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Review: Navigator by Dirty Larry Golf

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Pros: The Navigator offers immediate feedback on alignment. It’s compact, lightweight and attaches directly to any putter. At $60, it’s cheaper than most lessons and new putters.

Cons: Users must be careful not to bend the lightweight aluminum aiming arms.

Who’s it for: Golfers looking to aim their putter down the target line on a more consistent basis. It’s great for the putting green or the carpet at home.

The Review

It is said that a golfer’s putting stroke is as unique as their fingerprint. So while it’s true that most strokes can be classified into a few general categories (strong arc, slight arc, straight back/straight through), every golfer moves their putter from Point A to Point B a different way. This is where the Navigator looks to find its place, maximizing a golfer’s aim and accuracy on the green regardless of their stroke type or the putter they use.

There’s also a great back story about the development of the product, which you can read about here.

Here’s the company’s boastful video on how the Navigator works.

Designed to improve a golfer’s aim in 5 minutes or less, the Navigator succeeds, at least for myself, where many other training aids do not. The positive effects begin to take effect immediately, as promised.

In order to test the claims that the Navigator can improve a golfer’s stroke in 5 minutes, I set out to gather the data to prove, or disprove that statement. I used SAM Puttlab to test my aim and direction before and after using the Navigator. The putter used to gather the data was a Cleveland Classic 2, 35 inches long, with a 71 degree lie angle and 3 degrees of loft.

Before using the Navigator, my aim on average was 2.5 degrees open to my target. My variance ranged from 1.17 degrees open to as much as 3.43 degrees open, a difference of 2.26 degrees. While those numbers don’t initially sound too high, they’re not very good.

On a straight 10-foot putt, a ball that starts on a line that’s 2.4 degrees open to the target will miss the hole on the right by 4.63 inches. As a reference, the diameter of the hole is only 4.25 inches. That means the putt will be missed by more than one cup to the right.

aim before (2)

After using the Navigator, my aim was 0.1 degrees closed to my target on average, an an improvement of 2.6 degrees. My variance was -0.63 degrees closed to 0.28 degrees open, a total difference of 0.91 degrees. That was an improvement of 1.35 degrees.

aim after (2)

If you look at the two bars on the right side of the charts, you can see that my aim initially was in the 58th percentile while my consistency, or how close I was to aiming the same way each time, was in the 59th percentile.

After using the Navigator, my aim improved to the 95th percentile and my consistency improved to the 94th percentile.

A second effect that the Navigator had, above and beyond my aim, was on my club face alignment at impact. Before using the Navigator, my putter face was on average 0.8 degrees open at impact and my variance was -0.18 degrees closed to 1.92 degrees open, a total difference of 2.1 degrees. These numbers put me in the 71st percentile while my consistency was only in the 58th.

direction before (2)

After spending five minutes with the Navigator, my club face angle at impact, on average, was completely square and my range in club face angle was -0.46 degrees closed to 0.76 degrees open, a difference of 1.22 degrees. In this case, my face angle improved to the 88th percentile, and my consistency improved to the 91st percentile.

direction after (2)

The Takeaway

Dave Nastalski - IMG_9271

The Navigator produces immediate results, and at $60 it won’t break the bank. Its ready-to-use design allows golfers to go from setup to practice in just a few seconds, which sets it apart from its larger and more complicated counterparts.

In my experience, golfers are always more likely to use a training aid they can covertly slip in their bag. It’ll be there when they want it, and if their results are anything like mine they’ll want to practice with it a lot.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”https://www.dirtylarrygolf.com/” oemtext=”Learn more from Dirty Larry Golf” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UC3X83G/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00UC3X83G&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=EZQF64YLGACSIOY4″]

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Jay

    Mar 8, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Had mine for about a month and very pleased – high quality and easy to use. Can definitely see a difference in the 3-6 footers on the course

  2. Hanz Freidleberg

    Jan 12, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I have used the Navigator during the last 6 months and it has definitely helped me reduce the amount of putting strokes when I play. I am sports neuroscientist and can vouch for The Puttlab Test.
    To keep things simple it is an innovative and very suitable ultra sound technology which is an effective tool to use to measure all aspects of a putting stroke with high precision and encourages successful motor learning and high repeatability that is seen on tour. There is definite value in the Test for multi disciplinary research in the science and psychology of putting. One of my colleagues mentioned it was even used to show results of a series of putts done on a putting robot (
    Dave Pelz’s “Perfy”).

    The Navigator is an extremely well thought out design aid for technical putters like myself.

    Congratulations on this product–it’s a winner.

  3. John Carpenter

    Jan 6, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Train Your Aim is the easiest and simplest way to help your putter face alignment. I have tried both Dirty Larry and Train Your Aim and they both work well….but TYA is much cheaper, weighs next to nothing, so not affecting your putter weight or stroke and can be kept in your pocket or bag. TYA is good for checking face alignment on all clubs.

  4. Jonathan

    Jan 6, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Tip for yall – just bought the Navigator on dirtylarrygolf.com for $49.95 using the code ONETIME and they shipped it for free.

  5. JOAN

    Jan 5, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Sorry but 59.99 is wayyyyy overpriced. Ill go with the Putter Pointer. Theirs is made in the U.S.A also and its half the price. The navigators colors are tacky also and its to big for my taste.

  6. P3

    Jan 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Looked at their website. They wanted 107 us for shipping to Sweden :-0. That must be one heavy training aid….

    • Dave

      Jan 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Hi P3,

      Dave here with DLG. We offer a flat rate of $15 USD for all international shipments. The Navigator itself weighs 1.2 oz, and in the shipping box just under 8 oz total. Sorry for any confusion! If you have any questions or trouble feel free to shoot me a direct message.

      dnastalski@pga.com

  7. Joel

    Jan 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    What does this do that the line on the ball can not?

    • Dave

      Jan 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Joel,

      The line on the ball acts as a sight, though not as pronounced as the Navigator. The real training comes from the alignment rods and what they do to increase visual awareness and acuity. We built the Navigator to train your eyes, and not to force any huge stroke changes. The benefits received from continued use will build confidence and improve your ability to aim the putter face where you want to, and return it to square at impact as noted by the SAM PuttLab study referenced above. If you can do that, you’re going to make a lot more putts.

      Let me know if I can answer any other questions!

      -Dave
      dnastalski@pga.com

  8. Joe

    Jan 5, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Putter Pointer is half the cost and built way better.
    http://www.theputterpointer.com

    • Don

      Jan 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      The Putter Pointer completely ripped off Dirty Larry Golf. Try the Navigator, it’s the ORIGINAL.

    • Carol

      Jan 5, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Joe I took a look at your putter pointer and with the promo code discounts that Dirty Larry Golf has when you buy direct from them it’s about the same price by the time you apply your shipping fees. Plus the navigator is made in USA. I trust that level of quality!

  9. gregg

    Jan 5, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I have used Navigator and it has definitely created a sense of how square my putter is at impact. Several leading instructors in the world have also found it to be very effective as a tool to help their students–Tour pro’s and the average player.

    For all of you people who have bashed the product and have not used it as a training aid just keep 3 putting.

    • Dave

      Jan 8, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Gregg,

      Thanks for the comments! We’re glad to hear the Navigator has helped your putting and look forward to hearing more of your success stories with the game!

      If I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

      -Dave
      dnastalski@pga.com

  10. Richard

    Jan 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    The line on the putter does not extend far enough to do what the Navigator does as is evidenced by the results the writer of the review had. I bought one and it does what they say it does. After practicing with it, the benefits stay with you because it trained my eye to finally know what it looks like when the club face is square to the ball. Another benefit of having the aiming rod extend outward by about 6 inches, it shows you flaws in your stroke. I love this thing!!!!

  11. Will

    Jan 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    never mind, sorry

  12. Will

    Jan 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    What device or equipment did you use to compile the face angle data?

    • Dylan

      Jan 12, 2016 at 9:22 am

      ” I used SAM Puttlab to test my aim and direction before and after using the Navigator.”

      Hope that helps

      • Stanley

        Feb 9, 2016 at 9:31 pm

        Do you think the improvement came from practicing with the Navigator or simply making the adjustment after seeing the “before-Navigator” SAM Puttlab results and realizing that your clubface had been aligned way open?

  13. ron

    Jan 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Maybe I’m missing something (not trying to be facetious), but cant this lesson be thought by having a putter with a long alignment line? Say, like a Ping Ketsch? Then you can take your “alignment aid” along with you during your round.

    • Jack

      Jan 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

      exactly what I was thinking. I can see that line quite well with my putter.

    • Dave

      Jan 8, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Ron,

      The Navigator serves as a forward pointing sight in contrast to the native aiming lines of the putter head which are only ever found behind the face. We’ve found with our own testing, and subsequent SAM PuttLab testing, that having a pronounced forward pointing aiming rod improves the skill of starting the ball over a “spot” on your line. Some of the best putters in the world use spot putting — as trained by Dave Stockton, world renowned putting expert. Feel free to reference the following video for a little more info: https://vimeo.com/143163894

      Let me know if I can answer any other questions!

      -Dave
      dnastalski@pga.com

  14. Desmond

    Jan 4, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I would think the benefits go out the door unless you use it before each round. I’d rather go for the holistic treatment and just aim where I think I’m aiming from the get-go, and buy a putter with which I am straight.

  15. Chuck D

    Jan 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Golf God’s help us! This looks like a Flamingo’s prosthetic device! Please stop the nonsense!

  16. west

    Jan 3, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I thought that alignment aid on the putter itself was enough for most?

    • Desmond

      Jan 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Depends on what your brain-eye coordinate the shape of the putterhead, hosel/offset and sight lines

  17. Jeff

    Jan 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I bought a few of these on their site as Christmas gifts after seeing them on ESPN (on sale for under 50 bucks + free shipping) and was super impressed by these guys. The packaging is awesome and the product really works. @Courtney, I considered TYA, but that thing looks like it comes out of a gumball machine. It also doesn’t have the adjustability factor that the Navigator does.

  18. Mat

    Jan 3, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Stupid question, but what makes this illegal for in-game play exactly?

  19. Courtney

    Jan 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Definitely slicker looking than the Train Your Aim, but come on…$60 plus shipping ? Train Your Aim is $10 plus shipping and there are no touchy aluminum pieces to keep straight. (not trying to Bogart the product and I don’t work for TYA – but $50 is significant)

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag ball markers and divot tool

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Product: Swag ball markers and divot tool

Pitch:  From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag’s ball markers and divot tool

Swag Golf is creating some of the most sought after products on the market right now, with their funky headcovers and putters all being in high demand. Well, the companies ball markers and divot tool are no different, both of which are easily identifiable as coming from this emerging company who create high-quality products.

The Skull is the companies flagship symbol, and their Stainless Steel Skull Marker their most recognizable marker. The skull marker features black and fluorescent paint, with the bright sunglasses on the marker giving it a vibrant look. 100% CNC milled, the tool contains the companies name engraved on the back of the marker.

A variation on the Skull Marker is the companies Rainbow Skull Marker. Just in case the black and fluorescent paint job on the former wasn’t flashy enough for you, Swag’s Rainbow Skull Marker will make sure to get you noticed, containing the same features as their Skull Marker with a Rainbow PVD finish.

Moving away from their Skull Marker’s, Swag’s St Paddy’s Day Cap Marker is more than worthy of a mention. Identical in size to a bottle cap, the St Paddy’s Day inspired marker features a hand polished golden finish, with the word Swag in green written on the front, while on the back the words “Swag Golf Co.” as well as the company’s philosophy “Don’t give a putt” featured.

The company describe their bottle cap/marker as not being the first bottle cap/marker on the market but “the best one” out there. While I can’t confirm how true that statement is, I can certainly say it is an excellent one.

Swag’s first divot tool is the DTF Divot Tool. Get your head out of the gutter, that stands for “Down To Fix”. The device comes in a black and lime paint job, and an impressive weight of 49 Grams which should ensure that it doesn’t go missing on you.

The divot tool, like their ball markers, is 100% CNC milled and made from 303 Stainless Steel. For a Swag product, the writing and branding on the tool is quite minimalist, and it is as clean and sharp looking a divot tool as I’ve seen from the 2019 releases.

As always with Swag products, the only issue is the limited releases and how quickly the items go, which is no surprise considering the unique products as well as the quality provided. They are, however, continuing to create and release more and more products and their website, as well as their social media sites, are all well worth keeping a close eye on if you’re looking to snag some of the companies top gear in the future.

 

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag putter covers

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Product: Swag putter covers

Pitch: From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag putter covers

When it comes to loud, inventive, standout putter covers, Swag never disappoints. Their new series of covers are certainly out there, and the contrast of their range, attention to detail, and excellent all-around quality make these putter covers a must have — if you can get your hands on them.

To start with, Swag’s Lincoln cover is a a real standout. The cover features a bright green background with President Lincoln looking the part in dark shades in the company’s own version of the $5 bill. The detail of the blade putter cover is excellent, with the bright green being the eye catcher and the unmistakable figure of Abraham Lincoln as the centerpiece.

The company also seem very proud of their creation, letting folks clearly know in their description of the cover that it is “not legal tender.” (Just in case you found yourself confused)

The company’s pink Flamingo cover is also a personal favorite, featuring bright colors and cool summer breeze feel. The great detail on the bird with its dark shades, vibrant colors and background of the palm trees make it an ideal cover as we head into the summer months. But it isn’t just the designs. The quality of the fabric and stitching lends for a durable and plush feeling cover too.

It’s worth noting that Swag enthusiast and team member Kevin Streelman is rocking one of the latest Swag putter covers. The American is currently gaming a Swag 2019 Handsome Too Tour with a double fly milled face, and the 40-year-old rocks the Chicago style deep-dish pizza cover to accompany the flat-stick.

Swag is without a doubt a no BS company, and in their putter covers, they have certainly delivered in their aim to be bold and experimental. Perhaps the only disappointment is that all their limited edition putter covers are already sold out, which is an ode to how clever and engaging their designs are. The covers range in price from around $75-$125, and as the company continues to push the boundaries, here’s hoping for more releases in the near future.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder

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Product: Garmin Approach Z80

Pitch: From Garmin: “See the game differently with the Approach Z80 laser range finder with GPS. Laser ranges are accurate to within 10,” so you can take dead aim at the flag. See a full-color CourseView and Green View overlay in 2-D, showing distances to the front and back of the green, plus hazards on more than 41,000 courses worldwide.”

Our take on the Garmin Approach Z80 Laser Rangefinder

In terms of laser rangefinders, the Garmin Approach Z80 does all the little things well and then packs on a bundle of additional features, which makes the product unique.

For starters, one of the coolest features of the Garmin Approach Z80 is the 2D hole layout that appears on the left-hand side of the screen. The image serves as a virtual map of the hole, and offers you a great view of what’s in store next should you either pull or push your shot, making it one of the best rangefinders on the market for use on your tee shots. The rangefinder also allows you to enter your average driving distance, which will automatically suggest where your tee shot should land.

For approach shots, this rangefinder gives you the distance to the front, back and flag which shows up at the bottom of the screen. The Z80 can also provide distances to hazards and bunkers which is very useful for tight pin locations. When locking onto the flag, the rangefinder provides a yellow arc which once more presents you with a view of where you could end up if you hit your number but miss your target.

The rangefinder goes into standby mode after it hasn’t been used for five seconds, a feature which is extremely good for battery life. Once fully charged the ApproachZ80 will easily last you from 3-4 rounds. However, the standby mode does cause it to take slightly more time to load up when using, but we’re only talking 10-20 seconds.

The PinPointer feature which the Approach Z80 features is also very beneficial in that an arrow on the screen will direct you to the hole, whether you’re facing a blind shot, or are out of position. It’s worth noting that the PinPointer feature is also advantageous in that it gives you the yardage to the hole and not just a guide, despite you being unable to see the flag.

All in all, the Garmin Approach Z80 is a top rangefinder with an innovative 2D map of the hole which gives you a tremendous amount of power in that you can not just visualize the hole quickly but also possess a powerful tool for shots off the tee. The small size of the rangefinder is also a major plus, as is its light weight of just 8oz. At $600, it wouldn’t be considered an economical purchase, but in terms of the innovative technologies and benefits, it could still be considered value.

 

 

 

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