After seeing two different boneheads during my round today, who were doing two different bonheaded things, I decided I need to add a new category. Yes I already have the very popular and entertaining “boneheads” category, but this concept is a bit different. Hundreds of golf sites have golf instruction and “how to” this and “how to” that. Nobody has a “How not to.” Coming up are my first two installments of “How Not To.”
Being a hack golfer and a rock & roll drummer means my hands and forearms need to be in good shape. The last couple PGA Tour rounds I’ve watched on TV I’ve made sure to keep my Prohands PRO handy, doing some exercises to build up my strength for the upcoming golf season.
Gripmaster’s Prohands is a hand exerciser, much better than squeezing a tennis ball or one of those two handled v-shaped devices. The PRO model is the one I have, because… I’m a pro. Ahem. The unit has individual finger springs for working each finger as well as the muscles and ligaments in the hand and arm.
Remember the Medicus from years ago? The SKLZ Refiner series are clubs with a similar concept. The Refiner Driver is a hinged training driver which shows breakdowns in your swing.
Two huge factors in the golf swing are tempo and swing plane.
Many players’ tempos are way too fast or jerky at different points in the swing. The Refiner driver breaks down when the following tempos are too quick:
Take away tempo
Top of the swing pause
Start of the downswing
Pronation or follow through
I thought I had a very smoothly timed wing, but the Refiner had a different story. I found that my takeaway was too quick. My “normal” swing had the hinge breaking down between the start of my takeaway and the first foot or two back. I really thought I was slow and smooth here but I wasn’t. Since adjusting that small part of my swing I’m hitting the ball higher and father. The rest of my swing was fine, according to the Refiner.
If you swing the club with a bad swing plane the Refiner will also break down. This helps players get on plane, especially slicers. If you are coming outside in, the usual cause of a slice, the Refiner will let you know.
You can actually hit shots with the Refiner Driver, as seen in the video below
While out testing a myriad of golf gear on a cold cold day at the south range of my home course my pal and mini tour pro Luke Swilor stopped by. I put Luke to work testing the Refiner. Luke is a high level player and I was anxious to see what happened in his swing with this unit.
In the video below Luke and I test out the Refiner and give some off the cuff reactions and opinions. Luke crushes the Refiner, almost hitting the the range shack on the north end of the range. I might add there was a head wind as well. That answers the question, “can you hit real shots with this thing?”
For hammering out swing plane and especially tempo issues, I’ll always keep the Refiner handy. I’m sure if things go a bit bad with my swing, the Refiner can tell me where the breakdowns are occurring.
There are systems out there which are thousands of bucks, designed to analyze golf swings. They can draw lines for posture, swing planes etc. They also have super slow mo for capturing crucial points in time during the swing.
Enter the Casio EX-FS10
Now Casio has a pocket sized, point and shoot camera which could replace many of those high end pro analysis system’s features. The EX-FS10 has all the features a normal camera would have, plus high speed movie capture of up to 1,000 fps (frames per second). That is amazing. For reference, standard video is 30 frames per second. At that speed you’d better have a big memory card though. There are also settings for 210fps, 420fps and variable 30-210fps.
The Casio web site doesn’t show the lines in the photo here, the digital golf pro. I’m gathering that though the camera is available now in the USA, that feature isn’t available in models here, yet.
Perhaps I can get my hands on one of these babies soon and give it a test run.