Choosing The Right Golf Training Aid for You
Golf can be an incredibly frustrating and challenging game, especially if you’re struggling with your scores or swing without the knowledge to fix it.
Golf training aids allow you to get back on track with your golf game, start focusing on the things that can help you, and ensure that your game develops the way it should. If you need a little help choosing the right golf training aid, we have all the information you need. The last thing you want is a garage full of training aids and a handicap index that hasn’t even budged!
What Types of Golf Training Aids Are There to Choose From?
The first part of choosing the right golf training aid is understanding all the different options for you. Some are self-explanatory, but seeing them here in a list may help you prioritize where to start. Let’s go over a brief rundown of each type of training aid, and the type of golfer that would benefit the most from each type.
Don’t be fooled by training aids that are an all-in-one fix for a perfect swing.
Full Swing Trainers
A full swing trainer can help you work on things like swing mechanics and even the swing plane. These training aids are meant to be used while taking a full swing, and they work on the overall fundamentals of the game.
The biggest benefit to a full swing trainer is that it helps to simulate real golf conditions and what you may encounter during a round. On the flip side, a negative is that a full swing trainer doesn’t necessarily provide specific feedback on what exactly may be going wrong and you may need to do some more intense studying and practice. However, we solved that problem with The Straight Stick, which provides instant auditory and sensory feedback!
The grip is the only connection our hands have to the golf club. If you want to play consistent golf, make sure your hands are positioned on the club the same way each time you tee up.
A grip trainer can help you with consistency in your golf game as well as proper positioning of the hands. Grip trainers can attach to your golf club, or they can be installed as an actual grip on a practice club.
Putting Training Aids
Puting is where all the strokes really count. A benefit to putting training aids is that they can be used both indoors and outdoors. Some trainers work on your setup and positioning of the golf ball; others work on your alignment and your path.
Regardless of the training aid that you choose for your putting practice, you will always find that time on the putting green makes a big difference on the course.
Accuracy and Alignment Aids
Alignment sticks are probably the most common and sought-after golf training aids. An alignment stick (or laser alignment device) can help get your club set correctly at the target, your feet properly aligned, and your shot started in the right direction.
Your setup needs to be correct for your golf swing to be effective; accuracy and alignment aids will help lock in the perfect starting point for a swing.
Distance and Speed Training Devices
The more distance you get, the easier it is to score. Having an 8-iron in your hands to approach a green as opposed to a 4-iron is a much different task. Golf swing speed trainers help you gradually increase your clubhead speed while still maintaining your tempo and timing.
Short Game Tools and Aids
The short game is a more precise area of the game to work on. Short game aids include pitching and chipping nets and targets to help you control ball flight. Some training aids for short game include unique devices that help you hit down and through the golf ball for a cleaner and crisper shot.
Fitness and Flexibility
Golf fitness continues to grow and become such an important part of the game. If you look at the PGA Tour, it’s clear to see these pros enjoy fitness! Golf fitness aids can include balance boards, resistance bands, and even fitness training programs specific to golfers.
Mental Game Training
Training for the mental game moves beyond physical training aids. Mental training aids are usually in the form of books, audio programs, and even apps that help you improve your mindset on the course. Mental training aids can increase focus and confidence and help you feel like you can reach your on-course goals.
Video Analysis, Golf Simulators, and Technological Aids
Taking a video of your golf swing can teach you a lot about where your game needs to improve. With certain simulators, launch monitors, and technology-based training aids, you can get real-time feedback on your golf swing. Combine these videos and aids with a training program from a professional, and you should be well on your way to lower scores.
How Do Golf Training Aids Help Golfers? (Why Use Them?)
Golf training aids make difficult concepts easier to understand and changes to your swing easier to feel. Using the proper combination of training aids with the right work ethic can lead you on a path to game improvement.
Any great golfer will tell you that the issue with making a swing change is the “feeling” that’s associated with it. As a golfer, you are going to be naturally drawn to your current way of swinging, even if you know another way could be beneficial to your game.
The golf training aids help you get that feeling you need to understand a concept and then implement it into your golf game. Without training aids, these concepts can be understood, but the learning curve is a bit steeper.
Can Golf Training Aids Help Your Game?
Before investing in a golf training aid, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. Just as when you purchase golf equipment, you must make sure a training aid is going to help your game.
- What specific skill am I trying to learn?
- How often will I use the training aid?
- What type of learner am I? (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.)
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will have an easier time investing in technology that is the best fit for your abilities and your golf game.
5 Things to Look For in a Golf Training Aid
When purchasing a golf training aid, there are five important things to look for. If you want an aid that will help you for the long term, make sure it’s a match for your game and playing style.
1. Fixes a Specific Problem
Don’t be fooled by training aids that are an all-in-one fix for a perfect swing. This is not actually what you want. Instead, look for training aids that can clearly define the areas of your game that they will improve.
2. Affordable Pricing
Training aids and golf training programs do not need to break the bank. Sometimes, a low-cost training aid can have just as much of an impact as a $15,000 golf simulator.
Taking a training aid with you to the driving range or out on the course for a practice round is a tremendous benefit. Look for something that is somewhat portable, lightweight, and easy to carry.
4. Ease of Use
Will you need a master’s degree to be able to use your golf training aid? Complicated golf training tools won’t help your learning improve at a faster pace; they may even slow you down.
For longevity, you want to look at two concepts. One, will it last because it’s durable and high quality? Two, is there deeper learning and understanding that can be developed by using the training aid over a long period of time which makes it a worthwhile investment?
Best Golf Training Aids To Try For Your Game
Now that you have the basics down of what it will take to play better golf through the use of golf training aids, here are a few of the best golf training aids you can try today. These golf training devices range from basic to more advanced and will work for a wide range of swing flaws.
The Straight Stick
The Straight Stick is a contact and accuracy golf training aid. The usability of the Straight Stick is incredibly easy as you just start swinging it like you would a normal golf club. The Straight Stick gives you instant feedback on where you release the club, which is what you want.
In addition, with this training aid, you will be able to get all of the core areas of your golf game on the right track. One of the best things about the Straight Stick is the fact that both new and experienced players can benefit.
The Straight Stick comes in models for both irons and a driver and left and right hand.
The Launch Deck focuses specifically on your swing path and launch. With visual and physical aids that force you to strike the ball at the proper angle, the Launch Deck is a tool that can work for a wide range of players in a matter of minutes.
With the consistent use of the Launch Deck, you will learn to increase the ball’s peak point, maximize roll, and improve your swing path.
The EZ3 Fairway Wood takes what is often the most difficult club in the bag to hit (the 3 wood) and makes it easier, more accurate, and more consistent. The EZ3 takes advantage of the Easy Strike technology, which encourages higher ball flight, higher swing speed, and pure turf interaction.
If you thought the fairway woods were an issue in your golf game, the EZ3 may have you thinking differently.
The StraightAway, developed by acclaimed coach David Leadbetter, is a golf training aid that helps you perfect your takeaway. With The StraightAway, your first move away from the ball will be on the proper path. In addition, your lower and upper body will get started with your initial turn instead of letting the hands and arms take over.
If consistency is your current golf nemesis, The StraightAway can help get it straightened out.
Golf Training Videos and Programs
Golf training videos and programs can also be a great way to increase your knowledge of the game and deepen your understanding of your own swing flaws. When choosing a golf training video or program, make sure the coach is a highly regarded professional.
Instructors like Hank Haney, Martin Chuck, and Eric Cogorno have valuable insight on golf’s most important concepts like fixing a slice, improving power, perfecting tempo, and getting your swing on the plane.
The great thing about golf training videos and programs is that you can work at your own pace to learn to play better golf.
Golf Training Aids To Avoid
There are some golf training aids that can do harm to your game. For the most part, the largest issue we see is when golfers try to fix a problem they don’t have. For instance, a player may start using a device to fix their path when it’s just their setup that is off.
In addition to finding the right training aid for your game, here are a few other things to keep in mind to avoid getting the wrong golf training aid:
- Don’t purchase anything that claims to be a magic swing fix and will have you swinging like a pro in minutes; golf doesn’t work like that
- Be careful that the training aid is not overly restrictive of your natural swing movements
- Don’t choose anything too difficult to work with (heavy, tight, etc.) that could lead to an injury
- Make sure the aid is easy to use, and you can fully understand how it works
- Don’t overpay for something you don’t realistically see yourself using
- Adjustability and customization are important in most training aids; make sure what you are purchasing is going to fit you
Final Thoughts on Golf Training Aids
If you’re serious about your game, golf training aids are worth the money. If you have goals for your game and you plan on dropping that handicap index, use the tools that you have available to you. Make sure to pick training aids, videos, and coaching programs that are a specific match to your needs as a player.
In addition, think about the longevity of the training aid and how it will help you as your golf career continues. The best training aids are those that you can rely on year after year to become a better player and enjoy the game.