GolfZon Swingtalk Device
This interesting golf gadget just arrived at HOG World Headquarters for a pending golf product review. It is made by GolfZon and is called SwingTalk. The unit attaches to a golf club and through a bluetooth connection with the player’s smartphone or tablet, gives the player all sorts of information, even speaking said information.
- Voice swing feedback
- Trajectory of club and shaft measured and displayed
- Path of club head tracked
- Key swing points analyzed
- Data stored for later analysis and comparison in the “cloud”
I dig the packaging:
GolfZon SwingTalk – click for more images
Provided that the current snow which is falling melts, I’ll be trying out this interesting system soon and posting a full review.
Click to buy book…
Just what the doctor ordered, a short game book. Somehow I managed to finish the 2014 season with a 1.5 handicap and a save percentage of somewhere between 25-30%. Saves meaning I missed hitting the green in regulation and managed to get up-and-down for par or better. In other words, if I had a short game I could be a hell of an amateur golfer.
My next read (after Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex
haha) will be Your Short Game Solution: Mastering the Finesse Game from 120 Yards and In by James Sieckmann.
I’ve thumbed through and picked a few random pages to check out quickly and I can already tell the depth and detail of this book is great. In randomly picking a couple of pages I’ve already learned some valuable short game tips and information.
I’m excited to dive into this one. Full review soon. Let’s see what happens in 2015.
That’s the spot (photo courtesy lowerbackpainguide.org)
Any regular readers here or on my social networks know I deal with back problems. While I’d like to say all my back problems are behind me, ahem, sadly they are not. I have some arthritis in my lower back, probably a result of playing the drums since age five, and sitting on a drum stool for thousands of hours. Once in a while I turn the wrong way, pick up something too heavy, or sneeze wrong, and a nerve pinches in my spine. The feeling when the nerve pinches is like having my spine plugged into a 240 volt power socket. Shortly after the shock, the muscles in the area begin to spasm, producing sharp pain unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve dislocated shoulders, broken bones, separated shoulders, pulled hamstrings from the bone… NOTHING compares to stabbing lower back pain and spasms. Nothing.
The spams and shooting pain are completely debilitating. It is so bad that I can’t reach my feet to put my socks on or tie my shoes. Getting up and down from a chair, or in and out of the car is horrible. When you yelp in pain from wiping your own ass and fall on the floor in the bathroom, you know you have a real problem.
I’ve tried every solution in the book for the back spasms, except perhaps hiring a shaman queen to come in and burn sagebrush over my back and perform some kind of exorcism. Muscle relaxers take the edge off for 45 minutes. Pain pills take the edge off for 45 minutes. Acupuncture from the #1 guy in the state did nothing. Chiropractic care doubled the pain and made the spasms last for two weeks instead of one. Deep tissue massage doubled the pain and made the spasms last for two weeks. Rehab with a sports doctor did nothing.
This past Friday while drying my toes in the shower, I felt a small electric shock in my spine. It was enough to stop me in my tracks and wait a minute to see if the spasms started. They did not. I thought I’d gotten lucky. A few minutes later while zipping my backpack I was hit with 240 volts and all I could do was yelp and say, “oh no.” I knew the next week my back would be stabbing with spasms and I’d be down for the count.
By Friday night I could barely walk.
Saturday morning in the shower I cranked the heat up and decided to try some strange stretches. I’d tried some recommended yoga positions the day before to no avail, but I wanted to golf so bad Sunday I thought I’d try some kind of funky stretch to see what might happen. It couldn’t get worse.
In the shower I’d heated up the lower back as best I could. I stood with my feet together facing parallel to the shower wall. I reached over my body with both hands to the top of the shower wall, which I’d guess is about 7-8 feet high. I then began to bend my back in the same direction the spasms were forcing me to go, to my left side. I could feel the tension right in the spot where the nerve pinch was. I continued to maneuver my hands and feet and bend such that I was stretching the spine and muscles on the right side. I would sometimes cross my feet and hands. I remembered the doctor at the sports rehab place last year putting me on the barbaric machine which stretched your body, millimeters at a time. That was an effort to separate the vertebrae so that the pinched nerve would be relieved and the healing bodily fluids could work through the area. While that never worked, I thought this stretch might.
The stretching felt good, and I felt some relief after a couple of minutes. I decided to switch around and do the opposite stretch. My body would not bend that way very much, as that seemed to focus the bend right on the bad spot. I did it anyway, despite the pain. What the hell. Why not? I went back and forth between the two stretches.
When I got out of the shower I was standing straight up, not hunched over at a 25 degree angle to the left. Somehow I’d straightened myself out.
The lovely bride instantly noticed that I was straight and not crooked, and commented about it.
For the next couple of hours I was slightly sore, but stunned at being able to stand straight up with no spasms or stabbing pain only a day after a bad tweak. Normally I’d be expecting 6-7 days of spasms, 6-7 days of laying on the floor. By the afternoon I had a golf club in my hand and was testing out some ginger swings.
Sunday morning it was a bit stiff, as my back often is in the morning. Sitting in a chair didn’t help so I tried to stand. Some of the muscle tightening was back but not terrible. No spasms or stabbing pain. I did the stretches again in the shower and had almost complete relief after.
By 12 noon on Sunday, I was hitting a 290 yard drive up the middle of the first fairway.
My back is as unpredictable as 20-handicapper’s driving accuracy. I’ve found solutions in the past which seemed to help once, but not again. I’m hoping that this stretch I found is one which will work more than once. Logically speaking I think the strange contortion is separating the vertebrae and stopping the pinched nerve. Once the pinch is done, the muscle spasms stop and there’s some residual soreness but general relief from the problem.
I know my back will go out again and I fear it going out on a Scotland trip or at a terrible time. When it happens again, I’ll try this stretch. Only then will I know if this past time was a one-time gig, or if it is a real solution to the problem.
Ah what a time of year. Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas on the horizon… Golf season has concluded, except for those who live in warmer climates than I do. The best part of this time of year though, is that I get to put together my annual Hooked On Golf Blog Turkey of the Year awards. The Turkey of the Year awards recognizes the biggest boneheads in golf for the past year. Previous winners include John Daly for, well, being John Daly. Sergio Garcia for spitting in the cup and then denying doing it despite watching it on video, Tiger Woods for, you know…
This year was a little bit of a slower year for boneheads and blunders. Nothing huge. Not too many scandals. I thought of even awarding myself a TOY award for making two doubles and a triple in the city amateur, and still taking 2nd place a mere three shots behind the winner…
Enough pillow talk. Let’s get down and dirty. Here are the 2014 golf Turkeys of the Year, and a little ranting to go along with them!
Drum roll… the envelope please…
Talk about “blowing” the season. Dustin Johnson took a self imposed leave of absence from the PGA Tour to work on “personal issues” which he did not care to discuss. The rest of the golf world knew what was up. It would seem that DJ had to take the leave because of failing drug tests, one allegedly for pot and two others for cocaine.
Along with the drug issues, many stories floated around about DJ having affairs with more than one wife of fellow PGA Tour members. Not sure when those alleged affairs took place, but it would be puzzling to think that this may have happened while he was with Paulina Gretzky. Despite having plenty of gourmet food, it is tough to resist an all-you-can-eat buffet.
To cap it all off, Dustin Johnson and Paulia Gretzky announced that she was pregnant.
Johnson was in very good position with regards to FeEx Cup points, and playing well. He had a very good shot at the $10,000,000 first prize. Had. For “blowing” that opportunity, DJ earns a Turkey of the Year award.
Many theorized the Tour gave DJ an ultimatum, take a leave of absence or be kicked off the tour for six months. The PGA Tour would not discuss Dustin Johnson’s situation to confirm or deny that. But when media outlets started postulating what was going on, the Tour then decided to clarify what they were not going to discuss. For that, the PGA Tour gets a Turkey Award.
15 inch golf holes and other changes to the core of the game were ideas from the newly formed organization “Hack Golf.” Hack Golf was a child of now former CEO of TaylorMade, Mark King. Hack Golf’s goal seemed to be an honorable one, “grow the game.” The reality was they knew their driver sales were dropping faster than a tour groupie drops her panties. Hack Golf was a bad attempt at bastardizing a great game with the hopes that it would grow their bottom line, not the game itself.
Speaking of hacking, Greg Norman nearly hacked his arm off with a chainsaw. There are many interesting angles to this story. First Greg tweeted seconds before about doing the job himself and showed a picture of himself with the chainsaw. The next photo was him n the hospital.
The real reason he tried to hack his arm off? He had lunch AND dinner with me the day before. Apparently nothing tops meeting me. Nothing more in life to accomplish. Not worth living at that point. I’m glad that Greg made a full recovery.
Along the “grow the game” line of things is another boneheaded idea which earns a Turkey of the Year: Foot Golf. Foot Golf is played on a golf course with large holes and soccer balls. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Foot Golf does not grow golf. Courses who introduce Foot Golf will lose their golf patrons. Footgolf produces no equipment sales, no lesson revenue, no range revenue.
Equipment Release Cycles
2014 may go down as the year golfers finally rebelled against TaylorMade and Callaway and their ridiculous equipment release cycles. Each company has released NINETEEN drivers since 2010! NINETEEN. 19. I find it amazing too that the marketing campaign for each driver always seems to guarantee gaining more yards. If that’s the case why am I not hitting my drives 500 yards now? WTF? False advertising!!
TaylorMade’s sales tanked in 2014. Golfers stopped believing the hype and realized that all the knobs, sliders, weights, and other “technology” wasn’t giving them more yardage or lowering their scores. It was only lowering their bank account.
For causing more damage than good to the golf industry through overzealous product release cycles, the likes of TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike and Cobra all get Turkey of the Year awards.
2014 was statistically the worst year Tiger Woods has ever had as a professional golfer. Tiger’s best finish in calendar year 2014 was the WGC Cadillac Championship, a non-cut event where he tied for 25th. In the other six starts for 2014 he was cut twice, withdrew twice, placed 69th at the Open Championship and tied for 80th place at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Total winnings on Tour for 2014 was barely over $108,000, probably not enough to keep the private jet or yacht fueled for a week.
At the end of the season Tiger announced the change of swing coaches to unknown Chris Como. I can’t wait for another year of watching his swing change and hearing him say “its a process.” What will be even worse is how the media will lap it up like a starving cat lapping up a cup of milk.
USA Ryder Cup Team
A Turkey of the Year leg goes to the USA Ryder Cup team. Every RC it amazes me that a team with so much individual talent can manage to lose so dramatically. But that’s the point, they’re all individuals who are not used to, or interested in playing as a team. They’re all independent contractors.
For getting their asses kicked in the 2014 Ryder Cup, then throwing captain Tom Watson under the bus after the loss, the USA Ryder Cup Team wins a Turkey of the Year award.
Ryder Cup Task Force
A big bonehead of the year goes to the “Ryder Cup Task Force.” The whole idea is really dumb. No task force is needed. Here’s the what the USA Team has to do to win the Ryder Cup, and I’m giving this advice away free:
Ted Bishop -Former President of the PGA of America
While I can’t say I disagree with Ted Bishop’s assessment of Ian Poulter and his sniveling about Nick Faldo in Poulter’s autobiography, it was not something the PGA of America president should have said. Still, hats off to him for saying it. Unfortunately we do not live in a world where one can be that candid anymore, without offending someone.
His comments? “Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” I’m surprised this was thought of as offensive and sexist against girls. I would have thought that little girls would have been more offended being compared to Ian Poulter.
I must admit, I need a barf bag at the ready whenever I see anything produced by the Back9Network. Their attempt at mixing lifestyle with golf is off-the-charts-bad. Obviously in desperation the “network” has dumbed down to simply posting pictures of slutty, scantily clad women who don’t necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with golf. Some of their “articles” are twitter and instagram streams of Amanda Dufner. I swear if Amanda Dufner left the limelight B9N might have to close permanently.
I’m especially not fond of their series, “The Caddy Girls.” This is where they post a picture of some slut in a bunker or bending over a on a golf cart. Nice job. You can’t even spell “caddie” correctly you morons.
I prefer the name “Trash9Network.”
Is this photo about golf or Paulina Gretzky’s boobs? You be the judge.
Golf.com, Golf Digest, Sexist Photo Galleries
Speaking of scantily clad women, sluts, and bad golf journalism, I’m very disappointed to see the direction that Golf.com and Golf Digest are heading. They’ve dumbed down to Back9Network levels by posting slutty pictures of Paulina Gretzky, Amanda Dufner, “Hot tour wives” or whatever they call them.
Oh, but this is about “fitness” isn’t it? No. To be candid, it is about tits and ass and the traffic they generate.
Um, where’s the golf journalism? I’ll tell you where… It is gone. These slutty pictures are simple link-bait so they can report to their advertisers that they have X number of hits and page-views per month. Posting Natalie Gulbis’s nude body paint photos or Paulina Gretzky in a G-String generates traffic; much more than the millionth “fix your slice” article.
Doesn’t it seem hypocritical that the golf media went nuts over Ted Bishop’s little girl comment about Poulter, calling that sexist? In the meantime they’re posting the latest slutty photos of some “model” or hot tour wife?
There are a lot of boneheads and turkeys for 2014. Nothing stands out to me as a clear winner above the rest. They’re all bad. I lean toward the hypocrisy and sexist ways golf “journalism” has gone. Am I against looking at pictures of hot women? Hell no. But not under the guise of golf journalism. Are you a soft porn site or golf site?
I’ll admit I’m not big on “apps” on the course. I find most of them too tedious and too time consuming to fit in during a round of golf. I also find that I’m messing with the device more than I’m concentrating on my next shot or my course strategy.
That said, I will be taking a test drive of Game Golf. This is a very cool system where the golfer attaches sensors to all his/her clubs (sensors shown in photo below). Before each shot the golfer logs the club/shot by tapping the club to a device on his/her belt. At the end of the round the system produces full stats which are very useful, and can even be paired up against buddies and even PGA Tour pros.
It will be a few weeks before I post my full review. Unlike flyby golf review sites, I actually TEST the equipment I review and take my time on a REAL golf course! What a concept!