What makes a great training aid you ask?
When we review training aids that are sent to us we look at the following qualities and rate products in each category: validity, durability, simplicity, reliability, perceived value, packaging, instructions & support and of course, marketability. There is one more quality that is not on our list and it might be the most important of them all, probability of being used!
Much in the same way, a product can’t be beneficial if no one buys it, it is also meaningless to sell a product that no one uses. What makes a training aid great is how easily it can be understood and how much the student or player will train with the product. Examples of product that get used regularly would be an Eyeline putting mirror, a Swingyde, the Impact Bag or an alignment stick. How much more likely are you to use an Orange Whip from your golf bag compared to something in your closet?
Be wary of products with promotional claims that are enticing but vague. If a product has claims like, “Lower your score by 3-5 strokes” or “Hit it by your buddies” without examples of the problem it addresses or what the product really does, it’s probably not worth your money. A good example of a product that does provide specific feedback that backed up by video demonstrations and before and after pictures is the Impact SNAP! The more specific a training aid is, the more focused the player’s practice can be.
My dad, Dr. Gary Wiren, whom everyone in the golfing world knows, used training aids extensively at the PGA Junior Golf camps when I was growing up in the 70’s and early 80’s. We used everything from sequence cameras to spray chalk, red ‘bunker’ rocks, rubber bands, golf shafts, straps, brooms, weighted clubs and even the infamous Power Fan. From his perspective as a teacher Gary wanted whatever worked to help his players understand swing fundamentals and provided feedback during practice. When he created the Impact Bag, he did it to make something that was simple to use, durable, inexpensive, and could quickly teach the elusive feel of golf’s moment of truth.
“My ultimate goal when creating training aids, was to simply improve a players performance. I wanted to develop products that were fun but highly effective” – Dr. Gary Wiren, Sr. Golf Director for Trump Properties.”
So remember to look for products that are easy to understand, do something specific, have good support material with them, and provide feedback that makes practice sessions more productive and more fun.
Be sure to shop GolfTrainingAids.com for the latest and greatest tools to help you with your game!