How We Test Golf Training Aids

“You drive for show, but putt for dough.”* Everyone’s heard this quote a million times, and yet we spend all of our time buying massive new drivers and shiny sets of irons instead of practicing with the flat stick. We aren’t saying to abandon your full-swing practice time, but at least make sure you are well-rounded!

Both full-swing and putting training come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and at a variety of price points. We review the leading products and provide our overall ranking, along with rankings in the following sub-categories:

Teaching Value. How much does using the device help you learn more about your stroke and how to improve it? For example, a simple practice putting green would have a low rating in this category, since it doesn’t really have instructional value.

Fun. If the training aid isn’t much fun to use, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually practice. We evaluate whether each training aid is the kind of thing that would draw you back enough times to lead to improvement (assuming it can help, of course!).

Construction/Durability. Is the training aid made of some kind of cheap plastic that is going to break in five minutes, or is it built to last?

Cost/Value. How much bang do you get for your buck? An expensive training aid can still have a great cost/value rating if it’s a great product. Similarly, an inexpensive device can have a lousy cost/value rating if it flat-out stinks and doesn’t help your game in the slightest.

*In case anyone cared, the quote is credited to Bobby Locke, a South African who won the Open Championship (the British Open to those of us in the U.S.) four times between 1949 and 1957.