In the following article we will take a look at a number of very useful and affordable training aids that are designed to help you improve certain areas of your game. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, they will be of interest.
Golf is a sport in which you are always going to find some area of improvement. There are so many different aspects to the game that you can’t possibly get them all perfect, or in fact any of them!
The trick to getting better is to train in one area at a time. What are the areas that you need to master? It’s important to go through them in a logical order, and we advise working on the areas that you are least comfortable with in the first instance.
There are many golf training aids that you can buy – some of them, as we’re about to show you, very good indeed – but we will say this: these are not ‘miracle cures’. What these training aids provide is a way to get your technique better, and improve each area of your game.
What is strongly advised is that you take lessons with a Pro. Your local club will have someone on hand, or you might want to take advice from friends on who to train with. There is nothing like drawing on someone else’s experience to enhance your own, and it makes a massive difference.
Furthermore, a professional with experience will be able to highlight the areas in which you are in need of the most improvement, and you can work together to devise a programme that will help you improve.
So, let’s talk about training aids, what they are, and why you need them.
What Are Training Aids?
When you read about the various devices we have looked at you will begin to see the sheer variety of training aids available for golfers. Most are portable, so you can carry them with you wherever you go and they take up little space when not in use, and each has a specific aim.
The areas in which our chosen training aids are designed to help are as follows:
- Swing – every experienced golfer will tell you that the very first thing you need to get right is your swing. Without a smooth and controlled swing action, you will struggle to get anywhere on the golf course.
It may take you some time, but when you master it, you will soon start to improve. We’ve included a very popular and effective aid to improving your swing in our reviews.
- Grip – In conjunction with getting your swing perfected, you also need to be comfortable and use the correct grip. The grip is fairly standard but for some novices it does not come naturally.
This is why we have looked at a very useful and popular grip and swing training device, which is also affordable. Many experienced golfers use this device to limber up before they take to the course, and it has many testimonies to its effectiveness.
- Impact – there are many aspects and techniques in golf that go hand in hand with others; getting the right impact is part of your swing, which as we have seen will come together when you have a handle on your grip.
Impact is overlooked in some cases by novices, but is very important when driving, and the clever and very simple device we have included here is an essential training aid that can be used anywhere.
- Driving – one of the most important techniques to get right in golf, and one where even the experts continually make mistakes. A good drive from the tee, for example, makes a lot of difference later on. Likewise from the fairway. Getting the technique right is not something we would advise you try and do alone; watch other players, and work with a pro to get it right.
Another problem with practising driving is that you need space. However, with our chosen aids – one is a clever and very popular device that replicates driving without the need for hitting a ball (and as such is also useful for training your swing) and the other is a handy portable net, designed to catch the balls so you can use it in a fairly limited space.
- Chipping – the chip is a different technique to driving and putting, and requires a lot of patience, concentration and skill. Again, it’s a technique best practised with your pro, and one that will help your game in no small way.
Our chosen training aid in this category is another net, and when not in use it folds down into a very compact and portable package. It features a choice of holes to chip into, and is a popular and affordable device that you could use in your home, office or garden.
- Putting – the final training aids in our list are a couple that are designed to help with your putting skills. Putting, and you may not be aware of this, accounts for more than 40% of the shots you take during a round, and it requires a different set of skills to any of the above techniques.
The first item we look at is a putting mirror which is extremely compact and portable, and perfect for practising with on your lunch break in the office. Indeed. The same can be said of the second device which is a portable golf hole, and a very clever design as you will see when you read the details.
Best Golf Training Aids
So, now we get down to business; let’s have a closer look at our choice of golf training aids.
The swing is one area that many novice golfers find difficult to get right, and it’s no surprise as there is a lot to learn when it comes to swing technique. It can feel surprisingly unnatural at first, but once you get it right, it is very rewarding to see the ball go where you want it to go.
There is one particular training aid we’d like to talk about when it comes to swing, and it’s this one:
The Hanger – this very interesting, useful and innovative device is popular with users. Check out the customer reviews that refer to it routinely as ‘works well’ and ‘helps with swing mechanics’. A number of users also comment that it is recommended by their pro, although some do add that they would have preferred a more robust material.
So what is the Hanger? It’s a neat device that attaches to the club of your choice, it comes with a club-face reference so you can get the alignment spot on, and it is easy to use. The recommended way of learning how to use the device is to watch the videos that are provided, as they take you through the steps very precisely. What are the benefits of the Hanger? Here are some as defined by the makers, and by customers:
- Keeps the club head outside your hands
- Promotes flat lead wrist at top of the swing
- Helps with path control and club face control
- Great for eliminating slice from your technique
- Helps with muscle memory
The makers recommend you begin training with The Hanger slowly, using chip shots, to get a feel for the device, and then move on to bigger shots, before using it to practise your full swing. This is a very useful device at a sensible price that comes highly recommended by trainers and professionals, with the main downside being the material, as some users have said they would have preferred something other than the plastic it is made from.
On the other hand, you can use this indoors – at home, in the office, wherever you want – so it’s a very versatile piece of equipment. Our verdict – well worth checking out.
What do Customers Say?
The customer reviews are largely positive – it scores an average of 3.4 – with some concerns about the strength of the material. Users state it does the job it is designed for, and that it is particularly useful in helping hit the ball straight. Most users report overall improvement, with a few being disappointed. An above average item overall.
One of the key factors to get absolutely right when playing golf is the grip. There are specific ways to grip a golf club if you are to get the swing absolutely right – and also chip and putting shots – so you need to be able to get your grip perfected early in your training. A pro will be able to help you get the grip right and feel right with it. Our training aid will also help, as you will see.
Now, you may think that the above is obvious – and it is – but for novices, the grip can be difficult to handle, and takes some serious thinking about and practice to get right. If you want to practice your grip when you are at home, or perhaps on a break at the office, this item – the SKLZ Tempo and Grip Golf Trainer – makes a perfect choice.
What is it, and what does it do? Effectively, it’s a golf club without the face, but with a nicely weighted end and a proper club grip. What it does is simulate the weight and feel of a club, and allows you to practice swings and grips in limited space.
The weight can be adjusted to simulate either irons or woods, and it helps improve tempo and plane. Customers have commented on its ease of use and consistency – saying it has improved their grip and swing with regular use – although there have been some comments about it being too short.
We think that at the price – it’s not going to cost you much more than $20 from what we can see – it makes a good addition to your kit, and will help you with grip improvement, so the choice is yours.
Fantastic review below for the SKLZ grip trainer.
What do Customers Say?
With almost 250 reviews, this very popular item returns an average score of 4.1/5. Users are generally favorable about its usability and effectiveness, quite a few 5-star reviews comment on how it aids consistency, and others that it is sensibly priced and worth having. There are some concerns that it is not great for people with larger hands, and quite a few saying it is too short. 90% of reviews of 3 or above says that it is worth looking at.
- Simulates weight of club
- Easy to use
- Aids consistency
- Usable in small spaces
When using irons – or indeed any clubs – you need to perfect your swing so you get the right impact. This is not as simple as it sounds, yet it is one of the most important of all the aspects of getting your shots right. The swing is one thing, but the impact against the club face is something that you need also get right.
Impact – the moment when the club hits the ball – is in many ways the be all, and end all, of the perfect golf swing. You need to make sure you get the ball square on to the face, and that is the end result of making sure your swing is as accurate as can be. It may sound easy, but even professionals with years of experience often get it wrong; after all, there is no such thing as the perfect round!
How do you practice this? There are many ways, but perhaps the most affordable and effective is to use an impact bag. This is, quite simply, a strong bag that you use to hit against, and it helps you train to get the strike as accurate as it can be.
This one – the Dr. Gary Wiren Impact Golf Bag – is a surprisingly affordable, not to mention effective, training item, and many satisfied users have commented on its usefulness.
The ideas is quite simple: what you get is a strong, very tough bag that you fill with items of your choice – the usual filling is to pack it very solidly with old clothes – and then use it to practice the swing and point of impact. It’s not about hitting it as hard as you can, but about training yourself to get that point of impact spot on. There are many videos on YouTube featuring people practicing with these, and we strongly recommend you take a look.
Here’s how to get the most out of an impact bag.
What do Customers Say?
The impact bag gets a rating of 4.4/5 from more than 50 reviews, and many satisfied customers tell of its usefulness in helping get the strike clean. ‘Solid’ and ‘durable’ are frequently used descriptions, and it is described as tough by many people. The price is acknowledged as sensible also. With 94% of reviews at 3 and above – and 70% being 5-star – this is a product that gets a big thumbs up from golfers.
- Easy to use
- Portable when not in use
- Can be used in the home or office
- Very popular
One of the most rewarding things about golf is that there are so many different techniques to use. Understanding how to use the various types of club is a large part of the game, and it is extremely satisfying when you master one technique to add to your repertoire.
Being able to drive is, of course, an essential part of the game of golf, yet it is an area that requires a large amount of practice and concentration. There are many training aids around that are designed to help in this area, and we have found two that are certainly worth looking at.
The first is a device designed to help you get the most out of your swing. It’s the Orange Whip Swing Trainer, and it’s a very popular device that offers a number of benefits. What you are looking at is a long club shaft – this is a full-size model – with what appears to be an orange ball on the end where the head should be.
What this swing trainer does is give you the ability to practice your swing without the need to hit a ball. So, it means you can practice in your yard, and not damage anything. The idea is to work on your swing as well as toning and training your muscles, and it is a very popular device that does the job.
How does it work? The orange ball is actually a weight that is designed to give you a simulation of a driver, while the shaft is counterweighted, and designed to flex – or whip – when you swing. This allows you to see clearly where there is any deviation in your swing, and where you need to work.
It’s a great device for training and also useful for warming up before a round of golf, as it helps get your muscles working properly.
How to use the orange whip swing trainer with PGA Pro Jim Hackenberg.
What do Customers Say?
Few products get an average rating of 4.8/5, but the Orange Whip Swing Trainer does so from 15 reviews, each of them 4-star and above. It is universally liked by users, with many saying they use it primarily to warm up before a round, and others commenting on it being good for getting consistency in motion. It’s also been noticed by a few customers that many pro’s have one of these in their kit, so it clearly comes highly recommended.
- Can be used in smaller spaces where it can be swung
- Flex replicates swing
- Great for warming up
Our second device is something completely different, but equally useful. It’s the Galileo Golf Net, and it is another device that helps you practice in a limited space. If you don’t have the time to go to the driving range, this neat and affordable net is the perfect answer, and it’s no surprise that it has proven very popular indeed.
You do need a sensible space, however, as when erected – it consists of a simple to put together frame and strong and durable net – it covers an area of 12’ x 7’ and is 6.6” in height. It could be used in a decent sized garage, or in your yard. Or perhaps in your office or the works car park during your lunch break!
It’s made from highly durable materials and is easy to put together in a few minutes, and has plenty of customer comments praising its effectiveness.
The idea is you practice your driving into the net; the balls are caught by the net so you don’t have to go far to retrieve them. A target on the back of the net gives you the point to aim at, replicating a long drive, and it is a very useful item to have in your golf kit. It’s not expensive either, so is well worth a look.
What do Customers Say?
With almost 50 reviews, this popular and cleverly designed ‘tent’ gets a rating of 4.2/5, which puts it firmly in the favourable sector. It’s worth noting that there are a few who have given it 1/5; these are often commenting on the ease of which the material rips, but conversely, many others refer to its durability and usefulness. In terms of helping improve their golf, many customers have given this neat device 5-stars – 68% in fact – so it is certainly a satisfactory item for most buyers.
- Useful in the office or at home, but needs some space
- Portable for transport
- Simple to erect
- Aids consistency
Golf offers such a variety of techniques and skills that it is impossible to learn all at once. Take chipping: it requires a completely different approach to driving, or putting, and is an art unto itself. Many players, in fact, find putting the easier part of the game, while others struggle for accuracy.
That’s why chipping practice is a necessity, and this handy device – the Rukket Pop-Up Chipping Net – is something that will help all skill levels improve this part of the game. What is it and how does it work?
This very compact and usable item takes the form of a collapsible net. Erect, it measures just 20”x 25”x 20” – so is suitably compact for use in the yard, in the home or even in the office. Collapsed, it can be stored away easily and takes up very little in the way of space, and it is portable enough to be carried around if you are on the move.
The net supports three targets in line, at three different heights, and it is suitable for practicing chipping with various irons. It is made from strong material and the package comes with a set of 8 foam practice balls, so there’s no chance of you breaking anything should you miss!
Available in four different colours, and with a handy carry bag so you have your own chipping range wherever you go, this is a sensibly-priced and very useful item that we reckon will be high on your list. Even the experienced golfer needs to practice, hence the popularity of this chipping net.
What do Customers Say?
We think this neat and portable pop-up chipping net is one of the best of all the golf training aids, and with an average rating of 4.2/5 from 220 customers, it would appear that satisfied users agree with our assessment. Frequently used phrases are ‘great product’ and ‘highly recommended’ with particular emphasis on the portability of the item when not in use and the ease of erection. With 92% of reviews giving it 3 or above – and almost 70% being 5-star reviews – it’s worth looking at, but be aware that a couple of complaints have said it is ‘flimsy’ and ‘poor quality’ while one had difficulty collapsing it. 6% of 1-star reviews is not enough to put us off.
- Very compact and portable
- Easy to use in home or the office
- Three targets
- Safe to use
Now onto putting, which is one of the most skilled and important parts of a game of golf. Your time on the green is where you can make a round count, yet many people find putting to be one of the hardest of all aspects of golf to get right. This is perhaps due to the fact that it requires a great degree of accuracy, and incredible levels of concentration. Make note of this fact, too – 40% of all shots on course are made with the putter. You may not have realised that!
As with all practice aids, this one is designed for use by golfers of all levels of experience. There is no such thing as a perfect golfer, and there is always something new to be learned. There are many training items that are designed to help improve your putting skills, and one of two we are featuring is this one, the Shaun Webb Putting Mirror.
As you will know, Shaun Web is a respected PGA Pro and he has designed this very clever and affordable device to help golfers see just where they are going wrong with their putting. He’s confident enough to put his name to it, and has trained and tutored many golfers over the years so you are in safe hands.
It measures just 12” x 6” yet offers you plenty of information as to where you need to improve. As Shaun explains, the mirror allows you to work on your face angle, starting line, putter path and eye placement, and will highlight how you can improve in all of these areas.
There is an art to putting, and the Shaun Webb Putting Mirror is a handy device that is regularly used by pros and beginners to help perfect their putting action.
Every wondered what drills the pro’s use with their putting mirror? Enjoy the video below for a few tips.
What do Customers Say?
Cheap and portable, and with the benefit of endorsement by a recognised PGA Professional – Shaun Webb – this putting mirror scores an impressive 4.4/5 from more than 70 reviews. Indeed, 77% of buyers gave it a full 5-star ranking, which is very high indeed. Many customers have commented that it very quickly helped improve their putting, and that they were inspired to buy because they saw pros using it, and because the price is very reasonable. With 91% of reviews being 3-star or above, we can’t help but recommend this training aid, and for around $20 we think it’s a bargain.
- Very compact
- Used by novices and experts
- Easy to use in the home or office
- Very effective
Our second device of interest is the Putt-Out Pressure Putt Trainer, and we think this is a particularly clever and interesting little training aid that has been carefully designed. It takes the form of a curved stand with a replica golf hole – it’s designed to perfectly replicate what would happen if you putt into a hole on the green.
The curve angle has a very special purpose; if you miss the hole, the ball is returned to the same distance it would have travelled had you missed on the green. This involves some clever manipulation of angles that we don’t want to get into, but the advantage to you is that you can see just how you are over-hitting the ball.
This very compact device folds down into a hand-held sized package so will easily sit into your golf bag, and is very usable, durable and affordable. It comes highly recommended from us.
What do Customers Say?
This very clever, highly portable and extremely useful little putting trainer is another of our top recommendations. With over 200 reviews and 4.7/5 as an average rating, clearly most users think alike. ‘Fantastic’ and ‘outstanding product’ are a couple of comments that we came across, and most users have commented on how it has immediately helped improve their putting, as well as referring to its portability and sensible price – just under $30, which we really think is amazing for such an excellent training aid. We had to search for negative comments – 96% are above 3 – and they are mainly commenting that they think it should be cheaper. We think the price is very reasonable.
- Very clever design
- Returns the ball to overshoot distance
- Compact and portable
- Usable in home or office
These are not the only golf training aids on the market – there are many more that are similar from different manufacturers – but they are the ones that we think are the best choices.
Further Training Advice and Ideas
Although the above aids will help you perfect your game, we reckon it’s worth touching on the mental side of a game of golf. What we are talking about is concentration, and there’s a lot of concentration in a round of golf!
Some people go about training with an eye on the techniques of the different areas of the game – which is absolutely essential – yet overlook the fact that, when on the course, mental agility is also part of the game. So, for your information, here are a few ideas that can help you prepare mentally for a game of golf:
- Practice on the driving range before-hand, just as an athlete will exercise to loosen up. This gets your mind off the rigours of daily life, and brings you in tune with the game you’re about to play.
- Dress comfortably, and be at one with what you are wearing. Comfortable attire means you will feel more relaxed, and this will help with concentration when out on the course.
- Visualise your perfect shot. This will help concentrate your mind on how you need to go about achieving it.
- Don’t get annoyed or rattled when things don’t go as you wish, as all this will do is break your concentration. You are going to make mistakes, you will have bd days and good, and it’s the same for pros as it is for beginners.
Even when you’re not on the golf course, try and keep your brain in action. Reading, doing puzzles, but basic mind exercises – there’s plenty of information out there on the internet for you to use – can help you train your concentration to the level it needs to be, and if golf is important to you, you need to incorporate it into the rest of your life.
Golf is one of the most difficult sports to master, thanks in no small part to the many aspects mentioned above. Yet, it’s also a very rewarding sport once you get into it, and one that has a strong social element to it.
Practice, as they say, makes perfect, in golf as it does in every sport. However, busy lives and other demands on our time mean it is not always possible to take time out to get on the driving range or putting green, or even to arrange a round with friends. That’s why we have given you a selection of portable, affordable golf training aids that can be used – in most cases – in confined spaces, at home or during your break at work.
Take a look at the specifications of each of the items we have listed, talk to your pro about the best options for you, and you’ll soon find you are improving your golf in the way you want to.