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Golf aids make home practice fun and useful

By: Shawn Kelly
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Golf practice does not always have to be implemented outdoors. Creative players can find plenty of ways to improve their games at home or indoors. There is the timely and sagacious Kelly axiom that states, “Life gets in the way of golf all the time,” and sometimes weather. And it seems there’s never adequate time to improve our swings the way we would like. Training aids and drills at home or short game practice, if you have the room, can be easy to implement when you can’t get to the course. Of course we’ll miss seeing you at the shop but here are a few ways to practice to improve your game at home. Training aids are important to help accelerate the feel process of the golf swing. There are hundreds of training aids on the market that can help improve your swing. I have always believed that if you understand and trust in the product, it will help you. I personally have supreme confidence in the two that I use — the ASSIST and the Divot Mat. Anyone who knows me knows my story about the ASSIST training device and how it never leaves my bag. The ASSIST has the bent shaft and funny shaped yellow head with a grip that has bumps on it to position your hands. I have swung this club for more than 20 years and credit it for giving me the swing I have today and subsequent consistency throughout the years. I swing my ASSIST as much as possible, certainly before every practice or play and when I do my drills at home. This training device will never leave my bag! Divot Mat is another aid that I feel will become a must for every golfer. Divot Mat is an aid that allows you to see the “fingerprint of every swing” as you swing across a plastic mat with a special paper on top that marks the divot pattern of each swing. You’ll get the instant feedback of your “virtual divot” and the feel of a proper angle of attack will improve your swing immediately. Endorsed by Fred Couples, this is a great aid to use indoors or outside to improve your swing. Contact DivotMat.com for more information and sales. A simple piece of 2x4 lumber can be used for two good drills — one for putting and one for the swing. Start by laying a piece of 2x4 on its side in front of you and swing your favorite club while working on the path of your swing. Avoid hitting the board as you swing the club along and it should help you groove your swing path. Now take that board, lay it flat and grab your putter. Stand with your toes parallel to the board and put the heel of your putter on the far side of the board. Slide the head back and forth without stopping and feel the sensation of back and forth stroke. This drill is great for those three- and four-footers on the course. Putting on carpet to a water glass or having an artificial turf green are also great for improving your putting stroke. When the rain is falling or life is getting in your way, you can definitely find ways to practice indoors to improve your golf game. Try a little creativity, it can really work. And…Fore, in the kitchen!