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Train Your Game At Home
by Kevin Sprecher

Golf is a game that requires both innate feel and learned technique. There are distinct drills and exercises to create a swing change and new, more effective technique. Making a swing change will invariably cause you to feel different things. The unusual feel may at first be awkward and inhibit the swing change, so it?s important to ease into the different ?feel.?

Training aids can help accelerate the learning process. Some can be attached or unattached to the body. Some can be used outside or inside, with or without a ball.

Similar to a drill, a training aid is only good if it helps you make the necessary swing change. Your teacher should be able to see immediately if it will help. While most players go to their pro, golf shop or local golf store to find a training aid to improve their game, there are many beneficial items you can find at home. Consider the following such training aids, including how to use them and the ills they cure.

Clothes Hanger ? This can be used to master a one-piece takeaway, which is important for the beginning of the full swing, in chipping, pitching and putting. It also aids in keeping the elbows close together throughout the swing so there is no disconnection of the arms and body.

Place a coat hanger over the forearms just below the elbows, with the hook facing up. Make some half swings, moving the shoulders and keeping the hook in front of the center of the body. On the forward swing, allow the hips to turn through and keep the arms in front of the body. This half swing teaches a one-piece move, which is the efficient way to chip, putt and pitch. This aid also keeps the body and arms connected through impact and helps promote proper release after impact.

Laundry Bag ? Fill a canvas bag with towels or sheets until it is full. The bag can be used as an impact bag to improve the impact position of your club or to improve your swing path and release.

Set up to the bag as if it were the ball. Practice a slow swing, stopping in the bag.

Things to look for at impact include a flat left wrist, your head behind the bag, your weight on the front foot, your hips turned open, your shoulders square to slightly open and tilted twice as much as at address when using irons.

Practice hitting the bag with the toe of the club to promote a draw or a hook. You can also place the bag outside the front foot and stop after you have hit the bag. This promotes proper extension and release. It also helps encourage the proper weight shift.

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