Golf Training Aids - Important Things You Need To Know
As you gear up to work on your golf swing during this off season, I feel compelled to say a couple of things about golf training aids
Golf Training Aids have greatly improved over the past 10 years. Most of them actually can and do encourage swing improvement and have come a long way since the days of the ball on the end of a string that attaches to your hat....to help you keep your head still....remember that one?
Swing improvement tools are generally designed to address one part of the golf swing, regardless of what the marketing companies would have you believe. They are designed to encourage the user to develop the correct feel relative to a specific piece of the golf swing. Then, through repetition you will hopefully develop a sense of feel for the move and thus help your understanding of your swing motion. That said, the old adage, caveat emptor or buyer beware is critical.
In over thirty years in the business, I have yet to see a product that addresses every piece of the golf swing although I know there is sure to be one out there.
Many marketing departments assigned with the task of promoting these products tend to claim their golf training aids can do everything from cure your slice, drop your handicap by 20 shots and make you more desirable to the opposite sex.
Joking aside, the point is that no product will cure your slice or drop your handicap by 20 shots. So be sure you know what it is you are looking to improve about your swing. When searching for a product that might help you, use some common sense and ask yourself if the product's claims make sense to you. Your next step would be to talk to a teaching professional for their feedback. Do not assume just because a training aid works for one person that it will work for you. Remember, every golf swing is different.
Further, the golf swing model used to create most training aids, in general, is the conventional swing. In the event you subscribe to a particular swing method, you need to understand certain products could actually hurt your swing improvement efforts.
In the past 5 years or so there are products that have come to the market that address exercise and conditioning to help golers build a stronger and more effective golf swing. They are designed to encourage good motion through the swing as well as development and conditioning of the muscle groups used in the golf swing. They are, in my opinion, the most effective additions to swing development tools to date. Strengthening and conditioning is critical to effective swing development and ball striking.
In addition, many teaching/training facilities are contracting with fitness and stretching experts to come in and conduct fitness classes that involve stretching and conditioning with the golf swing as the main focus. This type of work often utilizes the use of these exercise aids as well. Often they don't but you might consider looking into this new phenomenon of swing conditioning and stretching that has finally reached mainstream in the last couple years.
A word of caution when it comes to exercise:
Should you decide to go it alone thinking simply getting in better shape will help your golf swing, just remember strengthening the wrong muscles can often times have devastating results. Case in point is David Duval, former top PGA TOUR player in the world not too long ago. That is, until he went on an exercise kick to build up his body mass thinking it would help his swing. While he looked great and was physically fit, he paid a terrible price. David lost his feel and found his timing and tempo askew as a result of all his work. I realize this was not the only issue Duval had during this period but it was certainly at the top of the list and I only offer this as a caution to those of you who think they can go it alone. Not necessarily a good choice.
You can follow my weekly off season features by visiting the website: www.mynegm.com and clicking on the INSTRUCTION section at the top of the home page and clicking on 'mynegm LESSON TEE' in the drop dwon box.
Cheers and have a successful off season.
About the Author
Steve Riggs is a retired golf teaching professional of over 30 years working with countless clients in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Now retired, Steve is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and regular contriubtor to Par Excellence Magazine, New England Golf Monthly magazine and mynegm.com. Steve is the host/producer of a weekly Radio/Internet golf program, THE myNEGM LESSON TEE which airs Wednesdays 10:05-11am ET. Listen live at WNRI 1380 AM radio or online at: mynegm.com and www.wnri.com . The show is followed around the country and Canada in it's second year on air.
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