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Review: The Pill

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Pros: The Pill is idiot-proof; you set it on its edge to practice your putting or on its side for chipping and bunker shots. If your stroke is off, The Pill won’t lie. It’s affordable, portable and easy to use.

Cons: The Pill looks like a fat Necco wafer or an Oreo cookie with dimples. Your friends will give you loads of grief for honing your stroke with a silver dollar pancake wannabe, even after you take their money.

Bottom Line: If you want to become a better putter, you have to develop a solid stroke and strong mental approach. One way to do this is to use smaller targets for your practice. Aim your ball at a smaller hole and the regulation one’s 4.25-inch diameter will seem wider. The Pill, which is roughly half the width of a golf ball, was built on the same concept. Roll it well and your stroke is in good shape. Cut across it and it will wobble or spin out.

Overview

The Pill is so simple that instructions aren’t necessary. All it requires is time. My suggestion is to work between The Pill and your favorite golf ball so that the stroke that you develop when training is subsequently transferred to the ball that you will use on the course.

Plain and simple, The Pill product measures face angle at impact. Too many amateur golfers get ball-bound when addressing putts. It doesn’t matter if the golfer is on the practice green or putting during the course of the round: it happens. The Pill has the potential to free golfers from that tendency.

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When practicing with this product, golfers can line up The Pill to a preselected target, and then align themselves to that target at address. A simpler way is to pick a target once you square yourself to The Pill…or better yet, don’t pick a target! Strike The Pill as a child would, without care for its destination. All that matters is your stroke and the reaction of the little disk.

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The Pill is sold on the company’s website. For the curious ones, a single Pill may be purchased for $12.95. A sleeve of Pills saves you a bit of cash at $39.95, while a dozen Pills (a chipping set) are available for $129.95. A Pro Set of Pills, including 50 of the little guys, sells for $497.50.

The Pill offers a series of videos on its website, for the benefit of the customer. There’s an introductory video that shows how to align the disc for one and two-Pill drills. Another video shows how an inside-out swing path causes an open club face and a pushed putt, as well as a quick fix for the problem, while the subsequent video reverses the problem and examines how a closed club face may be caused by an outside-in swing path, with pulled putt as the bottom line.

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There’s also commercial footage that shows the Pill’s ability to be used for chipping and sand play. The golfer lays The Pill flat, on the round side, then plays a routine recovery shot. The device either spins back-to-front (when contacted properly) or erratically in a sideways fashion, if the club face or swing path were not square to the target line.

Performance

The Pill promises to do one of two things: roll out or spin out. It does both when it should. The Pill is a modified golf ball and reacts to a putter-blade strike as any top-shelf orb would. If you have the time to use a chalk line or a set of pins and a string to visually lay out a straight putt, The Pill will serve you well as an alignment tool. If the line and The Pill appear to be misaligned, you’ll know that your eyes deceive you.

I made an effort to replicate the chipping and explosion shots practiced in the aforementioned video. You need to be quick with the eyes to look up and determine the spin, so it’s best to work with a partner (or a video camera) to monitor your path, face alignment and spin outcome.

Looks and Feel

The surface of The Pill is dimpled like a golf ball. It feels like a golf ball and is not distracting in any way. The Pill employs a Surlyn cover that offers a different feel from a premium tour quality ball; you’ll notice this most in the sound, which offers more of a click echo than heard with a urethane cover. For golfers who don’t use premium golf balls, the sound won’t present a problem.

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I struck The Pill with anser-style and high-MOI putters and found that the product sounded and felt as would an actual golf ball. Understand that it wasn’t similar to or like an actual golf ball, but as an actual golf ball would feel.

The Takeaway

The question the consumer must answer is, does the value of the The Pill justify its cost? I’d stake my reputation on the efficacy of The Pill, but I won’t give you a money-back guarantee. Could The Pill 2.0 have an alignment line on it, or would that be overkill? How about a Pill with a softer, tour-ball cover? There is room to grow for this teaching aid.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”Learn more from The Pill” oemtext=”http://www.thepillgolf.com” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JRS6Q68/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00JRS6Q68&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=GTXFOG4ATOKKJPH4″]

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Mike

    Nov 24, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Or you can just buy on aliexpress for 3.58

  2. pugster22

    Sep 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    With that price, no wonder golf is on the decline!

  3. MIKE COLLINS

    Aug 20, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I have had a set of 3 practice putting balls for 40+ years. They are called the “Align Pure Strike”. They are similar to the Pill but there are 3 differing widths. You start with the thickest one and when you are able to roll this smoothly you graduate to the next size down and eventually to the skinny one.
    By the time you can putt the skinny one smoothly you will have an excellent putting stroke.
    I pull these out every now and then for a refresher course. I thoroughly recommend them but they have not been available for years. Maybe the Pill makers can do something similar.
    Mike.

    • Jorge

      Oct 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

      I utilized to have a wstbiee that I used to cover this, but it got spammed to death. You seem to be much better at weeding out the spam than I did! Dont give up!???:?? [1.9.22_1171]??????? ???? …?????????????: 0.0/5 (0 ??? ???????)???:?? [1.9.22_1171]?????????????: 0 (???? 0 ???)

  4. george kolb

    Jul 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    How much of a kickback are you getting from the Pill? I agree with the guy who said he would rather get a bag of oreo cookies. My wife saw this item being pushed on the Today Show, and not knowing anything about golf she purchased them. They were quick to take her money, but when I told her to return them, we have not heard from them to this date. My next letter is to the Today Show to have them explain why they have people push things on the show who don’t back them up. Good Customer SERVICE! I will do everything in social media to tell people not to waste their money.

  5. Gus

    Jun 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I tried these at Golf Galaxy today and they are really neat. Came home and ordered a set of 3 from their website and used the Father’s Day discount code. They seem like a great training aid.

  6. Johnc

    May 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I got a bottle, I mean sleeve of “Pills,”
    And I love them!
    The Pill shows you immediately what you stroke is doing.
    The mistakes are more emphasized than a regular ball, forcing you to hit it “square”. You can kinda flub up a real put and have a decent result with a real ball. But with the Pill, you practice to eliminate the mis-hit bs putts all together.
    Thanks for the Pills

  7. Brett

    Feb 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    If people really want to improve their game they would take the time to practice putting and chipping not just ripping the ball as long as they can then go out and buy things like this use it for 5 minutes question why they aren’t getting better then go back to the long ball

  8. KCCO

    Feb 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I’m just baffled by their “deal” for a sleeve…..$.90 savings!?! That’s a bargain! LOL

    I’ll use a marker….doesn’t say anything about weight difference, and I like practicing with the cover feel of the ball I play.

    Conclusion, I’d rather buy $13 worth of Oreo’s

  9. Colm

    Feb 9, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Check out the “Putterwheel” which adds additional visual advantages with two inner red rings and a name line that will give you sighting and has a great feel …… may be what you are looking for
    I found the “real” ball marker that comes with it with two lines just brilliant when lining up my putts – one line good two lines better – I line it up and then forget it – and trust that line – then all i need to do is get the pace right …. I paid silly shipping charges from US to UK just to get my hands on one !

    website is here – http://www.putterwheel.com/

    • Coll

      Mar 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Putter wheel is weighted plastic crap- not actually like a golf ball. So what does it teach you?

  10. John

    Feb 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Why can’t I just take a crappy practice ball and cut it to look like this thing?

    • Ronald Montesano

      Feb 9, 2014 at 6:44 am

      I wouldn’t want to be remotely responsible for the damage you would do to your body and soul in the process! Is the avoidance/prevention physical harm not worth the price of The Pill?

      Thanks for the comment, John. Keep reading and commenting.

  11. Ronald Montesano

    Feb 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    A) Not like the Birdie Ball. The BB is an amazing product. I love it.

    B) Not covered by insurance, lad.

    C) Paul, the line rotates too quickly to be seen. This disk veers sideways when mishit, a more obvious flaw-revealer.

  12. paul

    Feb 8, 2014 at 12:48 am

    I think its a bit silly. I am sure a ball with a line is fine. Or a lesson with a pro is probably enough.

  13. Tony

    Feb 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I travel alot and these are great to practice the stroke with while in hotel rooms.

  14. Jeremy

    Feb 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

    My insurance covers it. Low co-pay too.

  15. tbowles411

    Feb 7, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Well, heck. It’s worth a shot. My putting is terrible!

  16. Ach Underhill

    Feb 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Does this perform like the Birdie Ball? I bought my brother a pack of the Birdie Balls (4) for like $12 for Christmas, and they are awesome.

  17. MattyTeaks

    Feb 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

    “a single Pill may be purchased for $12.95. A sleeve of Pills saves you a bit of cash at $39.95”

    $39.95 / 3 = $13.32

    That’s not exactly saving a bit of cash. Sure it’s not $35.95?

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Accessory Reviews

Top-3 men’s golf polos at the 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Vegas

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GolfWRX’s fashion expert Jordan Madley picks her top-3 favorite men’s polo shirts from the recent 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Las Vegas. Enjoy the video below!

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: The QOD Electric Caddy

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If you want an electric golf caddy that doesn’t require that you wear a sensor or carry a remote — one that will be reliable and allow you to focus on your game, and not your cart — then the Australian-manufactured QOD is worth checking out.

The QOD (an acronym for Quality of Design and a nod to its four wheels) is powered by a 14.4-volt lithium battery, good for 36 holes or more on a single charge. It has nine different speeds (with the fastest settings moving closer to jogging velocity) so the QOD can handle your ideal pace, whether that be a casual stroll or a more rapid clip around the course.

The QOD is also built to last. Its injection-molded, aircraft-grade aluminum frame has no welded joints. Steel bolts and locking teeth take care of the hinging points. The battery and frame are both guaranteed for three full years. If you need a new battery after the three-year window, the folks at QOD will replace it at cost.

Its front-wheel suspension gives the QOD a smooth ride down the fairway, and the trolley is easy to navigate with a gentle nudge here and there. The QOD is always in free-wheel mode, so it is smooth and easy to maneuver manually in tight spaces and around the green.

The caddy also features three timed interval modes for situations where you might wish to send it up ahead on its own: when helping a friend find a lost ball or when you will be exiting on the far side of the green after putting, for example. The clip below includes a look at the caddy in timed mode.

When folded, the QOD measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall.

Another area where the QOD excels is in its small size and portability. When folded, it measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall, making it the smallest electric caddy on the market.

Folks Down Under have been enjoying the QOD for some time, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when Malachi McGlone was looking for a way to continue walking the course without putting undue strain on an injured wrist that the QOD found U.S. fairways. After first becoming a satisfied customer, McGlone convinced CEO Collin Hiss, who developed the product and oversees its production in Australia, to allow him to distribute and service the QOD here in the states.

The QOD has no self-balancing gyroscope, bluetooth sensor or remote control. Bells and whistles just aren’t its thing — though it does have a USB port for cell phone charging that can come in handy. However, if you are looking for a no-fuss workhorse to move your bag down the fairway, the QOD should be on your radar.

The 2018 model has begun shipping and will be on sale at $1,299 for a limited time. It normally retails at $1,499.

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