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
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.
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.