In order for me to adequately evaluate the Pop Up Protector, or PUP, I had to try to hit a shot I haven’t hit in years. I’m thinking it’s been at least 4 and probably 5 years since I hit a sky ball. It’s been 5 years since I put a humiliating “sky mark” on one of my clubs. A sky mark is a scratch in the top of a wood or hybrid which stares right back up at you and reminds you of the horrid shot you hit which caused the mark in the first place. It’s really nice to have a reminder of horrid shots in golf……not.
First test, a 460cc driver
You really have to miss hit it to put a sky mark on one of these jumbo heads. I placed the PUP on the top and smoothed it out as best I could. I did get a little crease but I imagine with more practice that wouldn’t be a problem. Then I teed the ball up really high and came straight down for my downswing. Voila! I skied it on my first try and left a big sky mark on the PUP. After pulling off the PUP I found the top of the driver to be just as flawless as it was before my amazing “lob driver.” These PUPs work great!
2nd test, a hybrid
For this test I used one of the smaller PUPs on a 19 degree Sonar Tec. Amazingly it was much harder for me to hit a sky ball with this club than the big driver. I teed up a range ball and came down steep just like the driver swing. Amazingly I completely wiped out the tee and the ball didn’t move an inch. Two of my kids were watching me do this and they started laughing. They said “bet you can’t do that again” and laughed like crazy as I did it TWO more times.
Finally I teed it low enough and came down just right. I hit such a sky ball with this hybrid that I almost knocked my hat off. Sure enough there was a great sky mark on the PUP. When I removed the PUP, once again there was no sign of even the smallest bit of damage. I’m sold.
There are a few great reasons to use Pop Up Protectors. The obvious ones are preserving the finish on the top of your clubs and therefore retaining their aesthetic and monetary value.
As I mentioned before, I’m not big on having something remind me of bad shots. Having sky marks on a club does just that.
PUPs would be ideal not only for a personal use but for pro shops, club fitting and demo days. Pro shops or or demo days can put PUPs on all their rental or demo sets. Club fitters can do something other than covering the whole club head with masking tape, which alters the performance of the face and looks plain stupid.