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The WEEI Country Club
05.07.10
Back At It And What Is That Thing You’re Holding?

By: Pro From Dover

We’re back from a short stint on the DL. We played (and walked) our first two rounds of the year last week and it was like being reborn. Gimme an Amen, brother!

With the storm of  the century having left courses battered and behind the calendar, not much was missed. A pal at Andover CC reports their greens were hammered by the winter resulting in all the front nine being replaced. Ouch! Our home course escaped with some minor scratchiness but we’ve heard lots of horror stories of damage left by the ice. Now we need hot, humid air but there isn’t much nearby.

So we enter another season of comments and observations about the game we love.

We’ve never been fans of training devices. There are a few simple alignment tools that are helpful but one can accomplish that objective by laying clubs or sticks on the ground rather than buying something over-engineered, over-specialized and over-priced.

Strolling through the PGA Merchandise Show hall in January we found devices that were likely resurrected from the Spanish Inquisition dungeons. Sticks, straps, nooses. One Day Special: “The NEW Marquis de Sade Logoed Training Aid.”  Bring new meaning to your love/hate relationship with golf!!!

There were dozens of training tools but, for the first time, we were truly impressed by one in particular: The PSP club. Also known as “The Little One.”

PSP Golf markets a full size, playable training club that has a lot of knowledgeable folks chattering. What makes this club interesting is the size of the head.

Many modern irons measure more than four inches from the heel to the toe of the club face. That’s one of the great developments in today’s equipment. The face of the clubs is much larger and with perimeter weighting the sweet spot is enhanced.

But the large club faces allow us to get away with hits that are all over the surface and the result may be decent contact but something less than a 100% shot. We get a bit lazy about pure contact.

“The Little One” has a club face only slightly wider than a standard golf  ball. It was developed as an aid to chipping but, with the loft of a seven iron, it can be hit with full swings. There’s no doubt addressing a ball the first few times with the club generates images of a swing and a miss. Or even the dreaded “pitch out.”

And that’s the beauty. It causes you to really focus and concentrate on making contact with the ball whether with a chip or a full swing. Quite simply, it’s the best helper we have seen in a long time. After you’ve hit several balls with “The Little One,” your regular irons look like shovels.

Rumor has it that PSP is developing a driver built on the same concept and we can hardly wait.

Check out “The Little One” at PSPGolf.net.

One other interesting device we came upon is the Pro Hands grip strengthener. Most of us have seen the old fashioned “vee” shaped, steel spring gadget that works the entire hand. What makes this tool useful is it has four separate spring loaded keys for your fingers allowing you work them individually or together. Give it a look at Prohands.net. As we age our digit strength and flexibility decrease so this thing might be best for more senior players.

Of course, we’re mindful of Byron Nelson’s comment that the proper grip strength on a club is such that one might hold a small bird. Slightly firm but gentle. Yeah, well. Grip strength is important irrespective of Byron’s counsel.

We’re not in the business of endorsements and there’s no gain for us in mentioning these two products but they were so interesting we wanted to pass the idea on to our readers.