November-December 2011

The latest in golf equipment, instruction, training aids, apparel & more

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You've heard it before. Golf is 90% mental. So if your brain is such an important asset, why do so many golfers not know how to use it? That question has nagged sports psychologists for years. Now there's a way for you to sharpen your golf brain at home. The training system called Pro Mental Coach ($140), which runs on your computer, will stimulate your brain with "exergames." After taking a 30-minute assessment test, users train three times a week for 20 minutes at a time, so they can get in the zone, recover quickly and boost mental endurance.

Available in two different sizes (8x8 feet and 7x7 feet), the Quickster Net ($140-150) from SKLZ takes only 90 seconds to set up and is the perfect training aid for folks who want to hit balls in inclement weather, at night or when the course is closed. If you have space in your garage, you can even use it there. We loved how quick and easy it was to set up.
Hate the gym? So do we. We're never really sure which exercises will help our swing and which ones will hurt it. Plus all those mirrors get really distracting. Edinburgh, Scotland-based Graeme Alexander must feel the same way, because he developed The Extra 20 Yards ($365 + $30 shipping). This slim and unobtrusive home golf gym was designed specifically to train your golf muscles and, as Alexander claims, it will "increase swing speed and lead to more distance." What we like, of course, is that you don't have to dedicate a lot of time to it. Alexander suggests short workouts of 3-5 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Does it work? Hard to say, but if you've got the extra money for a driver, maybe you should consider investing it in one of these. For right- and left-handed golfers.

Designed by a former Tour caddie, the Players Towel ($20) features microfiber technology for optimal groove cleaning, absorption and durability. But this isn't just a super club-cleaning towel, it's also available with custom logos, signatures and colors. Hey, it's the age of personalization so why not make your towel about you?


Can a golf shirt really help your game? According to a double-blind study conducted at the Sport Technology Lab at Loughborough University in England, it just might. Scientists there concluded that athletes wearing the Energy Athletic shirt ($70-80) with IonX fabric had a 2.7% increase in power output. "Wearing Energy Athletic Golf allows the athlete to sustain a workout for a greater period of time, and then have a much more rapid recovery time," said Dr. Al Ouimet, Energy Athletic Golf's chief scientist. Comes in long- and short-sleeved shirts.

The Trust Control gloves ($29) from HIRZL were constructed specifically for medium- to high-handicappers who want to maintain a firm grip on the club. As the company claims, the kangaroo-leather palm material provides three times more grip in dry weather and five times more in wet weather.
Gripping the club too hard produces lots of tension in the golf swing. As instructors have long advised, golfers should hold the club like a little bird—strong enough that it doesn't fly away, but light enough that they don't crush it. The makers of the new LeviTee glove ($20) address that by placing foam pads in between each finger that reduce a golfer's grip pressure by 30% and helps them avoid the death grip.


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