Welcome to GOLF.com’s weekly training aid review series, in which GOLF’s Instruction Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen will review new, interesting and helpful training aids from around the golf world. This week: the Tour Striker Smart Ball by Tour Striker Golf.
Every now and again, a training aid proves so popular that it becomes a trend at the game’s highest level. The Tour Striker Smart Ball, invented by GOLF Top 100 Teacher, Martin Chuck, is the latest to reach those heights. Canvas the range at any given PGA Tour or LPGA Tour event, and you’ll see Chuck’s training aid all over the place — including in the arms of Justin Rose, who has used the training aid throughout the 2017-18 season which saw him win the FedEx Cup and ascend to No. 1 in the World Ranking.
The product itself, as you can see above, is an inflatable ball attached to an adjustable lanyard. The ball only takes a few seconds to inflate — not an difficult task for those short of breath — and it’s all very intuitive. You simply place the lanyard around your neck and tighten it until the ball rests between your forearms. At that point, you simply make swings while keeping the ball between your forearms. When you’re done, deflate the ball and return it to your golf bag.
The Tour Striker Smart Ball sells for $42.99, but be warned: Its immense popularity means they sell out quickly. Thankfully, the site is running a promotion so if you pre-order your Smart Ball now, you get a free $10 gift card to spend on any of Tour Striker’s other training aids.
Does it Work?
It’s so simple and effective. A classic “why didn’t I think of that?” invention. I’ve seen people do variations of this drill for years, but it was always a bit of a struggle. It was hard to find a ball that was the right size, plus inflating it was a pain, and if the ball dropped out of your arms you had to chase it down. The Tour Striker Smart Ball eliminates all of those problems, and is compact enough to store in your golf bag.
The central aim of the training aid is to keep the ball between your arms throughout the swing, which ensures your arms are working together. It’s harder than it looks, so start off with a few half-swings before moving to bigger shots, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. It feels good to have your arms working together. You can also use the Smart Ball for putting practice.