August 2013

Summer training! Get your game in gear with some of our favorite training aids for 2013.

Playing your best golf requires having a good grip on the club. The Grip Solid attaches to any golf glove, and thanks to a ridged ergonomic design, keeps the handle more in the fingers and less in the palms. It also does wonders for neutralizing unnecessary tension in the hands/wrists, helping you to make faster, more free-flowing golf swings. What you don’t realize is that when you practice with it, you’re not only practicing the proper club position in your hand, but you’re also strengthening the right set of hand muscles, too. ($19,

Barber Pole Golf’s Lahinch putter is made of solid brass, as are all of the Dublin-based company’s new Irish Series models. That helps eliminate possible dead spots that can occur with cast putters. Its Radius Face Technology helps achieve a true roll on the ball within the putt’s first nine inches. The flow neck design affords the golfer a clean view of the ball at address. ($349,

Like its white counterpart, TaylorMade’s R1 Black driver, the company’s first black driver in three years, features 12 loft-sleeve settings, seven face-angle positions and two movable weights. That translates to 168 possible fitting combinations. Comes with an ultralight Aldila RIP Phenom shaft. ($349,

Titleist has begun offering WedgeWorks Hand Ground wedges that are personally ground by the company’s renowned wedge maker Bob Vokey or one of his craftsmen. You can choose from several 580 or 600 lofted models, grinds and customization options previously reserved for Tour pros only. The wedge will be hand ground, polished, buffed and stamped with Vokey’s initials. ($350 each,

Nike Golf‘s VR Forged wedges are made of soft carbon steel and finished in a choice of satin chrome or black oxide. They’re offered in standard, dual narrow and dual wide sole grinds, and feature Tour-proven X3X grooves that are close together and deep on the clubface for control and consistency in all playing conditions. ($130,

What’s hot in golf training aid tech? Bluetooth-enabled devices. The SwingSmart is one of the best for tracking tempo, path and clubhead speed, and with the Aiming Triangle, it can help you dial in the perfect clubface alignment. Seeing your swing in 3D glory has never been so easy. ($249,

BagBoy‘s popular Quad push cart is now available in pink, lime green and orange–in addition to previous colors. Its frame is lightweight, while the reinforced four-wheel platform boosts stability on hilly and wet terrain. It folds quickly down to a compact 24x17x16 inches, so it will pack easily into a car trunk. ($220,


The BenderStik was introduced by renowned instructor Mike Bender. It’s a yellow foam ball at the end of a long flexible shaft that sticks into the ground. You can use it to eliminate swing faults, just by its mere presence. To minimize head or hip movement, place the ball against your head or hip while swinging–then try not to move the ball. To straighten your followthrough, place the ball where it will be in your swing path if you don’t follow through straight. It serves as a great physical reminder. ($19.95,

KZG‘s GF X driver includes two strategically positioned weight portals, plus a bevy of screws in seven different weights. The 460cc, all-black driver’s swing weight, launch angle and draw/fade bias can be adjusted to 128 combinations–only by one of the company’s network of fitters. ($399,

Callaway’s X Spann glove is lightweight, made of thin and soft Cabretta leather, and wicks moisture to keep your hand cool. The pull-tab-less design eliminates Velcro_¨, while a fresh compression system provides a nice fit. ($20,

Heavy Putter‘s EL putter has a 175-gram counterweight in the butt end of the shaft, forming an optimal balance point that leads to a high MOI and more stable stroke. The long shaft–offered in 36, 38 and 40 inches–has a 17-inch grip. Sixteen head styles are offered. ($169,

The portable, X-shaped SwingWing inflates in 15 seconds and then slides down the shaft of your club. It’s wind-resistant, so when you swing away with it over the clubshaft, you quickly improve tempo, lag, sequencing and body turn. You can’t swing it too fast because of its aerodynamics. ($29.99,

Sometimes the simplest training aids are our most favorite. The GolfSTR definitely fits that description, employing a simple design that makes it a cinch to keep your left arm straight as you make a golf swing. Doing just that actually helps you make a better golf turn in order to pop long drives down the fairway. Attach it to your left arm, make a few practice swings, and you’ll quickly feel what a golf swing is supposed to feel like. Give it a try; it really works. ($36,

Again, simple training aids rule. The PowerMeter does as the name implies. It helps you track your clubhead speed so you can see right away how changes you make in your swing affect your overall swing speed. That kind of feedback is the stuff we really like, and the PowerMeter works very effectively. We’ve actually found some of our hardest swings to be slower than swings we made when we were relaxed and more rhythmic. Go figure. ($129,

A new smaller Swing Jacket coined the Ultimate Swing Teacher fits men, women and youth with chest sizes from 26 to 40 inches. Like its larger predecessor, it physically guides you through the proper on-plane swing, allowing you to develop the muscle memory of a fundamentally sound swing. ($119,

Weighing just one-third of an ounce, the 3BaysGSA Putt unit plugs into the butt end of your putter’s grip, then transmits information about your putting stroke through a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. It displays face angle, consistency, attack angle, tempo, backswing time, downswing time, impact speed and swingpath distance, and shows immediate animation playback of your path from two angles. ($200,

Srixon‘s new Cabretta glove features high-grade Cabretta leather with Lycra knuckle inserts positioned across the knuckles. This combination provides a snug fit, excellent traction and comfortable flexibility. ($13,

SKLZ‘s Pure Path provides instant feedback on your swing path, while it aims to help correct pushes, pulls, slices and hooks. The unit assembles quickly and stakes into the ground. Just hit the hanging ball–which, by the way, has the feel of a real golf ball. ($20,

Laser Link Golf‘s pistol-shaped White Magic rangefinder can quickly find the distance to any landmark on the course with the touch of a button. Its "Zero-In" alignment system makes for easy targeting. Built-in technology allows the rangefinder to distinguish between reflector and non-reflector targets. ($329,

The Pocket Pin High Pro is a portable circular puck with an internal spring that helps you shift your weight forward during your swing more consistently. Place it on the ground and step on it with the outside of your front foot while you swing. When your weight shifts to your front foot, it clicks–audibly letting you know that you shifted your weight. ($24.95,

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