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Do Golf Training Aids Work?

I’ve always been fascinated with golf training aids. I have either owned or tried almost every training aid that has hit the market. I have done this to ensure their effectiveness before introducing them to my students during lessons or using them when practicing my own game.

Some have worked, while others actually have hurt my game. A good training aid should be easy to use, should be affordable, should provide feedback that allows the student to feel the change the instructor is suggesting, and should be available for use by the student independent of the instructor.

The primary benefit of effective golf training aids is that they can shorten the learning or change process when used properly. Training aids should target and generate feedback more specific to external cues (those cues specific to the golf club or motions external to the body), rather than internal cues (those cues dealing specifically with body movement). Research has shown that feedback using external cues is more effective in generating change and improvement in motor skill learning than feedback using internal cues.

There are two specific areas where I use training aids to provide specific feedback to my students: l Movement of the golf club, mainly through the impact area; l Centeredness of contact of the ball on the clubface.

For club movement, I use “The Golfer’s Footprint,” and for centeredness of contact, I use face-tape and/or spray foot-powder.

Before you rush out to get these aids, be sure to consult your PGA Professional to learn how best to use these or any other training aids. Both you and your instructor should have a clear understanding of what specific goal is to be achieved when using training aids and how they should be incorporated into your practice/training sessions.

Dr. Eric C. Wilson, PGA Legacy Master Professional, is Executive Director of Golf Operations at Keiser University College of Golf. He welcomes your questions at

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