Pros: A great training aid for golfers who struggle with the “flying elbow,” or staying connected during the swing. The Swing Shirt is simple and easy to use, eliminating the learning curve we see with some training aids. It’s portable, light and durable.
Cons: It looks a little awkward, and larger golfers may find it a little tight. While it’s intuitive to use on short shots, it takes time to adjust to hitting drivers, woods and hybrids.
Bottom Line: The Golf Swing Shirt is designed to “keep you connected” during the swing and it largely delivers on its promise in a simple and clever design.
When I first opened the Swing Shirt I thought, well this is going to feel weird. But when I put it on the first time my body and made my first swing I sensed that it had a lot of potential.
Here are the instructions from Swing Shirt on how and why to use its product:
“To use ‘The Golf Swing Shirt’ you simply slip it on over your shirt and insert your arms in the center trunk sleeve. The shirt is designed to fit more snug than a customary shirt, which helps promote the feeling of body ‘connection’ as you are swinging the club.
This ‘connection’ is what most great ball strikers feel and is the key to great golf. The structure of the shirt and proprietary compression fabric immediately instills ‘connection’ and muscle memory, which is why The Golf Swing Shirt” is so effective.”
Swing Shirt recommends that golfers start out with chipping and putting before they move onto full swings. I agree with these instructions, because it allows your body to adapt to this “connected” feel before moving on to aggressive swings.
I put it on at home and with smooth tempo made some half and full swing and even putted some balls. I noticed right away that even with slower swings mu whole body responded to the swinging motion and everything felt like it was swinging in unison. If you have back issues, I think you will like his sensation. I liked it for putting not only for the connected feel, but also for the fact that that the material of the trunk sleeve creates a plan in which you can see if your arms are square to your target, to each other or if one arm is forward of the other at address and it is easy to make the adjustment to square yourself up. This is also true for full shots.
The material is a mid-weight compression shirt that fits pretty snug to your body but more snug around your arms, or so it felt. The company offers eight different sizes and three colors. If you order size No. 1 or No. 2, then orange will be your only color choice, as per the website. I am 5-foot 8-inches tall and 170 pounds, and No. 5 fits just fine. At the time of this review, Swing Shirt retails for $59.95 or $69.95, depending on the size.
Here is a GolfWRX interview with instructor Jimmy Ballard and former long drive champion Art Sellinger from the 2013 PGA Merchandise show. Click here for the full story.
Using the Swing Shirt
To say the Swing Shirt is intuitive is an understatement. It doesn’t require too much thought and you don’t have to read a booklet of instructions or watch a DVD for tips, trick and drills to learn at home and then remember them at the range. We are golfers, we have a head on our shoulders, we watch, we read and we can figure things out! Just look at the website www.golfswingshirt.com. Not a lot of information because it is that easy to use!
Slip the shirt on over your torso then feed your arms into the trunk sleeve and start chipping balls (or putting) and you will immediately know if you are not using your arms and trunk together in a connected like motion. It feels different at first and I did hit some loose shots. However, negative feedback is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a different feel is necessary to get better. You will soon realize that you will get used to this connected feel and you will see results in the very first session you use it.
My recommendation is to chip about 10 to 15 balls and then remove my arms, tuck the trunk back into itself and focus on maintaining that connected feel and hit about 10 to 15 more balls. I like that even with my arms out of the trunk but the shirt still on the compression around my trunk was enough of a reminder to stay connected through the swing. To me this was another bonus for the shirt as I felt it was a small progression in fundamentals to ingrain the connect feel into my swing without the shirt being on completely. No more gloves or towels under your arms, because this is better.
During the first two range sessions I only chipped and hit half and full wedge shots. I think this is the best way to progress into the mid irons through to the driver. You build a sense of what the feeling is like and that makes the transition into the longer clubs easier. I think if you just start whacking drivers then you would probably get frustrated and therefore think there isn’t any merit to this product. Start with the short irons to build up your feel for the swing shirt then progress through the rest of your bag — there’s no rush.
What I didn’t like was even with the trunk tucked into the shirt, after hitting 5 to 10 balls the trunk would start to back itself out and I would have to pull it back in. It never affected my vision, but you just know it was happening. The other and most annoying thing was raking a new ball over to hit. I think that is why I most hit at max about 10 to 15 balls at a time and dreaded hitting tee shots.
I don’t want to end on a negative note. I feel this product has merit to those who believe in what it is trying to accomplish and want to take the time and effort to get the most out of it. I will leave it like this: Did it feel strange at first? Yes. Am I still getting used to the feel? Yes. Do I feel connected? Yes. Am I hitting better and more consistent shots with better body tempo? Yes.
Reviewed by GolfWRX member Lenny318