Over the last decade, I’ve done my best to write unbiased and honest reviews of products I have actually put into play for a lengthy period of time. Some are better than others but at least I can sleep at night knowing I’ve made a solid effort, and not mailed in a review like other golf review sites do.
Today’s review is going to be something new, completely BIASED. I’ve been putting off writing this review for the very fact that I didn’t feel I could write in an unbiased fashion. Then I decided I should write it because it features a cool golf product called Tornado Tee, invented by a local guy who I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years. Why not help a friend and business associate out? Since John is a friend, I know he wants total candidness as well.
Tornado Tee inventor John Hartline and I first met at the 2011 PGA Merchandise show. I stumbled across his booth and saw these strange looking golf tees. Here’s the video from 2011:
During our meeting at the show I noticed John was from my neighborhood! Since then John and I have become friends, played some golf, and worked together and parallel in the golf world. Lets take a look at these very interesting golf tees.
The candid biased review begins…now.
Let’s get one thing straight with the design of this golf tee and any other tee which is “legal” for play. The tee cannot “increase” distance or accuracy artificially. What tees can do, or perhaps not do, is with regards to friction and resistance. Less friction/resistance from the tee means less spin. Less spin means more distance and better accuracy, generally speaking. Now before you argue the point on spin, some spin is needed to keep the ball airborne. We’re not talking about reducing that.
So how does the Tornado Tee help reduce that bad resistance and friction between the ball and the tee? The very wild looking, flexible mesh gives way at impact. You see, the golf ball “deforms” at impact. By deforms, I mean it loses its shape and compresses. It becomes oblong vertically. That outward movement is where the friction and resistance between the tee and ball happen. As the mesh gives way during that deformation, it produces less friction than a regular golf tee. Bingo. Longer and straighter.
How Much Longer?
Logically speaking, the more a person compresses the ball the more the ball deforms. The more the ball deforms, the more dramatic the effect of the Tornado Tee will be. That’s why the big muscle-heads on the long drive tours love the TT, because they’re getting a more dramatic result than someone who can’t compress the ball as much.
There’s also a little bit of resistance horizontally as the ball starts off toward the target. That resistance is also a factor, and one need not compress the ball a lot to benefit.
On The Course
I’ve been using the Tornado Tee off and on since 2011, based on conditions and if I happen to have tees in my bag. I try to give them away to people I meet to give John a little public relations juice. Lately my driving has been quite good. My length and accuracy this season seems as good as it has been in a long time. Certainly the swing has the most to do with that, but the tee seems to be helping a bit too. Every bit counts.
Have I seen massive and unbelievable increases in distance and accuracy? Am I suddenly blowing my drives by my opponents 50 yards like one might expect after viewing a TaylorMade advertisement? No. Of course not. I don’t see 17 additional yards every time I try the latest TaylorMade driver either. If all that were true, we’d be hitting 1,000 yard drives and golf courses would be 25,000 yards long. I can’t quantify it, but I do feel there’s a difference in my game. Probably a few extra yards off the tee. I’m pretty accurate as it is, so I can’t say I see a difference. I’ve been flight scoped as having NO side-spin on many drives though.
There are a few critiques that I have for the Tornado Tee. The biggest one is that the ball is not stable on the tee in windy conditions. The ball will move around and sometimes, like yesterday, fall off the tee if the winds are high enough.
Teeing the ball up takes some getting used to. The flexibility of the crown means pushing the tee into the ground is a little different. To do it one must compress the mesh to the plastic, push the tee in, then lightly pull the mesh up. It isn’t hard, just takes some getting used to.
If one has unsure hands, getting the ball on the tee can be slightly difficult. The mesh is flexible. That’s what gives it the properties it has!
I have had great results from a durability standpoint, though others may not. I’ve been using one tee for at least a couple of months. At four rounds per week, we are talking well over 100 holes with the same tee. I’m able to deliver the driver quite accurately to the tee. I don’t miss the sweet spot by much. But players who do miss the sweet spot will break more tees. I don’t hit the plastic part of the tee. Players who do will likely break it at some point.
The tee is primarily for driving the ball, but can be compressed down to hit hybrids, fairways, and even iron shots. For me, I just use it for the driver.
As you can see from the pictures in this (overly long) review, TT can custom print on your tees. I suggest just going with the HOG logo. It is so beautiful.
There are no miracles in golf, contrary to what the big golf companies and their ad agencies want you to believe. Tornado Tee is certainly the most advanced and most effective golf tee I’ve ever played. Will it take me from a 2-handicap to the PGA Tour? Will it make a guy who banana-slices his drives 75 yards from left-to-right hit it straight? Will it make a player who hits 230 yard drives a 300+ yard bomber? No. No gear can do that. But what it can do is give you a bit more distance and accuracy; a bit more of an edge which just might help you like it helps me… winning an extra $2.00 nassau here and there. And with that $2.00 win comes the priceless bragging rights.
HOG Reader Special Purchase
I worked out a deal with John to give HOG readers a special deal if they want to buy Tornado Tees. A coupon code of “HOG” will get you two extra tees to go with the five pack, plus FREE SHIPPING at the Tornado Tee online store. Try ‘em out and see what they can do for you.