Let’s be real. There are some really dumb training aids out there in 2020. Another year, another round of crappy training aids that won’t do any good. Phew. That felt great to say. I hate when everything is praised like the greatest thing since sliced bread.
However, there ARE some training aids that I 100% believe in. Everything is individual though; a training aid could be perfect for one golfer, but extremely detrimental to another.
Example: If a golfer has a very poor wrist hinge and is hinging horizontally instead of vertically, the Swingyde is a great tool. However, for someone that needs to turn their shoulder more, the Swingyde will be detrimental, as it will put the focus too much on the wrists as opposed to the shoulder turn.
Anyway, I’m going to section off this article into lots of different categories. Hopefully you can find one that applies to you.
If this article helps you out at all, I’d love nothing more than to hear about it in the comment section below!
Best Training Aids for Putting
1) Putting Mat
A little silly, I know. But the truth is: If you are not happy with your putting, you need to practice more. When it comes to putting, technique is not all its cracked up to be. Sure, a slightly more arc stroke might help a little, but practice will DEFINITELY help. I personally used this mat for 3+ years and probably used it every single day. It held up extremely well, and didn’t cost much to start with. I really like how the holes are elevated, so it has the real feel of a golf hole, when the ball falls when it goes in. If you have a flat, smooth carpet at home, you could even just buy these elevated holes for a little less. Personally, I like standing and putting on the green though.
Here’s something to thing about. If sometimes your eyes are right over the ball and sometimes your eyes are outside of the ball (leaning over a lot) when putting, your eyes will be tricking you and you won’t be able to get the right line.
A consistent setup is key when it comes to putting. I don’t care if you believe the eyes should be over the ball or slightly instead the ball. The only thing I care about is consistency. This Eyeline putting alignment is great to make sure your eyes are always over the same spot while putting.
It also facilities lining up the ball, to make sure the ball is aimed where you are wanting. It is very easy to think the ball is aiming a certain direction, until you step over the ball and see something different.
If you know for sure that your putting stroke is the problem (I’m a big fan of sticking with a straight back, straight through “feeling” or a slight arc stroke), I would recommend The Putting Arc.
The Putting Arc (bet you couldn’t guess) makes sure you have a natural arc in your putting motion. Most people do this naturally. However, if you’ve been told that your putting stroke doesn’t follow a good path, this could be a good investment.
Best Training Aids for Getting Back to the Basics
if you don’t have alignment sticks already, go ahead and get them. On the range, I think it is very important to start off on alignments sticks to make sure you are aligning your feet and shoulders correctly each shot. If you skimp on alignment, you are skimping out on consistency.
If your grip is not where you want it to be, the best thing you can do in my opinion is practice or get used to a correct molded grip. I’ve always liked the heavier ones to really enforce the feeling in my hands. You can also buy the SKLZ Grip trainer (above) to use on your actual clubs as well. I think these work best especially for those that tend to grip their clubs too weak (leading hand too far under, trail hand too far on top).
Best Training Aid for Overswinging (Too Long Swings)
There are a couple of really good training aids for overswinging. First, let’s talk about the problem, and incorrect solutions. The problem is really because your trail arm (right arm for right handers) bends too much, or because your wrists hinge too much or are too loose (less common).
Let’s talk about some bad solutions. Trying to feel like you do a half swing and then full finish will work sometimes, but you will eventually stop turning your shoulder enough, get out of sync, and lose some distance.
The real solution is to be able to have a full shoulder turn, good extension (hands far away from your head at the top), and not have the wrists or trail arm collapse.
- If your trail arm collapses (bends too much), I’d recommend the Swing Extender. You will be shocked to realize how much your overswinging stops when you keep that trail arm more extended.
- If your wrists bend/hinge too much, the best tool for you would be the Swingdyde. It will cause your wrist hinge to stop before breaking down too much. After many buckets of balls on the range, you will get a feel for how your wrist hinge should feel.
Best Training Aid for Disconnected Swing
It’s very important that your arms and shoulders are working together during the swing. If you arms get too disconnected, it can be hard to stay on plane and be consistent. The best training aid to stay connected is one that keeps your elbows closer together, forcing your arms to stay in touch with your body.
The most efficient training aid is the Izzo Smooth Swing, as it does just that!
The Best Training Aid for Better Contact
If you struggle with topping shots or hitting them fat, you aren’t consistent enough with your contact. My favorite training aid for this is the Izzo Flatball. It essentially cuts the ball in to 1/10 the size of a ball. To hit it correctly, you have to make perfect contact with the bottom. When you go back to using real golf balls, it will seem like a breeze!
Another training aid to track your contact is club face tape. You simply put it on any club face and start hitting shots. You will be able to tell exactly where you hit it on the face. You might be hitting it consistently on the heel or toe without even realizing it!
Best Training Aid for Holding the Lag (Best for Flippers)
If you struggle with holding the lag of the club and just end up flipping at the bottom, you need to get used to your trail wrist (the right wrist for a right hander) being cupped longer in the downswing. Do my a favor: get off your computer for a second and imitate impact with your hands. Not bend your trail wrist back. See how it encourages a club head lagging behind? The GolfJOC Power Lag Pro + Flat Wrist Pro Trainer teaches you to hold that cupped trail wrist longer, which will lead to much crisper contact and longer irons as well as purer wedge shots.
Another great tool is the Momentus Men’s Speed Whoosh Golf Swing Trainer, which encourages you to make the swoosh at the bottom of the swing or even a little after, ensuring that you don’t release the club too soon in the downswing. (Bonus: It’s also got a perfect grip mold built in.)
Best Training Aid for Better Swing Path (Best Training Aid to Stop Slicing)
This training aid has actually already been mentioned. The best thing you can do to encourage a certain swing path (probably one that is more in to out) it to stick an alignment stick into the ground at an angle a few feet behind your ball (as shown below).
This will encourage you to come under the alignment stick coming down, therefore shallowing your downswing and leading to a better swing path.
There are lots of bogus training aids trying to accomplish this, but I have found alignment sticks to be the most effective, both for your game and for your wallet. This is the perfect training aid to stop slicing and start hitting the ball from the inside.
If you have the opposite problem and tend to hit too far from the inside, you can put the alignment stick at an angle a little more behind you, so that you much come over the ball a little more.
The alignment sticks can help with your backswing as well. If you tend to come too far inside too quickly, simply place the alignment stick where you normally take the club. Now, you will avoid the alignment stick and have a more on-plane takeaway/backswing.
Best Training Aids for Longer Shots or Increased Swing Speed
If you want to hit the ball further, there are definitely some training aids that can help. To begin with, I think you should know exactly where you are now, so that you can compare your results later.
To do this, I would recommend the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar. If you swing faster, the ball will fly further (assuming the same contact), so you need to work on your swing speed.
I would start off practicing with a regular club, trying to get the highest swing speed possible (best during off season, so that you don’t interfere too much with distance control during tournaments).
I would also throw in some practice with a slightly lighter club than normal, as well as a slightly heavier club. It has been proven that to swing a club faster, you have to work out your fast twitch muscles, which fire during quick bursts. So yes, I do not believe in swinging solely heavier objects to make normal clubs “seem light.” To swing fast, you need to practice swinging fast.
One great method is the SuperSpeed Training system, which uses differently weighted clubs and has a well laid out system that is proven to increase swing speed if followed correctly.
The Best Training Aid for Better Tempo
There is no question about it. If you don’t have a good tempo in your golf swing, you need to grab the Orange Whip or the lower priced SKLZ Gold Flex. These are incredible tools to add tempo to your golf swing and really learn how to sync up all of the movements in the swing. Going from the orange whip/ gold flex to a real club makes your golf swing feel incredible.
If you feel too quick on your backswing, which can really hinder a good position at the top, this training aid is definitely going to be your solution.
Best Training Aids for Chipping
There are a couple great training aids for chipping. The first one, similar to the putting mat, is simply about getting more practice chipping. We can’t always make it out to the course when we want to. However, we could all practice a little more at night in the yard with a light on, or on the weekends when we just can’t get away. I used to set up a little grass chipping mat and chip to this chipping target for hours at night under a floodlight. I can honestly say that I made great progress on my chipping very quickly with this.
If your technique needs a little work, I can almost guarantee that you are flipping at the bottom and not making great contact. If that is the case, I would recommend the GolfJOC Power Lag Pro + Flat Wrist Pro Trainer yet again. Similar to how it makes you hit down on the ball and hold the lag, it will encourage you to keep your wrist flat at impact and not flip at the ball. This will lead to crisp contact and great chip shots.
The Best Golf Swing Analyzer
The best training aid to visually see what you are doing right or wrong is the Zepp Golf 2 3D analyzer. You simply attach a small widget to your glove. After your your swing, you can use their app to see what your swing and hand path were like. You can also see your club speed, hand speed, tempo, and many other aspects of your swing. They also have great features that allow you to compare your swings to pros that you would like to emulate. Although I have never used this system, the reviews have been great and I’m really looking to trying it out shortly.