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Develop some SKLZ this Off Season - New SKLZ Stuff!

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Fall SKLZ-01.jpg

 

Winter Shut Down

I hear rumor that some of you can't play golf year-round. During winter, you actually get winter weather, shutting down access to your favorite course. While I can sort of understand that, NorCal drought has kept my courses open, but dry, during the winter for the past couple of years. We do need the rain though...

 

Anyway, like many of you, I see the winter as a time to hone some golf skills in order to be ready for the next season. I'd like to say that the goal is to play better the next season, but we all know that just not having the swing completely disappear would be a victory.

 

Training aides seem like a natural place to turn to get some golf motions in when real golf is not possible, and I've got a couple of them from SKLZ to share with you today.

 

Really, these are more my first impressions about the aides since I have not had a ton of time with them, but so far, three of four are really good. The fourth shows potential, but its complexity will warrant further research.

 

Grip Trainer $19.99

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http://shop.sklz.com/fall-2015-products/grip-trainer-/invt/gogr001

 

Has anyone ever actually gripped a club with one of the standard type grip-training grips? I've definitely held one in the shop, and wondered if it would help, but I just couldn't (can't) see myself permanently attaching it to one of my clubs. Maybe I could buy a back-up set of clubs and grip them all with the training grips. Honestly, that seems like the only time I would go that direction.

 

Grip Trainer.jpg

 

This little grip trainer is a different animal as it snaps on and off of the grip already on your club. You can switch it from wedge to iron to wood in about five seconds. Sorry midsized and up, you're too large from this.

 

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What I like about the grip trainer is that with it attached, I have a better understanding of where the face is during my swing. As a known wiper of the ball, this is a huge help. Additionally, once you clip this on, it really stays put. No twisting or sliding on my NO1 grips at all.

 

So far, this one has earned a spot in the bag for range time.

 

Accelerator Pro Compact Putting Mat $29.99

Fall SKLZ-03.jpg

http://shop.sklz.com/fall-2015-products/accelerator-pro-compact-/invt/iptm001

This one is about what you would expect from a putting mat. The turf lays down pretty flat and allows the ball to roll true to target without skips and bumps.

 

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It does have a couple of extra things going for it. First, it's small. At only three feet long, you can probably find a spot to use it even in your new tiny house. Second, the alignment graphics and the elevated hole should help one to groove in a putting stroke. You are going to need to practice, of course, but having hit about a hundred putts on it (it's fun :) ), I can definitely see how it can help.

 

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Currently, it is at my neighbor's house where a high school golfer has been struggling with her putting. We will see if it can help her reduce here putts per round.

 

Fall SKLZ-18.jpg

 

Impact Golf Ball $9.99

Fall SKLZ-02.jpg

http://shop.sklz.com/accuracy/impact-golf-balls/invt/mimpgb001

 

I love blasting practice golf balls around the backyard. I've used most of the different kinds, from the old hard plastic whiffle balls, to the reduced-flight Almost Golf balls. BTW, reduced flight does not mean that you should hit those with driver. You are welcome.

 

Fall SKLZ-06.jpg

 

Without a doubt, these Impact Golf Balls are my new favorite. They fly pretty well off the face, spinning enough to let you know some info about the swing, but not launching over fences, onto roofs, and into unhappy neighbor pools.

 

What is best about these though is that they are seemingly unbreakable. A hard plastic one usually lasts an afternoon. One thin shot and it is done. These are fully resistant to my bashings. They squish, and pop right back. Seriously, check this out:

 

Squish Balls.jpg

 

You get a dozen for $10 and that should last you a long time. Plus, it comes with a little mesh bag for storage. You may lose these, but it will take some serious work to destroy them.

 

Fall SKLZ-12.jpg

 

 

All-In-One Swing Trainer $49.99

Fall SKLZ-04.jpg

http://shop.sklz.com/accuracy/all-in-one-swing-trainer/invt/sled001

 

This one has me a bit more cautious in my praise. While I am totally thumbs-up on the other three training aides, my thumb is still level here.

 

Fall SKLZ-21.jpg

 

In theory, this contraption is amazing. It's easily adjustable in such a way that it should help you address multiple swing issues, such as coming over the top, moving your head, and weight poor shift. It could be amazingly helpful.

 

Fall SKLZ-19.jpg

 

It is a bit unruly to transport around. Not terribly so, but the bars will take up some space, and the base will be heavy-ish when you fill it with water. It's just not that portable. It does have a handle built into the base, but you will need that free hand to tote it around.

 

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I also have some concerns about its resiliency. Not from experience with this product, but with a similar one that I built DIY from PVC. That homemade contraption was similar in design, allowing me to work on the over the top issue. It worked well too, until I really came over the top and smashed it with a 7i. With that, I had to replace a cheap section of PVC, with this, a big chop could put you out $50.

 

The simple solution, of course, is don't hit it with the club...

 

Fall SKLZ-20.jpg

 

Back to the plus side, this trainer is super easy to adjust and is built in such a way that the parts slide to the correct position and then lock in place via little pop-up buttons. With a bit of experience, it shouldn't be a huge deal to switch from one configuration to another.

 

Anyway, this one is going to take a bit more research to get a final opinion. I am especially interested in setting it up for head movement monitoring, as there is no real way to do this on one's own. I'm sure I'll look a little silly with it resting against my head at the range, but if it helps my swing, I can handle that.

 

Hone those SKLZ this Winter

I love the balls, and I think that there will be some repeated use with the grip trainer and the putting mat. If the swing trainer survives my hacks, it too could be quite a help this off-season when I hit on a mat in the garage. Ball flight won't tell me anything in there, but the swing trainer could give valuable feedback. If I don't shatter it.

 

What do you all think? Do you have any toys that help you to stay golf-fresh in the winter?

 

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I visit this site regularly and find it helpful and enjoyable to read.  I post very rarely because I am a duffer and really dont have much to add.  But I just couldnt resist responding to the op.

 

Our golf season is rapidly coming to a close as the weather in Minnesota is making the turn......downward!  If I am lucky, I may be able to get out and play a couple more times and then will have to wait about five or six months before playing outside again.  Golf is the way I relax.....not being able to golf for such an extended time drives me crazy.

 

A couple years ago a friend and I set up in our man cave a smallish hitting cage with a mat and a net.  We also bought an optishot. Then last year I bought a Swingbyte because our hitting area didnt have room to videotape our swings and I wanted to use the Swingbyte to give me a bit of a picture as to what my swing is doing.  There is no doubt in my mind that the cage, the optishot, and the Swingbyte have helped me keep sharper than I otherwise would be after a long winter (sharper is a relative term of course).  However, I soon realized that without a pro looking at the Swingbyte data and giving me some kind of analysis and a plan for improvement, it wasnt going to do quite as much for me as I had hoped. 

 

Well, a couple of weeks ago I ran across a new app that Swingbyte is testing.  It is called "Virtual Coach."  If you have a Swingbyte, you can download this app and it will analyze your swing, pick out three or four of your biggest swing flaws, and then it will set up a plan for improvement, providing multiple drills via video on your iphone that will help you gain some competency in making the changes.  You practice the drills, then use the Swingbyte and it will tell you how close you are to overcoming each fault.  Once you master the first few faults, you can go start all over again and it will identify the largest of the remaining faults...etc...  Presently there is a beta version of this app that can be downloaded for free as they want feedback on how well it is working.  I dont have an iphone, but I bought a cheap older ipod that has ios7 on it and am hoping against hope that  I can download the app onto it and make use of it this winter.  It seems to me that it has the potential to help me practice more intelligently.  BTW, the teaching pros that are working with this app are Jim Hardy and Chris O'Connell.

 

I should know in the next week or two if I can get this app to work on my old ipod.  If I can, then I would be glad to come back after using it over the winter and let you guys know if it helped.  If I can't, then I may just go drown myself in cheap vodka. :-)

 

In any event, the idea sounded promising to me and really stands to make my time in my winter cave much more enjoyable. 

 

Tomf,

I think this is great post but you need to put it in it's own thread.  It will get lost here in the Skilz equipment post.  I would be interested in hearing about your followup.

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Tomf,

I think this is great post but you need to put it in it's own thread.  It will get lost here in the Skilz equipment post.  I would be interested in hearing about your followup.

Ack!  Sorry about that.  I'm not only a duffer golfer but a duffer poster it seems.  I didn't realize it was Skilz specific.....but the thread title should have made that clear.  I also didnt realize it was a forum for MyGolfSpy staff reviews.  I got caught up in the original post and lost my mind. Not that losing my mind is a big loss, but it is embarrassing. Thanks so much.

 

Maybe there is some SKLS equipment that can help me polish up my reading and comprehension. LOL

Tomf

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Haha just yesterday around lunch time it was 37* with the wind chill here!

 

Great reviews on a couple items that should help people's games! Really hope the putting trainer works for the neighbor girl!

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I've read this post a couple of times and looked at all the equipment. The posting itself was a quality job. However, I'm not a fan of the SKLZ offerings. IMHO I think they are cheap. In fact I was given one of those SKLZ putting mat-cup things a few years ago for Christmas. UGH. I think I tossed it in the Goodwill bin later on. Must have been the 3rd time someone has gifted me something like it. They are all crap. Again.... IMHO. Do I use or own any training aids? Yes. Just not SKLZ.

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I've read this post a couple of times and looked at all the equipment. The posting itself was a quality job. However, I'm not a fan of the SKLZ offerings. IMHO I think they are cheap. In fact I was given one of those SKLZ putting mat-cup things a few years ago for Christmas. UGH. I think I tossed it in the Goodwill bin later on. Must have been the 3rd time someone has gifted me something like it. They are all crap. Again.... IMHO. Do I use or own any training aids? Yes. Just not SKLZ.

For some of the SKLZ stuff I've used in the past, I can totally agree with you. However, these balls are the best that I have encountered. The putting mat is a solid $30 investment. Materials and longevity-wise, I'd say that $30 is spot on.

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Just curious Dave. Why don't you use real balls? I have a nice  5x5 "country club" mat on my patio and a decent Callaway net. I don't use it all that much during the hottest time of the summer but it's good to step out any time and swing and hit a few balls. I only hit the types of ball I play with. I just haven't had any luck with those SKLZ type of putting matts. I've seen some other types on the web that appear to be quit nice. Of course they cost much more. Hundreds. I generally do my practice putting on the green at the club.

 

You still put up a nice post. As usual.

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Just curious Dave. Why don't you use real balls? I have a nice  5x5 "country club" mat on my patio and a decent Callaway net. I don't use it all that much during the hottest time of the summer but it's good to step out any time and swing and hit a few balls. I only hit the types of ball I play with. I just haven't had any luck with those SKLZ type of putting matts. I've seen some other types on the web that appear to be quit nice. Of course they cost much more. Hundreds. I generally do my practice putting on the green at the club.

 

You still put up a nice post. As usual.

I have a mat and a net in the backyard too, but there is something nice about taking a swing on grass. That's where I use the practice balls. I also have been known to hit lob shots over the house. Wife frowns on that with real balls.

 

As for the green, it's a low budget option, but it does let one putt in the house. For the 15 year old golfer that I gave it to it has been a help since she can't get to the course on her own.

 

I personally have a Tour Links green in the garage. The review is in the forum somewhere. I've been using that one for the last five years or so and it is great. It makes for a great place to sneak away from parenting obligations, rolling and tipping a few some evenings.

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Yes. Those Tour Link greens. That's what I'm talking about. Looks like about $367 will get you the beginner model. Guess I have to start somewhere. LOL

Although.... I have an empty room in my house and a 8' x 12' would fit nicely. Hmmm?

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