Posted July 14, 2023 in Products and Brands by Trevor Cigich
While the best way to improve at golf is to get more hours on the course and at the driving range, training aids can help golfers get the most out of their time. Many tools on the market claim to help golfers work on their golf shot, and it can be tough to decide which are the most worthwhile.
To help golfers understand what the best golf training aids are, we are going to break down how to determine whether a tool will be effective, and what we think the best golf training aids are.
To determine the best golf training aids, it is important to consider three key questions.
Does the training aid:
If the training aid does all three, it is likely worth the purchase. Below, we have put together a table of training aids that meet at least two of the three criteria.
|Offers correction or feedback
|Increases accessibility of training
|Provides results that will transfer to the course
|Golf Practice Nets
Let’s break down exactly how these training aids check each box, and why every golfer should consider buying each of them.
In golf training, alignment rods are used in a few ways, but their primary use is marking the distance and alignment of a golfer’s feet relative to the golf ball and the target. By using alignment rods during training, golfers can ensure their practice shots are taken from the proper position, with correct foot placement. This develops better muscle memory for setting up shots on the course.
They offer clear correction by marking both the correct alignment for a golfer’s feet, and the center line of their stance, giving obvious points of reference for all of the different foot positions used for golf shots. They increase the accessibility of training because they are slim and portable, and they can be used without even striking a golf ball and still achieve the goal of improving foot positioning and body alignment. They also increase the transferability of all practice shots by establishing muscle memory that will help keep a golfer’s form more consistent during rounds of golf. Alignment rods are some of the best golf training aids on the market, and are by far the most commonly used by coaches and golfers alike.
Divot-marking boards and mats on the market use materials designed to create artificial “divots” that can be reset so that golfers can see where their clubs contact the ground. This can help inform golfers as to whether they are hitting down on the golf ball properly, and whether their angle of attack is going correct to hit the ball straight. They don’t need to be used with a golf ball, but generally are used this way to better simulate a real golf shot.
The clear divots made by these boards provide great feedback for golfers that use them, but no correction. While some are labeled to provide insight into a certain divot’s impact on a golf shot, they don’t directly improve the shot in any way– that’s up to the user. They increase the accessibility of training by being usable anywhere, even indoors, and they provide somewhat transferable results by helping golfers develop more accurate swings along flat ground, but don’t usually simulate rough terrain very well.
“Swing Trainers” refer to a rather large category of tools that a golfer would use in place of their golf club to improve their golf swing’s tempo, speed, or timing. One of the most common in the Orange Whip swing trainer, which uses an unusually flexible shaft with a large orange ball on the end and a counter balance weight on the grip end that allows golfers swing back and forth repetitively to improve balance, tempo and muscle memory. Many similar swing trainers add weight or flexibility to a club, and they are widely used.
These swing trainers provide correction in various ways, usually by making the golfer compensate for one of the tool’s unique features (extra weight, flexible shaft, etc.). They improve accessibility by being usable anywhere that you can hit a golf ball, some of them not even requiring that much. The results of the better-designed options, like those sold on our online store, are typically very transferable because they improve some of the most important aspects of a golfer’s swing.
Golf practice nets are used by players that want to hit some balls at home, but don’t have enough land to set up their own range. They can be used outside, or in larger indoor spaces (garages, basements, etc.), and they simply catch golf balls that are hit into them.
Golf nets are focused on increasing the accessibility of training by allowing golfers to practice full-power swings at home, and their results can be fairly transferable as long as golfers also use hitting mats with varied surfaces or hit off of different types of grass.
Their primary drawback is that they only provide limited feedback. While some nets include targets to give golfers a general idea of where their ball is going, and it’s usually clear to see where the ball struck a standard net, golfers will still want practice at an actual range to see the complete ball flight. The net is more for practicing proper ball contact and launch angle.
Putting mats come in many shapes and sizes. Generally, they are long mats that provide a relatively quick putting surface, and a hole at the other end. Most of them have an increased slope to the hole, and use a long, sloped chute to roll the balls back to the end from which you’re supposed to hit.
They provide feedback with clear lines across the surface that make it easy to read exactly how off a golfer’s missed shot is, and where it deviates from the intended putting line. They increase the accessibility of training by being compact enough to fit in almost any room, office, or workspace, which means that golfers can simply practice putting from roughly eight feet whenever and wherever they want.
The only drawback to putting mats is that they only teach you how to hit straight along a perfectly straight and balanced putting line. While this can help beginners get their form down, it doesn’t always translate well on real greens that have slopes and undulations making the intended putting line much less clear. So, the results are transferable, but not in all situations.
For golfers with more consistent swings, launch monitors are a great way to get precise and useful shot measurements like launch angle, ball speed, spin rate, clubhead speed, and many others. More premium options will typically include more features and measurements, but even the most basic units will provide golfers with clear and objective points of improvement.
Launch monitors provide next-level feedback by giving golfers a full numerical rundown of their golf shots, and the adjustments golfers can make to improve their measurements will undoubtedly be transferable on-course.
The only thing launch monitors don’t do very well is increase the accessibility of training, as they don’t really do anything to make training easier on their own. They add extraordinary detail to existing training sessions, which is vital for more experienced golfers who already know how to attack the more obvious issues like slices, hooks, and fat/thin shots. For the ultimate indoor or backyard training experience, putting a launch monitor, golf net, and a hitting mat together offers just about everything a golfer needs.
Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to beginners and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele. Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of the best golf training aids and all of the following:
At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!
Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing | Worldwide Golf Shops
I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.
For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.