Want to improve your game? Invest in some golf training aids. Arnold Palmer, forever known as The King in golf circles, famously said: “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening — and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”
That’s a poetic way of saying no player, regardless of skill or experience level, is ever done improving, practicing and searching for the perfect round. From the first time they pick up a club and throughout the countless round, golfers chase the dragon in a quest to be a little better today than they were yesterday.
These 10 tools are all intended to improve a golfer’s play and refine specific skills. Some accompany players onto the links, while others arm them for battle before they arrive at the first tee. Regardless of which gold training aid you pick up, we guarantee you’ll find something here to make you a better golfer in the days ahead.
1. Bushnell Tour V5 Golf Laser Rangefinder
BEST FOR THE ACCURATE PLAYER
Famous for decades for binoculars, scopes and other vision enhancers, Bushnell set the standard a long time ago for golf distance readers. The Tour V5 Golf Laser Rangefinder is the latest model with improved features. Its laser tech and A.I. cooperate to activate PinSeeker with Visual JOLT. Once the device locates the flagstick with exact aim, the device serves up an audiovisual display with accurate distance, adding slope and elevation into the reading.
2. Swing Align
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
The best time to learn good swing mechanics is when a player first decides to pick up the game of golf. If a golfer comes to the sport as a child, he or she can learn from the ground up and find a comfortable swing at an early age. For adults coming to the party a little later, getting to the Swing Align trainer early can help them learn proper swing path, arm position, hip turn and other key physical functions.
3. Chippo Golf
BEST FOR THE SHORT GAME CHALLENGED
Anyone can smash a drive a couple hundred yards down the fairway. It takes great skill, touch and focus to play the short game around the greens. Looking a bit like the child of a corn hole board and an astroturf golf mat, the Chippo Golf game offers three net targets a player can shoot for from nearby, developing the kind of relaxed, deft chip shots near the putting surface demand. It’s a practice tool for the lone golfer and a yard game for friends.
4. TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch
BEST FOR THE EFFICIENT PLAYER
Hand-held, laser rangefinders work well for getting a read on the distance to the pin. Still, they require a player to put down the club, unpack the device, take a laser shot, etc. For the player who simply doesn’t want that delay, the TecTecTec ULT-G Watch keeps all of that distance reading right on the wrist. Using standard GPS settings worked into thousands of courses, the comfortably weighted watch needs only a quick glance to let the wearer know distances to course hazards and to the front, middle and back of greens.
5. Acu-Strike Golf Mat
BEST FOR THE GOLFER WHO’S CLOSE
Once a player learns the basics of a golf swing — stance, grip, takeaway, release, followthrough, etc. — he or she faces the most common challenge for any amateur player. A well-struck golf shot needs the club head to strike the ball first before hitting the ground and taking any divot. A 2019 Best New Project Winner at the PGA Merchandise Show, the Acu-Strike Golf Mat allows the practicing golfer to see in its fabric where the club touched the ground. Whether he or she hits behind the mark or ball-forward, the mat will reveal all. A simple swipe erases the mark. So, it’s swing, read, erase, repeat.
6. GolfLogix Plus 12 Month Subscription
BEST FOR DETAIL-ORIENTED GOLFER
The GolfLogix app brings detailed hole readouts to the user on thousands of golf courses. Complete with shot distances, topographical features and green scans to indicate putt breaks, GolfLogix helps a player see a golf track as only modern technology can. The app is available for iOs and Android devices, including smartwatches. A 12-month membership unlocks all of the app’s features across all devices.
For players who want similar data, but in a less gadget-oriented way, GolfLogix also produces yardage and putt break Greenbooks for many significant courses.
7. The Net Return
BEST FOR THE DEDICATED GOLFER
Quickly establishing themselves as the maker of essential golf practice tools, the people at Net Return build outstanding catch-alls for home practicing. Perfect for the dedicated golfer who wants to work on his or her game at home, anytime, day or night, indoors or outdoors, a sturdy, well-designed Net Return allows you to practice any kind of shot without doing damage to surrounding property.
8. Breakthrough Putter Shaft
BEST FOR THE NERVOUS PUTTER
The custom-made Breakthrough Golf Technology Stability Shaft replaces the steel of the standard putter with eight layers of carbon fiber. The idea is to firm up the putter and remove torsion (a fancy word for wiggling) from any putting stroke. While it can certainly improve any golfer’s putting ability, the Breakthrough Shaft is particularly useful for the older golfer whose wrists might not be as strong or stable as they once were. Send them your putter, and they’ll send it back with a shaft they guarantee will put the buyer in a better place on the greens.
9. Fling Golf
BEST FOR THE DOUBTFUL GOLFER
There are always would-be players out there who are curious about the game, but never quite sure if they want to try it. They know it’s difficult. They know it’s challenging. They know it takes time to master, if they master it at all. Trying Fling Golf offers someone a chance to walk a golf course and play an athletic game without yet having to buy a set of clubs, learn swing mechanics, etc. Since the ball is essentially flipped or whipped down the fairway, it’s easier to take up Fling and see if the bug for the real game of golf bites.
10. Arccos Caddie
BEST FOR THE TECH-LOVING GOLFER
The Arccos Caddie system employs a mix of a free app and specially designed sensors that plug into the any standard club grip. The sensor caps work with the app to offer up accurate data on shot requirements, average club distances, range-finding to the pin and advanced swing analytics. All added together, Arccos really does behave like a caddy on hand to aid your round. It just can’t carry your clubs.