What’s Your Favorite Training Aid?

I’ve never been a big fan of training aids.  My current cadre of tools is limited to a video camera, swing doughnut, two alignment sticks and my 14 clubs.  Two years ago, I bought a driving net and built a platform for the back yard, but that only sees the light of day during barbeques and mostly for the entertainment value.  The lack of ball flight was a detriment and the setup and take down time consuming.  The best aid I ever had was a self-constructed indoor putting ramp made out of a block of Styrofoam and some indoor/outdoor carpet.  I banged 6-foot putts on that one winter and came out razor sharp the following spring but it didn’t survive the last move.

Today I broke out the Smash Bag  Smash Bagor golf’s equivalent of a tackling dummy.  Has anyone had any luck with this?  My immediate need is some assistance to stop pull hooking every fifth iron shot because of an early release and initial returns are very positive.  It feels like repeating the correct impact position really helps with your timing and allows you to start the downswing with a hip turn.  The feedback feels super; like I can make a very aggressive move into the ball, but that’s only after one session and about 50 swings.  Here’s the best video I’ve found on using the bag:

I got the idea to buy one after working a drill where I took a half backswing with a short iron and tried to hold off my finish and knock the shot down.  Seemed like the same motion as hitting the bag and I struck the ball well during a game the day after practicing like that.  Has anyone had any luck with this or know of different ways to use it?  Please share, thanks!

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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8 Responses to What’s Your Favorite Training Aid?

  1. One of the problems with the impact bag is that it takes away the feeling of hitting through the ball. I would alternate swings one with bag and one without to avoid that. I like the Momentus because of its simplicity and it will give you a great feel of wrist action. It strengthens your golf muscles and a great tempo aid.

  2. Brian Penn says:

    Thanks Vet, great advice. I came across another video of a pro who was substituting a 2×4 for the bag and using his club on the end of the board to hold the impact position. But he had that on the range and recommended, as you did, hitting a ball after simulating the position. Makes perfect sense. So which of the Momentus offerings to you have? I see they have plenty.

  3. Brian

    I only use alignment sticks. My swing has changed over the years, but I find alignment sticks as the best method to keep my swing on track. Believe it or not, I am very low tech and use tees on the ground when hitting or putting to help with my swing plane and contact through the ball. I am interested in hearing about the smash bag and if it works for you….sounds like Vet is happy with this training aid.

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim,

      My alignment sticks are my number one training aid as well. I use all the time on the practice green and for full swing. Very early returns on the smash bag are positive. Just got back from playing nine holes and hit the ball quite solid. My only swing thought was to “hit the bag”. Nine holes is a very small sample size and I’ve got 18 tomorrow at a course where you hit most clubs in the bag, which will be a good test. What I’m most excited about is the possibility of adding the bag into my regular workout routine, which of course is geared towards fitness for golf. Will give it a couple of weeks and report back. Thanks!

  4. I have 3 Momentus products. The regular size driver and iron and the short weighted one which is great for indoor use. The one I do not have is one that you can actually hit balls. It’s the weighting of these clubs that make them very useful. You can really feel the release of wrists at the bottom of the swing with these devises.

  5. I used a smash bag for indoor training throughout the winter and still pull it out for tune ups. Like Vet said, it can restrict the release so alternating is good. The best thing I have seen with the smash bag is the feedback on how well you are releasing your stored up power into the bag. If you have any recoil on the hit you are not hitting it properly, but if you release it well it is a solid stick to the bag. Those are always a good feeling.

    • Brian Penn says:

      Any particular shot feedback after using the bag? I played 18 yesterday and creamed several drives dead straight but also hit 3 or 4 pop-ups which is most unusual for me. Wondering if the bag work had any play in that or was it a total anomaly. Thanks!

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