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What is LTAD?

LTAD stands for “Long Term Athletic Development” and describes the Long Term Athletic performance model coined by Istvan Balyi in 1990.

LTAD is a useful guide that helps develop golfers from pre-puberty to retirement. The LTAD approach focuses on having our students perform age-appropriate skill acquisition drills to maximize their athletic potential. LTAD progressively gets more difficult and more specialized as the athlete develops and reaches the next level of their development.


Fundamentals refers to the philosophy that children should progress from basic fundamental movement skills (FMS) to fundamental sports skills (FSS) in that order. This is a Natural progression from simple tasks to more complex movements.

 FMS are generally patterns of movement that combine two or more body segments. They are the basic vocabulary of sport. FMS can be broken into 4 categories:

- Locomotive skills – Running, jumping, skipping, hopping, bounding

- Stability Skills – Agility, Balance, Coordination, Speed, Change of direction

- Object Control – Throw, kick, strike, catch, dribble, Dodge

- Awareness – Spacial awareness, kinesthetic awareness, body awareness, rules

Children who develop a better base of FMS will develop golf skills at a faster rate and will peak at a higher level of expertise.


A transitional phase occurs typically at seven years of age, after fundamental movement skills have been learned. Children will move into an application phase where fundamental sports skills are learned close to the onset of the main growth spurt.


Striking an object on the ground with a golf club is a fundamental movement skill. A child learning this skill will learn to strike many different sized balls with one hand or with both hands. They will also learn to strike the ball at different speeds, sometimes for accuracy using a lot of different targets and sometimes for distance.

When the child learns to chip a golf ball using a golf swing motion and tries to get the golf ball to stop next to the hole, the child moves from a fundamental movement skill to learning a fundamental sport skill.


Children go through distinct phases of development that require different methods to achieve excellence. Our program aims to prescribe the correct combination of FMS and FSS throughout their development to help them reach the highest competitive level possible. The LTAD model provides us with a plan to follow for each child that comes to the golf school and their developmental age allows us to prescribe the correct exercises and challenges for their specific phase of development.

extracts taken from TPI Junior Level 2:

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