Monday, February 19, 2007

There are almost as many swing aides as swing thoughts, and when it comes to our games, we're all tireless tinkerers. Is it OK to admit you're desperate for help, even if it's battery-powered? No more desperate than the time we tried putting with a leaf blower.

Swing Speed Radar with Tempo Timer

What it is

What you do
Place it on the ground, 10 inche from your ball, and swing.

Verdict
The Swing Speed Radar is a quick, easy way to find the right speed for you, with instant, helpful feedback. You get a clear sense of your natural tempo, and a better understanding of ho the speed of your takeaway relates to how fast you come through the ball. On the range, or tester slowed his backswing way down. Good move: The change gave him time to shift his weight and set his club, and his clubhead speed jumped from 104 to 111 mph! $149.95; 888-542-9246 or swingspeedradar.com

BreakMaster Digital Green Reader

What it is

What you do
Place it on your line about three feet in front of the hole to get a reading of the degree and direction of the break. Arrows tell you which way the putt sides, and numbers represent the severity of the slope (from0 to 9.9 degrees).

Verdict
Talk about leveling the playing field. The BreakMaster gives an accurate read and is ideal for those who love to practice or have trouble reading greens, but it's illegal for play. (It might also come in handy when you remodel your kitchen floor.) $59.95; 818-385-0824 or exelys.com

Mind Meter

What it is

What you do
Strap the lightweight belt around your sternum and hook the pager-sized meter to your pants. Readings range from zero (Goosen on NyQuil) to 99 (Van de Velde at Carnoustie).

Verdict
It works. Our tester's head went haywire (a whopping 97) when he got trapped in hellish rush hour traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. He later rang up 98 when he grabbed driver on a tight par-4. It's nice to know your mind, but do you need a $400 gizmo to tell you you're mental? $399; 888-280-4653 or golfpsych.com

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