The swing is one of the critical aspects of golf training, and the perfect swing can mean the difference of many strokes. It is a basic technique of the game, and needs to be practiced with patience and care. For people who would rather train in privacy and at their leisure, many companies offer swing aids.
The swing aid is generally a circular guide mounted vertically on its stand, which offers support and guides the club in a neat arc, as perfect as you can get it. Repetitive use of this device trains your muscles to move in the correct arc, the end of the club outlining the circumference of a perfect circle. Using a training aid is a good idea when you don’t want to waste time at the course, practicing the basics. The device is portable to a limit, and can easily be installed in a backyard or even a garage for uninterrupted training time. Most of the units come with a training video, which demonstrates the correct usage, and the difference it makes etc.
The perfect swing involves maintaining the correct posture, rolling the wrists in the follow through and the correct grip. The swing aid cannot teach you how to grip a club, but it does make it awkward for you to make a complete swing if you hold the wrong grip. It is important to note here, that swinging away with the wrong grip, on a swinging aid can lead to awkwardness, maybe even a sprain. It is advisable to initiate lessons with a pro, and then practice on a swing aid machine, fully knowing the posture and the grip you are supposed to maintain.
Like everything else during the last few years, there is a digital aid in perfecting your swing, called the swing tempo device, which helps calculate the time duration of upswing-downswing, so you know you are doing it right with every club that you use. This is made for somewhat advanced users, but is a useful tool to graduate to. Of course, many die hard golfers would say they never needed a machine to teach them golf, but that is an argument that many people have about digital-manual equipment, and is not one that will ever have a conclusion! The better way to look at it is, whatever it is that helps you achieve the desired swing, go for it!
Finally it is good to remember that golf isn’t a game very easy to master, and it is a combination of variations like the correct stance, the right grip – not too hard not too soft, and the right swing and follow through, to name a few, that will make you a better golfer. It is indeed necessary to constantly evaluate yourself, and to use the right methods to improve your game. The golf swing aid is a definite advantage in the learning process, but the sooner you are independent of it the better. Of course it can always be kept for practice, but dependency on the device wont give you confidence in the long run.
One last device I’d likes to mention is the ‘thumb caddy’ endorsed by the PGS tour pro Brad Faxon. It is a little device made of nylon and rubber, that fits on your club and guides your thumb into a perfect position to deploy power as well as control, helping you to maintain a firm grip, and the right position on the club, making you avoid hook shots.
It’s easily carried in your pocket, and may be just what you’ve been wanting, check it out! At the same time, it is worth remembering that this is intended for practice alone, and not allowed in tournaments.
Joseph Tierney is a golfer and college student from Florida. You can find out more about improving your golf swing at Golf Swing Tips