Thursday, September 12, 2013

SKLZ Smash Bag - a short review of an impact training aid - Is the SKLZ Smash Bag good?

The SKLZ Smash Bag  - great impact trainer

Official website quote:

Learn the feeling of the correct ball impact for your swing with a high quality impact trainer. Hitting into the Smash Bag helps eliminate fat and thin golf shots, helps cure slices and improves overall accuracy.

The most important moment in golf is without a doubt the impact. I think we all agree on that.
You will see all kinds of different swings on all Professional Golf Tours. But all pro players have one moment in common: The Impact Moment.

There is a simple reason for it, if you are not in proper position with your clubface at impact for the shot you are attempting to execute, you will not be able to do so. You swing can be pretty and technically perfect, but if you are not square at impact your shot will be a miss hit.  

So how do I arrive at the correct impact position ? By entering and exiting the impact zone in proper timing. This zone is only a few inches long. Yet , those few inches are crucial to your  golf game and can make a huge difference to your score.

There is a long list of training aids and instructional books and videos which are  covering this matter and I have to agree that some of them are very good and helpful.  Surely I will write about some of them in the future.

One of the greatest and oldest training aids however is the impact bag ( not the product  with that name itself, I just used the term), which comes in all kinds of different models made by different companies, endorsed by different top golf teachers.

That should make a point right here. Different top golf  teachers recommend this tool and endorse it.

After years of watching the commercials and reading about it I finally decided that I need to add this tool to my top 10 collection. That decision came after I began struggling with my turn, timing, opening my hips too late and not being in the correct position at impact, which resulted in plenty of bad shots costing me tons of strokes.

After some research online I decided to go for the SKLZ Smash Bag endorsed by Rick Smith ( one of the great teachers out there). But I have to admit , that my decision to buy this specific product was not  because of Rick or the brand, but simply because it looked good and the text read well.

I also liked the fact, that it had the wanted impact position on the bag as a target.  This really helps and makes it much better then a regular sports bag. Further I liked the shape of it. Round and of good height.

When I received the package I was a little surprised about the size. It was much smaller than I expected it to be. Opening it and reading the instructions  explained that very fast.

When you order the SKLZ Smash Bag you get an empty bag which you need to fill with old clothes or blankets. This worked out great for me as I was about ready to bring plenty of old clothes to the Goodwill Store. So I planned to use those clothes to fill it up.

I filled the Smash Bag  fairly fast ( still need some more ) and was ready to go in minutes.

Filling the SKLZ Smash Bag with old clothes and securing it with the durable looking zipper.

While doing that I was able to touch and examine the material and it felt very strong and actually pretty good. It is some kind of plastic. It is thick, which it needs to be when you consider that we hit irons and woods with tremendous force into it. Somehow reminded me on material they would use for boats.

Reading the instructions I new I need a wall, fence, block or something to put it against to start using it, as it would move when I hit into it.

Also they wrote , that there is a little loop or hook on the back side of it , which can be used to pin it down on  a lawn or the driving range with an old cut of club ( steel shaft)  or any pole you might find which works.

First I tried it against a wall,  both inside and outside.

The SKLZ Smash Bag in my little garage

SKLZ Smash Bag against the outside wall of our house

It worked great in both spots and really did not require a lot of room and I found it exciting that I can use it in my garage, as my garage is small and converted into an office space with some storage. My first swings were a little on the weak side because I did not know what to expect. But it felt great and so I started taking full swings and really liked the feeling of it. Much better than hitting and old tire, which does not look that great in the house either.

Next I used it on the driving range while I went out for a long practice session. Here the strap it has on top really comes in handy. When  you walk from your car to the range with a golf bag on one shoulder and balls in one hand you can carry the SKLZ Smash Bag easily like a sports bag. But watch out, with all the clothes it is pretty heavy.

I pinned it down with a cut of iron club ( steel shafted) and was ready to go in seconds.

See how I used an old steel shaft club to pin it to the ground through the loop.

SKLZ Smash Bag on the range

Here I would go and hit about 5 times into the Smash Bag and then go and hit a few balls. Then do it again and so on. You do not have to do 5 times, but that is what I did at this point.

It felt good and helped me reinforce the feeling I seemed to have lost over time. I really liked the fact, that the bag did not move one inch after I pinned it down.

So in both situations the SKLZ Smash Bag delivered exactly what it said in the description.

The material is strong and the bag well made. It looks good and seems to be very durable.
As for the benefit, I can not say yet a 100 % because I only have it for a couple weeks and only used it  a few times. What I can say  is that my turn and my  timing opening my hips improved already. My timing was great before and I truly believe using the SKLZ Smash Bag did and will further improve my timing and positioning at impact and bring me back to my old me.

Next I will see if I can improve my swing speed and  square up my clubface  at impact with it. But for that I will have to write an update in a few weeks or so.  

I think the SKLZ Smash Bag is a great training aid for a good price. The quality of the product is good for the amount you pay. It seems like a durable product which  will be usable for a longer period of time.

It also is much safer to hit into a Smash Bag than to hit into an old  tire. There is no or little risk for injuries. Also I think that it is better than using an old sports bag. Those bags are simply not designed to withstand that force to many times and again you might have the potential for injuries as a result of not having a flat impact zone, zippers, handles and so on.

In my mind there is not a doubt, that the SKLZ Smash Bag will help you to improve your game when following the instructions and working with it over a longer period of time and a regular base.

At this point I can not compare it to other products of similar kind simply because I did not try them yet, but will write an article as soon as I get my hands on a different product.

Prices for this product differ from store to store and website to website. It is a matter of searching and comparing shipping options and shipping charges.

As I always I look forward to get comments and hear about experiences.

Buy it for a good deal right now.



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