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Matt Saternus

Tour Striker Smart Bag - REVIEW

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Introduction

 

With dozens of new training aids coming out every year, some of the old standbys get left in the dust. Take, for example, the trusty impact bag. Though it's as good as it ever was for teaching a good impact position, squaring the clubface, and many other things, when was the last time you heard someone about taking out the ol' impact bag and knocking it around?

 

With the Tour Striker Smart Bag, Martin Chuck has brought new life to an old friend. While retaining all the basic uses of a traditional impact bag, the Smart Bag also has some new tricks. Is the Smart Bag the next training aid you should add to your practice repertoire? Read on to find out…

 

 

 

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Ease of Use/Set Up – 10 Points

 

Setting up the Tour Striker Smart Bag only requires stuffing it full of old towels or rags to give it shape and heft. Once it's full, zip it up and off you go. I would recommend watching Martin Chuck's YouTube videos to understand all the uses of the Smart Bag, but it's not totally necessary.

 

Score: 10/10

 

 

 

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Effectiveness – 30 points

 

Let's start by running down some of the uses of the Tour Striker Smart Bag: working on impact position (hands in front of clubhead), learning to square the clubface, and working on the path or plane of your swing.

 

The first two functions are things that the Smart Bag has in common with any other good impact bag. One unique feature of the Smart Bag is its angled front surface, so you can get a feel for a “hands forward” impact by pressing the whole shaft into the bag. If you find that the head of the club gets to the bag before the shaft, you know that your hands are not as far in front of the club as you may want.

 

Where the Smart Bag separates itself from other impact bags is in its use as a plane/path corrector. As you can see in Martin Chuck's videos, placing the Smart Bag more “behind” the ball can help to correct a path that travels too far in-to-out, and placing the Smart Bag more “in front of” the ball can help to correct an out-to-in path.

 

I'm sure people will say that you can do the same thing with a towel or a headcover, and that's certainly true. I would argue, however, that the Smart Bag gives more feedback by virtue of being bigger and more solid. It also gives a clearer visual of what you don't want to do. The one negative of these plane drills is that it's hard to figure out exactly where to put the bag. There's definitely some guess-and-check involved in finding the right distance from the ball and the right amount in front of/behind the ball, but, once you have it set up, it's a very rewarding way to practice.

 

Score: 27/30

 

 

 

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Longevity – 20 points

 

I think the Tour Striker Smart Bag is probably going to be like that old, trusty, beat-up putter that everyone has. It's not the one that comes out every day, but it's always there for when you need it. The Smart Bag is not part of my daily practice, but, when I want to get a check on my swing path or work on feeling a good impact position, it's the training aid I'm likely to go to.

 

Score: 16/20

 

 

 

 

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Value – 20 points

 

The Tour Striker Smart Bag sells through the Tour Striker website for $60. As always, we judge training aids against an “average” price of $100, so the Smart Bag has the advantage of coming in well below that. Add in solid Effectiveness, and you have a very good Value score.

 

Score: 19/20

 

 

 

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The Peanut Gallery – 20 points

 

The Tour Striker Smart Bag did not get the biggest Peanut Gallery reaction ever, but the response was generally positive. I expect that this is indicative of the response the Smart Bag will get from most people. People looked at it and said, “So? What do I do with it?” and they thought (yes, I can read thoughts), “I've never seen this on an infomercial…must not be very fancy.” And they're right, it's not fancy. But when I showed them what it could do, they were pretty receptive to the idea that the Smart Bag could help their game.

 

Score: 17/20

 

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

So, should you add the Tour Striker Smart Bag to your practice kit? If you already own an impact bag, it may not be worth another $60 to get the plane-correction features, but if you don't own an impact bag, the Smart Bag represents a good value. As with any training aid purchase, you need to know what you need to work on or fix in your game first. If you need to work on impact, path, or clubface, the Smart Bag offers great ways to practice all three.

 

Score: 89/100

 

 

 

 

VISIT WEBSITE: http://www.tourstriker.com/

 

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/#!/tourstriker

 

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/TourStriker

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Have never owned or used an impact bag - and my first thought was "what am I to do with this?" Will watch the video - $60 is pretty dang reasonable....

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Have never owned or used an impact bag - and my first thought was "what am I to do with this?" Will watch the video - $60 is pretty dang reasonable....

 

That's a very common response. There are just too many newer, fancier training aids these days. Most of my students end up loving the impact bag after they get a couple drills to do with them.

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That's a very common response. There are just too many newer, fancier training aids these days. Most of my students end up loving the impact bag after they get a couple drills to do with them.

 

Do you often recommend an impact bag? I always avoided one because I was told it's a great way to injure yourself...

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Do you often recommend an impact bag? I always avoided one because I was told it's a great way to injure yourself...

 

As much as I can, I try to recommend drills with stuff that people have at home. For instance, I'll recommend standing a pillow against a couch and using that as an impact bag. Obviously not the same because you can't take much more than a "tap" swing at the couch, but you get the idea. If they love the drill, they'll buy one. More often than not, they'll try my suggested drills once or twice and then forget about it. <_>

 

I can see that an impact bag could hurt you if you swung at it like a lunatic, but if you're the least bit cautious you should be fine.

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As much as I can, I try to recommend drills with stuff that people have at home. For instance, I'll recommend standing a pillow against a couch and using that as an impact bag. Obviously not the same because you can't take much more than a "tap" swing at the couch, but you get the idea. If they love the drill, they'll buy one. More often than not, they'll try my suggested drills once or twice and then forget about it. <_>

 

I can see that an impact bag could hurt you if you swung at it like a lunatic, but if you're the least bit cautious you should be fine.

 

This might seem like common knowledge or a no s*** JM moment.

 

I personally use one and see / hear of people getting injured all the time with them. I think a part of it is swinging too hard into the bag but the other part is bracing it in some way so the bag won't move at all or using water / sand inside the bag. Water and sand both will probably leak at some point and are too dense of materials to really absorb the club head without damaging you or the club.

 

Just pack it with towels and place it in an open area, you can take 1/4, 1/2 speed swings and if you happen to go a little hard for the most part the bag slides away or rolls taking the energy that the towels and air inside didn't. I have not once gotten an injury to my wrists from using an impact bag and that include me swinging a 3 iron full out at the bag a few times.

 

The idea is to hit the top of the bag with the shaft firs then the head hits the bag later, that's all it's really used for, some people need to swing full to relieve that is not what they are doing at first and thus need to be careful, if you flip the wrists into impact at full speed you might hurt yourself.

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