ORLANDO — There are training aids spread out all over the floor at the PGA Merchandise Show. We walked the aisle and picked out six simple products that can make your practice more efficient and effective. From putting to learning how to set your wrists, these training aids are able to help just about any part of your game.
You might be familiar with the company's Pressure Putt Trainer, which is portable and lets you practice your putting anywhere. Putt Out now has another training aid that incorporates three different practice keys, and makes it so you can do them pretty much anywhere. The mirror lays flat on the ground, with traction on the bottom so that it won't slip. It helps you see where your eyes are when you're set up to your putt, letting you know if you're too close or too far from the ball. Meanwhile, there are two magnetic bars that you can move around on the mirror, helping you practice a straight stroke. Set them up at the ball to make sure you're coming through impact square, or set them up a couple inches behind the ball to see if you're taking the putter back and through on a straight line. There's also a gate that you can set up between yourself and your target, giving you an intermediate target to putt through. If you're able to putt through it, you know you're putting an end-over-end roll on your ball. If you miss the gate, you've got some practicing to do.
Gaining clubhead speed is a popular goal amongst golfers of all abilities. The reasoning is simple: more clubhead speed means more distance. The team at Super Speed believes that we all have the ability to swing faster, we just need to unlock that speed. Officials with the company say their system can increase your clubhead speed by 5-8 percent after four to six weeks of use. Three different shafts come in the set, and you swing them in the following order: The first is 20 percent lighter than an average driver, the second is 10 percent lighter, and the last is 5 percent heavier. By the time you're done doing sets of swings with each and are ready to move into your driver, you'll be swinging faster, Super Speed says.
If you have a strip of putting turf in your living room or office, that's awesome. We like your diligence in getting practice in even when you're not at the golf course. But how focused are you when you're putting on it? Probably not very. Instead of absent-mindedly putting, now you have the option to have focused practice when you're putting on the Well Putt. It gives you different places to start your putts from, showing you an approximation of how long your back and through strokes should travel, as well as how far past the hole your ball should end up. It creates and environment where your practice can be varied, educational and focused—all while in your living room.
Think about the top of a tour player's back swing. Now think about the top of your back swing. How different are they? We're guessing there's a lot of rotation missing in your takeaway. The purpose of this tool is to help you stretch out your torso so you can get into that powerful, fully rotated position at the top. Attach the arm band to your lead arm and hold onto the two separate grips. If you're a righty, the right grip will slide up the shaft as you turn back, deepening the stretch. You'll feel it in your shoulders, back and even your hips. After some reps, you'll hopefully feel a difference in your golf swing, too.
If you're a visual learner and like to see videos of your swing, you've probably run into the issue of being alone at the range, trying to awkwardly take a video of your swing by perching your phone creatively on your golf bag (or is that just me?). The Caddie View comes with a stand that sticks into the ground and holds your phone. Clip your phone in place and set it up behind you to easily take videos of your swing. The stand also comes with the Caddie View app and a ball-maker sized button. Download the app and keep the button in your pocket. You can start and stop your phone's video via the button, saving you from walking back and forth to start each new swing video.
This training aid's premise is simple: get you in the right position at the top. Set up holding the grip, with the soft end pressed into your left shoulder (if you're a righty). Start your takeaway, keeping the soft end in position all the way to the top. The hinge will let you rotate back to the top of the backswing, putting your hands in the correct position at the top, and keeping your left arm straight. You can also start your downswing, stopping at about halfway down. This will help you practice the beginning of the weight shift and move into the ball, and how your arms and wrists should travel through that motion. With repetition, you'll learn what the correct positions feel like so that next time you're on the course you'll be able to get closer to perfect—or at least better than you were before.