Copyright (c) 2010 Scott Cole
These days, golfers are bombarded with a variety of training aids to help them improve their golf swing. Golfers are known to be fanatical about trying to improve their game, so they will try just about anything to get better. Unfortunately, even with golf balls that fly 20 yards further and golf clubs that allow us to hit it straighter, handicaps have remained unchanged for both men and women over the last thirty years.
Over the years, we have seen all kinds of new golf training aids come on the market. The Medicus club was probably one of the originals. Some try to teach you to swing the club on a better swing plane. Most seem to be devoted to helping you increase your swing speed. When the Golf Channel burst onto the seen, the golf training aid industry exploded along with it. Now, you can find an entire website devoted to golf training aids.
Can these training aids help? Sure, if they are used consistently. Unfortunately, most people will use a training aid for a period of time before stuffing it into their closet with all of the other discarded training aids.
The fact is, you do not need all these fancy gadgets and gizmos. What you do need is to learn the proper fundamentals of the golf swing. There are plenty of instructional books and videos to choose from in this regard. It would also be very helpful to find an instructor who will take you through the swing slowly, and help you FEEL how you need to position your body and the club. In many cases, the student will be unable to achieve some of these positions due to injury, lack of flexibility, etc. However, they will at least come away with a better understanding of the swing.
Then, it is time to take this knowledge home, and apply the best training aid in the business. A MIRROR! Golfers should get in front of a mirror and practice putting the club in the proper positions as communicated by their instructor, or whatever book they’ve read, or video they’ve seen. By seeing their swing in the mirror, and feeling where the club needs to be, they will get instant feedback. They can swing the club very slowly, or in piecemeal fashion to gain a better feel for the swing. The best thing is this can be done without really breaking a sweat.
Tiger Woods is known for spending hours at a time in front of the mirror working on his swing. Ben Hogan was known for taking up to ten minutes to complete a practice swing, so he could feel every inch of the swing. Most golfers don’t even take any practice swings when they are working on their swing at the driving range!
So, as the colder months approach here in the northern states, it is a great idea to get in front of a mirror to improve your golf swing. You can do this in any room where you have enough room to swing your club. And, if your local practice facility also has a mirror, that is even better. Get in front of that mirror! When the new season arrives, you will have a tremendous head start to improving your overall game.
Scott Cole is a Hank Haney Pro Associate Instructor at the Olney Golf Park in Olney, Maryland. For more information, visit http://www.scottcolegolf.com