Review: SKLZ TRAINERmat – Golf Fitness Training Mat

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, August 31st, 2012
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf FitnessGolf GearReviews

I’ve been a member of Gold’s Gym for a year or so, and I’ve made some good progress in my fitness.  Unfortunately a couple of months ago the gym I go to, which I can walk to in about one minute, closed.  Now the closest gym is a very inconvenient drive away.  That inconvenience has hurt my workout schedule.  Recently though, I’ve acquired the SKLZ TRAINERmat and TRAINERball.  I’ve done a lot of working out at the Gold’s on mats and with workout balls in the past, and now I can do some of those exercises at home.  Today I’m reviewing the TRAINERmat.

Golf Fitness Mat

SKLZ TRAINERmat – click to zoom

SKLZ TRAINERmat

Quite simply, the SKLZ TRAINERmat is exactly what its name says.  But this mat has some unique features which make it stand out above other mats.

First, this mat is long.  The mat is six feet long and two feet wide.  Most mats at my gym are only four feet.  I really like being able to keep my whole body on the mat, instead of having my legs or upper body on the floor.

Second, this mat has graphics which show all sorts of stretches and exercises which are geared for GOLF.   There are 24 total exercises printed right on the mat.  No more reading my notes from a piece of paper or from my iPhone.

The pad rolls up into a very easy to carry compact cylinder for transport to the gym, storage in the house or car.  See below.

TRAINERmat

SKLZ TRAINERmat rolls up for easy storage – click to see more

The 1/4″ thick pad is also a very cool shade of golf green.  Love it.

SKLZ

Example exercise – click for more

Exercise Categories

The mat groups the exercises into four categories:

  • Pillar Preparation
  • Movement Preparation
  • Movement Skills
  • Regeneration

Conclusion

Hard to write a 3,000 word review on an exercise mat, so I’m not going to try.  In short the $29 SKLZ TRAINERmat is great for golf training, stores easy, covers a full body length and has the exercises printed right on the mat.

Well played.

Related

SKLZ website

Hooked On Golf Blog SKLZ image gallery


Golf On TV This Weekend – Deutsche Bank Championship – FedEx Cup Playoff Round Two

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, August 31st, 2012
Categories: FedEx CupPGA TourPro GolfTiger Woods

FedEx Cup LogoThe 2nd round of the FedEx Cup playoffs begins today, Friday, because of the four day weekend this Labor Day weekend.   The top 100 in FedEx Cup points are battling to advance to next week’s 3rd round by making the top 70 following this weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship.  The host venue is the TPC Boston in Norton, MA, a par-71 track which measures at 7,214 yards.

There are some very fun pairings to keep an eye on today and tomorrow. Will Tiger Woods finally figure out how to finish strong on the last couple of days?  First he’ll need to make the cut.  Tiger is paired today and tomorrow with Nick Watney, winner in the first round of the playoffs last week, and with Brandt Snedeker.

Other interesting groupings:

Rory McIlory/Zach Johnson/Jason Dufner
Dustin Johnson/Carl Petterson/Bubba Watson (who will win the long drive contest?)
Matt Kuchar/Hunter Mahan/Keegan Bradley

Deutsche Bank Championship TV Schedule

Fri: 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Sat: 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Sun: 1-3 p.m (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
Mon: 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (NBC)


Review: Wilson Staff Fybrid RS Fairway Wood

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
Wilson Staff FYbrid 5w

Wilson Staff FYbrid RS 5w – click to zoom

Today we are covering the Wilson Staff FYbrid RS fairway metalwood.  This review will be based on my experience playing the 18.0 degree 5w, or what we would traditionally call a 5-wood.  The term “wood” is a throwback from the days when the clubs were actually made out of wood.  I’d prefer to call it a 5-metal or 5-metalwood.

RS FYbrid Fairway Overview

The word FYbrid comes from the words “fairway” and “hybrid” combined.  The FYbrid line contains seven individual clubs which morph from hybrid (the shorter clubs) to fairway (the longer clubs).  The 5w doesn’t look like a combination of a fairway/hybrid.  It is more of a standard fairway metal.

The “RS” in the name comes from the club’s “Rocker Sole.”  The Rocker Sole is a rounded sole at the face of the club, which helps the player get the face at the proper position at address.  Material is moved from the heel and toe of the club, making it easier to hit shots from lies other than perfect.

The center of gravity is moved back and low to make the club easy to hit and make shots fly at a higher launch and trajectory.  Getting the ball in the air quicker is easier with this design.

The face has three zones which vary in thickness.  This “Three-Zone Face Technology” optimizes the sweet spot, increases accuracy and helps make off-center shots fly farther and straighter.  We could all use that!

Wilson Staff FYbrid 5w RS

FYbrid RS 5w at address – click to zoom

Looks

The look of this club when standing over it is very traditional and aesthetically pleasing.  The face lines up nicely and I feel good over the shot, knowing that I’m aligned properly.

Feel

The feel and feedback of the club are nice.  A well struck shot feels like butter and makes a distinct pinging sound.  Off center shots are translated to your hands and ears giving feedback, but the forgiveness of the club helps with what would normally be distance and accuracy lost.

Shaft

The shaft on the FYbrid 5w I have in the bag is very interesting.  This is a “half-and-half” shaft which is half graphite and half steel.  Best of both worlds I suppose.  Many other more standard shafts are available.

FYbrid Line Specifications

Club Loft Left Handed Swing Weight Length Men’s
3W 15.0 Y D2 43.0″
5W (featured) 18.0 Y D2 42.0″
FY 19.5 Y D2 41.0″
3H 21.0 Y D2 40.5″
4H 24.0 Y D2 40.0″
5H 27.0 Y D2 39.5″
6H 30.0 Y D2 39.0″
Wilson Staff FYbrid RS 5w

Wilson Staff FYbrid RS 5w with head cover – click to zoom

Head Cover

Many golf companies slack in the head cover department.  It almost seems as if they don’t even try the covers on the course.  The Wilson covers however, are great.  Putting the cover on and taking it off is easy and not irritating.

On The Course

My 18 degree FYbrid has been a great tool.  It fills a gap between my regular or strong 3-metals which are anywhere from 13-15 degrees, and my hybrids which start at 21 degrees.  The club is easier to hit than a 3-metal, but goes nearly as far.

Shots out of varying lies are easy to hit as the description says.  In fact, I’ve hit this club from everywhere with great results, even fairway bunkers.  It is nice to know that even though I may be 235 yards from the green in a bunker, I can still get it there provided the lip isn’t too high.

The distance I get with this club is perfect for those “go times” when trying to reach par-5’s in two.  The no-go times when a dependable club other than a driver on a par-4 is needed, is a great time for the FYbrid RS 5w.  And long par-3’s are no longer that tough when it is this easy to hit long and high shots.

Conclusion

The FYbrid 5w is a fine club which fills a great space between a 3-metal and a hybrid.  The club is easy to hit, has great feel and feedback, and launches the ball nice and high.

Well played Wilson.  Seriously.

Related Links

Hooked On Golf Blog Wilson Staff image gallery

Wilson Staff FYbrid 5h Review

 


Club Championship Round One Recap

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Categories: GolfHackers

Yesterday I completed round one of my two round club championship at my home course, River Oaks Golf Course in Sandy, Utah.  This course is a par-70 track which is very underrated.  I call it a “tee shot course” because it is not tough if you can successfully get off the tee without knocking your ball into a hazard.  And hazards there are many.  Nearly EVERY hole on the course has a sliver of rough outside the fairway which is then bordered by swampy hazards.  Miss the fairway and most likely you are hitting your 3rd shot from the tee or from where your ball entered a hazard.

I started off the round nervous but focused.  The toughest stretch of the course is holes 1-4, which have all sorts of trouble.

1: I played solid golf on the first hole and barely missed a birdie putt of about 12 feet.

2: On the par-4 2nd, 468 yards, I missed the green right and short-sided myself.  I hit a very good chip which had to land on a down slope, but it did end up about 10 feet left of the hole.  I made the putt for a clutch par.

3: Had a tail wind on this par-3 over the water, about 163 yards.  I hit 8-iron, ignoring the wind figuring I’d be long of the front pin.  Instead I ended up on the front of the green with about a 15 footer for birdie.  The wind didn’t help, it knocked the shot down.  Thankfully I didn’t hit the 9-iron.  I left the birdie putt about 2 inches short in the jaws.

4: This par-4 hole is tough.  Miss-hit a tee shot and you are looking at a double bogey.  I split the fairway with a 5-iron, then knocked a pitching wedge to about 20 feet (long).  Once again missed a make-able birdie putt.

5: Gagged my driver right into the right rough on this par-5 into the wind.  2nd shot 5-iron was solid but leaked into right rough again, about 120 out.  I hit PW over the green onto the back fringe.  The pin was back but the putt off the fringe was super fast.  Once again, barely missed the birdie and had an easy par.  If I could make anything I could easily be -4 at this point.

6: Par-3, 180 yards.  Hit 6-iron to about 30 feet right of the pin.  FINALLY made a putt.  Birdie and now at -1.

7: Short par-4.  Hit a very solid 4-iron to the 150 marker.  Then the first gag swing of the day happened, and it wouldn’t be the last.  I shoved a 9-iron into the greenside bunker.  The ball hit the front lip and bounded to the back edge.  Failed to get up and down out of the wet sand.   First bogey of the day, but at even par after 7 holes.  I wasn’t complaining.

8: 183 yard par-3.  But now the wind has kicked up to a good two clubs.  I hit a very bad 5-iron right of the greenside bunker, flirting with the OB fence.  It took a while, but my buddy Bryant who was my marker for the day, found the ball in 10 inch rough.  I had to blast out of it with my sand wedge and hit a fine shot to the middle of the green, but on the wrong side of the tier.  Two putts, bogey.  But thankful I didn’t lose a ball.  It could have been worse.

9: After two bogeys in a row I was a bit steamed.  I hit driver into the wind on this par-4, to about 80 yards from the green.  I punched a lob wedge which landed on the fringe left of the front pin and spun onto the surface.  I had a 10 foot birdie opportunity, but it was super fast downhill.  Another miss, but this time I had to make a five footer to save par, which I did.  So many missed birdies on the front.

10: Now into a 2-3 club wind I split the fairway with my hybrid on this tough dogleg right with a narrow opening between trees and hazards.  That tee shot had been worrying me but I did well.  My pitching wedge to the green hit at nearly pin high, but spun back about 20 feet.  Not cool.  Wrong tier and putting into the wind I gagged the first putt very short and missed the long par putt. Bogey.

11: My nerves now are really killing me.  11 is an EASY par-4.  Iron off the tee and wedge to the green.  I hit a 4-iron terribly, barely reaching the fairway and leaving me a 7-iron to the green.  Normally I’m hitting sand or lob wedge.  I hit a very solid iron though, and ended pin high left about 18 feet.  Missed another make-able birdie.  Par.

12: Fun par-3 over water.  This one is perpendicular to the south wind, so a 2 club wind blowing the ball left.  I hit a solid wedge which started right of the pin and finished about 12 feet above it.  Once again, came within inches of a birdie and made par.  At this point I’m going nuts with the missed birdie putts.

13: Now dead into a 2-3 club wind on this reachable par-5.  I hit a very solid driver straight down the middle.  210 out I hit hybrid, but pulled it onto a hillside left of the green in long rough.  I made a very good chip which ran over the tier to the back portion of the green.  Downhill birdie putt from 12 feet barely missed, again.

14: Now with the wind I tried to drive this par-4.  I was two yards short on a severe upslope to a very slanted surface.  I hit a good chip to once again birdie range.  The downhill putt did not drop.  Tap-in par, again.  Kill me.

15: This par-4 is the toughest hole on the back nine and is dead into the wind.  I hit a solid drive, leaving me 180 yards to the middle pin, uphill.  I completely choked on a 6-iron, which finished short right in deep rough.  I hit a terrible chip this time, barely getting it onto the green and leaving about a 50 foot putt for par.  I sent the putt by 10 feet and missed the bogey putt.  Terrible double.  I’d been so close to birdie for so long, the double hurt bad.

16: Now hurting bad I needed to suck it up.  16 is a short par-4, iron off the tee.  I hit 5-iron to the 100 yard marker.  I then hit lob wedge to the middle of the green.  This time though, the putt was hardly one I’d expect to make, with about a 20 foot break running downhill.  I managed a solid par.

17: This is a short par-4 which I usually hit a nice solid hybrid off the tee.  3-wood or driver are too much.  At this point the heat and moisture got to me, as well as the nerves which made my arms feel like wet spaghetti noodles.  I completely gagged the tee shot into trees left of the hole.  The ball crossed the hazard about 170 out.  I picked 7-iron for my 3rd shot and flew it over the green.  Made a solid chip to about 10 feet but the putt was very tough with a lot of downhill break.  Another double.  I haven’t had two doubles in a round in two months.  But this is the club championship, when nerves can really affect me.  They did.

18: Now at +6 I’m very disappointed.  But I thought about the wind conditions and that they could cause some high scores.  I figure I’m behind the eight-ball, but not out of it.  At least that’s what I hoped.   18 was playing short, but the south wind from left to right would make it tough to figure yardage and get the right line.  I decided to punch an 8-iron.  I hit the shot of the day.  It came in low to the center of the green, curving to the back right pin.  The ball looked close to going in, settling in to about 14 inches.  I made the birdie and got back one of the bad shots on the back.

Conclusion

So here I sit at a disappointing 75 for my first round, which could have been so much lower.  Two three putts and two doubles on the back and a ton of missed birdies.

I anticipate that the low round is probably somewhere around par-70.  I’m probably five shots back going into round two Saturday’s final round.  It is not over by any means, but I’m going to need to keep the nerves in check and make some of those birdie putts to have a chance.


Club Championship Round One Of Two Today – Wish Me Luck

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
Categories: GolfGolf LifeHackers

Well it is that time of year.  Golf associations are having their club championships, winding down the season.  Once again I’ll take a crack at winning my 2nd championship, my first was back in 2005.  I’ve had an ace and I’ve golfed in St. Andrews.  But my most proud moment of my amateur golf career is that 2005 championship.

golf scoreboard

Play by play of my match to win the championship in 2005. Click to zoom…

I’ve been playing fairly well as of late and I’m looking forward to going low today in round one to put myself in a good position for round two, which will be this Saturday.  Wish me luck.  It is time for a birdie fest.


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