Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy introduces youngsters to the game with Junior Development Program

Junior golfers from as young as three years old can get into the swing of things at the Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy with their dedicated Junior Development Program (JDP), which introduces youngsters to the game in a fun and dynamic way.

The eight-week program gives kids the opportunity to move through each designated level of the program at their own pace with each level offering new challenges in line with their ability and encourages them to put in more time and effort as they improve while developing a love for the game. Golfers who show great potential can also use the Program as a pathway into the Elite Golf Program, which combines both education and golf in one to help students achieve their goals of college golf in the USA and beyond.

What does the JDP consist of?

What does Beginning with the Active Start group, juniors between the ages of three and five are given the ideal starting point to learn the game through game-based learning, which helps them develop a variety of skills that can be transferred to their golf education while helping them progress more effortlessly in their game.

“We like to keep it as fun and easy as possible when introducing juniors, or as I like to call them ‘the little ones’, to the game so they are able to grasp the concept of what we are trying to achieve,” said Teaching Professional Amy Condon, who leads the program.

Once the junior athletes have progressed on from Active Start they will enter into the Fundamentals Class, where they will begin to focus and work on more golf specific principles.

“The Fundamentals section is where we start seeing the personalities shine through,” says Condon. “They start to become aware of how important the likes of grip are and how posture affects the direction of the ball.”

During these sessions it’s important to note that the top-class coaches at the Academy, which is based at the Els Club, don’t just focus on golf skills. The golf school has always implemented the Long-Term Athletic Development (LTAD) approach whereby they develop both golfing and physical skills as part of the program. This type of approach also focuses on each student’s biological age rather than chronological age, which means late bloomers and early developers are treated fairly and equally.

After conquering the Fundamentals Class it’s time to dive into the Course Ready group, which focuses more on getting out on the course and playing the game rather than worrying too much about technique.

“Course Ready is one of our most popular programs amongst our junior golfers,” says Condon. “This is where we get to see the competitive side of everyone. They even try to take on the coaches who delivered the class. Therefore, the coaches must be at the top of their game!”

The final stage of the Junior Development Program comes in the form of the Tournament Ready stage. This class, which is structured for youths between the ages of 9 and 16, helps enhance performance thus creating a pathway for those who wish to play and complete in events.

“We like to take them out onto the course as this allows us to assist them with course management and helps us analyse if they can replicate what they have been practicing onto the course,” says Condon. “This also helps them gain experience in knowing what to do and what not to do when playing the game.”

Alongside the JDP, the Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy also offer a free practice session during the week to allow athletes to ingrain what they have learned throughout their weekly coaching sessions. What’s more, there is also a weekly on-course session with PGA professionals to allow and encourage the children to experience what it is like to apply their knowledge and skill on course.

To learn more about the Junior Development Program please visit the below link for more information; or contact; [email protected]

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