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#AskCoachFranz - 6 - [golf aids]

Question: I see so many advertisements on Golf Channel, the internet, or even in my inbox on all sorts of aids to help me develop a better contact, club path, wrist angle (and the list goes on), and now I see this new one in the picture (below). I understand marketing, as I am in that field, but all I feel is confused as to which are gimmicks and which will help. Do you have a short list?

Answer: The response depends on who you ask, and can be as diverse as the sand on the sea shore.

I do not have a short list of what you should get, but I can provide a long list of those that are idiotic and a down right scam. But you would have to call me so I do not get into a debate with the manufacturers!

If you think about it logically, what do most of the pros you see on television utilize to improve?

1. Proper instruction - Too many people are becoming self-taught by youtube. There is good stuff on youtube, don't get me wrong, but 99% is approximately garbage and contradictory, and in some cases will defy the natural laws of physics and bio-mechanics.

2. Alignment rods - There is no student of mine who should be without them. I have been carrying a set of Callaway folding rods in my tour bag for 3 years at a cost of $70 and only used them once, but I would never take them out. They will always be there for that one time I decide I need them. Fortunately now I do not have aiming issues, but when I started, and for years, I used rods at EVERY practice. I usually advise the $10 rods at Golf Town for my students, but broken golf clubs can be used too.

3. Flightscope/Trackman/Boditrak/K-Vest - When is there too much information? Depends on the level of player you are and what you are trying to accomplish. I do not agree personally with Trackman lessons for 6 year olds, but that is a coaching decision. Am I an advocate for what launch monitors provide? Absolutely. Do I think people are becoming too dependent on the numbers? I do. Can 3D capture and foot pressure monitoring help increase power through improved sequencing?Absolutely!

The real kicker is that most students ask for the technology, but are not willing to pay the extra for it. It costs us coaches/instructors thousands of dollars not just in purchase cost but in getting certified as well, so of course we like to be paid. However, I only recommend these things when I think its advantageous to the particular student.

4. Physical Screening - Whether you choose T.P.I. or FMS or something else, developing a proper corrective exercise protocol when necessary will take your golf to a whole new level. Yes, you may not be a tour level aspiring player (maybe you are), but your body is a part of the tool set you use in golf. Students show up with the latest and the best as the golf manufacturers do an awesome job of releasing new stuff every few weeks, yet little thought goes into the question, "Can you use the equipment optimally?".

Outside of the above 4 things, there is way too much gimmickry (yes, it is a word), but trust what your coach is advising you to get better results. I have always said a proper lesson saves you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run!

Just a reminder:

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