golf retail shop that has swing analysis equipment. Then you can buy a couple of sleeves to see what works best for your kid. The right ball can do a long way in making your junior golfer’s experience be the best it can be at this point. As they get older and stronger, they will want to reassess what type of ball they are hitting; they should always be hitting a ball that is appropriate for their particular swing.