Quick Jump: What is the Best Golf Swing Trainer?
No time to read my review, but still want to improve your swing plane? No problem.
The best swing plane trainer is the Callaway golf alignment stick. They’ll help improve your game in several key areas, not to mention that you can perform countless exercises That should eventually help with distance and make you a more accurate golfer.
You can work on the line of your swing path and use them as a tool to improve everything from shots with your irons down to putting.
Golf Training Aids | What’s the Deal?
You wouldn’t believe how many joints, muscles, and movements there are during your golf swing. Add in weight transfer, overall posture, and the fact that everyone’s body geometry is pretty unique (yeah, my slight gut is ‘special’), and you can probably see why it’s so hard to nail down one aspect that is causing the occasional ‘leaky’ shot. (and by ‘leaky,’ I mean you might not be entirely safe on the next hole.)
Sure, you can go and see a professional…
Who will take hundreds of dollars off you while making you feel like a Russian gymnast (albeit a slightly overweight and hairy one)? Alternatively, you could take matters into your own hands, quite literally, and fix your own swing.
Some offer great value for the money (such as golf alignment sticks). Others are more premium both in price and structure (such as the explanar)
Some say they are a ‘gimmick’, and others swear by them. It’s certainly true that some are more effective than others. I decided to sort the wheat from the chaff and give a few a whirl (not to mention a swing, swish, or throw) followed by a few shots down on the range to see if I could see any noticeable improvement.
You’ll be able to see what’s what below.
️ - Are Golf Swing Trainers Worth it?
Ultimately, provided you make a sensible choice and don’t blow fortunes, yes, they are.
Let’s be honest. What’s going to ‘fix’ your swing is you. People have been having issues with their swing ever since a Scotsman decided to vex the English by inventing the game. And swing trainers didn’t always exist.
That said, anything that can help give you the ‘right idea’ is better than nothing. If you want to look at it pragmatically, for the price of a golf lesson, you gain a tool that you can pick up and use pretty much anywhere, at any time!
(Disclaimer: Not in an antique store… Or at your mother-in-law’s house, I did manage to get most of the ashes back in the urn by the end of the morning.)
️ - Can You Use A Swing Trainer During A Round of Golf?
This all depends on how seriously you are playing (and indeed the type of swing plane trainer you use to improve.)
If you are playing for fun, and your buddies don’t mind, no one will have anything to say if you use a few golf alignment sticks.
However, during competitive play, the use of training aids is prohibited. Rule 4.3, according to the USGA, states that:
“ Using any type of golf training or swing aid (such as an alignment rod or a weighted headcover or “donut”) or a non-conforming club to make a practice swing or in any other way that creates a potential advantage by helping the player in preparing for or making a stroke (such as help with swing plane, grip, alignment, ball position or posture) is not allowed.”
Well, we guess that just about covers it then…
The Best Golf Training Aids
The good news for you is that there is definitely a swing trainer out there that will help improve your game. The only downside is knowing which one will be the most effective at correcting your swing.
Luckily I’ve done the hard work, and you can read what’s great and not so great about each swing trainer below.
1. Callaway Golf Alignment Stix
Sticks can be a great training aid. They can help you to calibrate your swing plane.Read Our Full Review
2. Orange Whip Golf Training Aid
If you have had a golf lesson, then you might already be familiar with this swing trainer. For those who are unfamiliar, let’s explain how it works.Read Our Full Review
3. EyeLine Golf Speed Trap 1.0
A consistent swing plane leads to a consistent swing path. Most training aids work by developing a consistent swing path.Read Our Full Review
4. Explanar Swing Plane Trainer
You may have seen one of these swing training aids on your local practice area. PGA professionals use them.Read Our Full Review
5. TruSwing Pro Wrist Hinge Trainer
Ok, so maybe the Explanar is a little too ambitious. Hows about a training aid that is smaller but will still contribute to improving your swing? This little beauty has been featured in golf digest and focuses primarily on your wrist.Read Our Full Review
6. SKLZ Golf Swing Trainer
Did you find the orange whip training aid just a little too steep? Well, this would make for a great alternative golf swing trainer. It will allow you to develop many of the same muscles and practice swings pretty much wherever you are.Read Our Full Review
Sticks can be a great training aid. They can help you to calibrate your swing plane.
I’d go as far as to say they are one of the best golf training aids out there.
Provided that you pick a decent set, you should find that they have a pointy end that can be driven into the ground. This allows you to position them at an angle, acting as a physical barrier to a wayward swing.
A solid stick will literally force you to change your golf swing plane.
This is great as they create genuine and real muscle memory with the actual club you will be using in hand. Other golf swing training aids will give you the perfect swing while you are using them but then leave you out on your own when hitting the golf ball.
By using alignment sticks to correct your swing plane, you get genuine feedback and a ‘real world’ feel into your swing.
The Callaway alignment sticks are great all-rounders.
Gone are the days of carrying a 4-foot length of fiberglass in your bag. These fold down and stow to just over a foot. They are brightly colored and easy to see, and even have a rubber safety cap on the end!
- Very inexpensive
- An extremely versatile golf training aid, highly adjustable
- Highly portable fits easily in your bag
- They make you do the work to better your swing
- They won’t fix deep fundamental flaws in your golf swing
- They rely on you having the ability to troubleshoot your own swing
- They have to be positioned correctly to work effectively
If you have had a golf lesson, then you might already be familiar with this swing trainer. For those who are unfamiliar, let’s explain how it works.
You hold the orange whip in your usual golf stance. It’s a weighted ball mounted on a really flexible shaft.
From there, you make repeated practice swings. If the ‘club’ (sorry, I can’t call it a whip… it reminds me of that time I ‘forgot’ my wedding anniversary and went out on the course) flexes, bends, or wobbles, it means that your swing balance and tempo is off.
You essentially gain instant feedback from the whip (thwack)… I mean club, that lets you know how your swing tempo is progressing. If you are guilty of coming in from ‘over the top’, then you’ll find that the orange ball will be flexing all over the place.
Having a great swing plane isn’t just about one element. It’s about the various parts of your body working together. The whip will help you to get your upper body in sync with what’s also happening downstairs and greatly increases the rhythm of your swing.
I like that when using it, you immediately know if you aren’t doing something right. I have a lot of confidence in this training aid as it has been developed and been used with PGA pros.
On the downside, While this is a fun training aid to use, you might also find that it differs in ‘feel’ to your regular clubs. There are lighter versions available, but I’m a firm believer in completing drills with the clubs you will use.
- Instant feedback promoting correct muscle memory
- Highly portable
- It does work for helping develop the right tempo and gives an indication if you are coming ‘over the top’
- Possibly a little above budget for the average golfer
- It may not match the weight and feel of your standard clubs
- It isn’t adjustable, not ideal if you have a fast swing tempo or speed.
A consistent swing plane leads to a consistent swing path. Most training aids work by developing a consistent swing path.
And here is a case in point.
The eyeline golf speed trap 1.0 literally sets a hard boundary for you to work the clubhead through. Here’s how it works.
The device is a polycarbonate base with a cutout section where you ‘trap’ the ball. There are four ‘rods’ that protrude from the base. The aim of the game is to pick your ball clearly from the grass in the cutout section while avoiding making contact with the rods.
In short, the only way to hit the ball correctly is to change your swing. This is a great tool as it is something you do subconsciously instead of thinking about various bits of body positioning and geometry.
The rods that create the ‘trap’ can be changed in angle to accommodate different golf clubs and lie angles. They attach at the base with Velcro, so if you make contact, you can see which rod has been removed and how you need to change your swing plane to make clean contact.
It does work, and you will hit straighter shots provided you escape the trap. It’s also pretty portable and would be great when used on a practice area.
If you find that you have a significant ‘shape’ to your shots… Or you end up with a divot thicker at one side; then this might just be a valuable training aid to try to correct your swing plane. It even works to develop putting speed and line!
- I like that it can be used with any club from driver to putter.
- You swing with your own club. Therefore it’s a real-life training aid
- It’s pretty portable
- It does work to straighten your swing plane
- Great for fixing a bad shot shape like a slice, instantly.
- It does get tedious chasing the trap’s posts down the fairway
- Hitting the base makes me feel a little uneasy, both for the base and my clubs
- This isn’t something you can take with you on a round.
You may have seen one of these swing training aids on your local practice area. PGA professionals use them.
Do you know why?
They really do work.
A ‘perfect’ swing plane should be at the correct angle, and in an ideal world, the club shaft should follow a near-perfect circle.
What better way to achieve this than create a solid perfect circle for you to draw the club around?
The explanar looks and works similarly to more premium offerings such as the PlaneSwing trainer. It comes with a weighted ‘club’ that you hold flush against the metal swing guide during your backswing.
This is great for many reasons. First, it eliminates absolutely all variables. This is how your swing plane should look. Secondly, the club that is used is quite heavy. This develops really great muscle memory. When you hit your driver after 10 minutes on this, it will feel as light as a feather!
Now, this is not portable in the slightest. You’ll be able to set it up in your own garden. Oh, and you won’t want to play or try and hit shots using your real clubs, not unless you want to spend a fortune in new shafts.
- No variables, it shows you the perfect swing plane during your drills
- The hoop is adjustable so you can tailor it to fit your swing
- Its really easy to use
- It’s not a portable training system
- Not a budget swing trainer
- No real-time feedback with actual shots
Ok, so maybe the Explanar is a little too ambitious. Hows about a training aid that is smaller but will still contribute to improving your swing? This little beauty has been featured in golf digest and focuses primarily on your wrist.
As I said, your plane is decided by the sum of several parts. One key area is how and when you hinge your wrist. With the aid of this golf swing trainer, you should find that it becomes second nature.
This device clips to your golf club grip and has a small cup sitting just above your wrist. As you bring the club back in your backswing, you can see whether you are cocking your wrists too early or too late. It also lets you see if you bend your wrist too much or too little.
You won’t actually hit on the downswing with this device fitted. It is a device that focuses primarily on the backswing. It won’t cover every element of your swing either; instead, it ensures that you are doing the right thing with your arms.
- One of the cheapest golf training aids on our list
- Fits any grip
- Instant feedback
- Great focus on arms and wrist position
- As a training aid, it is a little limited
- It can’t be used on the downswing
- No focus on the body
Did you find the orange whip training aid just a little too steep? Well, this would make for a great alternative golf swing trainer. It will allow you to develop many of the same muscles and practice swings pretty much wherever you are.
This device will also allow you to work on your grip and your swing plane together!
Sounds good, right?
The SKLZ golf training system is a club with a weight attached to the head. The molded grip should position your hands perfectly to make the perfect swing. The head weight can be changed to represent your favorite iron or wood. And the short shaft allows you to make a free swing pretty much anywhere.
You aren’t going to be able to hit a ball with it, but it’s great for getting your muscles warm and your swing plane set with a few practice swings before a game.
- A really affordable training aid
- Allows golfers to get the correct grip as well as the right swing plane
- Great for practice swings wherever you are.
- You won’t be able to do many drills with this. Just swing to get warm.
Golf Training Aid Buyers Guide
Choosing the right training system can be a little tricky. After all, if you don’t know what’s wrong with your swing plane in the first place, then you might not know how to fix it. Let’s have a run through a few things that you ideally want in a training system.
The Cost of the Training Aid
Ok, price normally dictates most golfers behavior. But this is a little different. Think about how much you want to put in and how much you’ll get out of your training aid. As we said at the start, the best golf training comes down to you performing.
A training system will fix minor flaws, but you can’t out-device a really poor swing.
The best golf training aids don’t have to be super expensive.
Body, Arms, or Swing in General?
As we have said, your swing plane is a sum of lots of different parts, both the backswing and the downswing. Are you aware of what is affecting your swing plane? If so, work on one element at once by using a focused training aid.
Start small. Things like grip can have a massive bearing on your swing plane. Look for a golf training aid that has a proper focus on the part of your golf swing that you are trying to improve.
Are You Looking for Feedback?
Some of the golf training aids above will let you instantly see areas you need to improve. Others will rely on your golf game around the course as feedback. Which are you looking for?
Long Term or Short Term Use?
Golf training aids can be a little tricky in that if they work well, you aren’t going to need them anymore.
All that said, golf keeps us coming back by always asking us to improve something. The best golf training aid will allow you to reuse it as you need to.
Want a great example?
The training sticks above are something that you’ll be able to pull out of the bag and use again and again for a whole host of swing drills. As training aids go, they have numerous uses?
Check this out…
️ Frequently Asked Questions ️
Have you got questions? There’s a lot to think about. Here are some things I’m commonly asked: –
This all depends on which device you choose to go for. If you like the look of the explanar, there is a good chance that you’ll have pretty sore arms by the end of your round. Generally speaking, yes, you can carry them in your bag, but you mustn’t use them during your game if you are playing competitively.
Yes, it does! The Orange Whip is a great tool to increase speed, tempo, power, and distance. There’s no hiding when you are not swinging wrong, and as we said in our review, it allows you to improve by offering feedback as soon as you swing.
Working on your golf plane at home isn’t always the easiest. By using a compact device, such as the SKLZ golf trainer, you should be able to keep your swing nice, warm, and well oiled, regardless of where you are.
Getting a grip on how to correct your plane can be tricky. The key lies in working on one aspect at a time to improve. Trainers are just a tool that will allow you to improve. Getting your plane looking like a pro is entirely down to you. Whatever path you take, we hope you enjoyed our review. See you on the putting green (or maybe down on the range?)