Junior Golf Academy

The Roehampton Club Junior Golf Academy is a dynamic programme which strives to encourage and enable Juniors to develop as individuals, participate in sport and achieve their potential as golfers. We aim to do this by changing the way golf is taught, creating a passion for the game of golf, and unlocking your child’s potential via our ‘Discover’ first, ‘Explore’ second and ‘Challenge’ third ethos.

Your child’s journey begins with being a child (they are not small adults!) and the programme considers many different aspects of a child’s development when progressing them through the various stages of their learning. Our holistic approach to junior coaching does not only include developing golf skills but fundamental skills such as:

◊ Teamwork
◊ Fun
◊ Movement
◊ Communication
◊ Discipline
◊ Etiquette
◊ And more FUN
◊ And many more …

These are just a few of the social/life skills that our highly dynamic approach and programme allows children to develop. Ultimately, we strive to provide an environment where your child is encouraged to play, build lifelong friendships, have fun, be happy, and play the sport for the right reasons. Furthermore, we are very passionate about the fact that we do not need to create a technically perfect swing but do need to develop functional movement skill sets and we look forward to seeing their golf swings develop.

Crucially, nothing is more important to us than creating well rounded individuals who are equipped with vital life skills through 3 stages of development:

Discover 1st

During their golfing journey, juniors are growing significantly in both their physical and cognitive development.  The discovery phase is all about creating an environment to make golf FUN and FAST with elements of Fitness – 5-9 years of age.

Explore 2nd

Juniors in the ‘Exploration’ phase learn most by absorbing information like a sponge. It is therefore an important time for juniors to learn golf specific skills and develop specific movements to become life-long golfers. Let the chaos commence – 9-12 years of age.

Challenge 3rd

The Challenger group is a comprehensive programme which is designed to assist dedicated juniors before the take the next step into the Cadet Group, these juniors are looking to improve and achieve their full potential as golfers and being rewarded for all their hard work. 10+ Years of Age.

For Parents

5 reasons why children play sport

1 To have fun
2 They are good at it
3 To make friends
4 To improve their skills
5 It makes them feel good

Note – winning is not a primary reason that young children play sport!

5 reasons why children do not play sport/dropout

1 They feel awkward because of lack of physical literacy
2 They dread the car journey home
3 Parents being too enthusiastic/giving too much advice
4 Too much pressure
5 They lose motivation

*The above information was taking from a National Sports Survey, looking at children under 12 years old*

What do our sessions involve?

To satisfy the 5 reasons that children play sport, our sessions are mainly games based. This allows children

1 To have FUN – children love playing games.
2 To experience success with games that are designed to acknowledge their current skill level but also challenge them to help improve their skill set.
3 To make friends as they play in teams and work together.
4 To develop their social, physical and golf skills through the variety of activities experienced in different types of games.
5 To feel good, as they experience success as both an individual and a team.

Coaching sessions for different stages

Discovery – Games are heavily used to create an immediate positive experience for the junior which leads to fun, enjoyment, and captivation.

Explore – Golf like scenarios which will resemble video games which test the junior and their golfing skills. The games will give the junior a sense of mastery but also learning through failure. It is important for the child to have choice in the challenge and support only when needed. (Make sure not to jump into soon and let the junior to figure out) Games will create variability which will resemble on course challenges.

Challenge – Juniors will have a rapport with the coaches they work with this will help develop skills beyond that of golf. Where we firmly believe performance is a behaviour not an outcome. It is vital that juniors with aspirations in golf focus on the process not the results. This will lead to long term enjoyment and retention of the game of golf. We will use a similar style of game like training with world class statistics.

We believe that if we can encourage the above then we are creating a lifelong passion in the game for your child whilst also developing them as well-rounded individuals. This is why you may see them singing, dancing, skipping, crawling, and playing games and we encourage parents to see golf through the eyes of a child. Whilst we understand there are times to be specific and focus on technique and etiquette, we all must understand that there is a long time to deliver these pieces of information and our first aim is to help your child enjoy the game of golf.

Learning through play

There is a huge amount of research that states how children best ‘learn through play’ and we are very passionate about this idea. With carefully designed games, our ‘organised play’ approach allows children to learn important golf skills without the need of any ‘direct instruction’. By this, it DOES NOT mean that children should not be given ANY instruction, but it does mean that the most efficient way for children to learn is not a “do this, do that” approach.

In addition to the above, we must understand that many young children are not mentally able to process large amounts of instruction along with the fact that too much can lead to lower levels of motivation; the reality is that young children do not want to stand around listening to instruction and would often rather just play the game. Of course, at times, some children may need a little more technical guidance, however our highly qualified PGA coaches will always be on hand to provide that vital bit of help when needed.

Contact the Pros in the Sports Shop with any queries – sportshop@roehamptonclub.co.uk or 020 8876 3858 – Ricky Pharo, Jake Watson and Wesley Byatt

Ricky Pharo, PGA Services Manager – ricky.pharo@roehamptonclub.co.uk