Was your New Year's Resolution to improve your game during the winter months, only to have the plan foiled by the recent deep freeze that blanketed much of the country? Well, don't let the polar vortex get you down, contend the folks at GolfTEC. The network of game-improvement centers is running a Training Camp program starting this month at its 165 locations in the U.S. and Canada geared to recreational players who are trying to stay sharp before the weather warms up. The program uses GolfTEC's indoor video and motion measurement devices as part of a introductory swing evaluation. Instructors follow up with a series of 10 individualized lessons that incorporates 18 hours of video-based practice work. Players' equipment needs can also be addressed via GolfTEC's custom-fitting process. Consider it a down payment on the money you'll win off your buddies this spring while they're still shaking off their rust.
SKLZ calls itself "the premier developer and marketer of athletic performance and skill development training products for serious athletes of all ages." A cursory check of its website would make it tough to argue otherwise.
Among the sports to which it caters (beyond the obvious: football, basketball and baseball) are lacrosse, volleyball, and fast-pitch softball. There also is golf, a category that continues to grow.
SKLZ's latest golf offerings are the TrainerMat (shown above) and TrainerBall, each of which has golf-specific exercises printed on them.
The 24 exercises printed on the mat address core stability and torque. The 16 exercises printed on the stability ball are designed to optimize core strength and flexibility.
Each has a suggested retail price of $29.99. A hand pump is included in the cost of the stability ball.
-- John Strege
Golfers, overweight? Seven of 10 of them are, Larry Jacobs said, "and the other three are not in the best shape, either."
Jacobs is a weight-loss coach, who in recent years has turned his focus to golfers. He has another of his four-part tele-seminars, Weight Loss for Golfers, scheduled to begin on Sept. 28. A former aspiring tour professional, Jacobs, in addition to working with recreational golfers, has worked with those in professional golf circles, as well, including Dottie Pepper, Champions Tour player Allen Doyle and Don Trahan, the latter (pictured below, before and after) a swing coach and the father of PGA Tour player D.J. Trahan.
"I'm going to be 60 in October," said Jacobs, who established his reputation with his Thin for LIfe program that he began in the '70s. "A lot of baby boomers and seniors are headed onto the back nine of life, so to speak. Excess weight detracts from them being able to play this game the way they want.
"I merged my passion for golf with nicheing out my Thin for Life program and began working with golfers. I make the whole thing like a game of golf. The front nine is from the time you and I wake up until after lunch. The back nine is after lunch until it's time we go to bed. I like to make the claim that this is a game unlike golf, that you can shoot par or under almost every day of your life. Even if on the front nine you had a bogey or two, you've still got the rest of the day and can still shoot a decent score."
Jacobs promises results, provided one works his program, or he'll refund your money.
"I make a huge promise to them," he said. "I promise them that they can go from a fat storer to a fat burner in two weeks or less without dieting, starving or counting calories, or your money back. That's a pretty big promise.
"It's a simple format. We're not using any kind of high-tech anything. Just a knife and fork, sneakers and a certain way to think. People have had tremendous turnarounds."
Each session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes and can be viewed or heard in a number of ways. There are call-in sessions, too, with Jacobs answering questions either by email or phone.
The cost of the Weight Loss for Golfers tele-seminar series this month is half price, $497. Jacobs wouldn't give specifics on how it works, but suffice it to say it doesn't recommend a hot dog at the turn.
-- John Strege
OK, so it will take an outlay of $365 and some effort, and The Extra 20 Yards is not a promise that you will find an extra 20 yards, but is the name of the product. Still, it's an interesting concept that will help build golf-specific muscles that presumably will provide a benefit off the tee.
The Extra 20 Yards is akin to a weight machine you'd find in a fitness club, only smaller and designed specifically for golf. It features a swivel pulley attached to a stack of weights weighing 4.4 pounds each. A golf club grip is attached to the end of the cable that pulls the weights.
Simply attach it to a wall and use it three to five minutes a day, three or four times a week, the company suggests, to reap the benefits.
-- John Strege