|I am a real advocate for using teaching aids in your practice. They can be visual or kinesthetic (“feel related”), and they don’t have to cost you a lot of money.
I have listed several teaching aids that I use in my lessons that you probably already have at home or can buy for less than $2. They fit in your golf bag, and you can bring them to the practice range or putting green.
Comb: Putting a comb in the glove of your target hand is a great way to work on your chipping stroke. It will keep the back of your target wrist flat and take your wrists out of the shot.
I also use the comb on short pitch shots.
Doorstop: Using a doorstop on the outside of your back foot will help you learn how not to sway. You need to shift your weight to the inside of the back foot on the backswing; the doorstop will help you do this.
It will restrict your hip turn and help you keep your back knee flexed. I also like my students to “push off” the doorstop at impact to get the proper weight shift to the target.
Rods, dowels (driveway reflectors): You can buy them at Lowe’s or Home Depot for $2. They are a must-have on the ground for proper aim and alignment during your practice. You can also use them as railroad tracks to work on your path.
Baby powder: Put down a vertical line of baby powder on the grass and hit golf balls off the line. You want your divots to be in front of the line. It will also show you the path of your divots.
I use this in all my lessons to teach my students how to hit the grass in front of the ball, not behind the ball, with their irons and hybrids.
Empty water bottle: Use the bottle on the ground to put a place in your swing path that you want to avoid.
For example, if your path is too outside on the forward swing, put the water bottle there and swing inside of it.
Remember that practice needs to help you feel and see the correct movements. Using teaching aids will help you have quality practice so you can take the correct movements to the golf course.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional at Sun City Hilton Head. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.golfdoctorjean.com