There are over 400 golf training aids available on the market today, each one addressing some aspect of the golf swing. Golf swing training aids range from thumb and grip aids, to plane aids, to tempo aids, to impact aids, release and follow through aids and every other aspect of the golf swing. Many of those training aids focus on putting.
The golf swing has many moving parts and many different aspects to it so it is understandable that there can be so many available aids. All but two of the aspects can be argued and are opinions of the Golf Pro, Instructor or Inventor of the aid. The two irrefutable aspects are: 1. The golfer’s head MUST stay behind the ball through impact; 2. The golfer MUST maintain her/his spine angle throughout the swing. Only the PRO-HEAD Trainer focuses on those two aspects. And the PRO-HEAD Trainer can even be used to address head movement during putting and chipping.
PGA Golf Professional and former Tour Champion, Jake Zastko has been teaching golf for over 50 years. Jake says that the biggest problem he has observed in all his years of teaching is that the golfer’s head comes up and out of the shot. The golfer does not keep the head behind the ball through impact.
PGA Instructor Jack Grout recognized this flaw in Jack Nicklaus’ swing when young Jack was 10 years old. It seemed that no matter how many times Grout told Jack to stop bobbing his head, young Jack could not keep his head steady or behind the ball through impact. One day, out of complete frustration, Grout grabbed Nicklaus by his curly blonde hair with his extended right arm and hand, and forced young Jack to hit balls for three hours. Young Jack cried from the pain of the hair pulling. But he got the message and Nicklaus went on to become perhaps the best golfer ever. Users of the PRO-HEAD Trainer have referred to the swing aid as a “mechanical Jack Grout.”
Physiologists and psychiatrists tell us that the brain receives information and retains such information from three sources: 1. Visually, a person reads data or watches video or observes physical examples of the new information. 2. Auditory, a person hears information or instruction. 3. Kineticly, a person touches or is touched (tactile feedback) or repeats movements until the movement or skill is retained. Such tactile feedback is extremely valuable for kinetic learning which ultimately leads to muscle memory. Although young Nicklaus was shown his swing flaw (visually); was told about his flaw (auditory feedback); it was not until he received tactile feedback (kinetic learning) did Jack Nicklaus learn to keep his head steady and behind the ball through impact.
Some people can visually learn by reading a book, a golf tip, or from watching their swing on video, or being emulated by an Instructor or coach. Hence the plethora of golf books, magazines, videos, DVD’s and swing tips readily available to golfers who want to improve their swings. Similarly by hearing about their swing fault from a Golf Pro or Instructor, golfers can learn to improve their swings. They can also hear and see their flaw from a good teaching Pro, which is why Teaching Pros and swing coaches are valuable and plentiful. And why almost every touring Pro today has her/his own personal swing coach.
Kinetic learning by itself, or combined with the visual and auditory knowledge, has proven to be the best approach for improving one’s golf swing. It is within this form of learning, which leads to muscle memory, that the best training techniques and training aids have focused. Here are some examples:
a. The Medicus has been voted the best training aid for years because of the tactile and kinetic feedback it affords the golfer. I tried and used the Medicus myself and whereas it helped me with my swing plane and tempo, it gave me no feedback on head movement and did not help me to correct this swing flaw.
b. Similarly with the Explanar, an $800 plastic swing aid that forces the golfer to maintain swing plane. This device offers tactile feedback to the golfer if the golfer’s swing deviates from the required plane. Again however, there is nothing to help the golfer learn to keep a steady head.
c. Swingrite is a full swing training that offers auditory feedback, a click, when the golfer releases the clubhead at the point of impact. Nothing however for a steady head.
d. SwingPerfect offers feedback through a vibrating device inserted near the grip of the club.Tactile feedback but not for any head movement.
e. SwingJacket, the InsideApproach, Perfect Release are other full swing aids that provide some kind of feedback but none of them focuses on head movement, which is the biggest single flaw of most golfers.
Steve Williams, Tiger’s former caddie, was seen on TV just prior to a PGA event, placing the grip end of a club on top of Woods’ head during a warm up session.. And popular Instructor Hank Haney has published several articles and tips using this same Jack Grout technique to help the golfer keep the head behind the ball through impact. Here is a short animation that shows what the golfer will see by swinging properly and keeping the head behind the ball through impact. Please visit http://www.proheadgolf.com to see this 7 second animation.
As Jake Zastko found, most golfers have that tendency to come up and out of their shot, It may be because they want to see where their shot went. Or they don’t want to hold up their playing partners; or lose their ball. For whatever reason to do otherwise, the golfer must learn to keep the head behind the ball through impact, as did Jack Nicklaus and as leading instructors try to teach. When this becomes a memorized aspect of one’s swing, the golfer will greatly improve her/his swing and lower their scores.The PRO-HEAD Trainer is the only training aid that focuses on helping to improve this flaw.