Golf Training Aids
By: Brent Walter

Golf Training Aids Buying Guide: Just sorting through the thousands of golf training aids can be enough to make someone give up playing golf. But with a little advice, finding the right aid for your swing won't be a problem.

    You can spend thousands of dollars trying out different golf training aids without ever finding one that actually helps your particular swing. The number and variety of different products is overwhelming. Also, because most golf training aids focus on a single aspect of your swing, many of them won't help you at all. So, you need to find some way to narrow the field. Well, here's one way worth a shot.

Let Your Swing do the Picking

    Most golfers have at least some idea about what they are good at and what they need to work on. Those areas that need the most improvement are prime candidates for golf training aids, and if you know what to work on, then you can narrow your search for the perfect aid. Only look at training aids that specifically focus on the area you need to improve most. For example, if your backswing is so jerky that you can't even hope for a descent downswing, look for aids that teach you the proper rhythm and tempo during your takeaway. It'll be a waste of time and money to get any aid that doesn't help your worst area because each phase of your swing is related. That means that you won't be able to fix other parts of your swing until the weakest link is improved. For some help matching swing errors to types of training aids, check out our article Golf Teaching Aid, and if you need help with a specific part of your body, whether knees, wrists, legs or anything else, check out our article Golf Teaching Tool.

When Your Swing Has Nothing to Say

    If you can't figure out what swing phase or body part is giving you trouble, don't despair. In fact, there are golf training aids that can help you diagnose your swing ailment. Nothing is as good as having a personal instructor on hand to watch you and provide feedback, but training aids can be the next best things. Such golf training aids as laser guides, impact indicators, mirror guides and hinged clubs can provide the valuable feedback necessary to pinpoint what ails your swing. Laser guides are especially good at monitoring your swing path, which includes your takeaway, transition, downswing and follow-through. Impact indicators well show you how your clubface is contacting the ball, which enables you to see what's going wrong at impact.
Mirror guides let you see what an instructor sees, and some even have markings showing you where your body should be. Hinged clubs provide instant feedback about your tempo, rhythm, swing plane and swing path. In addition to those diagnostic tools, instructional books and videos can help you sort out your swing so you can find where things are going wrong. Once you know what's going wrong, then you can wisely invest your money in training aids that'll really help your game.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

    There is no substitute for good, personal instruction from a trained professional. If you are just starting out or need some direction, most golf experts would recommend getting lessons from a reputable instructor. But if you're confident you can diagnose and remedy your swing flaws, then golf training aids are a good option to consider. Just make sure that the golf training aids you buy give you immediate feedback so you know when you do something right or wrong (Stenzel). A training aid that doesn't provide instant feedback will just reinforce bad habits because it won't tell you how to improve. Repeating poor technique will only make it harder for you to improve. Remember, practice only makes perfect if you practice perfectly.

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