The definition of a junior golfer is almost as broad as its counterpart, the senior golfer. Most state golf association’s junior golf divisions accommodate kids ages 7 to 18, but many have entry-level programs for even younger players.
But it’s not the 12-year span that makes selecting the right golf ball for your junior player a challenge. It’s what happens over that decade that makes proper ball fitting a moving target. A 7-year-old might have a 60-mph swing speed while a fully-developed 18-year-old can easily top 110 mph.
We’ll do the math for you – that’s a whopping 50 mph difference! What’s a parent to do? As it turns out, mom, dad or juniors doing their own buying can follow the same general guidelines as the rest of us – the slower the swing, the softer the ball.
Young golfers with low swing speeds (75 mph and below) are better off playing a soft, low-compression ball like OnCore’s AVANT 55. They simply don’t swing fast enough (yet) to derive a benefit from high-compression “Tour” balls like the VERO X1.
Most soft golf balls are constructed in two pieces, with one large solid core surrounded by an outer layer. They have lower spin rates than their high-compression cousins producing less sidespin, which can help junior golfers hit more fairways off the tee. Just as important as performance, given how many balls your little linkster will go through, two-piece balls are usually priced below $30 a dozen (AVANT 55 comes in at $19.99).
Pro Tip: If your junior golfer spends any amount of time watching or streaming PGA TOUR broadcasts, he or she will be bombarded by commercials for expensive golf balls. Early on in their careers, resist their persuasive pleas to purchase these balls, which can cost over $60 a dozen.
But what about the extended period between “intermediate” and “college prospect?”
This stretch can feature swing speeds ranging from 75 to 105 mph. A mid-compression ball like OnCore’s ELIXR can offer the best of all worlds in terms of distance off the tee and control around the greens. ELIXR is a three-piece, 80-compression ball with a cast urethane cover. And like AVANT 55 and VERO X1, it utilizes OnCore’s proprietary perimeter weighting for straighter shots.
Ok, so those are the highly-technical aspects of ball selection for juniors.
But let’s face it, they also want to play a golf ball that looks cool. That’s where customization comes in. Any OnCore dozen can be customized at checkout with logos and text for just $5.99. Or there’s our signature series featuring designs from Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and trick shot artists Tania Tare.
Need more guidance selecting the proper golf ball for you or the junior golfers in your life? Check out our online fitting assessment and get $10 in OnCore Cash if you’re a first-time buyer.