PLAY YOUR BEST

One simple training aid to help you from tee to green

By Tasha Browner Bohlig  

Swing catalyst software and 3-D motion plates cost about€21,000. A TrackMan 4 launch monitor is €19,000. BodiTrak software and portable force plates are about €2,500. All of these game-improvement devices will definitely help you play better golf, but I’m guessing you’d like to know if there’s a low-cost alternative.

How about a one euro sponge?

Buy a four-pack of these handy kitchen helpers, and you’re on your way to a better swing path, angle of attack, weight shift—even short game. That’s not hyperbole. I’ve been using sponges as golf training aids for more than a decade with great success. Why do they work? I’ve found my students don’t make improvements very well when they’re thinking about their swings.

But when you give them something that makes them more aware of their body movements, like footwork and sequencing, it quickly cleans up faults. They’re sensing and reacting as opposed to thinking about where the club needs to go. For example, I’ve soaked this sponge and then squashed it with my left foot at the start of my downswing (above). This reminds me to shift my weight into my front foot and use the ground as leverage to create a more powerful swing.

There are plenty of other ways you can use a sponge or sponges as training aids, and I’ll show you five more in this article. The best part is that you can store sponges in your bag and use them in the practice area without drawing attention. They’re portable, inexpensive, inconspicuous and effective.

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