The Tour Striker Smart Ball is quickly becoming a hit with amateurs and pros alike, but is it right for you? In this review we’ll cover how the Smart Ball works when to consider buying one and alternatives training aids on the market.
What is the Tour Striker Smart Ball?
The Smart Ball is an inflatable training aid that fits between your forearms. The aim is to make a golf swing whilst keeping the ball securely gripped between your arms.
You can hit balls with a full swing (although 3/4 swings are most comfortable), whilst pitching and when chipping.
How and why will this help my swing?
Practicing your swing with the Tour Striker Smart Ball constrains your arms to work as a unit, if they don’t the Smart Ball will fall. Hitting balls with this training aids will help you build up the feeling of how your arms should fold and rotate during your backswing and release the club into impact.
Additionally, this constraint creates i) a better body rotation and ii) helps you set your wrists correctly. For golfers who struggle with a flying elbow and/or a steep swing plane this is a great practice aid.
Two caveats – please ensure you have a great golf grip and sound posture at setup before you purchase the Smart Ball. Without a good grip and posture, you’ll never cement in the swing you want.
Tour Striker Smart Ball features and benefits
There are alternatives for the Smart Ball such as the Golf Impact Ball, which you can read more about in our full golf training aids review article. However, the Smart Ball comes out top compared to similar training aids for two reasons.
First, the inflatable design of the Smart ball allows you to increase and decrease the size of the ball. Meaning you can tailor this device to fit your body and swing characteristics.
This is a small, but really important feature for its usability.
Second, the lanyard ensures this training aid won’t fly down the golf range when it drops out. It also means you can focus on making great golf swings rather than worrying about the flight of your brand new training aid.
How to use the Tour Striker Smart Ball
Many golfers try to place the Smart Ball too low down, between their forearms, which can affect your ability to create a good golf grip. My personal preference is to adjust the size of the smart ball and lanyard length so that it fits at the top of your forearms – just below your elbows.
Make two to three 3/4 swings trying to keep a soft pressure on the ball throughout your swing. At this point you may want to add a little air or let air out of the Smart Ball if you feel it is uncomfortable during your backswing.
Next, make five to ten 3/4 swings with a 7-iron hitting golf balls. Your aim is to make a smooth swing, and keep the smart ball in place until you reach your follow-through. Your arms should separate and drop the ball around halfway into your follow-through.
Finally, hit five to ten balls without the Smart Ball attempting to re-create the feeling. Move back and forth between hitting shots with and without the training aid for the best transfer onto the golf course.
The hidden gem of the Tour Striker Smart Ball
Most golfers will be sold on using the Smart Ball to solve their long game issues, but practicing your pitching and chipping with this aid will transform your strike and distance control.
Few golfers synchronise their arms and body correctly inside 50 yards. Practicing with the Smart Ball will quickly give you the correct feelings when pitching and will help transfer the movements into your full swing.
In summary, buy the Tour Striker Smart Ball if you are looking for a training aid to help your arm rotation, connection and release. However, please do check your fundamentals (grip and posture) before you spend hours on the range trying to master your swing.
I urge all golfers who buy a Smart Ball to also head to the pitching and chipping area too – you’ll find the Smart Ball super useful for building some great movements and lowering your scores.
Do training aids work?
Golf training aids don’t magically fix your swing, instead, they provide you with feedback on certain principles within your golf swing.
Generating clear feedback during practice is one of the most important factors in learning. Meaning buying the right training aid can vastly accelerate your rate of learning during practice.
Will practicing my swing the Smart Ball transfer onto the golf course?
As soon as you change the constraints of your practice your golf swing will change. In other words, you will swing differently with and without any training aid, but this isn’t a concern.
To begin with hit 70% of your shots with the Smart Ball. As you find your new swing easier to perform gradually reduce the percentage of time you use it in practice. Once you have your swing in place you can use the Smart Ball 10% of the time during practice to keep your swing in check.
It will also be useful to take your Smart Ball out for a casual 9 holes when you are starting to see progress in practice. Using the Smart Ball for a few iron and pitch shots on the golf course should speed up taking your new swing into competitive play.
For more on training, aids check out our full article on the best golf training aids and for more detailed reviews check out our Swingyde golf swing trainer review and review of the Orange Whip training aid.
Happy Golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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