October 6, 2014
By Mathew Wangrycht
"I’ve been nothing but impressed with The Golf Swing Shirt. It’s very well made, does a tremendous job at maintaining connectivity throughout the swing and it’s a perfect way to go through a checks-and-balance of my setup. That alone is enough to get a ringing endorsement from me that The Golf Swing Shirt is an excellent training aid, but the real magic for me happened when I took the Golf Swing Shirt off."
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
By John Strege
An endorsement from renowned instructor Jimmy Ballard, who invokes Ben Hogan and his seminal book, "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf," to explain the endorsement suggest that the Golf Swing Shirt might be a training aid worth investigation.
In essence both arms fit into a single sleeve of the Golf Swing Shirt to keep elbows connected and close to the body.
“You're always looking to teach feel, to find something someone can feel," Ballard said. "You remember in Hogan's 'Five Lessons,'when he tied the elbows down? That's what this shirt does. It gives you the same sensation. You feel the elbows more down and together. It doesn't let your arms run away from you. It pulls your arms in, which is the feeling you want.
"Hogan was always talking about keeping the elbows on the body and then just moving to right and moving to the left. That's what the shirt does. It teaches that triangle. I'm not going to start any juniors any more without putting this on them."
Ray Rapcavage, founder of the Golf Swing Shirt, came upon the idea by accident. A low handicapper, he went into his yard to hit some lob wedges one day and shanked three in a row, he said, the last shot hitting his house. "It felt like everything was out of sync," he said.
So he took his sweater off, put both arms in a single sleeve, "almost like a strait jacket," and began hitting lob wedge shots, "2 perfect shots in a row, each time the same exact result. Everything was operating as one unit."
He decided to design a one-sleeved shirt for his personal use, then introduced it to friends. "Almost every person who put this on hit the ball exponentially better," Rapcavage said. Before deciding to go into business with this product, he sought the opinion of an expert and began hectoring Ballard for his evaluation. Ballard agreed to meet with him, though he was skeptical.
"I've been in this business for 52 years," he said. "I've seen everything. I'd never seen anything I liked. I liked this right away and told Ray that. This lets you feel that triangle in both directions. It's so easy."
July 19, 2012
The Golf Swing Shirt Review: Swing trainers are a tricky business, no doubt. Caddy Shack, Tin Cup and other golf movies have well-documented the lengths people will go to find a swing worthy of Augusta National. Unfortunately, it is just not that simple. Nope, no one device can magically give you all the answers. However, there are some training aides that can help give you a ‘feel’ for a more sound technique.One such aide I recently discovered is the Golf Swing Shirt. After spending a few weeks and multiple practice sessions with the Swing Shirt, I can honestly recommend it to anyone. Coincidentally, the the Golf Swing Shirt has been well received by one of my golf heroes, Jimmy Ballard. In a recent interview I had with Jimmy, we discussed the Golf Swing Shirt and he reiterated his support for the product.
If you know anything about Jimmy Ballard, you know his main teaching philosophy is “Connection”, and the one thing the Swing Shirt does very well is promote a connected swing. This is particularly important since staying connected is one of the most critical elements to a consistent and powerful golf swing.
If you look at their website you will find that the Golf Swing Shirt philosophy is partially derived from Hogan’s book and his “Five Lessons”; specifically, as it relates to the importance of connection of the arms to the upper body. This was something Hogan learned from Sam Byrd who was Jimmy Ballard’s teacher. What the Swing Shirt does is give you the feel of the triangle that Hogan and Ballard describe where your arms form a triangle with your chest that you move to the right, and then move to the left, using the ground and your legs as leverage to move the triangle.
The Swing Shirt is made out of a moderate-weight stretchy fabric, and it looks like a basketball jersey, with an extra ‘trunk’ on the front that you put both arms through. This ‘trunk’ or extra sleeve on the front of the shirt keeps your arms on top of your chest, and connected to your chest during the swing, so that you can feel the sense of using your chest to support and move your arms back and forth, rather than just using your hands and arms to flip the club around your body. After you’ve hit some balls with your arms in the sleeve, you can move your arms to the ‘normal’ arm holes, and then hit some balls while keeping the shirt on to see if you can repeat the feeling.
The result is that you are able to use your big muscles of your legs and core to move the golf club, rather than just flipping at the ball with your hands, or getting into the dreaded ‘chicken wing’ of the left arm, and the ball flight is much more consistent, and much straighter. A couple of quick ideas that I think will help anyone use the Golf Swing Shirt: -Get the correct size. Sizing is on their website and is based on height/weight. It needs to fit to work correctly. -Good posture, including standing as upright at address as possible is the only way to have connection keep the club on plane, and not go ‘around’ your body. -The shirt is good at keeping your arms on top of your chest, and together through the swing, but you shouldn’t ‘tuck’ your right elbow at address, or setup with the right shoulder lower than the left. Hogan had a balanced, upright address, where his shoulders were fairly level, and his right elbow pointed loosely at his right hip socket. During the takeaway, the right arm is higher than the left, if being viewed face on, or in a mirror; and it needs to stay that way, as the triangle moves to waist high on the backswing. From waist high, the right arm simply folds and moves up into the ‘throwing’ position, as the shoulders finish coiling. If you ‘tuck’ your right elbow, the golf swing shirt won’t keep you from going around yourself, losing connection, and introducing all kinds of timing issues. -Make sure not to forget chipping and putting. Connection is the heartbeat of the golf swing, and this tool will help you with all of your clubs!
Asbury Park Press
Jody Somers / Special to NJ Press Media
You've seen them. We all have. The long-running infomercials with crazy contraptions designed to shave strokes off your score. They come with creative names and fancy testimonials promising everything from straighter shots to increased distance, like snake oil for double-digit handicappers. Ray Rapcavage has seen them.
"It's hard to sell a salesman anything," said the commercial real estate entrepreneur. "I was always very skeptical, I've always had a pretty good understanding of the golf swing so I questioned whether any of it would actually work." Jimmy Ballard's skeptical, too.
He told Rapcavage as much when the Rumson resident finally got the teacher credited for his work with Rocco Mediate, Curtis Strange, Seve Ballesteros and others on the phone earlier this year concerning his contribution to the genre, The Golf Swing Shirt.
Still, he managed to talk his way into a half-hour with Ballard at home base, the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. So off went the guy who brokers deals for shopping centers with a display kit full of orange garments that look more like a straight jacket for a meeting with the man who preaches the connection between the arms and the torso in a golf swing.
"I give him the shirt," said Rapcavage, "and he's holding it in his hands, staring at it. He put it on and was swinging, then went onto the range and hit some balls and put it on his head pro. He's not saying much of anything. Finally, after a half hour he says 'Ray, I don't know who you are or where you came from, but this is the best swing trainer I've ever seen in my life. I've been teaching for 45 years and this is the real deal. This is going to help people hit the ball so much better so much quicker and you figured it out.' "
I wasn't privy to the exact conversation, but as of July 1 Ballard is under contract as the official endorser of The Swing Shirt, so apparently he did indeed like it.
As for our local inventor, he's now charged with figuring out how to break into a market that's literally oversaturated with gadgets like his, many with famous teachers attesting to their ability to help you play better. But Rapcavage's marketing strategy isn't to beat you over the head on late-night television. Instead, it's to grow distribution in a grass-roots manner through professionals and golf shops. By word of mouth within the industry and among students of the game, thus adding legitimacy to any paid endorsements.
So, like any good pitchman, Rapcavage slipped his creation, made of orange stretch fabric, although it comes in several colors, over his head. Then he pulled both arms out of the holes where the sleeves would go and inserts them into the single sleeve extending from the chest of garment. Then the 48-year-old dutifully stepped up to a pile of practice balls on the driving range at Hominy Hill Golf Course and rifled off a series of well-struck wedge shots, the fabric restricting his arms and torso in the proper position throughout the swing.
know what you're thinking. How does a guy with no experience in this kind of thing get to the point where he's working 18 hours-a-day between the job that pays the bills for his family and his dream of helping golfers and turning a profit?
As Rapcavage tells the story he's told many times before, it was late in 2010 and he was out in the front yard of his home on a cold day hitting a few golf balls, when the low-handicapper proceeded to shank three shots in succession. "I just felt in swinging that my arms were going in one direction and my body was going the other way. Just out of synch," he recalled. So he took his arms out of the oversized sweater he was wearing, turned it to the side stuck both arms through one of the sleeves and, viola, the light bulb went off. After a little research and development of his own at home, and some prototypes developed by a client who owns a clothing business in New Jersey, The Golf Swing Shirt was born. The press release on their website calls it the "Holy Grail" of swing trainers, and it sure would be nice if we finally got that out of the way after so many others have tried. But now comes the hard part for Rapcavage, as he tries to convince the masses to part with their hard-earned dollars for a future that might just include lower scores and more enjoyment of the game.
April 18, 2012 - 11:10AM EST
RUMSON, New Jersey. Raymond J. Rapcavage, President and Founder of the Golf Swing Shirt LLC., has announced that “The Holy Grail of Golf Swing Trainers” has been found! Rapcavage has solely designed, produced, tested this golf swing trainer and it will “forever change the future of the game of golf”. This cutting edge patent pending design will enable golfers from all skill levels and ages to learn, practice, and groove a fabulously efficient golf swing in a fractional amount of time. The results are astonishing and your golf swing becomes permanent and reliable.
Rapcavage said, “There has never been a simple golf swing trainer that can be used effortlessly and seamlessly between the practice range and the golf course. Golfers will be able to use this golf swing trainer with every club in the bag and every type of golf shot including the putter.
Since the history of golf and modern golf instruction, many skilled players have sought and embraced “connection” as being the cornerstone of a sound golf swing. Many golf swing gurus have correctly preached “connection” as the key to consistent ball striking with the arms, shoulders and core are acting in unison to deliver the strike to the ball.
Inconsistent ball striking is mainly caused by a “disconnect” between arms and torso which is then exacerbated by the throwing or flipping of the hands. This disjointed action on the downswing produces a variety of poor and inconsistent golf shots. The golfer who is unconnected struggles day in and day out to consistently strike the ball. It is almost by accident when he or she hits a “pure” shot which is NOT a result of connection. It is the result of the lucky release of the club face by the flipping of the hands just before impact !
The actual feeling of making a “connected” golf swing is instantly achieved when a golfer wears The Golf Swing Shirt. In only minutes of use, a golfer is able to dramatically improve their ball striking through connection which will lead to much lower scores. What also occurs is the immediate sensation and impression of muscle memory which remains constant when the swing trainer is not even in use.
This product has been extensively field tested on hundreds of golfers from former touring PGA Professionals to low-mid-high handicap golfers. All test subjects have been amazed at its effectiveness and the great potential for there own game improvement. The rapid rate and frequency of better ball striking and putting empirically produced better scores with an average reduction of 9 strokes per round in a mid to high handicapper.
In May of 2012, Rapcavage shall announce a major endorsement by a legendary golf swing coach who has worked with some of the best PGA and International professional golfers. Many of these golfers have won Majors and dozens of PGA tour titles. This legendary golf instructor believes that it is one of the greatest golf swing trainers ever invented and it will enable the worldwide masses of golfers to quickly and permanently play better golf which will have a mega impact on the global growth of the game of golf.