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|The weighted Gold Flex by SKLZ will improve tempo and strength. (Courtesy of SKLZ)|
Another golf season is sadly winding down. But this winter, between orgiastic bouts of holiday eating and marathon stretches of college sports, how about working on flexibility and strength? Then, when the new season starts, you'll be ready to hit the links.
And if you are lucky enough to be able to hit golf balls outside or in a dome over the winter, why not take the time to groove some good swing habits?
SKLZ features an array of golf-specific fitness and training products, many of which can be used indoors on even the snowiest days.
Over the years, my basement has become populated with inflatable core balls. I tend to get a new one, do a few sit-ups or crunches on it, and then sort of think, "Well, what else can I do?" The answer, apparently, is: "Put it down in the storage room and forget about it."
The new TRAINERball ($30) by SKLZ is in essence a typical core ball. But it is innovative in that it features 16 diagrams of various exercises and stretches printed right on it. Just work your way around the ring of ideas, and next thing you know, you've had an intense workout. (Just getting the ball inflated with the little pump that is provided is quite a workout, actually.)
Similarly, the new SKLZ TRAINERmat ($30) is a traditional, extra-long, yoga-style mat printed with 24 strength, flexibility and range-of-motion, floor-focused exercises. I've found that it is actually pretty easy to motivate myself to move from the couch to the floor and work out while never missing a minute of the big game.
Just because you're snowbound doesn't mean you can't work on the most important part of your game: your putting stroke. The SKLZ 21i Putting Mirror ($50) lets you train your own optimal putting stroke with features that help you groove the right path and alignment. It can also be used on outdoor practice greens, in the event that you live somewhere with weather that is conducive to year-round play.
If you have high ceilings and want to work on strength, flexibility and swing mechanics, the SKLZ Gold Flex ($60) is a weighted, flexible aid that promotes a smooth tempo while at the same time strengthening core muscles.
Lucky golfers who live in warmer climates can hit the practice range with the SKLZ Ball-First Trainer ($20). This simple yet ingenious training aid is a rubber-modified horseshoe that encourages proper lag, a downward strike and square clubface at impact. It features markings that help you see where your divot began in relation to ball placement and visual club path guides. Your iron game will be sharp as Tour blades by the time you get done working with this.
Finally, combine the Ball-First Trainer with the SKLZ Pro Rods ($18) to ensure that your alignment is consistent. Even Tour pros use alignment rods to make sure they're setting up properly -- it's easy to fall into bad alignment habits a few millimeters at a time, especially during the off-season, when you tend to lose a lot of feel.
For more information visit sklz.com.
December 3, 2012
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
The Big Max Z 360 is probably the most functional, most flexible golf pushcart I've tried. It's not the lightest, and there are times when the swiveling front tire might cause a bit of irritation in uneven places. But these quibbles notwithstanding, this is a cart I would highly recommend to anyone looking to return to the pedestrian roots of golf.
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