Edited by: Jordan Fuller
Reviewed by: John Marshall
Wander through the training aid section of your local golf retailer and there’s row after row of putting genies, tempo trainers, swing vests — you name it, there’s a gadget out there to fix it or break it or make it more bigger better stronger….It’s enough to drive you batty.
So we’ve created this list of the Ten Best Golf Training Aids of 2019 to separate the wheat from the chaff. A great training aid can actually be the “it-factor” that helps propel you to the next level.
With so many options out there, we’re here to help guide you to the best training aids & swing trainers that are actually worth your time and money.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Featured Recommendations
2 10 Best Golf Training Aids
- 2.1 1. SKLZ Gold Flex Tempo Training Aid
- 2.2 SuperSpeed Golf Men’s Training System
- 2.3 Shaun Webb’s PGA Golf Alignment Sticks
- 2.4 Orange Whip Full-Sized Golf Swing Trainer Aid
- 2.5 Putt-A-Bout Par 3 Putting Green
- 2.6 PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer
- 2.7 Shaun Webb Putting Mirror
- 2.8 SKLZ Putt Pocket Putting Aid
- 2.9 Swingyde Golf Swing Trainer
- 2.10 Eyeline Golf Speed-Trap
- 3 Criteria Used For Evaluation
- 4 Questions & Answers
10 Best Golf Training Aids
1. SKLZ Gold Flex Tempo Training Aid
Best for the majority of golfers: A great value to help you warm up before a game
The SKLZ Gold Flex Tempo Training Aid is an attractive and useful if you’re hesitant to spend over $100.
The SKLZ is has a very innovative design: a counterweighted, flexible shaft with a heavy ball at the end. The ball is slightly lighter than balls we’d find in similar products, but since the shaft is very rigid and has a very low kick point, it actually winds up feeling slightly heavier.
This overly rigid shaft may be a little off-putting to golfers with slower tempos, as it seems to flow better when you swing back and through with a quicker tempo.
However, it’s still very useful to loosen you up before a round or a driving range session, and if you use it on off days it’ll definitely help your strength and balance.
These tempo aids are designed to be carried in your bag at all times (and it’s legal to do so — just don’t use them during your round!).
SuperSpeed Golf Men’s Training System
Best if you want fast results: Immediate, measurable results for all golfers
The old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” But the SuperSpeed Golf Men’s Training system is that rarest of products that delivers on every promise.
Using a series of three differently weighted clubs and a concept called “Overspeed Training,” it helps increase your clubhead speed after just one ten-minute session. I recommend it for golfers of all ages and skill sets.
There’s a reason the SuperSpeed system has made its way into the golf bags of many of the best players on the planet. Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson, Charles Howell III, In Gee Chun, Graeme McDowell and countless others have been spotted using the SuperSpeed trainers. But this isn’t a training aid that only benefits the pros — I’ve seen players of all calibers hit the ball farther after a single ten-minute session.
The system is incredibly simple. Each set (available in Mens, Seniors, Juniors, Ladies, even Pee-Wee and Long Drive) consists of three color-coded shafts each with a small, cylindrical metal weight at the end. Two of the clubs are slightly lighter than a typical driver, and the third is slightly heavier.
For the first 30 days, you follow the beginner protocol, which consists of swinging the clubs as hard as you can while progressing from the lightest to the heaviest. There’s a bit more to it than that, but it takes ten minutes at most. You can do it in your back yard or the parking lot or the driving range — anywhere with enough room to swing a driver.
The YouTube videos that SuperSpeed provides are simple and to-the-point, and demonstrate the drills clearly and easily.
So what does it do? It increases your swing speed and improves your balance and strength. It does this through “Overspeed Training”, using lighter-weighted clubs to train your brain that the golf swing can be faster than it’s wired itself to think. All you have to do is follow the protocol and you’ll see faster swing speeds and more distance.
Everyone who I’ve seen use this has seen an immediate swing speed increase of at least 3 mph, which translates to about 3-5 yards of driver distance. If you stick to it for 12 sessions over 30 days (3 times a week, 10 minutes each time), you’ll have a speed increase of 5-7mph. Some of my students have been doing it for a year and have gone from flying it 225 off the tee to getting 265-70. It’s amazing.
Haven’t I seen weighted clubs before?
I know that weighted clubs are nothing new, but this system of using lighter clubs to increase speed is something I’d never heard of previously, and it just flat-out works. Be sure you don’t hit the ground when swinging the SuperSpeed clubs, as that can cause the shaft to snap. Don’t do it with anyone standing in front of you in case this happens.
This is my pick for the top training aid of 2019 for golfers who want results now. I think every golfer should have a set.
Shaun Webb’s PGA Golf Alignment Sticks
Best Alignment Aid: Simple, timeless and effective
If you look in the arsenal of every teaching pro and every touring pro, you’re likely to find one constant: alignment sticks.
These long, skinny, firm rods are one of the simplest but most useful tools you can use to improve your golf game. Far from simply helping with your alignment (though they are quite good at that), they can be used to help train a proper swing plane, hip rotation, and more.
I like the Shaun Webb version because they’re very well built and come with a carrying tube. You can buy similar alignment sticks at any hardware store, but I’ve found the hardware version to break more easily and I find the carrying case to be an important safety device.
Safety device? Yep. Once I had an alignment stick in my golf bag, nearly invisible because of a shadow on the bag. I bent down to grab a ball out of the pocket of my bag, and the alignment stick hit me square in the lens of my sunglasses. If I hadn’t been wearing sunglasses, it would’ve gone straight into my eyeball. So keep these in that carrying tube when you’re not using them!
Get your setup set up
The most simple use for these is to get your setup right. Lay a stick on the ground parallel to your intended target line and set your feet up with your toes lined up on the stick. Most of my students are surprised to find that they’ve been aiming nowhere near their actual target.
If you set up with your body parallel to the target line, you’re much more likely to make a good swing. If not, your subconscious will take over and likely overcorrect, resulting in bad pushes, puls, slices and hooks.
If you’re ever lucky enough to go to a PGA Tournament in person, stop by the driving range. You’ll see most players have alignment sticks lying at their feet. Even the guys who do it for a living use these to make sure their setup is on point.
Guide your swing plane
But you can also use these for other purposes. If your swing is producing a slice, you can plant a stick in the ground in a spot where an over-the-top motion will hit the stick. It’ll train you to swing from the inside, fixing the slice.
There are numerous other applications, and the videos provided by Shaun Webb are a very useful tool that help provide guidance and ideas for drills using the alignment sticks.
You may not notice immediate improvement, but if you use an alignment stick every time you hit golf balls, over time you’ll start more and more of them in the right direction. They’re a must for every golfer.
Orange Whip Full-Sized Golf Swing Trainer Aid
Best Tempo Aid: Excellent warm-up tool also helps with strength and tempo
The Orange Whip is a training aid and swing trainer that may be most valuable in helping get you warmed up when you don’t have much time to do so. It’s a flexible-shafted club with a heavy orange ball at one end where the clubhead should be.
Swinging it back and forth in a rhythmic motion helps train your body to feel what a good tempo should be, and encourages proper wrist release through the swing. It’s useful for all golfers, from rote beginners to major champions.
Shortcut to warmed-up
Many golfers arrive at the course with barely enough time to slap on their golf shoes, run to the golf shop to pay the greens fees, hit a putt or two and then sprint to the first tee to start their round. This rushed pre-round routine is a formula for a bad score: you’ll be stressed, tight, and likely to start off with some bad numbers on the first few holes.
While I understand that it can be difficult to carve out even two hours for a quick nine holes, I hate seeing players taking short, tight swings on the first tee. Inevitably, they’ll hit a bad tee shot, take a mulligan or two, and start fuming before they’ve even reached the first green.
In a perfect world, we’d all arrive at the golf course 45 minutes early, hit some balls at the range, some chips, some putts, and arrive at the first tee loose, energized and ready to go. But if you find yourself with just a few minutes, the Orange Whip can help you warm up and avoid those first tee fiascos that can ruin your day before it even starts.
Rather than static stretching on cold, tight muscles and tendons (which can actually cause more harm than good), a few minutes with the Orange Whip can warm up your muscles and stretch you out while ingraining a good swinging tempo in your mind for the day.
A full warm-up session with the Whip will involve some wrist rotations, some one-arm swings and finish up with some rhythmic full-swings. But even just swinging the counterweighted, flexible Orange Whip back and forth for a minute or two will prove immeasurably helpful to start your round.
Strength and Balance
The Orange Whip is useful for more than simply a warmup tool — using it on off days will strengthen your golf muscles and improve your balance. But the biggest benefit I see is as a warmup tool, and it’s one of the best I’ve seen. Gone are the days of swinging two clubs together to loosen up!
The only players that won’t benefit are those like Sungjae Im or Hideki Matsuyama, who have very different tempos between their backswing and downswing. Players with a pronounced pause or very slow backswings may find that the Orange Whip throws that delicate rhythm off.
Putt-A-Bout Par 3 Putting Green
Top Putting Aid: You can never practice too much putting
The Putt-A-Bout Par 3 Putting green is an artificial turf putting mat you can lay out in your living room and basement to practice your putting at home.
With three separate targets cut into an inclined area at the end of the mat, it can help you keep your putting instincts honed during the offseason. “Sand trap” cutouts help catch missed putts so your golf balls aren’t rolling all over the place and hiding under your couch.
Variety is the spice of putting practice
If you’re golf-obsessed like me, you’ve spent many an afternoon sitting on the couch watching a golf tournament. Inevitably, after a little while, I get the itch to go hit balls, or putts, or something. But I also want to keep watching the tournament!
So I unroll my putting mat, grab a few balls and start rolling putts in. It’s a great way to kill time during commercials and to keep your stroke fresh during the off-season.
Many of these at-home artificial turf putting mats are rectangles with just one hole at the end. While these are acceptable, I’m not the biggest fan of them because they wind up grooving exactly one look and length of putt. It winds up being very repetitive, and the rectangular nature almost overly guides your alignment. They just don’t present enough real-life usefulness.
The kidney bean shape and multiple hole options of the Putt-A-Bout putting green allow you to create numerous different angles and lengths of putts. It’s not nearly as repetitive and, as such, is more beneficial. It’s also more likely to keep your interest, and a training aid can only help you if you keep on using it!
The mat is a thin material, so it works best on top of a carpet to give it some heft. Putting on hardwood will be quite fast and possibly bumpy. You can also put thin layers of fabric under the mat to recreate subtle breaks if you’d like.
A mild incline
My main issue with the Putt-A-Bout is that the incline around the holes should be higher. It’s necessary to have an incline so there’s actual holes to catch the ball, but it’s also helpful to train you to hit putts firmly enough to get all the way to the hole. The Putt-A-Bout has a minor incline, but it’s not quite deep enough to catch all the putts that would actually go into a normal golf hole. Having a carpet under the holes will also help catch more balls, as they’ll frequently bounce out if you’re putting on hardwood or in a concrete garage.
And I must warn you — if you have a cat or a dog, they’ll really get in the way! The mat will be covered in fur and you’ll barely get any putts in before the animals are interfering with the balls and the putter. If you’ve got pets, it’s best to use a putting mat behind a closed door. Or maybe at the office.
PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer
Best Compact Putting Target: Practice your putting anywhere that has a carpet
The PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer is a small ramp that you can use anywhere as a target to help hone your putting stroke.
The distinctive, steep ramp of the PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer is what sets it apart from traditional carpet-putting targets like a plastic cup or a chair leg. If you don’t hit the putt aggressively enough to roll it halfway up the ramp, it won’t catch in the hole.
There’s no such thing as too much putting practice. It’s such an important and valuable skill for a golfer that if someone asked me if they should spend six hours a day practicing putting, I’d tell them to go for it — as long as they don’t go crazy doing it. But most of us can barely scratch out six minutes a day to practice putting. Having a portable putting target like the PuttOut will help you get those crucials putting reps in.
Putting and short game guru Dave Pelz recommends hitting putts with enough speed to roll 17 inches past the hole if they don’t go in. This can be difficult to practice, especially when you’re putting inside on a putting mat or a carpet. The PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer is designed to get you to hit a putt hard enough to go 17 inches past the hole, and it does a good job of it.
Many players I teach also have the most trouble with straight putts. Some golfers just always see curves, and others see straight lines best. For those who see curves, it can be difficult to hit straight putts. The PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer really only works straight-on, so it can be very helpful to players whose nemesis is the straight, 3-foot putt.
5 minutes a day with the Puttout Pressure Putt Trainer should see you hitting more aggressive putts, rattling them off the back of the cup instead of wishing them in. And it’s hard to find a more portable training aid.
Shaun Webb Putting Mirror
Our Top Putting Mirror: A good setup is essential to accurate putting
The Shaun Webb Putting Mirror is the best putting mirror I’ve come across.
Its clever design functions both as a mirror to help you develop a consistent and repeatable putting stance with your eyes in the proper position, as well as enabling you to practice the gate drill and squaring your putter face at the same time.
Get your eyes right
Many of my students are confused when I suggest to them that they get a putting mirror to help with their putting alignment. Some assume it’s some sort of body-length mirror with lines to show where they should bend their knees and waists. Others just don’t get why a mirror on the ground will help. But after a few putts with the mirror, it begins to dawn on them how this may help.
If you walk by a putting green at a professional tournament, you’ll see pros everywhere with mirrors on the ground, starting their warm-ups by getting their eyes properly aligned over the ball. If your eyes, are in the right spot, you’ll greatly increase your chances of starting the ball on its intended line.
When a student keeps pushing or pulling putts, the culprit is usually that they’re seeing the line wrong because of improper eye position. For a right-handed player with right-eye dominance, most golfers will putt best with their eyes just inside the line. If your lead eye is dominant, you’ll probably need your eyes directly over the ball, or possibly just outside the line.
It can be very frustrating to have a straight putt, think you’re aimed right at the hole, and see your putt slide by, several inches away from where you thought you were aimed. And that’s where the Shaun Webb Putting Mirror comes in. You place the ball in the cutout and take your normal stance. You’ll be able to see exactly where your eyes are in relation to the ball.
Then hit the putt, and you’ll see if it goes where you thought were aimed or if it winds up left or right of the target. If it’s consistently missing to one side, adjust your eye position until the ball starts going where you’re looking. At that point, you’ve found your proper eye position.
Consistent use is key
What gets so frustrating is that this eye position can be tough to duplicate day-to-day or even hole-to-hole! I suggest to my students that they use a putting mirror for at least a few putts prior to every single round. You’d be surprised at how often your setup has shifted a bit from the last time you practiced. The more you use the mirror, the more consistent your setup and your putting will become.
I particularly like the Shaun Webb mirror for several reasons: the price is right, the construction is solid and durable, and it’s got cleverly placed holes. The holes will let you anchor the mirror to the ground using tees on a putting green, and you can also use them to perform the classic “gate drill.” This helps groove your stroke while also getting your setup locked in.
Other holes let you guide your preferred stroke path with tees. A little experimentation will help you figure out exactly how much arc you’d like for a good, repeatable putting stroke. The putting mirror is incredibly useful, but it’s not exactly fun. I have a hard time hounding my students to remember to use it every time. The ones who do? They see results.
SKLZ Putt Pocket Putting Aid
Our pick to fine-tune good putting: Good putters can get better with this hole-shrinker
The SKLZ Pocket Putting Aid is a partially-open ring that you place in the hole on a putting green to help golfers understand where the true “back of the cup” is.
Golfers who have trouble making putts with a lot of break in them will find it valuable, and golfers who are simply looking for a warm-up tool to help narrow their focus on the hole will find it useful as well.
Encourages aggressive putting
The SKLZ Putt Pocket Putting aid is a clever alteration to a classic putting tool: the hole-shrinker. Since I was young, there were rings you could place in holes to shrink the target. These are designed to both help people who have trouble hitting their putts way too hard, and to make the hole look bigger. If you warm up putting to a half-sized hole, the actual hole will look larger out on the course.
I’ve always been a bit wary of the traditional hole-shrinkers. It can encourage timid putting, as the smaller hole requires the ball to be rolling more slowly to actually drop. Good putts can roll right over the hole and not drop, so aggressive putting is discouraged.
That’s why I’m a fan of the SKLZ Putt Pocket aid. It isn’t just a hole-shrinker, though it can be used as such. Its best use is to demonstrate how the break of a putt determines the optimal entry point of the ball.
Learn true putting targets
Common sense might dictate that you want the putt to enter the hole at the closest point to you (essentially 6:00 on a clock)– what looks like the front of the cup. But if a putt is breaking from the left to the right, the “front” of the cup will actually be closer to the 8:00 or 9:00 point on a clock. To help understand and visualize this, place the Putt Pocket in the hole with the opening going from 7:00 to 10:00. You’ll see that a putt that’s going into the hole will enter the side of the cup right through the Putt Pocket.
Practicing this way gives you a better idea of how to visualize the ball entering the hole and will help you make more putts. You won’t see as many low-side lip-outs and you’ll make more confident strokes.
The Putt Pocket will also help with hitting straight putts aggressively so they aren’t affected by a “lumpy donut”. Just situate it in the hole with the opening facing right at you and focus on hitting the back of the cup. It’ll help you hit more confident putts right at the hole instead of wishing them in.
For beginners who need the mental reinforcement of made putts, I’d hold off on using the Putt Pocket. But for good putters looking to hone their game, this is a great tool.
Swingyde Golf Swing Trainer
Best slice correction: Fix your wrist cock for better impact position
The Swingyde Golf Swing Trainer is a useful tool for golfers whose poor wrist motion causes their club to go off-plane or over-the-top.
It’s a fairly inconspicuous plastic elbow that attaches to your club. When you swing back, you should be cocking your wrist such that the arm of the Swingyde connects with your arm at the top of your backswing, giving you feedback as to whether you’ve taken the club back properly and on plane.
There’s no one way to swing a golf club, which is why I’m wary of tools like the Swingyde. While it can be very helpful for some players who have a nasty slice due to incorrect wrist cock, it would be harmful to a player like Dustin Johnson who has an unconventional bowed wrist but obviously makes it work. However, if you’re cupping your wrist and not releasing the club properly as a result, the Swingyde can be an invaluable tool.
I’d definitely recommend using this in conjunction with lessons with a teaching pro. The pro can show you how it should attach and what the feeling should be at the top of your stroke and through your downswing. If it’s just an inch or two off from where it should be, you may find yourself grooving an ineffective swing!
Best used in conjunction with lessons
The included DVD is helpful, but hands-on assistance from an experienced professional will help you get maximum benefit from this. If you don’t have it attached in the right place, it won’t actually provide any benefit.
The Swingyde is very helpful to a narrow set of golfers, but it relies on a “one-swing-fits-all” philosophy that doesn’t quite fit into mine. If you think you may be able to benefit from it, talk to your teaching pro and see if they recommend using it. There’s a good chance it may help you find more fairways and greens.
Eyeline Golf Speed-Trap
Our best draw producer: Groove an inside-out swing path
The Eyeline Golf Speed-Trap is a plastic plate you attach “speed rods” to in order to train your swing to follow the proper inside-out path to hit straight shots or baby draws.
When you swing, if your club is too far outside or inside the proper swing path, you’ll slam into the speed rods. With practice, you’ll find yourself starting the ball closer to your target line and eliminating nasty hooks and slices.
The path to a draw
High-speed cameras have provided incredible insight into the physics of what produces a slice or draw. They’ve demonstrated that swing path determines the initial path of the ball, while face angle in relation to that swing path determines the curvature of the ball. So you can conceivably hit a draw even if your clubface is open — as long as it’s less open than the swing path, the ball will draw.
When using the Speed Trap to fine tune your swing path, I suggest starting out with very slow-motion swings so you can ingrain the proper path before trying to actually hit balls in the Speed-Trap. If you’re even a little bit off, the rods will go flying and frequently will take the base with them. When that happens, you’ll have to start back over, replacing the base and the rods. It’s not a ton of work, but it gets tiresome to do after every single swing.
Since the base has a cutout so you can hit the ball off of grass, you’ll need to constantly slide it back and reset after every divot taken. Again, not the biggest deal, but it makes practice less fun and more work.
And if you’re on a busy driving range, a less-than-perfect swing will send the whole contraption flying down the range, to where it’s potentially dangerous to retrieve it. If you’re on a packed driving range, I’d leave the Speed-Trap in the bag.
However, it can be massively useful in teaching your body how an inside-out swing works. Many golfers with slices have a pronounced over-the-top, outside-in motion. The EyeLine Speed Trap is the best tool I’ve found to give physical feedback to correct this error.
Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria 1: Effectiveness
The most important factor to consider when evaluating a training aid or a swing trainer is: will it help my golf game? Will it reduce the number of strokes I’m writing down on my scorecard? If a training aid promises to eliminate a slice, but it does so by creating an unplayable hook, then it’s not actually helping.
An effective training aid will yield results on the golf course. Regular use will result in lower scores and a better handicap.
Criteria 2: Build Quality
When I put a training aid in my arsenal, it’s not just for me. It’s for my students to use several times per day, every day. And a good training aid will be used over and over for practice session after practice session. So they have to be well-built and able to stand up to repeated, consistent use.
Many of the training aids I come across are cheap plastic things that break far too easily. I’m looking for something that I’ll still be using when I’m teaching my students’ kids, not something I have to re-buy every time it breaks.
Criteria 3: Commitment
A great training aid will encourage and reward commitment. Some contraptions take so much work to figure out how to use that they wind up tossed in the back of a closet, never to be revisited.
Others require dull repetition to the point that you’d rather not practice at all than try to stick to their practice protocol. If it requires that you devote two hours a day, five times a week, you’re probably not going to find it helpful.
I’m on the lookout for training aids that will be fun to use, something that you look forward to working with, and something that’s reasonably easy to use. You should be excited to use it again rather than dreading another dull session with it.
Criteria 4: Universality
Can all golfers use it and benefit from it? Some training aids are so specific that they’re targeted to only a single swing error that most people don’t have in their swing. I prefer training aids that can help all golfers improve the quality of their practice.
While golf in general isn’t “one-size-fits-all” and I love the advice to “swing your swing”, a great training aid will be one that encourages golfers to practice and reinforces good habits.
A slice-fixer isn’t useful for a player who’s trying to learn how to hit a fade, but a device that helps golfers groove an effective swing will help everyone.
Criteria 5: Value
I know golfers who buy literally every training aid they come across. Late-night ad on Golf Channel? They’re sold! So they wind up with a $200 straitjacket that addresses a problem they didn’t have, when a simple $20 putting mirror would’ve help them much much more.
With so many different options on the market, you want the best bang for your buck. If a training aid costs $200 but helps you hit the ball 30 yards farther, I’d say it’s worth every penny!
On the other hand, a $5 training aid that doesn’t actually help your golf game is a bad value, because it just doesn’t work. So this criteria takes this into account: is the price paid worth the results it provides?
Questions & Answers
What are the key characteristics of a great golf training aid?
The best golf training aids make practicing both more fun and more effective. Anyone can go out to a driving range and hit golf ball after golf ball and hope to get better. But a truly great training aid will direct that practice to actually produce improvement from your driving range sessions.
An even better training aid will be useable at home or at the office. Unless you’re a touring professional, there’s a good chance that you don’t have time to hit the driving range every day, or even every week.
So if you could help your golf swing in ten minutes at home or at work, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?
A great golf training aid should be portable, easy to understand, fun to do, and effective. And it should be affordable, of course. I’d love if every one of my students had a TrackMan and a basement golf simulator, but that’s not realistic.
How do I know if a training aid is right for me?
I’d suggest talking to your teaching pro before starting with a training aid. And if you don’t have a teaching pro, I’d suggest starting to work with one as soon as possible!
Taking lessons is one of the best ways you can spend your time and money to improve your golf game. Your instructor will be able to advise you if a training aid will help you, and will be able to give you drills tailored to help your weaknesses.
Many of the training aids reviewed in this article have YouTube videos showing how to use them properly, so if you can’t get to a teaching pro, I’d take a gander at the YouTube training protocols.
Most of these training aids will actually be helpful to every single golfer out there. I think everyone should work on strength, speed and flexibility.
Every golfer should work on their putting as much as possible. If the aid scores high on “Universality” on the list above, it’s probably a good fit for you.