As a high-handicap golfer, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your game and earn a lower handicap. We get you! There’s always room for improvement, and we admire your dedication to it. Let us tell you a secret: It’s not just about training. You also need the right tools and golf accessories to improve your swings.
For now, let’s disregard the golf balls and clubs (we’ll assume you know why those are useful). In this article, we’re going to talk about the must-have accessories to improve your gameplay and skills. Keep reading to learn more!
Let’s jump right in to the items that will improve your golfing skills. You’ve probably seen hundreds of as-seen-on-TV items on the Golf Channel promising to help you enhance your gameplay. We hate to break it to you: most of those items are essentially useless. Some can even affect your technique and take you two steps further back in your progress.
So, which ones can actually deliver on their promises?
- Tempo Trainers: Many factors come into play when it comes to achieving the perfect swing. One of these is tempo, which should be at a 3:1 ratio. Perfecting this is how you can create consistent shots and distances in each club. You’ll want a tempo trainer that can help you achieve this. This equipment has shifting weights that lets you become more familiar with the right rhythm, balance, and of course, tempo of swings.
- Alignment Sticks: Another way to improve hit consistency and shot accuracy is with proper alignment. That’s just what alignment sticks do. These simple tools help you adjust your aim and eliminate bad habits for a more aligned shot and a better swing plane.
- Impact Bag: Do you have trouble keeping your arms, chest, and shoulders in one position as you backswing? Do you get the so-called chicken wings? Placing an impact ball between your forearms is how you can achieve consistency in your swings.
- Swing Analyzer Apps: Let’s move on to the more high-tech training aids: the ones that you can use with your phone. One of these is a swing analyzer, and many of them are available today. These help you track your swings with the help of a club attachment.
Golf apparel isn’t just there to make you look good while playing (though that’s a nice bonus, in our opinion!). Items like shoes, gloves, and even socks — yes, socks — can help you elevate your gameplay. Here are some of the must-have apparel for your next game:
- Golf Shoes: You’ll be standing for hours during your tee time, so it’s important to have footwear that provides comfort and breathability. In golf, stability and traction are also essential. Spiked golf shoes are great at this, but they’re not suitable for dry grounds. A pair of spikeless shoes might be a better option for this terrain. Bonus: it can be worn outside the golf course!
- Gloves: A solid grip is key to a good backswing, so enhance yours with the right pair of golf gloves. You have many options available, so make sure to prioritize your needs over the bells and whistles. Choose the ones with the most comfortable fit and type of fabric. In general, the amount of material on the fingertips should be thin enough for maximum grip on the club.
- Sunglasses: Golfing sunglasses are a different cut from your regular shades. These are specially made to block UV rays while you’re on the course. In addition, they have the “golf fit,” which removes the distracting double vision. A good pair hugs your face for seamless vision without cramping your style.
- Socks: You can’t wear golf shoes without socks, (technically, you can, but we’re raising our eyebrows at you) so when choosing the best socks, make sure that the fabric is breathable yet thick. It should be able to protect you from blisters without feeling too tight inside the shoes.
- Winter Apparel/Cold-weather Gear: On the rare occasion that you go golfing during cold days, it’s important to wear appropriate attire to keep you warm and toasty. Grab jackets that protect from wind chill, layered with fabrics that insulate the air around your body. Your pants, gloves, and shoes should also have similar features to protect you from frigid temperatures.
- Pants: Speaking of pants, the bottoms are another essential for keeping you comfortable and protected from UV rays. You’d be under the sun for hours, so you have to shield your legs from the heat. Slacks are a great option, but some brands offer more specialized pants, with features like breathability, water resistance, and elasticity. When choosing, don’t forget to consider your personal style!
If there’s one thing you’d want to be meticulous about in golf accessories, it’s the golf bags. Why? Well, clubs and other accessories are heavy. You wouldn’t want to be lumbering around the course, out of breath because of a heavy bag. Not only will you look silly, but you’ll tire yourself out, too. You want something that provides sufficient storage without being overly burdensome.
To find the perfect bag, it’s important to understand what kind of player you’ll be: are you going to ride a cart or walk? If you’re the former and wouldn’t mind bringing all your clubs, then get a bag with plenty of room.
If you prefer to walk, then bring a bag that’s lightweight and comfortable. You’ll have to sacrifice storage space for ease and mobility. If you want a compromise that gives you maximum storage and maneuverability, a push cart is an ideal option — the best of both worlds!
Knowing the distance between you and the next hole is a great way to estimate your next swing. Before, players used sprinkler heads to make an estimate — an unnecessarily complicated practice that ruins your pacing. But thanks to modern technology, there are two innovations that you can use for measuring distances: rangefinders and GPS devices.
A rangefinder uses lasers to estimate distances. It measures how fast the light comes back to it after being reflected from a flag, providing the best accuracy. However, it needs to be used manually and affects your pace.
On the other side of the ring are GPS devices. These are always connected so you can check the data without having to point it to the hole. It also won’t get blocked by trees and other obstacles. But when it comes to accuracy, the laser rangefinder trumps the GPS. Ultimately, what you pick will boil down to your personal preferences.
Practice makes perfect. That’s neither a new nor a revolutionary idea, but it’s tried and tested. Still, you can’t always go to the nearest course and get to swinging. That’s much too impractical. Instead, you can polish your golfing skills at the office, at home, or anywhere with indoor golf accessories. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Golf Mats: At the most basic level, you’ll want a surface that mimics the grass to practice your swings. You don’t want to scratch your tile or hardwood floors with your clubs, right? Golf mats come in an array of sizes, textures, and prices, so pick one that accommodates your needs and your budget.
- Golf Nets and Tents: When you’re practicing swings in your home or office, you wouldn’t want the ball flying at your glass windows, TVs, and other fragile items. A net will catch it and dampen the velocity for minimal risk. For those who want to improve their accuracy, a golf tent with a target is a great upgrade from nets.
- Indoor Putting Green: If the golf mat isn’t doing it for you, then upgrade to an indoor putting green. This setup uses a golf mat and hole setup, usually coming with guides to help you improve your accuracy. Some even have functionalities like automatic ball return for maximum convenience.
- Golf Simulators: If you really want to step up your game to the next level, then we highly recommend getting your own golf simulator setup. It may seem pricey, but there are options for each budget range! When you finally have one though, you’ll feel like a kid with a very high-tech toy. It’s the perfect way to play golf without leaving the house. Just don’t let fun get in the way of practice…or let it. Nobody is stopping you!
Final Thoughts on Must-Have Golf Accessories
Playing golf is one of the most rewarding experiences out there, and it takes patience and skill to become better at the sport. The above accessories are a good place to start if you’re looking for gear that will help you improve your swing, your accuracy, and other important skills. Take your pick today!