In all my years as a golf instructor and player, I have seen many guaranteed training aids. Some of their ads read like this: ... if you will use (my product), you will become a wind-up doll and swing like Hogan or putt like Crenshaw. Divot Mat, Golfers Foot Path, Swing Hat (what a laugher), Right Link and so on.
But, that said, I think there are some excellent ones out there that can benefit anyone.
1. Impact Bag by Dr. Gary Wiren. Really the most important swing position of all. The accompanying video can be of great assistance to you. You can practice indoors (if you use a club short enough that you don't hit your ceiling) on your lawn and definitely on the practice range between shots. A 10!
2. Formed grips: Got an old club around? If not, buy one at a garage sale for a buck and have your pro shop or myself order a formed grip for you and install on that club. A great way to feel how to place your hands on the club. Hit shots at the practice range or grip and regrip in front of the TV. Will help instill an important fundamental.
3. Momentus swing trainer: A weighted club that can naturally guide you through the proper motions and teach you that your whole body swings the club not just your hands. Also a great warm up tool and a strength trainer. Many PGA Tour players use this aid.
4. Matzie ASSIST: A club that has a double-bend shaft and a formed grip that will allow you to sense the proper and necessary rotation of your arms throughout the swing. It also is weighted to help you feel the importance of gravity in the swing.
5. The Putting Arc: Absolutely the best putting aid I have ever seen. So much nonsense has been written about the putter being swung straight back and straight through. Can't be! The putter shaft has an angle, just like all your clubs. Take it to the practice putting green or in your home or office, follow the instructions and your putting definitely will improve.
6. Putting Connection: Available online through dwqualgolf.com. It is an adjustable bar the fits between your forearms and promotes the shoulder and arms swinging together. Helps eliminate the handsy action in the stroke.
I have used all these aids in my teaching as I see them as things that actually teach you to feel the proper motions. After all golf is a motion game and motions need to be felt.
May a player who has yet to tee off ask advice from a player who has finished his round as to which clubs he used on different holes?
Answer to last column's teaser:
A player marked his ball on the putting green but when he tried to replace his ball, his marker couldn't be found. After a time he noticed it was stuck on the bottom of his shoe. Ruling? He must replace the marker as close as possible to the original mark under penalty of one stroke.
John Lucas is the golf professional at SkyRidge Golf Course and can be reached at email@example.com.