Swing Aids — Helpful or Detrimental?
Updated: Jul 21
Fitness & Training Editor Looks at Two of the More Practical Training Aids
Please note: Neither The World of Golf nor the Author received any compensation or remuneration from Tour Strike Golf or Driven Golf.
When you hear the terms "over the top" or "steep" they are among the most common terms heard by golfers that are looking to make swing changes. Developing a swing with specific positions, making the individual feel confident takes lots of dedicated repetition. In order to achieve these desirable swing positions, using training aids that mimic and demonstrate the "feels" needed are vital for a player’s confidence and performance when practicing.
My friend Martin Chuck (Tour Striker Golf) and David Woods (Driven Golf) are two elite top 100 instructors in the golfing world. Martin was recently named to the "50 Best Teachers in America" (2019-20) by Golf Digest.
The two golf professionals have developed arguably the most in-demand training aids, taking storm across world. The Tour Striker plane mate and smart ball have caught the attention of golfers who are passionate about developing more width, and a more consistent, shallow transition and downswing.
I have seen many professionals using these training aids such as: Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Mackenzie Hughes, and Darren Clarke among others.
To say the least, both training aids have caught the attention of PGA Tour players, LPGA players, developing professionals and amateurs looking to improve.
The Smart Ball – what is it?
The Tour Striker smart ball is essentially a mini beach ball with a lanyard attached to the top of the ball. The lanyard simply adjusts to meet the desired needs of the individual’s length. The ball sits in the pocket between the arms of the golfer, promoting a close, connected feeling of the forearms and elbows.
The smart ball quickly identifies any flaws in the golfer’s swing by providing immediate feedback on any problems they may have. If you are a player that creates a big gap between the arms, such as a "chicken wing" at the top of the swing, the ball will fall from the arms. The feedback is quick, showing you what you are doing wrong. The ball simply gives players the feeling of what it is like to keep the upper body connected and how to maintain that connection throughout the entire golf swing.
This training aid is highly effective for all aspects of the game. Short game is a great place to start with the training aid. It can help players when putting, helping to maintain a better upper body position with the arms over the putter. The ball is also great for chipping and wedge play, helping the player create depth with their wedges and reduce steepness in the golf swing.
The smart ball is widely trusted by Tour coaches and players across the globe because it provides simple feedback. The product is quite easy to use and can simply deflate and be stored in any pocket of the golf bag. If you are looking to improve simple issues in the golf swing, I highly suggest you look into this aid.
The Plane Mate – what is it?
The plane mate is an adjustable belt, worn around the golfer’s waist. The belt has a rail on the right side of the golfer’s hip (right-handed golfers) with a resistance band attached from the rail to the bottom of the golfer’s club shaft. As you initiate the takeaway or back swing and begin to rotate behind the ball, the band moves with the golfer’s hip, sliding along the rail. The goal is to maintain the resistance of the band as you continue to make a full committed back swing to the top.
As the golfer reaches the top of the back swing, two common swing faults tend to when a golfer makes the transition into the down swing. Typically, the player usually does not create enough width on the downswing, causing the playing to get "steep" at impact. The player also does not create a proper motion at transition, causing the player to favour the upper body forgetting about the lower body action.
The plane mate enables the golfer to experience what a proper transition feels like. The band simply pulls the golfers club behind the players body in the transition, allowing them to shallow the club and rotate the body better coming through the golf ball.
This training aid allows any golfer to feel more consistent motions and create better swing tendencies, which ultimately lead to better scores. Unfortunately, many people are looking for the quick fix in golf, refusing to face the problem of fixing inconsistent swing tendencies.
I strongly believe that the smart ball and plane mate are vital for creating better and more consistent golf swings through providing the player with instant feedback when practicing. As golfers we all want to be more consistent and confident. We need to understand that consistency and confidence starts by how we practice and manage our routine.
Having a training aid to help you feel more consistency and demonstrate the motions needed to achieve a better golf swing will make you more confident when playing. By incorporating one of these swing aids into your practice routine you will help yourself save some shots on the golf course and enjoy the game even more.
Check out tour striker golf for the amazing products they have for anyone’s golf game!
Austin Hughes is professional golfer having played in professional events over the past few seasons. He graduated from Dalton State University (Georgia) where he attended on a Golf Scholarship.
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