The Best Golf Training Aid

THE BEST

The Magic Bullet

I was asked recently, “Matt, what is the best training aid to help me with my new changes?”  Questions like this are asked of golf instructors every day as students seek to find that magic elixir that will help them “fix” their swing and start shooting lower scores.  In this lesson, I’ll give you the answer.

This Lesson Is For You If

You’re trying to “fix” your swing

You’re looking for a training aid to help you

You believe you’re not improving because you don’t have the right tools

Golfer On Course

The Unremarkable Truth

My response was not exactly what the student was hoping for: “The best training aid is your golf clubs, your golf ball, some tees, and, preferably, the golf course you play at.”

There is something quite profound about our industry, and how we have generated this belief in needing objects, gadgets, and aids to enhance learning, when in fact it has been shown by an exhaustive list of research that the use of aids can do more harm than good.

Tin Cup

Some Is Good, More Is Bad

As someone learning a new movement, a training aid can provide a slight benefit in helping us figure out force parameters, distances that body segments must travel, and the direction that they need to travel. What must be avoided is relying on the aid and allowing it to act as a stabilizer.

If we want to be great with the swing guide, and create a “perfect looking” swing, then hitting shots with the swing guide will work nicely. If the goal is to be able to produce a movement during the round, then hitting a large amount of golf balls with a swing guide on isn’t helping, it is harming.

When you work with a training aid, make a few swings with it and then test yourself without it.  This is what will lead to long-term learning.

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Originally from the United Kingdom, Matthew developed his knowledge through completing a National Diploma In Sport Performance, a Masters in sports science and a foundation degree from the PGA of Britain. Since joining the United States Matthew now serves on advisory boards for many junior organizations including “World Junior Golf” of Latin America and consults for coaching institutions around the world. He is a team member of multiple research projects with world-renowned professors in Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology and Motor Learning working under Dr. Fran Pirozzolo and Dr. K Anders Ericsson. After showing exceptional skills and understanding of developing talent in people at multiple full time golf academies, Matthew was elected to be co-author of a book entitled “The Taxonomy of Learning Objectives for High Performance in Golf”, with Dr. Fran Pirozzolo, and many other world renowned professionals. At the age of 26 Matthew is also the author of 4 published books for “Game Like Training Golf”, a company in which he founded. Matthew’s previous positions have seen him work primarily with junior golfers of an elite level and a beginner level, between the ages of 4 and 21. Matthew co-founded ‘Leap Golf UK’ where he worked with Ladies European Tour, Euro-pro and mini tour professionals. Matthew’s work within the long-term athletic development model have seen golfers achieve success at the city, county, national and international level. Matthew places a huge emphasis on playing to personal strengths, improving weaknesses through deliberate practice and enjoying the game. Simple, friendly and knowledgeable, Matthew aims to contribute to the world of golf.

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One Comment

  1. Matt, thanks for offering the needed perspective and concise insight to the ‘regular’ player, now so often exposed to our ‘practice device’ culture. I do give credit to instructors and device creators for keeping players interested and believe there are always some golfers who can benefit from each product’s uniqueness. As I’ve continued to improve my play, I have a simple suggestion that can be used with all practice devices and routines: avoid using the word ‘WORK’, such as ‘work on your game’, defeats the fun factor, creates stress. Secondly, play the practice range as you would the course, staying connected and engaged. Matt, great article, thanks!