If your son or daughter is a junior golfer and is looking to improve their game, we have 11 golf drills or games that Juniors can use to get better.
The journey of trying to break 100, 90, 80, and eventually 70 should be fun. It will take plenty of hard work and this is where the life lessons exist. Dealing with the ups and downs in golf and the mental challenge of each round is ultimately rewarding and makes the journey beneficial.
Something I always remind my junior golfers:
- When you are playing well…practice.
- When you are playing poorly…practice.
Enjoy the practice, make it fun and embrace the journey of improvement!
We have broken the 11 Golf Drills for Juniors into different categories. These categories include swing speed training, full swing and short game.
Here at golfjourney365 we believe in 3 fundamentals in the full swing. The golfer must be able to do the following to reach elite levels:
- Control the low point of their golf swing.
- Control the start line and curve of the ball.
- Have enough speed to play the courses at their level.
11 Golf Drills for Juniors
#1: Train for Speed (Fundamental #3)
There is a direct correlation between the swing speed of a golfer and their potential to shoot quality scores. The good news for junior golfers is that they will naturally get longer as they go through the junior years, but why not accelerate that process by training for speed?
The great news is that the training is all centered around making golf swings and doesn’t include heavy olympic lifting. Golfers of all age can benefit from the training below.
I believe many used to believe, well this is just how fast I can swing.
Recent training tools have started to change many minds. We have seen many of the professional golfers get longer and longer with their tee shots as a result of additional swing speed. You will find many touring pros using the SuperSpeed System, which I highly recommend.
SuperSpeed Golf is one option to increase your swing speed through a science based overspeed training approach. In simple terms, you train by swinging a lighter club (20%) faster than you swing your driver. Over time, by training at a higher speed, your mind and body feel safe to swing that fast with your normal driver, resulting in an increase in driver swing speed.
The SuperSpeed System provides 3 different weighted sticks and takes the golfer through a training protocol every other day for about 15 minutes. The golfer can expect to see a 5-8% increase in swing speed, resulting in 20-30 yards for most golfers. The great news is that the 5-8% can be expected as early as the first training session. The additional speed will become more permanent after about 30-60 days of training.
My own experience has been an increase of 7-10 miles per hour on average from between 98-101 all the way up to 106-109. My goal is to hit the PGA Tour average of 113 mph in the coming months. I will continue to train every other day and watch in amazement as I am hitting drivers longer now than ever before!
Phil Mickelson has been known to increase his swing speed in the past year or so and is close to 120 miles per hour in his swing speed. There are potential results for golfers of all ability levels and age!
|Original Swing Speed||After 4-6 Weeks||New Carry Distance||Total Distance|
#2: Low Point Control (Fundamental #1)
If you head out to watch an PGA Tour event you will see every golfer hit a high percentage of their shots very crisp. Even if you sat on a par 3 tee box and asked golfers their handicap and then noted their ball contact, you would find a connection between the handicap of the golfer and their ability to strike the ball clean.
The weakest golfers might only strike the ground where they need to about 50% of the time. The best golfers are close to 100%. On your journey you will see that as your get better, you will strike the ball better more frequently.
Below, I have an excellent drill to help you work on this specific area:
Drill: Low Point Control Drill
- Paint a 2-3 yard long line with some yard paint.
- Place the wiffle ball on the line.
- The goal is to have your divot start just on the target side of your line.
- Go ahead and hit shot after shot, working on controlling your low point and your entry into the ground.
- Assess your success rate out of 20 times and write it down.
- Complete this drill daily for several weeks and see if your game improves at the course.
If you start to hit the ball poorly at any point on your golf journey, return to this drill and keep it simple.
One quick tip: if you are struggling to control your low point, go ahead and set up with 60% of your weight on your front leg. Keep your head centered without a big shift off the ball and turn more around your front leg.
This will help keep your centers in place and allow you to control the low point. Many golfers struggle with the low point because they don’t get their weight back to their front side early enough and end up casting the club.
Related Post: Which golf tees should I play from?
#3: Develop A Stock Shot (Fundamental #2)
Every junior golfer needs to have a go to shot.
The shot where they can step up and have a high level of confidence of where the ball will start and what direction it will curve. There is nothing more difficult than standing over a shot and having little to no idea about where the ball is going to fly and how it is going to curve.
I prefer to play the draw. I will typically hit a shot that starts somewhat right of my final target and then curve back towards the target. The key is to not over curve the ball, which helps your eliminate the left side of the golf course.
This comes from club face control and being able to start the ball on the proper line. The more we can control our club face, the better we can control our start line.
Drill: Stock Shot Drill
- Set up an alignment stick 6-8 yards down your target line in front of the ball.
- If you have one, set up a second alignment stick 2-4 feet right of that target line
- Go ahead and see how many swings out of 10 you can get the ball to start to the right of the first of the alignment stick. The goal here is to progress to 7 out of 10.
- Practice this drill everytime you hit golf balls.
The key to golf is being able to control your contact and your start line.
Could you imagine a round of golf where you strike the ball solid and 7 times out of 10 the ball starts down your intended target line? This is the ultimate in golf and helps you start to focus on your course management.
You will gain confidence and the consistency that we all seek!
The golfer that can control the low point in their swing and start the ball on the intended line a high percentage of the time will find themselves making plenty of pars. Assuming an above average short game, they are well on their way to becoming a scratch golfer or a least lowering their scores.
Juniors golfers that have a clue of where the ball is going have a step up on the competition. When they train for speed and develop a stock shot the sky is the limit!
Complete Post: How to increase driver swing speed!
#4: Compete Around the Practice Green (Short Game)
One of the secrets to breaking 80 in golf is to be able to get up and down from around the green in 2 shots or less 50% of the time. This is assuming you are in the 10-20 yard range from the role. The current leader on tour does this at an 80% success rate.
The great part about chipping and putting is it doesn’t take high end club head speed or expensive equipment or lessons, but rather a simple technique and lots of practice. The game here is to take one ball and pick a spot from off the green. Go ahead and hit the chip shot and then see if you can make the putt.
Helpful Post: How to
Up and Downs Game
Pick 10 different spots around the green and track how many times out of 10 you were able to get up and down in 2 shots or less. You can also play a competition against another person at the green and see who can get up and down the most times out of 10 or play some match play. Once again the little competition will help prepare you for the actual course and the pressure that you may face.
#5: Simulate the Course (All 3 Fundamentals)
Do not just stand at the driving range and pound golf balls. Practice with intent. One great way to practice with intent is to simulate the course.
My number one go to game, whether I am by myself at the driving range or with a friend, is to simulate a course that you have played or would love to play. Here is how it works: you start at the first hole and let’s say it is a 405 yard par 4 with a hazard to the left at 220 yards, but a slight bailout area to the right.
Set the parameters with different markers out on the driving range. Go through your pre-shot routine and see if you can hit the targeted area you are trying to hit. Based on that drive, let’s say you have 165 left to the green. Pull the appropriate club, set the target with some parameters and go ahead and make that shot as well.
Keep track of how many times you can hit your targeted area. Over time track your progress and see if you are getting better during your practice rounds.
This game is a great way to prepare for a round of golf the week leading up to a tournament or even the day of to help bring the power of visualization and help yourself feel comfortable that you have hit the shots many times before the actual tournament.
Standing and hitting at a driving range that is 150 yards wide probably will not bring the pressure that you need to prepare for the round, but mark something as the out of bounds that may appear on the course and all of a sudden it seems a bit more real.
#6: 9 Point Drill (Fundamental #2)
This is the ultimate challenge to help you work the ball and hit the 9 different shots on the golf course. You might be thinking, 9 shots? I thought there were only 3 shots, draw, fade and straight. Well that is three ways to work the ball, now bring in the low and hit shots. So challenge yourself and see if you can hit these 9 shots:
- Low Straight
- Low Draw
- Low Fade
- High Straight
- High Draw
- High Fade
How you can measure this one is to see how many shots it takes to execute these 9 shots. At first it may take you 20 shots because it might take you several times to hit the high draw, but keep working at it and track it over time.
When you get on the course, in a competition, you will be more comfortable with working the ball.
Fun Games: 22 Practice Games to Lower Your Scores
#7: Lag Challenge (Short Game)
Mark off a spot 40 feet from the hole. Then draw putt tees around the backside of the hole and create a 3 foot radius. Take 10 balls and see how many out of the 10 you can get to within 3 feet from 40 feet. Once again, if you can do this at an 80-90% success rate you will help make your golf round more stress free.
#8: Play HORSE (Fundamental #2)
Many of you are probably familiar with the game of HORSE in basketball. Where one person takes a shot and if that person executes the other person has to match it or they get the letter H.
You then proceed and are trying to get your competitor to spell HORSE before you do. You can take this same game to the driving range and call out different shape shots prior to hitting. For example: if you call a draw shot that starts right of a marker and then draws at least 7 yards and you execute it, your competitor than has to hit that same shot or he or she would get an H.
This is a great game to help you start to develop a draw and fade on demand and to start working on different trajectories
#9: Worse Ball (Scoring)
Next time you are out on the golf course and there isn’t much other play, consider playing two golf balls. This is the opposite of playing a scramble by yourself. You hit two shots, but you have to take the worse of the two shots.
Go ahead and challenge your game and see how many pars you can make. The most difficult part is when you get to the green. Even if you only play this with shots until you get to the green, it will force you to hit two quality shots in a row and manage your misses.
Oftentimes the best golfers are great because of their great shots, but because of how good their “bad” shots are. They keep plodding along until they find their birdie streak and they make it happen!
#10: Play the Shortest Tees (Scoring)
Another great idea that I learned from watching various youtube videos is to play from the shortest tees on the golf course. This will help you learn to make more birdies and how to capitalize on short holes or the extra distance you might add. Extra distance is great, but if you can’t capitalize on having 50 yards instead of 100 yards, the distance gain goes out to window.
Learn to go low and don’t be afraid to keep making birdies.
Related Post: Golf Simulator and Home Theater: 10 Things to Consider!
#11: Play Simulator Golf
One of the biggest barriers for junior golfers that don’t live in a warm climate is the lack of swings and training in the winter months. For anyone serious about taking their game to the next level, the parents can consider building a golf simulator space.
I built one in my garage several years ago and have now played over 800 rounds. My average score is now down around that of a scratch player. The ability to play everyday, even when there is snow outside, has been a complete game change.
I would highly recommend the SkyTrak and would recommend buying a complete package from Rain or Shine Golf. There are some links below to get you started on pricing out the options!
BONUS INFO: What does it take to reach the scratch level?
THE STATS – The Recipe
|Greens in Regulation||67%|
|Putts Per Hole||1.67|
|Average Driving Distance||251|
Some Major Takeaways From The Table Above:
- 12 out of 18 greens in regulation seems doable on an average course. This is 2 out of every 3 holes, we must be able to hit the green in regulation.
- The 53% for fairways hit can always be a bit misleading. Are the other 47% of drives still in play and the only barrier is a bit of rough? Or is the ball now behind the tree. A stat I would like to see is if you have a clean, unobstructed shot to the green. I believe this is the game changer in scoring
- The putts per hole seems somewhat achievable. Where this number can be thrown off is if the one putts are to save par or to make birdies after a green hit in regulation.
- The scrambling stat is not surprising at all. I would have thought that one must be above 50% to become a scratch golfer. I have heard that PGA Tour players expect to chip a ball within a 3 foot circle – 7 out of 10 times. If a scratch golfer can do this 5 out of 10 times and then make one putt outside of 3 feet, they can easily average around 60% in scrambling.
- The sand saves is an impressive number as it is actually higher than the scrambling percentage. This shows that scratch golfers save par more from the sand then the rough.
- The average driving distance is actually lower than I would have anticipated. A 250 driving average only takes around a 103 mile per hour swing speed.
Excellent video on what a scratch golfer looks like:
Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better
What does this mean for you? I believe in the following recipe to get better:
1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor. Here are some options:
Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:
2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed. Here are some options:
Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:
3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier. Here is a series on breaking through:
We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.
4 – Practice Frequently
Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system? It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:
- Is a Golf Simulator Worth It?
- How to Build a Golf Simulator?
- What is the Best Golf Simulator?
- Golf Simulator Accessories?
- How to Build a Golf Simulator for under $7000
- Top 11 Reasons to Buy a SkyTrak
- How to Build a Golf Simulator for Under $1000
- Why Build A Golf Simulator?
- What Space is Needed?
- Can A Golf Simulator Improve My Game?
- How Much Does A Golf Simulator Cost?
- Don’t Forget to Check out our 15 best golf swings of all time.