By Anokh Jai
Search on the internet for “Golf training aids” and you are immediately overwhelmed by all the different options. As the game of golf has grown more popular and evolved into a competitive sport, so has the market for training aids to help you improve your game. Technology that was once reserved for professionals is now available for personal golf development. Training aids include everything from simple alignment rods to state of the art Doppler systems and wireless 3D motion and swing analysis systems.
Whilst teaching in the United States, I had access to a myriad of training aids. It was overwhelming initially. Having learnt most of my golf in Kenya without having access to these aids, I wanted to experiment with as many as I could. Through my experimentation and teachings, I started to see how beneficial training aids are, especially when targeting certain swing actions.
They allow the student to develop techniques a lot faster and a lot more consistently. They help the golfer by emphasizing the feel of an action by creating weighted resistance, reference points and instant feedback to wrong club or body positions through the swing.
Training aids work in one of two ways; they prevent a golfer from making an improper action and enhance a proper action.
A golf teacher should have access to multiple training aids that enhance and/or prevent specific motions. Before selecting a training aid to use, a teacher should have a clear idea of what the student wants to achieve by the end of the lesson and explain to the student the correct motion and how the training aid will help them achieve this. If the student has personal training aids, the teacher should explain the correct way to use the aids to prevent or enhance the action so that the student can replicate this during their practice sessions.
It is important for golfers to recognize that training aids are not a substitute for teaching lessons. They should be incorporated into lessons to provide maximum benefit to the student but should not replace the teacher.
Swinging the club correctly to achieve desired results takes time to develop, as the correct body motions of the golf swing are not natural to many people. It requires correct instruction and frequent practice to develop these actions. However, with the help of training aids, the end result is achievable faster.
Anokh Jai is a Master Golf Teaching Professional at Total Golf Solutionz