Golf Swing Shirt
By Jim N.
Likely the strangest looking contraption (I laughed the first time I saw it) on this list, the Swing Shirt is designed to help you stay connected through the golf swing. While it's easy to mock...that' is to say you'll probably be mocked while wearing it, the Swing Shirt will help you grove a consistent swing on the range and on the course (not sure I'd condone wearing it on the course). Not just for full swings either, Swing Shirt will improve your short game (including bunker play) and putting too.
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."
"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."
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."
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!
For those of you who have frequented my blog the last few years, it is apparent I am anti-training device. I basically think they are all terrible. Things like The Medicus and Impact Bag not only don't address the root causes of the swing problems they are designed to fix, they often create new problems that are often worse.
My foul (but accurate) bathroom references aside, most training aids are worse than useless. In an effort to be more balanced and not just rail against the machine, I am going to start pointing out positives in training aids, other golf instructors, etc...some good things to look at so I don't just sound like I am the only one who knows anything...as that is far from the case.
The Golf Swing Shirt is a product I was exposed to recently and I believe it has merit. It fits over your regular shirt and has a tube in front that your arms slide into. It is far better than any of the other arm connection aids that force over connection and restrict the arms way too much. It is made of similar material to the UnderArmour golf shirts I like so much. There is enough give in the material so the arms aren't glued to the body. It doesn't pin the lead arm against the chest and doesn't force the trial arm to stay connected all the way down to the elbow.
Obviously it's main purpose is to prevent things like arm over run, loss of connection, flying trial elbow, across the line, etc. However, I found it even more useful in getting the arms to link up in the downswing. It doesn't allow the body to move laterally, or rotationally and leave the arms behind...which is a plague among low to mid handicap golfers. It forces the trail arm Nd elbow to rotate in to shallow the shaft in transition. It also assists in showing how the lead arm is supposed to rotate and fold at and after impact, preventing the fowl movement known as the chicken wing. How's that for a double entendre/homophone? Poultry in motion be gone.
There is no substitute for hard work, but the GSS goes a long way toward helping ingrain the proper feels and definitely falls under my mantra. Eliminate excess movements, while not restricting free movements. Most training devices fail at the latter and the GSS does not.
PS-I was not given anything to write this review, other than a free shirt to try out.