When we set out to grow the game of golf among the littlest of golfers, it was our TLG First Set that we were most focused on. In fact, the clubs preceded everything but our signature turtles, Putter and Sandy. How can we get kids to fall in love with golf, while they are developing all of their other skills as well? "Thirty yards," "no more slices," "add ten yards..." That is what is being pushed on the adult golfing population. Toddlers do not need '10 extra yards,' but they do need to see the flight of a ball. They do need the same gratification, and they still need positive results! Nobody in history ever became an avid golfer because they continually hit "worm burners" with every swing! Our goal was to produce a club set that not only enabled children to learn proper technique, but to ingrain proper movements that they can utilize during a lifetime of golf.
The most obvious attribute of the TLG First Set is the grip. The grip features our patented Littlest Grip Technology (LGT). This 'forced grip' guides little hands into the proper position, and provides foundation for every other aspect of the swing. One major benefit to the 'Start Younger, Play Longer®' approach is that kids learn quickly, and they can retain what they have learned with a minimal amount of repetition. If kids can learn correctly, it will benefit them greatly as they move from training clubs to actual clubs. Our grip allows kids to properly and comfortably hold the club, and what they learn through play translates to technique later.
We still have not found a club set, or a club that is weighted properly for children in the (2-4 year old) age range, other than the TLG First Set. The weight of our clubs has everything to do with the effectiveness of our LGT grip. Little kids who are actually able to swing a club with the average club head, often compensate for the weight by using muscles in their backs, legs, shoulders and hips. In other words, they compensate for the head weight, by using anything they can. Another far too familiar scene with little golfers, is the dreaded 'hockey grip' or 'split grip': one hand on the grip, the other half way down the shaft. Kids are still picking up on the concepts, but they are also getting way too big a dose of "THIS IS HARD!" We wanted a club that the average kid could swing, and one in which the club head didn't come a millimeter away from their left ear as the weight of the club, plummets it downward from the top of the swing. We also wanted a club that allowed a child to emulate brother, sister, Mommy, Daddy, Grandma or Grandpa, in both form and function
The alignment rod in golf is nothing new, though historically it was often either a stick or an old club shaft. Today, companies are actually manufacturing rods specific to golf. We have included an alignment rod in our TLG First Set training clubs because the natural progression after learning to hit a ball is learning how to hit it where you want it to go, and that is something we have all spent a lifetime trying to perfect. In the case of the TLG First Set training clubs, our alignment rod is sized specifically for kids. It is the best tool we have found to help a child put their toes on the ever elusive 'imaginary' line that runs from the golfer to the target, and is just as useful when learning to putt.
"Can we hit real golf balls?" That is the number one question we get! The answer is not as easy as yes or no unfortunately. The club heads of the TLG First Set training clubs are overly engineered high impact plastic. They are specifically designed to launch our foam practice balls that come in the set. Our foam practice balls are made to be launched high in the air, giving kids the result and gratification they are hoping for. For the most part, hitting real golf balls results in nothing more than a series of "worm burners", or low trajectory balls that travel about 1/3 the distance of a foam ball. Kids, however, do want to hit real golf balls, because that is what golfers hit. Our experience is as follows: We had a friend (ha ha) and his son really wanted to hit real golf balls, and he was at the point where he could really hit the TLG practice balls very well. However, his usual playing partner was frustrated because of the poor results from otherwise great swings. So, "our friend" struck a compromise. The son would use the TLG foam practice ball from tee to green, and once on the green, he would use a real ball to putt. Out "friend" and his son had many, many happy moments golfing together after the compromise. This opened the door for the transition to actual clubs, by graduating up to an actual putter. The move to actual clubs, is in fact, best done in steps; slowly.
In the Bag!
The TLG First Set training clubs come with an argyle bag featuring our signature turtles Putter and Sandy, 3 foam practice balls, a putter, 7 iron and driver. Also included is a DVD to get you started, and of course the TLG alignment rod.
The TLG First Set 'Long' is the big brother to the TLG First Set and comes with slightly lengthened shafts, perfect for 3-5 year olds.