The GEM training aid was invented by Fraser Mann to help players release the golf club and play more consistent golf. At first glance, the GEM doesn’t look like much more than a metal ball on a rod. However, after watching the testimonials and reading the instructions, there is quite a bit that the GEM golf aid can teach you.
In this GEM Golf review, we’ll show you what the GEM aims to help with, what it felts like in reality, and how useful we feel it will be for you, based on your current needs as a golfer. We hope this approach helps you decide if the GEM Golf training aid is the solution you’re looking for.
What Is The GEM Golf Training Aid?
The GEM Golf Training aid is a metal weight that you attach to your golf club during practice. This counterweight encourages the club face to correctly rotate open and closed during your backswing and downswing.
It allows players to feel the sensation of a golf club releasing and squaring up at impact. Most amateur players struggle to square a clubface at impact, and most leave it open. With an open clubface, not only do you miss out on distance and consistency, but you can also end up hitting a slice or an unwanted fade.
Golf professionals and great players know the feeling of releasing the clubhead. The GEM teaching aid aims to help you learn this feeling for yourself. The creators at GEM say you should be turning your body and transferring weight, but then the GEM training aid should do everything else for you.
Although the GEM training aids are going to mostly work on the release, GEM Golf suggests these benefits will continue throughout the game.
Will the GEM training Aid fix My Slice?
The main goal of the GEM training aid is to help you learn the correct release, and as a result, get rid of your slice or hook.
As a coach, I know the release is a key aspect of helping square your club face, and it is an open/closed club face (relative to swing path) that causes the golf ball to slice/hook.
From this perspective the GEM has good merit, it is targeting a key swing principle to help golfers square up their club face and hit straighter shots.
Our Testing Experience
I took the GEM training aid to the driving range to see if it lives up to the website’s testimonials, comments, and claims.
The first thing I noticed is that the feeling of releasing the club and squaring up the clubface is VERY exaggerated at first. However, I am a player that does this naturally. In fact, sometimes I even exaggerate this feeling myself, as I have a tendency to close the clubface a bit more than I should.
For many years I taught golf and remember struggling to help players understand how a released clubhead should feel through the impact position. I can tell you that it’s a difficult concept to teach and learn.
For those that slice the golf ball, the way the GEM golf forces you to turn the club over, you won’t be slicing for long.
In fact, while I was practicing, I was thinking about other training aids that are designed to help with a slice and squaring a clubface up, but I found the GEM to pinpoint the problem area more precisely.
I like that this is not sold as a tool that can correct your entire game; it won’t. The GEM focused on players that need help squaring the clubface at impact.
One thing that I found interesting about using the GEM is that after a few swings when I switched back to my iron and started hitting shots, I was quite consistent. I know how to release, and I never thought of it as something I needed to work on, but overall consistency did seem to improve after practicing with the GEM and then taking it off the club.
What Other Area of the Game Does GEM Training Aid Help With?
The GEM Training aid focuses on helping you release the club. However here are the other benefits the GEM training aid claims to help with and our analysis.
Improving The Wrist Hinge
When you work with the GEM, you swing from the toe up position at waist height, then swing through the ball to the other side and get to the toe up position. The entire time your wrists will naturally move as they should without having to worry about too much or too little wrist hinge.
The GEM does help you understand how your forearms should rotate (pronation/supination) during the golf swing, but we wouldn’t say it’s a perfect match for increasing wrist hinge or lag.
Creates a Better Takeaway
With the weighting of the golfing GEM, you can improve your initial move away from the ball, improve your arm, wrist, and shoulder position and make a better golf swing. The takeaway helps shape the rest of the swing, so any training aid that improves takeaway is a winner in our book.
Here we feel the GEM has some merit, many golfers struggle to feel the proper takeaway and this will help you learn some of the core principles.
Natural Flow In The Golf Swing
Encourages natural flow and weight transfer in the golf swing. Sometimes when you are freed up from worrying about your hands releasing and rotating, you can do a better job turning your body and transferring your weight.
The GEM might help some feel a more natural flow, but we wouldn’t call it a magic bullet.
Less Tension In The Swing For Increased Power
The weighting of the GEM training aid allows you to focus your power and energy in the correct positions. Expect less tension in your hands and more natural club movement. For any player who has been around the game long enough, the lack of tension in the hands can help us generate a ton of power.
We agree the GEM helps you to feel how the club should move through impact, we’re not sure we’d suggest there is less tension, but an improved release will undoubtedly result in more club head speed and distance.
Wider benefits of The GEM Golf Training Aid
The GEM Golf training aid has some key benefits. If you remember, at the beginning of our review, I stated that this tool is not for every golfer. However, it does come with three different options for use. There is a heavier weight for a beginner, a midsize for the intermediate player, and then a lightweight option that is just a rod for the more advanced golfers and for striking the golf ball.
Here are the most important benefits of GEM:
- You can carry this training aid anywhere you go; it’s lightweight and fits in a small carrying bag that you can throw in your golf bag.
- GEM golf training aid changes the constraints of practice and encourages a good release pattern.
- Instant feedback is critical in golf and potentially more effective than delayed feedback like video or even instruction from a professional.
- GEM golf training aids can work on any club in the bag; aside from the putter, just be sure not to place the GEM on the club shaft; it must be on the grip.
- It is quick and easy to remove so that you can go back and forth between the feel of what you need and actually hitting the proper shots.
Negatives/Concerns of the GEM Golf Training Aid
Overall there are more positives to the GEM training aid than there are negatives. However, there are a few things here that you should be aware of before you purchase.
The first negative is that you cannot keep the GEM training aid when hitting shots. This weight really helps you feel the clubhead close, but it’s incredibly dangerous to swing with it on. GEM has warnings all over their videos and instructions to make sure that players don’t do this.
We completely agree; you should not swing with the weighted ball on.
It does leave you having to take the GEM on and off as you practice. I worked around this a bit by putting the GEM on my 6 iron, and then when I practiced with it and did the drill 10 or 15 times, I switched to the 7 iron, it made the practice session flow a bit smoother.
The other negative or concern is the fact that many better players make this release motion in their swing naturally at this point in their game.
If you don’t have issues with squaring the club face consistently or slicing the ball, this swing aid is not the one I would recommend.
Who Is This For?
If you slice the ball or have very inconsistent impact positions, I recommend the GEM golf training aid. For better players that know what a release is, know how to create it, know how to time it, and can feel it in their swings, the GEM may not be the right tool.
As a scratch golfer, I can see the GEM being good for creating more consistency in the swing. It’s not a tool I would reach for every time, but to explain to a student how to release a club, I would reach for the GEM quite often.
Every time you purchase a training aid, you must consider exactly how it will help your game and whether or not that is an important area of the game to focus on. If you slice the golf ball, please check your golf grip and posture first, before you consider buying this training aid.
If these are looking good, then you can consider working on your release, with the GEM for the feeling of how to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the GEM golf training aid, who it’s for, and whether or not it’s worth your money.
Can you hit golf balls with the GEM golf training aid in place?
Hitting golf balls with the GEM is not easy. You have to make sure you are never swinging with the ball in place; you can only swing with the short rod attached.
Does the GEM Golf training aid work on the golf course?
The GEM training aid can work as a pre-shot routine or warm-up if you are playing in a practice round. However, it’s not the easiest tool to use during a round because of the removal of the device on and off the club when you swing it.
Will GEM Golf work if I hit a hook?
GEM is best for golfers that slice the ball and need trouble closing the clubface. However, GEM does teach you proper timing and control of the release, so for those that are releasing too early on the downswing and hitting a hook, the GEM can be helpful.
Golf Insider Verdict
Honestly, I was unsure how this tool would work when I tested it out on the driving range. After teaching golf for more than ten years, I was impressed with the way the inventors of GEM have manufactured a “feeling” for the proper release.
This is a very niche product, for those that struggle with the correct forearm rotation of the release, but for that audience, it does work well.
This feeling is going to make it far easier for amateur players who slice the ball to figure out what they need to do to stop slicing. Instead of getting so hung up on position or timing, the GEM training aid helps you find a feeling you can use on the range and golf course.
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