Best Training Aids

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Best Training Aids  

  By: Nick W on Nov. 27, 2019, 4:13 p.m.

Well, with Christmas time fast approaching, I was looking for advice on the best training aids or golf-related purchases (other than a Golf Smart Academy subscription which is already on my list of course).

Any good advice on the best purchases?

Nick

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: John C on Nov. 30, 2019, 8:14 a.m.

+Nick W
My #1 go to is an impact bag and alignment sticks (driveway markers from the hardware store). I recently purchased a smart swing ball from Tourstriker but not sure at this point how much I will use it. I certainly see I lot out there on the Planemate from Tourstriker. I have read that devices that force you into proper motion don't help you to retain the motion as well as swinging within "constraints". I sure I am not expressing this exactly right but I hope you get the idea. My number one item on my wishlist would be Trackman or its equivalent, but it would be tough to explain to my wife why she got a sweater and I got the equivalent of a new car.

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Tyler F on Nov. 30, 2019, 1:35 p.m.

+Nick W I've yet to see a training aid that I didn't modify in some way with each student. While I think that training aids can be helpful, my evaluation of how good or bad they are depends on how well the student adapts their swing after their use, not during it.

When it comes to using a training aid make sure you have a specific purpose and understanding.

The most common aids I use are alignment sticks, tripods with pool noodles, video, and foot spray (for drawing on the ground or highlighting impact on the club.

Some common aids that I use for the follow-through position are the hanger, the impact snap, the educator, or total golf trainer (again, I modify every aid for that specific issue I'm trying to solve.

I also frequently use an impact bag, although it's rarely putting the impact bag where the ball would be.

For speed and sequence training, I like using some of the Mach 3 rope tools.

I recently had a student give me a planemate to try. It gave some interesting feels when I tried it for a few days. However, I have yet to see it have a profound change on a golfer. Either with their shallowing, or their release/flip. I think it's a neat concept. It might work if you trained with it for a while. But for what I'm looking for in a training aid, it hasn't been that impressive.

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Nick W on Nov. 30, 2019, 5:45 p.m.

Thanks for the replies.

If you define “training aids” more broadly to be “golf improvement purchases”, what would the answer be?

This could include services like TPI screenings, physical therapist evaluations, personal training, lessons from a GSA certified instructor. Along these lines, is there any piece of exercise equipment that would be a good addition?

Or it could be other types of training aids that are really more feedback type of devices. I already own R Motion and Blast Motion; the R Motion is probably the best golf device that I own; both of those just provide feedback without doing anything to your movements.

Another category could just be books, videos, etc. either in the golf development or fitness category.

Thanks all!

Nick

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Tyler F on Dec. 1, 2019, 3:36 p.m.

+Nick W
I'm working on some content organization and an easier way to identify what to work on to improve your game. If your primary goal is to improve your score, then I'd use the following framework. (more details of this coming in the near future).

Roughly, the system looks like this
Step 1: Play golf to collect data relating to the key components of score
Step 2: Compare your data to performance benchmarks
Step 3: With the skills you are losing strokes, put your focus into practicing those skills. If with practice, you still can't improve enough then identify the technical issues by comparing your swing to the model swing for that skill.
Step 4: Experiment with drills and feelings to improve your technique. Train it once you have ways to change the technique.
Step 5: Play golf to collect more data and repeat the process.

Training aids fit into step number 4.

With physical fitness, I usually say that improving your fitness can speed up your ability to improve. It can elevate your ceiling by giving you better capabilities. but it doesn't replace the skill work needed. Maybe people can improve with just skill work.

If you're planning your plan for 2020, I'd start by looking at how you practice, what you practice, and most importantly, where are your biggest opportunities to lower your score. Which piece of equipment you might need depends on what skills you're trying to improve and where you currently stand compared to those skills.

I would never talk someone out of fitness work. Not just for golf, but for life. But quality fitness is more specific than quality golf training. If you find someone good, trust them and work their system. Personally, fitness is a big part of my life. I do strength training 2-3 days per week and corrective exercises 3-4 days a week (sometimes they overlap).

I hope that helps!

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: John C on Dec. 1, 2019, 3:41 p.m.

+Tyler F
I love this! Thanks for your continued hard work.

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Nick W on Dec. 2, 2019, 5:27 p.m.

+Tyler F
I've been doing an ok job of following this advice. My problem now is that I do not have a real weakness that sticks out, at least according to the data I've collected via my Arccos golf app. My driving, irons and approach are all between a 13.5 and 14.5 handicap. My putting is at a 10 handicap, so it is only a little better.

Without a clear weakness (per Arccos), I'm really focused on my driving accuracy as I have the club speed (110+mph) to be an excellent driver.

I also feel like I should be able to dial in my distance wedges better than I do today and stop giving up strokes around the green with awful finesse wedge shots (I have some excellent ones, but still struggle with fat and thin contact at times).

So, when I read the above, I feel better about my plan of attack to improve, but I also feel like I've been working hard to get better at golf for some time now (started in full force in August 2018). After all that time, the aesthetics of my game and my knowledge of how to correct errors has increased dramatically, but my scores have not dropped as much as I was hoping (I'm probably 4-5 strokes better than when I started).

I had hoped that harnessing my swing speed would lead to a faster score improvement. However, if I get another 4-5 strokes better over the next year, I'd be happy with that result.

In case anyone was wondering, I decided to add a couple pairs of golf pants (I especially do not have a good cold weather pair) and a travel bag to my Christmas list (no training aids on there as of yet, but I'm hoping these gifts can get me some more time on the course, leading to improvement!)

Nick

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Ed C on Dec. 2, 2019, 7:33 p.m.

+Nick W

Some of the best training aids I've purchased recently are:

- JOBY Gorillapod for iPhone (a flexi tripod you can hook up to your golf bag to video record swings)
- Spa Finder passes for the wife (equal to # of golf outings I intend to have on weekends)

 Last edited by: Ed C on Dec. 2, 2019, 7:45 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Tyler F on Dec. 2, 2019, 8:04 p.m.

+Nick W Here's the simple version of tracking your stats.

How many easy opportunities do you have? (GIR less than 30 feet)
What percent do you save par when you miss a fairway or miss a green?
How many doubles or worse do you make per round?

Speed is a great asset, so yes, that 110+ is easily enough speed to be scratch. I'd work backward from the green. If you're not hitting enough greens, then it's either short irons aren't sharp enough or your driver is getting you in trouble.

Either way, improving your wedge play is a big part of scoring consistency. Good luck!

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Ryan M on Dec. 2, 2019, 6:19 p.m.

Tyler, what are your thoughts on the Super Speed sticks designed to increase swing speed?

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Tyler F on Dec. 2, 2019, 7:57 p.m.

+Ryan M My only issue with super speed is that the shape of the implement doesn't match the shape of the club. It's like swinging a baseball bat vs a hockey stick. So, it's helpful for some golfers to learn speed, and it helps train a very neutral path. But, if you struggle with an open face issue, or if you struggle with low point issues, then it could make those issues worse. You definitely want to watch out for those issues.

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Guy K on Dec. 15, 2019, 2:21 p.m.

Visio putting template. Have one for 2 years now. Can use at home or on practice green. Rolls up to fit into bag. Great feedback on path.

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Tyler F on Dec. 26, 2019, 8:55 p.m.

+Guy K
I'm a big fan of the Visio putting mats. Especially for visual learners or golfers with face rotation issues.

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Nick W on Dec. 22, 2019, 8:41 a.m.

So I was able to get the range on a random warm day and film my swing. It looked like I was still struggling with a bit of a slide, after working to get rid of it for months.

Of course, I start looking for training aids to help! It seems like the orange peel could be a decent product to work on this as expensive as it is. I saw that Jon Sherman at Practical Golf gave it a great review. Anyone have experience with this? Any thoughts on its effectiveness?

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Re: Best Training Aids  

  By: Tyler F on Dec. 26, 2019, 9:19 p.m.

I haven't tried the orange peel myself. So, I can't endorse it.

I usually fix a slide by working on the pivot with some spatial support (shafts or pool noodles) combined with some improvements in trail arm external rotation and the wipe.

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