Monday, June 18, 2012

Youth Baseball and Golf: Can a kid play both successfully?

Friday, a big meeting at work was canceled. Since my calendar was clear, I took a vacation day from work. My son and I played nine holes of golf in the morning and then we drove to Columbus, Ohio for game two of the Nations Baseball Ohio State Championship.

Conventional wisdom says that one swing messes up the other, so players should not play both sports. My son has played both sports successfully since age 6 , so I do not believe this to be true.

Baseball Age 9 
Golf Age 9
Golf Age 14
Baseball Age 14
During a recent golf lesson, I was surprised to hear the golf pro used a few baseball metaphors to communicate to my son. That piqued my interest, so I asked the Pro if he thought playing baseball and golf at the same time is detrimental to either swing. He said, with great confidence, "Absolutely not. The set-up, load and rotational mechanics are quite similar. And, the hand eye coordination of one helps the other and vice versa."

When I got home, I googled the question. I wanted to see what other experts were saying.

Don Trahan of Swingsurgeon.com agrees with my son's golf pro in a post called Golf Swing vs Baseball Swing
Regarding baseball coaches wanting junior golfers to stop playing golf because it ruins their baseball swing: in my opinion and experience, that’s BUNK....The good news is their golf swing was not compromised by their batting swing, and their batting swing did not cause problems with their golf swing.  I applied the exact same swing theory to swinging a bat as to swinging a golf club and it worked for both.
The Main Point

My son played a strong round of golf in the am and was 2 for 2 with 2 doubles in the baseball game that night. I think that a good athlete can do both without any trouble. 

5 comments:

  1. Excellent post, thanks. Was just having this debate with some dads on my son's 9U baseball team who won't buy their kids golf clubs for fear of interfering with baseball. Yes, 9U...

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  2. I have heard that from other parents too - My son has choices now. If baseball does not work out (extremely competitive team), then he can play golf in HS. And he will play golf his entire life.

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  3. Well that explains why I see a lot of kids on the long island clubs. Maybe I should take baseball lessons.

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  4. I find the idea that golf affects baseball adversely and vice versa totally off. It's obvious that both sports actually compliment each other.

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  5. My son is a baseball/golfer at the age of 7. He has been playing both competitively for 3 years now. He has been getting private PGA Certified lessons for the last 3 years. This is the first year where his golf swing has suffered because of his baseball swing. Even though the swing mechanics are the same the body weight shift is different. It's just a matter of training the different weight shifts between the two swings. If you take a look at the picture you posted at age 9 golf you will see that he has a baseball weight shift. This is what my son just started doing 2 weeks ago. His finish should be up high and al the way on his front foot. Not to brag or anything but my son is extremely athletic and before this problem his average drive was 140yds consistent. His average drive now 60yds. He played better golf when he was 4. I have no idea how long it is going to take for him to work this out but I will keep you posted.

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