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Review: Gabe Golf Swing Trainer

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Pros: No setup required. The Gabe Golf Swing Trainer is simple, and you can hit golf balls with it. It can make drastic improvements to your swing tempo and transition.

Cons: At $150 for one club, it’s an expensive training aid. Only available in a 7-iron and sand wedge.

Who it’s for: Golfers with transition issues in their downswing, and any golfer looking to load more on their right side in the backswing.

The Review

The Gabe Golf Swing Trainer has truth serum built in at two points:

  1. The marble in the shaft.
  2. The flight of the golf ball.

For most of golfers, maintenance in bite size portions is always a good thing, and the Gabe Golf Swing Trainer provides the perfect tool for a golfer to properly ingrain important swing fundamentals.

If you keep up with the weekly Tour photos on GolfWRX, then you know how popular the the training aid has become with the best players in the world. The first time I saw the club while trolling on Instagram, I thought it was quite weird looking… and naturally I wanted to give it a try. I’m just that kind of guy, since I don’t play all that much, I’m looking for something I can swing in my living room while I watch Seinfeld re-runs. And with a club that’s in the bag of so many Tour players, I figured there had to be some serious benefits to the product.

As I’ve since found out, the club itself has a metal marble in the shaft that when properly loaded falls from the head to the grip, loading like a bullet in a gun. When the player initiates a proper downswing, the marble takes the ride to a nice click when the club is released.

The beautiful thing about Gabe Golf Swing Trainer is the instant feedback. The legendary Medicus Swing Trainer had this in certain ways, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of it, the feedback was jarring and undeniably positive. If you perform a swing correctly with the Gabe Golf Swing Trainer, the results are cut and dry, too.

Here’s how it works.

It should be of no surprise that a popular swing trainer on the PGA Tour is developed by a two-time PGA Tour champion, Gabriel “Gabe” Hjertstedt, especially when you know a bit about the man himself. Hjertstedt first came onto my radar when he won the BC Open in 1997, and followed that up a couple years later with a win in Tucson. As it turned out, we were working with the same swing instructor, and met face-to-face for the first time after his win in Tucson.

Hjertstedt stresses simplicity in golf instruction, so it’s no wonder he came up with the idea for such a simple product. In his words, here’s how it happened.

“It just started as a shower idea,” Hjertstedt said. “I was getting frustrated teaching some of my clients who couldn’t make a proper backswing. They were always over-swinging. I needed to find a way to slow them down a little, give them enough time to load up and make a proper swing. Now afterward, having used it on myself and students for almost two years, I am now starting to understand the benefits even more. It’s changing the way people are playing golf. People that used to cut the ball are now drawing the ball. The feedback is amazing.”

And obviously, the Tour feedback has been amazing as well.

“Charley Hoffman was the first guy that really that got it, he went on to win a couple of weeks after. Danny Lee the same shortly after.”

After using the product for a few weeks, I believe in its simplicity and that you can’t cheat with it. The feedback is as cut and dry as hitting an old blade; you either wait for the marble or you don’t. You either hit it properly and the ball goes where you are looking, or you don’t.

My swing fault is a handsy, inside takeaway followed by an across-the-line position at the top. If my timing is good I hit it where I’m aiming, but if not, the club gets stuck and the ball could go anywhere. After making 20 swings with the Gabe Golf Swing Trainer, I was able to get the club on-plane, and from a correct position at the top of the swing, I could identify what needed to be done on the way down to hit good shots. Video and Trackman can’t provide this kind of feedback because FEEL is what better players are ultimately searching for.

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As far as the product itself, the training aid was crafted with attention to detail. It comes with a KBS Tour shaft, a hand-forged head from a company in Texas and can be built to your specs. Most training aids are not customized to spec, and I believe this is a vital part in the product’s effectiveness. The black forged head certainly has that “cool factor,” and with a playable sole, the turf interaction is actually quite similar to any top iron head on the market. If I were to compare it with an OEM club, it would probably be the Ping S55 as far as address and turf interaction.

So if you’re struggling with transition, tempo, plane or loading in the backswing, and like to hit real golf balls with your swing aids, there’s just no reason to not give this club a shot… unless the $150 is too steep or unjustifiable, which I can understand.

I would 100 percent recommend the Gabe Golf Swing Trainer to better golfers (10-handicap or less) and would encourage the higher-handicappers to use it as a compliment to proper instruction from a local professional.

To learn more about the Gabe Golf Swing Trainer visit www.GabeGolf.com

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Philip

    Jan 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    I have a sand filled 7i I picked up on sale a while ago … I’ll have to try it out again and see if I can use it to help myself

  2. Smitty

    Oct 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Just placed an order for the 7 iron. Over-swinging is a huge issue I have in my back swing and I think this is exactly what I’ve been looking for, similar to the student Gabe mentioned.

  3. Desmond

    Oct 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Mine arrived yesterday — best swing aid ever for smoothing out the transition. Even though the shaft was much heavier than I use in my gamers, my best swings with this club were as long as my gamers – the gamers were a heckuva lot more consistent. Impressed.

    • Desmond

      Oct 28, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Have used the Gabe Golf Trainer for 3 weeks. For me, it helped start the downswing with my lower body while I waited at the top. It als helps you take the club back more vertical so you shallow it out in the transition, and smooths out tempo. Enjoy.

      • Desmond

        Nov 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm

        Whomever made that black finish did a great job – a month and no sign of wear.

  4. BigBoy

    Oct 5, 2016 at 9:46 am

    The coitus interuptus club.

  5. Jeffrey Purtell

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Gimmick number 394876543897546548376543987654387543654398756486598765897654654987765987654789654765498659865489657479865659865798657659865798657. keep em coming.

    • Norm StCyr

      Dec 2, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Great feedback Jeff! Your insight will probably help many golfers trying to improve their swing.

  6. Eric M.

    Oct 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    How hard is it to put a ball bearing (or marble) in the shaft and re-grip an old club? That’s what I did after seeing the Impact-Snap aid. I also added a coat hanger with a foam practice ball on the end of the grip and positioned it to hit my forearm for forward shaft lean at impact. Total cost $10.

  7. B

    Oct 3, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    The head is just a Maltby DBM rebranded

    • Desmond

      Oct 4, 2016 at 2:22 am

      Makes sense since they ship from GolfWorks

  8. Sceptical smizzle

    Oct 3, 2016 at 10:43 am

    So it’s a marble inside a golf shaft?
    Not convinced I want a pause like Maryama, he seems to get out of sequence quite often.

    • Desmond

      Oct 4, 2016 at 2:21 am

      I think the long pause is one technique; they also have the short pause where you swing, when you hear the bearing beginning to move down the shaft.

  9. Desmond

    Oct 3, 2016 at 9:10 am

    On the website, it does not say anything about the shaft or specs – KBS Tour What? – Tour 90 R Flex? No warranty – the site needs more information.

  10. Mark

    Oct 3, 2016 at 1:57 am

    What is a “hand-forged head”? I think it is impossible for hand strength alone to be able to pound a billet in a die. Did you mean hand finished?

  11. cgasucks

    Oct 2, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    A frickin’ swing fan will do the same job as this overpriced training aid and cheaper too.

    • Jeffrey Purtell

      Oct 4, 2016 at 3:27 am

      How far do these swing fans hit the ball? Do they come in different lofts?

  12. SS

    Oct 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    No thanks. I don’t want to pause at the top, I prefer to be fluid in my return transition

  13. Mike

    Oct 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I worked at a web.com event this year on the driving range, i saw about 2-3 pros using this aid. Their swing sequence was amazing.

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WRX Spotted: PXG TS6 Proto

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When it comes to PGA Tour players moonlighting as hardcore GolfWRXers, Ryan Moore would be a top candidate — from his rotating irons to what can only be described as a colossal amount of putter changes in his career he really is “one of us” …except for the fact that he gets to play for millions of dollars each week. It’s probably the reason he’s honestly one of my favorite players to watch!

What also makes Ryan Moore even more interesting is that he was the VERY first PXG Staff player – Troop Number 1! Being on a smaller tour staff certainly has its benefits, including the ability to have real input on prototypes and to have a la carte options when it comes to clubs, and in this case a new putter.

I give you the PROTO Gen2 TS6 a new putter we spotted at the Quicken Loans Classic this week in Detroit — just a short trip from the WRX offices (how could we not spot something new right?). It obviously has some similarities to another classic design, but in the world of putters, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

What makes the new putter uniquely PXG is are all the features it has from the Gen2 line

  • Interchangeable hosel design allows for multiple toe hang and appearance options
  • Milled face design increases ball speed consistency across the face
  • Weights in the bottom also allow for varying head weights
  • it’s 100% milled for a solid block of steel

With all things PXG, now that they have the CAD file up and running, I believe it’s just a matter of time before this will be added to the already popular line up of Gen2 putters, but…only time will tell.

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch SL2 bag

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Founded in 2011, Stitch Golf has been making some of the highest quality and most popular accessories in the game. From head covers to personal travel bags, the company philosophy of “it’s all in the details” shines through with all of the products.

The latest creation is the all-new SL2 carry bag — Stitch is calling it “the perfect walking bag.” After taking the SL2 out for a few spins around the course, it’s hard to argue with them. What you also notice right away is the styling screams Stitch.

When I spoke with CEO Brad King, we talked about how much focus they put into every detail beyond just the functionality.

“The SL2 is modeled to look just like our tour bag, except a lot lighter and obviously easier to carry for the weekend golfing warrior,” King said. “Also, like a lot of our product,s it takes color cues from racing, which is why Stitch blue, orange, and navy are prominent.”

Brad used the term “golfing warrior” a few times in our discussion, and he said it epitomizes the idea of someone who takes their golf seriously, walks, maybe even plays 36 a day, and wants functionality from their golf bag — while also looking extremely sharp.

You can tell this is a Stitch bag from across the range, or a few holes over on the course, which means from a styling perspective “mission accomplished.”

So, about that functionality…

As a walker, there are certain key features I want in a bag to even consider it, but those features can vary depending on how and when I plan to use the bag (having a couple of golf bags is a luxury, I know). If it’s a small Sunday bag, then a limited space, single strap design with a few small yet functional pockets, is all I really need. If we’re talking a full-blown tournament or travel option, extra space for rain gear, gloves, range finder and all the other goodies including a double strap is almost a must…plus it has to fit easily on both a pushcart and riding cart.

The Stitch SL2 skews right in the middle and here’s why: It’s just about perfect

  • Comes in right a 4lbs
  • Minimal yet well designed pockets hold more than enough gear for 18 holes or more.
  • It’s almost completely water resistant thanks to Stitch’s Touring Fabric, a proprietary product used in all their bags that has the strength of leather, but is more durable & wear resistant. It also feels extremely sturdy.
  • Large, well-padded top easily holds 14 clubs and doesn’t “mush” you putter cover up (HUGE pet peeve of mine)
  • Straps that can be configured for both single or double use. It comes with both options stock and is easily interchangeable thanks to the pinch clips.

Ball Pocket and Zippered Water Bottle pouch

Velvet lined pocket to hold a watch or valuables

Base sits almost flush and is very stable – never noticed clubs getting tangled

I told you the top was BIG

Now I realize you don’t come to GolfWRX for fluff pieces, you come for honesty, and I wouldn’t be doing my job without pointing out a few things that could be improved on, as nitpicky as they might be.

  • The bag sits a little upright. If you have to place it on a side hill you just have to take an extra moment to make sure it’s balanced before letting it go (not a huge deal).
  • The rain hood (which is AWESOME and matches the bag) is bulky, and if you do cram it into the large side pouch it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. It means really planning ahead if you think you’ll be playing in wet weather. BUT on the other hand, I think I’ve used a rain hood twice in the last 5 years (I don’t normally carry one anyway), so this is in NO way a deal breaker.
  • Limited padding where the bag rests against your back. Personally, I don’t find this a big deal since most bags in the minimalist category have very little padding if any, but in the spirit of a full breakdown its just part of making sure I point out everything I noticed while testing it. The fabric used is so thick it still made it comfortable to carry for 18 holes.

Overall the Stitch SL2 really is a wonderful bag. The styling is top notch, the fabrics and build quality are premium, and every touchpoint screams high-end and built-to-last. The best way to sum up the SL2 is to compare it to a sporty coup roadster: stylish, light, fun, fast, functional, and something others will notice. The trunk isn’t enormous, but it’s not meant to be. It holds everything you really need, plus a couple of extras,  and considering how much fun you have making corners in this car (or making birdies carrying the bag), at the end of the day, you’re going to enjoy the heck out of it.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “European Tour looking into an incident involving Matt Wallace and his caddie from the BMW International Open”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day surrounds an incident involving Matt Wallace and his caddie, Dave McNeilly, which occurred on Sunday at the European Tour’s BMW International Open. After hitting a shot in the water on 18, Wallace appeared irate with his caddie, which incensed many of our members, as well as plenty of social media users.

According to bunkered.co.uk, the European Tour stated in an email to the publication that they are looking into the incident over allegations of abuse.

A limited number of clips of the incident have surfaced online.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • buckeyefl: “Sky Sports analyst Rich Beem: ‘I’m sorry, but I just don’t enjoy watching that. I know you’re intense but get over yourself.’”
  • Steele47: “Just looked at Wallace’s twitter. He congratulates the winner Andrea Pavan and also noteworthy, makes a point to compliment Pavan’s caddie. LOL.”
  • OldTomMorris: “It’s a pattern with Wallace that he goes after his caddy so often like this and golf commentators, analysts even fans have picked up on this. There has to be a base level of respect and decency; it appears that Wallace often falls short of that.”
  • golfgirlrobin: “He’s getting roasted on his own Twitter account. People don’t seem that amused.”

Entire Thread: “European Tour looking into an incident involving Matt Wallace and his caddie from the BMW International Open”

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