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.
[youtube id=”P4ORQb1NC6w” width=”620″ height=”360″]
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
Top-3 men’s golf polos at the 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Vegas
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!
I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went
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.
Review: The QOD Electric Caddy
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.
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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