UPDATES: Original Post 10/30/2017 – Updated contents are italicized.
Distance – Nature Vs. Nurture
First of all, let me say that I am a right-handed, mid-handicapper (12) who wants to hit the ball longer. Don’t we all?
I would give anything to hit my drives 20 yards longer. But the thing is, more length is hard to achieve. How do you become longer (that’s what she said)? I always thought you were born with the ability to generate lots of club head speed. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and John Daly were all bombers as teenagers. Is it God-given, or can it be taught?
Fortunately it can be taught. And the answer is the Swing Caddy. After trying out a variety of “remedies” that claim to improve distance, I came across the Swing Caddy, a golf swing trainer from Swing Impact. I was first introduced to the Swing Caddy when I watched Shawn Clement’s review on it, and I took a chance and bought one from Amazon .
And after using it for the past 6 months, I believe the Swing Caddy currently holds the title for the number one golf swing training aid for players who want to increase their swing speed to hit the ball further.
UPDATE (8/9/2018): I’ve tried couple other swing trainers since then – the SKLZ Gold Flex Swing Trainer (BUY HERE) & the SuperSpeed Training System (BUY HERE) – both trainers mentioned are great for warm-ups and stretching, but I’ve gotten way too used to the dual clicks you get with the Swing Caddy. Each swing with the Swing Caddy is much more satisfying, and the actual feel of the Swing Caddy is much more substantial and, for the lack of a better word, “real”. In addition, the ability to get a click for the specific speed of your swing really establishes its superiority.
Rhythm is the other thing I wanted in my swing. The thing is, rhythm is easy to spot, players like Ernie Els and Freddie Couples swing with a syrupy smooth rhythm. But how do you define – and teach – rhythm? And more importantly, how to learn it?
Like power, most golf instructors think that rhythm can’t be taught, from my experience. You either have rhythm and tempo, or you don’t. I never had it. My backswing used to move at a snail’s pace and my downswing was like a mad rush to generate speed before the club head reached the ball.
After just one week of practicing with the Swing Caddy, my rhythm and timing were much better; my contact with the ball and was so much more satisfying. After a few weeks, I noticed my swing was more fluid.
Part of that came from trying to get the first click of the Swing Caddy to click at the right place in my swing – just before my left foot.
And the other part came from improving my follow through and finishing my swing for the first time in my life. I used to have a chopped off follow through, but after using the Swing Caddy and trying to get the second click, I now have a full follow-through and hold it in a pose.
My tempo is now better through my whole game. Training with the Swing Caddy has forced me to swing the driver faster, and swing my wedges slower. I’m now lashing my driver, but my chips and pitches are crisper. In addition, with the ability to control the club head speed with the Swing Caddy’s patented steel head, I can gauge how fast I should swing my clubs to reach my desired distance.
UPDATE (8/9/2018): The biggest improvements I have seen with my swings are the ability to control the speed of my swings. For example, I am now able to consistently hit 70 yard targets and 100 yard targets with my pitching wedge when necessary. This is where I believe the Swing Caddy shines among other golf swing trainers, the ability to feel the differences in the speed of your swings.
The biggest benefit of the Swing Caddy training aid – feedback. The big problem with golf is that we can’t see ourselves. Most of us don’t record our swings on video. We can’t see our own faults. We usually have to hire a professional as a third eye. But, with the Swing Caddy I can get instant feedback on my swing. Instead of flying blind, I now know instantly when I’ve made a good swing or a bad one. Another benefit is that I don’t need to hire a teacher as often now to give me feedback.
I’m now up to hitting my 6-iron 160 yards. That’s up from 140 yards a few months ago. It’s just like lifting weights or training for a marathon, set your goal, and gradually work up to it over a period. I know I can get my 6-iron up to 170 yards before the end of 2017.
UPDATE (8/9/2018): Although my 6-iron is still more or less 160 yards at my max swing, my swings and impact with the ball is much more consistent. But, I am still trying to hit that 170 mark more consistently *fingers-crossed*.
Most of my increased length has come from better timing and more club head speed, but I’d say about 20% of it has come from better flexibility. I noticed over the years, as I got older (I’m 48) that my swing had gotten shorter, both on the backswing and the follow through. But after 6 months of practicing with the Swing Caddy, I’ve improved my flexibility and lengthened my swing out again. I can really feel the weight of the head pull my swing out and lengthen my muscles. I now have the flexibility of a golfer half my age.
Always Stay Warmed Up
And because it stretches me out good (that’s what she said), I use the Swing Caddy to warm up for my rounds instead of hitting balls on the range. After just 10 minutes of swinging the Swing Caddy, I’m ready and warm for my round. This saves me time because I don’t need to get to the course 1 hour before my tee time like I used to. I can now arrive 30 minutes before, relax, have a few swings of the Swing Caddy and I’ve got great rhythm and technique on the first tee.
I no longer hit these embarrassing hooks off the first tee and take 3 shots to find my swing. I have it now from the first tee shot.
Swing Training Design
The Swing Caddy is extremely well designed compared to the $40 – $60 plastic swing training aids on the market. It’s not just another training gadget, the Swing Caddy swing trainer is backed by patents in four different countries (US, Japan, South Korea, China). The patented technology, from the grip to the shaft, and down to the weightiness of the Swing Caddy, it feels like you’re swinging an actual club. But the shaft is flexible so ladies, juniors, and seniors, can swing it no problem and get great results. Both my wife and my son have been using it and have improved their ball striking over the past few months. It’s really popular in our family!
I bought the Hole-In-One model (27” shaft) too (also on Amazon), because I wanted to work on my game in smaller spaces over the winter. I’m from northern Michigan so I can’t play or practice for a good 4 – 5 months. By the time Spring comes around, my golfing buddies are dusting off their clubs, but I’ve been improving my swing all winter.