November-December 2012

Great gear and must have training aids

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The Matzie Assist ($79) has been around a long time, and, yes, it still works as well as it did many years ago. The bend shaft, corrective grip and oversized head weight combine to teach golfers to release the hands and clubs more effectively. Other than that, the Matzie is also a great tool for getting loose and keeping your golf muscles toned.

We prefer to keep things simple when using our training aids. The PowerMeter ($129) does what the name implies—it helps you instantly meter and record your clubhead speed. Using it is a cinch, and it's especially useful if you're a player who tends to muscle the ball, which sometimes actually results in a slower swing speed than if you allow the clubhead to load and release properly. That is, better mechanics always trump bigger muscles (well, almost always).

The Momentus Speed Whoosh ($79) helps you kick-start those fast-twitch muscle fibers and start hitting long, more consistent drives. It's also a lot of fun to use, and the sensation of the magnetic timing ball helps deliver that feeling of making impact with the golf ball. Hey, two-time long-drive champ Jamie Sadlowski likes it—so should you. Whoosh!

If you're not on the right plane for your swing, hitting straight, repeatable shots becomes a real chore. The PlaneFinder ($79) makes it easy to practice swinging on-plane, and it's actually pretty fun to use. Hank Haney and Gary Koch are both fans, mainly since it teaches you to swing on the right plane, has instant feedback and can be used with any club, from a driver to a lob wedge.

Add this one to the "must-have-in-the-office" list of training aids. The easy-to-use Putting Alley ($29) helps you narrow in your focus on short putts and provides instant feedback so you can fix any error in your stroke that causes the golf ball to veer offline. The goal is to keep the ball rolling on the one-inch path, or flip it over for a 0.5-inch path. It works both on the grass and carpet, and we like how the ball returns back, resulting in endless repetition.

We like the portability and ease of use with the 12i (12-inch) Putting Mirror ($29) from SKLZ. The training aid makes it easy to improve your setup, hand and ball position, even your stroke, using the optional pegs that can be rearranged how you see fit. It's also razor-thin, so not to affect your stance/feel/stroke.

The Swing Speed Radar with Tempo Timer (SSRTT) ($149) measures actual tempo time from the club takeaway to ball impact, as well as swing speed of the clubhead as it approachs the golf ball. It's a fantastic tool for gauging the right tempo for your game and also for determining whether or not swinging harder actually increases your swing speed. Jim McLean is obviously a fan.


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