Brian Benedictson is a Canadian PGA Tour player, who collected all the accoutrements of a touring pro's quest to get better -- a plethora of training aids. Traveling with them was problematic.
"I had a half a dozen tools I used on a regular basis," he said. "When it came time to travel to a tournament, I couldn't fit them all in my bag. I thought, 'why can't I combine them into one easy to use tool?'"
His answer was the Swinkey, a multi-functional training aid that provides a stretching tool, a set-up system, an on-plane putting trainer, adjustable weight swing trainer, a driver protector for the travel bag and a string line, all contained in a tube.
(See photo on above: The Swinkey's swing-plane setup)
He enlisted the aid of former PGA Tour pro Brent Schwarzrock to get them into the hands of a few PGA Tour players, Davis Love III among them.
"Davis put it in his bag," Benedictson said. "He called me up and thanked me for it, and said, 'if I can do anything for you let me know?'"
Benedictson asked him whether he could get him on the practice tee at a PGA Tour event, as an equipment rep. Love helped him get access to the range at the Heritage last April. "The feedback was phenomenal," Benedictson said. "At the end of two days, 56 guys had put it in their bag. Jim Furyk came up and introduced himself. He'd heard these guys talking about it."
The Swinkey's putting-plane setup.
Teaching pros are using it, too. Benedictson, a former carpenter, calls it the Golfer's Toolbox. It's also been called the Swiss Army Knife of golf tools."
A few weeks ago, Love agreed to an endorsement deal with Swinkey, which has become a full-time job for Benedictson (though he still plans to play the Canadian Tour this summer). The MSRP of the Swinkey is $99.99.
-- John Strege