We editors have spent countless hours on the practice tee at PGA Tour events, and have watched dozens of pros use training aids in their practice routines. (In fact, some Tour players believe in them so much that they either own a part of the company or are more than happy to endorse them.) Golf training aids are the real deal, and the old stigma that they make a complicated game even more difficult is long gone. If you need proof, just check out the following pages. You'll see several models that the best players in the world use.
The Gyroscope has been used in any number of devices, including compasses and Segways, so it was only a matter of time before it found its way into a golf club. The Gyro Swing features a gyroscope in its clubhead that helps keep the clubface on plane throughout the entire swing. It's the perfect training aid for golfers who have never fully understood what it's like to keep the clubface square through impact.
David Leadbetter follows up his popular SwingSetter training aid with a new Pro version. Featuring all the teaching aids found in its previous incarnation, the SwingSetter Pro has one bonus—the ability to hit balls. "Students have told me how much they wish they could hit balls to get that feel for a fundamentally sound swing," says Leadbetter. With the length and lie of a standard 6-iron, the Pro version comes fitted with a reminder grip, a "Plane Pointer" that provides visual awareness of the swing plane and an Adjustable Magnetic Ball that releases and "snaps" at proper release points.
Refiner Hinged Training Putter
Wristy strokes be gone! Sklz' new hinged training putter, The Refiner, helps users isolate their larger muscles and make solid, wrist-free_Ê strokes. It also prevents "stabbing" at the ball and all but ensures a good tempo and a smooth, rhythmic stroke. The training aid comes with an integrated target line atop the puttherhead. It's 35 inches long and is for righties only.
Admit it, you're not as flexible as Camilo Villegas. That's okay, neither are we. When the Colombian Tour player reads greens, he gets so low to the ground that he has earned the nickname "Spiderman." Thankfully, the makers of EEZ-READ (pronounced "Easy Read") understand that we're not all contortionists. Using technology found in bubble levels, the EEZ-READ works when placed on your putting line. Simply take notice of where the bubble moves and putt accordingly.
The Golf Mat
If you hit balls at driving ranges with standard AstroTurf mats, you're aware of how unforgiving they can be on your swing and on your body. Enter The Golf Mat, which positions itself as a more user-friendly alternative to rock-hard mats commonly found at ranges. Using a polymer filament that lies below fairway-length turf, The Golf Mat limits the amount of stress placed on golfers while making it easier to retain a standard swing. Plus, it's very durable. According to its makers, The Golf Mat can withstand more than 200,000 swings! $199 www.thegolfmat.net
The Putting Arc
Even though some putting experts say a "straight back and through" stroke is ideal, they don't literally mean that. That is, we putt at an angle and not directly above the ball, meaning no matter how hard we try, the putter always will be moving on a slight inside-to-inside arc. Hence, The Putting Arc is designed to help ingrain that natural arcing stroke and correct any lopsided takeaways or followthroughs. The MSIII model is shown here, but there are others available, depending on your style and portability preferences. The training aid comes with a how-to CD.
It's not unusual to see golfers warm up by swinging two clubs at the same time, but according to the folks who make the Power Sleeve, that's not the best way to get loose. The weighted sleeve attaches to your clubshaft, so you can swing with your normal grip, stretch your muscles and hit balls at the same time! Plus, it's portable and light enough to carry in your bag, but heavy enough to properly stretch your golf muscles whether on the course, range or at home.
Power Swing Fan
Even though it looks more like a kite than a golf club, the Power Swing Fan is an excellent way to train your golf muscles. Using four blades, it keeps your swing in constant resistance and builds the faster you swing. With only 20 to 25 practice swings per day, you can tack on more distance and better control every shot in your bag. The Power Swing Fan can be used for both right- and left-handed golfers.
Whether it's chipping, putting or adding distance, all successful golfers know they have to use their core muscles to make solid contact. That's just what the Perfect Connextion helps you do. The 3-in-1 training aid fits between your arms and helps form the so-called "Power Triangle" between the arms and shoulders. The adjustable device can be used to hit balls and make practice swings.