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Golf is one of the most technically challenging sports out there – and for most players, it's all about constant improvement.
The fun and the challenge of this beautiful game is that you can always become better, although you don’t have to play five days a week to make those big improvements.
While you might not have time to make it to the course as often as you would like, there are plenty of training aids available to allow you to work on your game at home, at the driving range or even at the office during lunchtime!
Whether the aids are designed to help you hone your swing or to improve your putting, a little bit of work goes a long way and could see you knocking shots off your handicap.
Here are some of my favourite golf training aids, from exciting newcomers to the market to time-proven tools which have been around for a couple of years. I sourced them all through Performance Brands Australia, although you can find them at other outlets.
I've have great success with these training aids and believe they can all help your game too.
The Power Package
This bright orange training aid focuses on how the wrists – which are so vital in producing power at impact – should hinge throughout the golf swing. The Power Package can help any golfer learn to set the club properly and produces a pure, powerful, repeatable swing.
The key is to get the forearms resting in the cups of The Power Package at key points in the swing to achieve the correct hinge action.
With the wrists set correctly, The Power Package is also able to teach the feel of a perfect takeaway and swing plane and how to square the clubface at impact. It also shows how a correct rotation of a player's core can lead to powerful distance and incredible accuracy.
The Orange Whip
You may have seen this in tour player’s bags, and it's used by the top golf coaches in the world. The Orange Whip is probably the most popular golf training aid on the market at the moment.
The Orange Whip’s design was created to help golfers find a better rhythm and tempo in their swing, but its use as a warm-up aid can be just as valuable to the player who doesn’t have a lot of time to practice before a round.
Feedback from the Orange Whip is instant and any wobble in the swing indicates a need to improve tempo and balance. Swinging it, you will naturally find the tour like motion needed to be a better golfer.
If you only buy one of the training tools listed in this article, the Orange Whip would be my pick of the bunch.
The PuttOut Pressure Putt trainer
This training aid is designed to simulate the conditions of real on-course putting.
What’s particularly impressive is that The PuttOut Pressure Putt trainer will return putts the same distance they would have gone past the hole if you had missed. This is especially useful for developing your lag putting and getting your pace right.
And to really up your putting game, there are a number of 'challenges' built in. The Killer Putting Drill will increase the putt length by two feet each time, while in the Repeat Putt mode you have to sink 25 putts in a row or start again!
Tour Striker Smart Ball
Another training aid finding its way in to some of the top players bags, including Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, is this inflatable, mini 'beach ball' which connects to an adjustable lanyard to meet the fit of anyone.
I believe this is the best body-connection training aid on the market and can be used flat, under either armpit or inflated between the forearms.
The Tour Striker Smart Ball will help you understand how the arms and body work during an effective golf swing. Few people put in quality practice working on the sequence of arms and body, but with the Tour Striker Smart Ball's help you can be one of the few who own the rhythm and timing required to become a high-level ball striker.
The Hanger by Watson Golf
The Hanger gets its name and concept from a golf drill that many of us are familiar with: the hanger drill.
The idea is simple; by positioning a coat hanger inside your arms, the hanger should maintain contact with your lead (left) forearm during the downswing and cause a proper lead wrist condition.
The problem with using an actual coat hanger is that it can be very clumsy and difficult to hold your club and the hanger while taking full swings and making sure that it actually was in the right position.
The Hanger addresses the shortcomings of this drill and will have you compressing the ball. It easily screws onto any club with a few very quick turns, but its versatility is a highlight feature which shouldn’t be overlooked.
While a lot of other training devices promoting the same benefits can only be used for practice – probably because they cannot be separated from the training club – The Hanger allows you to practice with your game clubs and seamlessly transition from warming up on the range to playing that first hole.