Golf is a simple game in concept, but complicated in reality. Success depends on your ability, the equipment you use and sometimes just luck. While luck isn’t controllable, the golfer’s skills are — because he can continually develop them through instruction and the use of training aids, devices, gadgets and equipment.
A carpenter’s chalk line can help you build a more consistent putting stroke. You’re not allowed to use it during a round of golf, but it’s a useful practice green tool. Snap the chalk line on the green. Put a ball down on one end of the line and try to keep your ball going down that line when you putt. Alignment rods are made to keep your putting stroke inline. One end of the rod is placed on the heel of the putter. The golfer bends over and presses the other end of the rod lightly against his chest. The idea is to keep the putter aligned with the rod, not allowing any gaps in the alignment between the putter shaft and the rod as you stroke the putt. The rod helps you maintain a pendulum like stroke. Hitting the sweet spot on your putter results in putts that are more likely to say on the intended line. Try a laser devise that is set on the ground. Cross beams from the laser help you learn to hit the ball on the sweet spot. Another tool looks like a piece of tape with an indentation where the sweet spot would be. You place the tape so that indentation goes over the sweet spot of your putter.
Strength and Fitness
Increase your strength — and clubhead speed — with gym equipment that uses weights and pulleys attached to the shaft of a club. You take your normal swing but meet resistance which makes you stronger. The equipment may be freestanding or attach to a wall or doorway. The equipment is adjustable by adding weights or tightening a pulley. The weights depend on your current level of fitness. As you get stronger, more weight is added. Other training tools include a board that you stand on. It wobbles as you shift your weight. The wobbling strengthens your ankles which gives you a more grounded swing. Golf training centers have a variety of equipment specifically developed for golfers. Gyms have a variety of equipment to improve overall strength and fitness.
Accurately estimating the distance to the target allows a golfer to make better club selection. Devices to calculate distance, based on either laser or GPS technology, come with a variety of apps already installed and more available. The additional apps may, or may not, have an additional cost. One maker boasts that over 30,000 courses have been walked and measured individually. The units come in several styles including ones that resemble a cell phone, movie camera or wrist watch. The wrist watch device is especially unobtrusive and tells the time as well. The USGA allows local courses to determine whether distance measuring devices are allowable with the caveat that the device measures distance only. It cannot provide information on wind speed, temperature, recommend clubs, show the slope, break in the green, or any other information than distance. If the device has those capabilities it is not allowable even if all those features are turned off. If the course determines the device is allowable, it’s allowable during casual play, tournaments and play determining handicaps.
Swing Tempo and Rhythm
Video cameras have long been used to show a golfer how to improve his swing. One tool combines the video camera with a net and a screen. A golf course is projected onto the screen in front of the golfer. The golfer hits into a net in front of the screen. The tool simulates how the golfer would have done with that swing by projecting where the ball went on the screen. To get a reading about the performance of your swing, a gadget is available that is about the size of a cell phone and attaches to your club. It records swing speed, angles and path of the swing and sends the information to a smart phone. Computers measure the angle, speed, torque, tempo and rhythm of your swing. Those measurements are used to customize golf clubs which fit you best.
Thinking Outside the Tee Box
Balls with rubber spikes on them improve posture and spine alignment, both important to golfers. Rubber exercise bands improve flexibility and strength resulting in a longer drive distance. The concept of aromatherapy is based on the theory that certain scents from plant essential oils bring out specific characteristics and emotions. One combination of oils is said to provide a calming influence and allows the golfer to trust in his swing, as reported by Golf Digest. A major golf ball manufacturer believes the color of the golf ball impacts how a golfer plays and offers color options besides the traditional white.