So some thoughts on using the club having just wrapped up my first session with it:
(please keep in mind I didn't touch a golf club until this summer, nor am I particularly versed in the terminology, so a lot of my explanations and descriptions may fall short of ideal.)
So the Tour Striker came in the mail today, with me diligently tracking it online like a kid following Santa on NORAD's website. When it did come I patiently waited for the one work call I had to make before running out to the range. At this point, I should mention a caveat of sorts: today was my first day hitting in about five days, and in those last five days I've been scouring this site and picking up on as much info as I could (following the youtube links and grabbing The Impact Zone), so this week has been quite a true and literal education in golf for me. I mention this because I've been diligently deconstructing my swing and really truly thinking about it for the first time, so it's not as if I have a clear "before and after" with the Tour Striker and the Tour Striker alone. In fact, it happened to coincidentally arrive on the heels of my doing the most in-depth thinking about my swing that I ever have, so it's difficult to say how I would have hit the club had I picked it up 7-10 days ago.
I mention all of this because I hit the club very (and unexpectedly) well. I had visions of dribbling lots of shots and/or sending worm burners down the range, but quite the opposite was true. I started with some chipping (it seemed to me the most logical place to start since I know I'm maintaining the shaft forward position) and quickly moved to the full swing when that went well. The distance was about what I expect from my 8-iron, and my normal trajectory (fairly high and ballooning) was definitely in place. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I started hitting from the normal hitting mat (i.e., the more "fluffy" stuff) but quickly moved to the hard-pack "standing only" mat and continued to hit that well as if nothing had changed. I then moved back to the ground (frozen solid), hit a few from there and had similar results. So I do feel that the results were valid...
Now, I am by no means a good, or even decent golfer. I've gone as low as an 86 on an easy course with not a lot to account for other than "grip it and rip it," so to speak and as high as a 128 on a tougher course with lots of water and bunkers (both of those scores came within 5 weeks of one another). I can be incredibly, incredibly inconsistent and I imagine my swing to be pretty unattractive in the grand scheme of things. But it is clear I'm at least hitting down on the ball (at least at present)....something I wasn't sure would be the case because I rarely take a divot. Even with the TS, I get the impression I was *barely* getting into the right spot/position. Though I hit very well (relative to my normal shots) I could clearly see (given it's a new club) that the dimple marks were just barely clearing the iron clunker and getting onto the grooves - all of those dimples were on the first 2-3 groove lines and maybe only one or two made it any higher. I imagine that owes itself to the root cause as to why I rarely take a divot or hit it fat....something I'd like to get to the bottom of.
Don't get me wrong, I got a bit cocky with it and it definitely let me know with worm burners and the like, but all in all I was very (and pleasantly) surprised by how well I hit. So all of that said, here were some thoughts on the club (based on only one hour and limited golf skills).
- I love the immediate feedback. My clubs are definitely very forgiving beginner's clubs, so while I can sometimes tell I've mishit by the sound or "feel" I'm certain there are innumerable times I've struck it poorly, but the forgiving nature of the club allows me to get away with it.
- It has an amazing ability to provide a sense of that "snapping of the whip" (I believe the same as lag based on my reading of this board and TIZ, but I may be way off). Ironically, my mishits (i.e., line drives or ground balls) "felt" like good swings at first. After a few, I quickly came to realize that my swing could be solid for 90% of its journey, but if I didn't have that final 10% down the club let me know. I was able to very easily identify when my hands were working correctly and when they weren't (something I don't imagine I could have developed or at least recognized in such a short period of time without this club). When I translated that to my normal 8 iron, I immediately noticed a tad more distance with a far easier, or at least more fluid swing - something that's been eluding me.
- It gave me confidence that there's at least something I'm doing well as I start down this course. Up until now, all I had was my shot itself. While that may be more than sufficient for a competent golfer, I tend to think (based on my own experience) that so many beginner's can't feel, articulate, explain or otherwise understand why their good shots were good - they just recognize they're few and far between and hope they'll become more regular. With this club, the feedback is very objective and you quickly come to understand *specifically* what's going right or wrong, an aspect of practice missed by many beginners in ALL sports.
All in all, I'd certainly recommend it based on my experience thus far.