Golf Academy of America PGA Professionals Name Their Favorite Golf Training Aids
Golf Academy of America's five campuses are home not only to experienced faculty, but also to some of the latest golf technology. The equipment is used to improve the playing abilities of the student body and to educate them on the golf swing so that they, in turn, can pass their expertise on to others.
From simple tools to advanced software, we asked four of our Golf Academy of America instructors to tell us about their favorite training aids to improve your golf game, and here's what they had to say:
Tim Eberlein, Phoenix Campus Director
- Trackman – The technology and information this system provides is very beneficial for an instructor. Trackman provides instant feedback to the instructor and student on swing, as well as video. It will track over 24 different analysis points. Trackman is perfectly suited for custom club fitting, as well as statistical analysis of club path, spin rates and launch angles, in addition to numerous other factors.
- V1 Video Analysis Software – This video system allows the instructor to view a student's swing from three positions, watch in normal speed or slow motion, and allows the ability to pause at certain points for analysis. The student's swing can be compared to a golf professional's swing and the entire lesson can be saved for the student to view from home.
Brad Kirkman, Myrtle Beach Campus Instructor and National Director of Golf Instruction
- Eyeline Putting Mirror – This device helps with alignment and set up, enabling the user to check eyeline, shoulder alignment and putter face alignment.
- Impact Ball – Simply put the ball between your forearms and swing away. The act of keeping the ball between your forearms cures many issues with your arms and body.
- EZ Plane Swing Trainer – This device is a dual-end flashlight held around the grip to show your shaft plane throughout the swing.
- Balance Rod– Simply stand on the rod and you will be able to feel where your weight is distributed throughout the swing.
- DST Club – This club is made with a curved shaft so that in order to generate a proper strike, your hands must be ahead of the clubhead at impact. This encourages forward shaft lean and leads to crisper contact.
Brad Turner, Orlando Campus Director
- Fiberglass Alignment Sticks – You can buy these at your local hardware store or golf retail outlet. They have multiple uses, such as general alignment, swing path, swing plane, ball flight, etc.
- Swing glove (Rick Smith design) – Improves left wrist position throughout the swing. It helps the golfer avoid scooping at impact, which makes it particularly effective for the wedge game.
- Swing Extender – This aid helps train the player to widen his or her arc on the backswing, leading to greater power.
- Chalk Line – Another incredibly simple and inexpensive tool that can be found at the hardware store, this is meant to be set up on a short, straight putt on a putting green to help the player visualize the proper line to the hole, as well as putter path.
Rich Iorio, – San Diego Campus Director
- Tour Striker – Designed by top instructor Martin Chuck, this special club has a small face that is higher up than normal golf clubs. It forces players actually hit down on the ball in order to make successful contact.
- Foot Wedge – No, it's not the one you're thinking of. This Foot Wedge helps reduce swaying and centers your swing by helping keep the player's weight on the insides of his or her feet. It is also useful for chipping and pitching.
- Smash Bag/Impact Bag – These circular impact bags lie on the ground. They have many different uses, but the main one is to imitate impact without the player needing to make a full swing. The idea is to improve the player's impact position by promoting a forward leaning shaft.
- Form Grip/Grip Trainers – These pre-formed training grips affix permanently to a club or dowel to train a player how to place his or her hands on the club.
- DaBat – This training aid is made of aluminum and shaped like a miniature baseball bat. This aid teaches proper forearm rotation/release through impact.