The best golf swing trainer
Most people prefer to play a round of golf over spending time practicing, but practice has its benefits, too, particularly if you want to work on specific aspects of your game.
A golf swing trainer is a helpful option, because different versions are available to match certain parts of your game. Used in conjunction with other types of practice, the swing trainer can be a key aspect of improving your game.
Read our buying guide to learn more about golf swing trainers and to determine which variety suits your swing. The SKLZ Gold Flex Golf Swing Trainer is our top choice; it has excellent versatility for multiple skill levels of golfers.
Considerations when choosing golf swing trainers
Types of swing trainers
Start your search for a golf swing trainer by focusing on the aspect of your swing you want to improve. The majority of swing trainers focus on one of three different parts of your game:
Full swing: The full swing trainer may have the ability to measure your swing speed, giving you feedback that can help you improve your velocity at impact with the ball.
Oftentimes, a full swing trainer has a weighted head, which helps to simulate an actual club. You're able to build muscle strength with this type of trainer. Some players even use the weighted full swing trainer to warm up before starting a round.
Swing path: If you struggle to keep the clubhead on the proper path to the ball, seek a golf swing trainer that helps you straighten your swing path.
This type of trainer is shorter than the length of a full swing trainer, but it's made to help with wrist and hand positioning through the swing motion.
Some of these trainers have instructions with drills you can perform.
Putting: Muscle memory is especially important with your putting stroke, so a putting swing trainer is a helpful tool.
Some putting swing trainers help you keep the putter head in line and straight, developing muscle memory. Other models work on helping you learn to align your feet properly when addressing a putt.
Indoor and outdoor
Longer golf swing trainers are not made for indoor use, as they could hit and break nearby items. Use shorter trainers indoors (or outdoors) and use longer trainers outdoors.
Higher-quality swing trainers, especially those made for full swings, consist of flexible fiberglass or composite materials. Lower-quality trainers may consist of an inflexible plastic.
Some trainers have a rubbery material on the handle, helping you maintain your grip. Others may use an inexpensive foam, which may cause the club to slip out of your hand as you swing. Durability is a problem with a foam grip versus a rubbery grip, too.
Advanced golf swing trainers may contain silicon chips that measure speed and direction of the clubhead. They then send this data wirelessly to your smartphone, so you can receive immediate feedback statistics.
The least-expensive swing trainers are available between $10 and $30, but they don't have any advanced features. Those trainers that have feedback features or higher-quality materials may cost anywhere from $30 to $200 or more.
Q. Am I better off going to the driving range or using the swing trainer?
A. The short answer is you should do both. A trainer affects your muscles differently than swinging clubs at the driving range, so both are beneficial.
Q. Why does a golf swing trainer work?
A. First, it helps you build a repeatable swing, which is a key component of success in golf. Additionally, you'll build muscle strength with the trainer.
Golf swing trainers we recommend
Best of the best: SKLZ's Gold Flex Golf Swing Trainer
Our take: Size and weight distribution is ideal, helping you improve your swing and develop muscle memory faster than some other trainers.
What we like: Works well for golfers of multiple skill levels. Has a weighted head area, so you can build up your strength.
What we dislike: Fiberglass shaft has a lot of flex to it, but it may break too easily.
Best bang for your buck: Balight's Golf Swing Trainer
Our take: Considering its low price point, the weight distribution is more accurate than you might expect.
What we like: Shaft consists of composite materials, which gives you extra durability versus similarly priced swing trainers.
What we dislike: Shaft is extremely stiff. Grip tends to pop loose from the handle too easily.
Our take: The shape of this trainer simulates an actual golf club, which appeals to some people.
What we like: Includes an instruction book to help you make the most of the trainer's features. Pick from left- or right-handed versions.
What we dislike: Grip does not consist of high-quality materials, so it doesn't last as long as it should.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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