Every time we go into the golf store or watch the Golf Channel or page through our favorite golf publication we are subjected to countless golf training aids. How do we know the product we are purchasing will actually give us the results we are looking for in our golf game?
There are five criteria that you should look at before purchasing a golf training aid.
1. Validity. Simply put, does this device do what it is advertised to do?
2. Reliability. Does it give consistent results for golfers of different abilities?
3. Durability. Is it constructed of quality material?
4. Simplicity. Is the device so complicated that the average golfer can’t operate it?
5. Conformity. Does the product conform to the rules set forth by the USGA and R&A? Most training aids cannot be used during a tournament round of golf, but if the device manipulates the golfer in some bizarre fashion, I would steer clear. Does a scene from the movie Tin Cup come to mind?
There are hundreds of very fine golf training aids that meet most, if not all, of these criteria. The funny thing is that many people fall into a trap that I like to refer to the silver bullet trap. What is the silver bullet trap you may be asking? No, it’s not a new golf training aid developed for bunker play. What I’m referring to when I use the term silver bullet trap is that many people think that simply purchasing the product cures their problem! The fact remains that golf is a difficult game for most people and there are certain things that require attention for improvement. Golf requires physical skills and mental skills. Specific golf training aids can develop certain physical skills, when used in the manner in which they are intended. As your physical skills improve chances are your confidence will improve as well. Mental skills are greatly increased as your confidence increases, so the mental game and the physical game go hand in hand.
The golf training aids that I personally prefer are ones that help the average weekend amateur golfer with the most common problems such as slicing, poor chipping and pitching as well as putting problems. I personally believe that the average weekend amateur golfer can dramatically improve their scores by concentrating on three key elements. 1. Reducing or eliminating their slice to cut down on penalty shots. Also, playing from the fairway is always better than playing from behind a tree in the rough. 2. Improving chipping and pitching near the green. 3. Improve putting by distance control of their lag putts. A tap-in second putt is nothing to be ashamed of, but a tap-in three putt can destroy a good score quickly.
Straighter shots from the tee, chip shots that roll close to the pin and improved putting are just a couple of the things you can look forward to this season as you find the right golf training aid to improve your game and increase your enjoyment on the golf course.