By: Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk
Often golfers look for a new device, tool or implement to help lower their scores. New swing aides are constantly coming to market and many are often a flash in the pan. Just recently Martin Kaymer was seen on the driving range at the US Open with a ball hanging from his neck lodged between his forearms. He won the US Open with a land slide victory. It begs the question, are swing aides helpful?
Here are 3 swing aides that have received a great deal of buzz and won’t make you look like you have tied something around your neck so a dog will play fetch with you.
1. Orange Whip
This swing trainer has been on the market for several years and has gained a great reputation with many golf instructors. Teachers like the feel and tempo that it teaches their students. It is a great aide to help golfers accelerate through impact versus “hit” the ball.
When used regularly, the Orange Whip should produce noticeable improvements in Flexibility due to the stretch achieved with the weights on each end of the flexible shaft, Strength in core, wrists and forearms through repetitive swinging drills, Coordination by synchronizing the arms and body in repetitive swing drills and Tempo by helping the arms and body work in a natural rhythm.
There are 3 main techniques that are taught with the Orange Whip. The simplest exercise is the Torso Twist, followed by the Hinging Forearm Rotation drill and lastly the Full Swing each offering drill enhancements.
The Orange Whip is available at many golf retailers and through their website at http://www.orangewhiptrainer.com/ for $109 .
2. Alignment Rods
This is an oldie but a goodie. If you do not have alignment rods, get them. They range from $10 – $20 at most Golf Retailers. When I see a person with alignment rods in their bag I know they are a player.
There are many uses for alignment rods including ball position training and even swing path management, but the most common use for alignment rods is creating the feel of being set up to the target properly.
Many golfers make the mistake of aligning their feet line to the target. If you are lined up this way you will never hit a straight shot. Your feet are not hitting this ball your club face is. Thus, the most important line is the target line.
You get the first rod lined up directly at the target and that is your target line. Then you set up a parallel line with your other alignment stick to your feet line. It will be like a set of rail road tracks with your feet line parallel to you target line.
Since you cannot use alignment rods on the course, when you are practicing it is important to get the feeling of what proper alignment to the target feels like. Stay in your posture when you address the ball and look down at the target. Be aware of what that feels like so you can replicate it on course. Most right handed golfers line up right of the target (because their feet are down the target line) and end up having to pull the ball so it comes back on line.
3. Power Fan/Swing Fan
This golf aide is a throwback. It has proved the test of time as many golfers looking to improve their club head speed can be found swinging the fan at the local driving range.
The fan is a 4 bladed system that works on the principle of air resistance. It makes the golfer do the work versus using momentum when you are using a weighted club. The greatest resistance is at “impact” and it forces the golfer to work hard to accelerate to the finish.
One intent is to build strength, so when you use it start with 2 sets of 25 reps swinging at 70% and a week or two later move up to 3 sets of 30 reps swinging at 100%. You want to swing to fatigue. Allow time for your muscles to rebuild.
Since this is a strength building exercise, swing the fan on the opposite side so that one side does not become predominately stronger than the other. Thus, is if you are a right handed golfer do the odd set left handed.
To maximize your speed, after you are done swinging the fan, try a few sets with a raw shaft (no club head or grip on it) or even an alignment rod. Put duct tape around the end as a make shift grip and practice swinging as fast as you can. This will help increase your club head speed.
Depending on the brand there are ladies versions, men’s versions and even junior versions. Some fans come with a moulded grip to train proper hand placement thus needs to be ordered in your swing side (left or right handed)
I recently purchased one at Golf Town for $20.
Hopefully these 3 aides will help you lower your scores and add distance to your game!
Lisa is the 7-time Canadian Long Drive Champion for women, a golf entertainer and a Peak Performance Keynote speaker. Lisa can be reached through Claudio at email@example.com