3 Golf Training Aids to Take Your Game to the Next Level
Have you ever invested in a golf training aid only to have it collect dust in the corner of your garage? Have you ever purchased a device that promised to fix your biggest problem, only to wind up feeling like you were taken in by a good sales pitch?
The golf industry is saturated with literally thousands of training aids, and it can feel almost impossible to separate the gimmicks from the game-changers.
That’s why I want to give you a leg-up by sharing three products that consistently help my students play better golf. As a PGA Teaching Professional and Director of Instruction for USGolfTV and the Sanford POWER Golf Academy, it’s my job to evaluate the effectiveness of a training tool. I can’t afford to waste my students’ time on a product that doesn’t immediately prove beneficial to their practice.
I’m going to tell you about three training aids for:
- Full swing
- All aspects of your golf game
I use every one of these tools with my students. I have seen these products help promising golfers become strong golfers, and strong golfers become outstanding golfers.
Perfect Your Putting: PH Spin Balls
Almost everyone is looking for a way to improve their putting. Better putts are a guaranteed way to take strokes off your game. Not to mention, it’s more than a little frustrating to see those strokes add up because you misread a four-foot putt.
However, most golf training aids for putting are designed to help you perfect alignment or the angle of your putter face. These are essential elements to improving your time on the green—no argument there. But what I love about the PH Spin Balls is that they cover an under-addressed aspect of putting: the quality of the roll.
These specialized golf balls are designed by Dr. Paul Hurrion at Quintic. Dr. Hurrion is a good friend of mine and one of the foremost leaders in putting. He’s a biomechanical analysis expert, and he’s worked with touring professionals to fine tune their putts.
How it Works
Paul’s PH Spin Ball is a golf ball that is black on one half and white on the other. When practicing with this ball, you set up your putt so that the ball lies directly on the color dividing line. From your vantage point, you should see half white, half black, with the dividing line pointed at the target.
When you take your putt, you will clearly see if you’re getting a true roll or if you have a little unwanted side spin. If you have a true roll—which is what you want—you’ll see the dividing line remain mostly centered. If there’s a little side spin, the dividing line will start to wobble and tip.
Getting that perfect roll is tough. If you test out the PH Spin Ball and find you’re consistently rolling it end-over-end, your stroke is fantastic. In fact, I most commonly use the PH Spin Ball to challenge my better players. I know they’re strong putters, so if they tell me they’re struggling, I’ll have them practice with the two-color ball to see if their roll needs some work.
The PH Spin Balls are reasonably priced and come three to a sleeve.
Master Your Full Swing: Smart Ball from Tour Striker
The Smart Ball has been a long-time favorite of mine. This product comes from Tour Striker, founded by Top-100 Coach and my old college teammate, Martin Chuck.
This tool is alarmingly simple for how much it can accomplish. It’s an inflatable ball you position between your forearms. The goal is to take a full swing without ever dropping the ball. It even comes with an adjustable lanyard so you don’t have to go chasing after a runaway Smart Ball. In fact, we did an article on 3 Common Backswing Mistakes, and a product like the Smart Ball can help all 3!
So, what’s the point of the Smart Ball?
Well, this training aid helps you address a number of bad habits in your full swing, including:
- Opening the clubface
- Separating your elbows (Ever been told you have “chicken wing”?)
- Poor body rotation
- Long golf swing
For more specifics on the many ways you can use the Smart Ball, you can check out our video here.
Now, be forewarned that working with the Smart Ball is not as easy as it looks. This is exactly why it’s such an effective training tool. You quickly discover the shortcomings in your swing when you take your first few shots and find yourself consistently losing the ball. Keep at it, though, and you’ll see the benefits in your game in no time.
Drill Any Aspect of Your Game: LiveView
This product is really heating up in the market, and I myself only discovered it very recently.
LiveView includes a compact, lightweight camera that sends real-time video to your tablet or smart phone. In other words, you can set up the LiveView camera and watch yourself live on the device of your choice. Even better, LiveView uses Digital Swing Mirror Technology, meaning you get to watch a mirror image of yourself for easier adjustments.
The camera clips onto an alignment rod, so you can set it at any height and position it anywhere. More than that, this training aid is especially empowering because it allows you to be your own coach in a sense. So you can observe yourself from any angle and catch errors as they happen. The LiveView app will even record each swing and provide a slow motion instant replay. So you can watch yourself more carefully after every swing.
You can use this device to work on literally any aspect of your game. My students and I use it often to work on things like pitching and driving. But my absolute favorite use of LiveView is in putting practice. It’s never been easy to get a clear view of what’s happening in a golfer’s putt. Now, because of the versatility and small size of the LiveView camera, we can finally see what’s happening down at that low angle.
Can a Training Aid Truly Transform Your Game?
With so many options out there, it’s important to approach all products with a degree of skepticism. Now not all tools are created equal, and no one tool can make you a better golfer overnight.
But I can promise you that as a PGA Teaching Professional, I have seen these three training aids work wonders for students who put in the time to practice with them.
- The PH Spin Ball has helped countless golfers fine tune their putting with a quality ball roll.
- Tour Striker’s Smart Ball has been essential for helping students master the shape and form of their full swing.
- LiveView has given players the previously-impossible opportunity to personally observe every aspect of their game from any angle.
If you’re overwhelmed by a market saturated with training aids, I can at least promise you this:
You cannot go wrong with these three tools.
What Do You Think?
Is there a training aid you swear by? Have you had a different experience with any of these products? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know what you think!
Also be sure to check out our new free video series at GreatGolfTipsNow.com. This series goes in depth on all aspects of your golf game, from driving to putting to bunker play. You’ll be sure to discover great tips and concepts you’ve never heard before…and it’s all free. As always, our primary goal at USGolfTV is to help you play better golf!