Overview of TPI's Junior Golf Screen

Why screen juniors different than adults?

At first glance, you would think our standard adult screen would be a great overall screening for all ages.  It should highlight any functional movement deficiencies they are lacking and help track their progress.  Unfortunately, it does not assess the child’s developmental age, fundamental movement skills or sport-specific skills.  There is a big difference between Functional movements and Fundamental movements. Fundamental movements involve locomotion (running, skipping, crawling, sliding, hopping, etc.), object control (throwing, catching, striking, kicking, bowling, etc.), stability (agility, balance, coordination and speed) and awareness (kinesthetic awareness, spatial awareness and body control).  Functional movements involved patterns of motion that require a fluid balance of mobility and stability such as flexion, extension, rotation, squatting and single leg stance.

We recommend that young juniors be evaluated on both functional and fundamental movements and then add sport-specific screens as well in later years.  Growth velocity should also be measured by coaches or the parents and then calculated and monitored every two months for developmental changes.

Hat and Bracelet Classification/Ranking System

TPI has come up with an extensive classification system that minimizes the Matthew and Relative Age Effects.  It allows the coaches to progress kids through the first three phases of development (FUNdamentals, Learn to Play and Train to Play) using objective criteria and a developmental mind-set.  This is really based off the same type of system used in Karate schools all over the world. 

TPI uses a ten level hat and bracelet color system for golf skills and physical skills.  Hats corespond to golf skills and bracelets are for physical skills.  Hats and bracelets will be earned in order from red-to-white, to blue-to-green, to black.  Very much resembling the teeing system used at most golf courses. 

Kids golf skills will be evaluated on 5 building blocks or proficiencies and depending on how they perform, they will be placed into a certain hat color.  The five building blocks that will be tested include:

  1. Object Control FMS
  2. Golf Swing Technical Skills
  3. Shot Making Skills
  4. Course Management/Playing Skills and Performance Statistics
  5. Rules, Etiquette and History

Kids physical and athletic skills will be evaluated on 2 proficiencies and depending on how they perform, they will be placed into a certain bracelet color.  The two include:

  1. Locomotion FMS
  2. Physical Fitness Proficiency


Each child is placed through a series of tests that are graded with a pass/fail score.  Total number of passed proficiencies will determine what colors the child earns.  Each child, regardless of their chronological age, must go through the screening process to optimize their junior golf school experience.

Coaches have the power to screen kids on a regular basis or whenever they feel the child is ready to progress up the ranking system.


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