December 16, 2020
Happy Holidays from GOLF.com, your one stop shop when it comes to finding gifts for the golfer in your life. (Or you yourself. We won’t give it away.) This year we’ve rounded up the best of the best to make your shopping experience a breeze. Not only do we recommend our favorite products, we tell you where to buy them. You can find more Christmas gift ideas in our Best Of Everything hub or in the GOLF Pro Shop.
I love a good training aid. I always have and probably always will. The sign of good training is simple: there is feedback. Not all training aids solve the same problems, so there is no training aid that is good for everyone. But regardless of the problem it’s trying to solve, the best training aids are those that let you know when you’re doing something right – and when you’re not.
With that in mind, here are a few training aids I would recommend to any golfer.
From the point of view of GOLF Top 100 Teacher George Gankas, golfers put on the GBox just like a belt, with a box on each hip. From there, the goal is simple: twist back so that the front box is behind the golf ball, then spin around so the other box is more facing the target.
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Super speed C
Not every training aid that is sent to me (and believe me, there are many) makes it into my personal pocket, but the Superspeed C does. It’s a lighter version of the original Superspeed set, but has more weight in the handle – balances the club to encourage higher hand speed when swinging.
Super speed C
$ 90 (with code GOLFMAG20)
The orange whip
If you are looking for an exercise aid with a little more weight, I would go for the Orange Whip. It’s longer, heavier, and more flexible than a regular driver, making it a great tool for golfers looking to improve their flexibility and pace.
Tour Striker PlaneMate
The “PlaneMate” training aid from GOLF Top 100 teacher Martin Chuck’s looks a bit intense, but it works. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? You wear it like a belt, attach the elastic to your racket and soon you won’t be able to get over it.
Tour Striker PlaneMate
Less of a training aid and more of a training game, I’m including it here because it’s an easy way to aid your chipping that you can do indoors or outdoors. With different goals to practice both your accuracy and your chips trajectory, it won’t be long before you get hooked – and your short game will be all the better for it.
Speaking of chipping training aids, I tested the impact press at the beginning of the year and it met all the criteria I am looking for in a good training aid: It is easy to use and, above all, it provides immediate feedback. It serves as a good sync-up before your round. Hit a few chips with them, and when they fly straight, you know your hands are in front of the ball for nice, crispy contact.
You might want to make some off-course changes at the start of the new year that will help you play golf better. To do this, check out GolfForever, the Justin Leonard-acclaimed health and wellness platform that offers videos on everything from pre-round stretching to training to advice on how to improve your game.
GolfForever subscription (12 months)
$ 79 (with promo code GOLF79)
Steadhead golf training aid
This might look a bit silly, but it’s inexpensive and works, which is why I have a soft spot for it. The training aid is small enough to fit in your pocket, and once attached to the brim of your hat, you have a visual cue that shows how far your head will be from the ball during the swing. It’s a great solution for golfers who “swing” too much during their swing, and I find it especially handy on the greens if your head isn’t moving at all.
Steadhead golf training aid
Another immensely affordable exercise aid that is currently one of my favorites. The puttdots are designed to be glued directly onto your putter face, and your goal is to avoid them – which will force you to hit the sweet spot. If you miss the sweet spot, the ball will hit the puttdots and the ball will curl to one side.
Hit any PGA Tour putting green and it won’t take you long to see a professional golfer hitting putts with a string. They use it to make sure their eyes are over the ball and most importantly, to make sure they are launching the ball on the correct line. The problem is that these strings are often tedious to set up. But thanks to GOLF Top 100 teacher Matt Killen, this task has now become even easier. The RainDrop is a retractable string that you can keep in your golf bag without fear of tangling, and it’s easy to set up so you can spend your time on the green doing what you really want: hitting putts .
The retractable putting string from RainDrop
Dave Pelz putting instructor
This is one of Phil Mickelson’s proven training aids and a great indoor-outdoor tool for anyone who needs to work on impact to smooth their putter surface. Just set it on the floor, place a golf ball at the base of the triangle, and start rolling putts through the gate on the other end.
Dave Pelz Putting Tutor Training Aid
The flex putter
Are you struggling with a yippy putting punch? Then the solution can be whipping motherhood. The putter’s ultra-flexible shaft feels like a fishing rod and means that you can only roll your putt straight when your swing smoothly transitions from back to through swing.
New black flex putter
Perfect putting mat
And of course when you’re not outside you need a place in the house to use all of these devices, right? There is no better option for this than the Perfect Putting Mat.
Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor for GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role, he oversees all of the brand’s service journalism in the areas of teaching, equipment, health and fitness on all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.
An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina-Beaufort golf team, where he put them at number 1 on the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to do his Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and was named in 2017 “Rising Star” of the News Media Alliance. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast.