The golf swing trainer market can be very confusing. There is an endless supply of devices introduced every year, and players are subjected to outrageous claims that each one has the fix for your golf game. The truth of the matter is most of them are junk and won't help your golf game one bit.
That being said, there are some products that can help. Over the years I have tested many of them and spoken with numerous golf teaching professionals about which products they are having success with. While it's impossible to recommend the perfect swing trainer for you, I created a list of "the good guys" out there.
I've included a list of swing trainers I recommend, some alternative DIY methods, and then thoughts on how to use them properly.
I'll start off with arguably the most versatile (and popular) golf swing trainer out there. You've likely seen someone at your golf course or on TV at a PGA Tour event with an Orange Whip in their golf bag. This is one of the few products I would recommend to any golfer simply because it works.
The Orange Whip works on three levels:
- It helps groove an effortless, balanced, and rhythmic swing
- Functions as a strength and flexibility trainer
- Great warmup tool before rounds
You can find out more in my full review here. Simply put, this is a tool that you can use for as little as 5-10 minutes a day and see real benefits in your golf swing. It comes in several sizes, and I also recommend checking out their wedge and stability trainer.
Several years ago I started working with the DST Compressor and was shocked at how effective it was. Having a functional impact position is something that eludes many recreational golfers, and this product is designed to get you there. I saw an immediate benefit in my iron game that continues to this day.
You can find out more about how the design works in this video:
My full review of the DST Compressor dives a little deeper. One thing I will say is that using this product can get a little frustrating because you can't "cheat" it.
For golfers who are looking for a little less of a challenge, I would recommend taking a look at the Impact Snap trainer. It promotes a similar concept with feeling a certain hand position at impact but does not use an actual golf club. It also has been one of the most popular golf swing trainers for years, with tons of positive feedback from teachers and players.
If you are not against using technology, there are several swing analyzers on the market that I have tested. While they all measure various metrics of your golf swing, one area, in particular, I would recommend working on is your swing tempo. This article explores why it is such an important element of the golf swing. Additionally, here is a guide on how to practice your swing tempo effectively.
Here are four swing analyzers that I think are the best on the market:
You can also learn more about each of these in my guide to swing analyzers.
However, many players make a crucial mistake. They try to swing harder, and it results in poor swing mechanics and injury. Overspeed training is a proven way to help increase your swing speed the right way. SuperSpeed Golf has perfected a system that is being used by golfers around the world. I've trained with it myself, and I believe it's the best product out there.
By using a series of weighted shafts with their training protocol, most golfers are able to increase their clubhead speed significantly. You can read more in my full review here.
EyeLine Speed Trap
EyeLine Golf is another trusted name in the training aid market. While they are known for many of their putting aids, they have a very popular swing trainer called the Speed Trap.
I like this product because it works on two crucial elements of the swing - low point control and the path of your club at impact. You can read our Speed Trap 2.0 review here.
theHanger from Watson Golf is a newer golf swing trainer. Several golf instructors who I respect have spoken very highly of it. It attaches to your irons to help provide feedback on your hand position throughout your swing.
This video shows it in action:
This is a modified version of the popular clothes-hanger drill you have likely seen over the years.
Tour Striker Smart Ball
This is another highly touted swing trainer from Martin Chuck. He has developed quite the line of training aids under his brand name Tour Striker. His products are amongst the best-selling on the market and trusted by many teaching professionals.
The Smart Ball is popular because it addresses some of the common swing flaws amongst golfers, which is syncing up the movement of your arms and body. You can see how it works in this video:
We also really liked the Tour Striker PlaneMate when a writer on our site tested it.
DIY Swing Trainers (That Won't Break the Bank)
If you are on a limited budget and don't want to invest in any of the products mentioned earlier, here is a method I strongly recommend that costs less than $20.
Dry Eraser Pens & Dr. Scholls Odor X Spray
Knowing your impact location is absolutely crucial for improving your play. For your irons, mark your ball with a small dot using a dry eraser pen, and then it will show up on the clubface where you made contact. Impact location is even more important for your driver because of something called gear effect. Start spraying your face during your range sessions with Dr. Scholls, and figure out where you are making contact on the driver.
Knowing your tendencies and experimenting with swing changes to improve impact location will help you immensely.
Honorable mention: Lag Shot (review)
Wrapping Things Up: Managing Expectations
One of the main reasons why golfers can have a poor experience with a swing trainer is that their expectations are out of line. These devices do not work magic. So don't expect to become a world-class ball striker overnight.
There are a couple of caveats I would like to discuss before I wrap things up.
One thing to understand is that using a swing trainer is not a replacement for taking lessons. If you want to give yourself the best chance at improving your golf swing, then receiving customized advice from a teaching professional is your best shot. Additionally, one of these products can be used in conjunction with the work you do with a teacher. That doesn't mean they can't help you, but it is something you should be aware of.
Additionally, you should be prepared to put some work in. Any meaningful change you make to your swing with the help of a training aid is going to require time and effort. If you don't see instant results it's not something to be discouraged by.