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Ben_Howell34

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Test Reviews posted by Ben_Howell34

  1. Personal Life

     

    My name is Ben Howell and I am 30 years old, living in Birmingham with my wife and two daughters. First, I would like to thank MGS for the opportunity to perform this test, and for Spornia for providing the net! 

    I love being outdoors and social (two great things about golf) and fun competition (again, great thing about golf).  I also love to travel and eat out whenever it is feasible. I work as a major account sales rep for Xerox

    45FDA111-B6BE-41F3-8570-D9598B2832D7.jpeg.52525c71d67cfa2d941dc9528313711a.jpeg

     Golf

     

    I started playing golf later in life. Growing up in a small town we did not have a golf course, and put most of my energy into baseball and football. I thought golf would be too slow and boring (wow was I wrong). Ended up playing college football at the University of Alabama which didn’t leave much time for anything else, but I did pick up golf sparingly. 
     

    After college started playing golf more, but wasn’t till about 4 years ago that I really started getting more serious about it. I play an average of twice a month I would say now, and I’ve played more this year than any year previous. 
     

    Just started keeping an official handicap this year, I am currently at a 10.5. I also got my first two lessons ever this August, which makes me very excited for this specific testing opportunity! Weakness of my game is approach shots and pitches. 

    4B250F55-444E-485E-8FD3-0B478144C988.jpeg.c8eecc85cba88d175d48e3eaaff59d58.jpegB366DF22-A196-476B-883C-DBC531526BAC.jpeg.7446fddc9a49c38e7f3f12fbcfd5c879.jpeg

    Goals for this test

     

    Personally do not do much practicing at home besides some chipping. Would like to see how much my technique in my lessons can be engrained from using this net. 

    I do not have any sort of trackman type application with this, so interested to see how no ball flight response affects training. 

    Would like to test this outside in my yard vs inside my garage. 

    Would like to test durability vs real golf balls and with different clubs, especially woods. 

    Personal golf goals are to get to hitting 55% GIR or greater on a consistent basis, currently at about 25%. 

     

     

    If there is anything you would like to see tested or are curious about this product, please let me know. I am very excited to test this out, especially in this learning stage of my golf life! 
     

     

     

    First Impressions

     

    • I will say, the product exceeded my preconceived notions. I was nervous about the size of the net, thinking it would be easy to miss the net on a mishit. When I saw the delivered package, it encouraged that thought as the package is not very big relevant to what you would expect from a hitting net, as you can see below. However, once the net is opened, it is much bigger than I expected, especially from the packaging.257D87AE-6B87-421D-8072-56A338A9B5F7.jpeg.b96c8c8578fde0fda9c8e68d4ae51e72.jpeg
    • The net was very easy to put together. The instructions were simple, but the assembly matches that, so detailed instructions are not really needed.  I timed it, and on average it took me 2:53 to set up the net and 2:44 to take down.C283AE1A-9DDF-4CE1-9C58-5ADDEE44EC03.jpeg.93d0682d109b4b4acce24e160b4ba2c3.jpeg

     

    Quality of Components (9 out of 10 points)

    • Once I opened the net and put it together, I could tell it was very well made and solid, although it was easy to move around and not hard to pick up, relatively speaking.  The rods in the device to hold it up were durable and the net itself is very durable. The most impressive part to me is the back portion of the net that “deadens” the hit. It is very thick and durable and does its job perfectly. I hit it as hard as I could with driver over and over trying to see if I could get a bad bounce off it and was unable to do this.  

      18D3BDA1-C2FE-4B6A-B842-B1F183E95A12.jpeg.71b44cf37be8f03a0cde5bb09f797ee3.jpeg

    • Another thing that was impressive to me was the way it is stored and the carrier bag it comes in. It is rolled up very small and the bag is easy to handle, and seemingly durable. 8B878A65-4EFB-4C86-9449-174971C41510.jpeg.7169ce52030326e3b5ab2ff5566b3fa5.jpeg
    • The only thing that I thought could be improved is there is a “hood” over the front of the net that is supposed to protect from high wedge shots and “sky balls” per say. The issue is you must put a rod through it and take it out every time you set it up and take it down. The slip you put it in is very thin and seems easy to tear as you put the rod in and out (luckily has not happened yet but seems like it could) and the rod is tough to get in and out anyway. Therefore, I took off one point. E104461E-839A-4D8B-8440-7164A206A5C4.jpeg.06e64f46e2f0c383f0b43f62f6e7a36c.jpegB8DCB96C-D1FA-4C27-B699-F4E218A89003.jpeg.820613b7df1a032b92657b08650e7577.jpeg

     

    Ease of Use (10 out of 10 points)

    • This training aid is easy to use and of course is obvious how to use it once it is set up, which I described as very easy to do above.  I can use it inside or outside very easily, depending on the height of your ceiling of course. Inside my garage I was able to hit irons but not woods, but that is based on the height of my ceiling, not anything to do with the net itself.    

       

     

    Basic Characteristics (18 out of 20 points)

    • I really like this training aid.  The ball return for the device is really nice, and you can adjust the catch net at the bottom to make sure it does not bounce out if you are on concrete or something
      like that. Of course, that protects the golf ball and makes it way easier to retrieve the balls. It did bounce over sometimes anyway, which I dinged a point off for that.
    • Another thing that the net includes is a chipping net that can be inserted in the middle of the net. I did not use that much, as in my opinion that defeated the purpose of the ball retrieval I just described, as I can just chip into the net as is and the ball comes right back to me.  I took one more point off for that, but honestly that is just personal opinion. 98B1C2CF-6A95-401C-850D-0D645A3447D7.jpeg.be2a1660bb4db069e227ee23bbc99a76.jpeg
    • I had no issue with the wind moving the net or anything, and I have not use the stakes at all, as they were not needed. I live in a hilly neighborhood so it is not typically windy but can get that way sometimes. The net barely moved when I hit the ball as hard as I could into it, which impressed me. 

     

    On-Course Performance (26 out of 30 Points)

    • I was happy to get a chance to try this net as I have two small kids and do not have the chance to leave the house often to hit at the range.  So being able to practice at home is a plus, and it is easy to set up and take down.
    • One of the reasons I took away points here is because I unfortunately have not been able to see improvement in my game from the net (yet). I feel that is semi unfair as I have not been able to play much due to weather and schedule, but in the limited sample size it has not very much. My driver has done slightly better, but my irons have not improved at all in the few rounds I have been able to play. I mentioned in my introduction my GIR is around 25% and I have hovered a little lower than that in the rounds since using the net. 
    • One downside of using a net is the lack of feedback. I do not have any sort of launch monitor but hoping to use one soon from a friend. I also have ordered some “contact tape” to put on my irons and am trying to focus on solid contact in practice, as that is one of my weaknesses with my irons, and my coach I have been to a couple times had told me to focus on making solid contact, which can be practiced with a net.

     

    Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)

    • Packaging for this is great, everything looks pristine coming out of the box and sturdy, as we have already discussed. I have not had to talk to customer service because I have had no issues, so I do not have any experience there. The only issue I had was that it did take a long time for the product to come in, however I know with the labor and supply chain issues that is forgivable. Even so, I docked a point for that, even if deserving of an asterisk.

     

    Keep It or Trade It? (20 out of 20 points)

    • I would absolutely keep it. With the winter coming up, I expect to use this more and more in the garage, especially with the irons and wedges.  I cannot imagine that there is a net out there that is more durable and easier to use than this one, however to be fair I have not used any other take home nets. The price point looks to be about $200-$250 online, which I believe is fair given the quality of this net.

     

    Conclusion

    • Overall, this is a well-built net that I expect I can use for years and years. Easy to set up and take down, great engineering to prevent any wild mishits and bounces, and helps take care of the balls as well.  I think this net can be a great asset to my game, especially keeping in “playing shape” during the winter. 89266777-20A6-43C7-BE9E-961A6FEDB349.jpeg.5839b16c35dd640f017076fdea79a35b.jpeg

    Final Score: 92 out of 100

     

     

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