Earlier this year, THP had a chance to review a product called the Swingpact and it was judged to be a well-designed training aid by our staff writer, Todd H. Since that time, the inventor of the product has re-designed and renamed it as the Tour Angle 144 and he asked that THP take another look at it. As part of this review, I took time to get some information from the inventor, David Kardos, to share with our readers.
THP: Can you give a little history on this product?
David Kardos: I invented the Swingpact a few years ago (when I was desperate to shave strokes off my game. I am an engineer, and was always analyzing the golf swing), and it started with my discovery that the best tour players shared certain swing and body position characteristics. Steve Bosdosh is a local Top 100 instructor who worked with me on the Swingpact, and together we all made some improvements to it and re-named it the Tour Angle 144.
THP: What changes did you make?
David Kardos: The improvements over the Swingpact included: increasing the length of the (red) arm, making the arm a rigid piece and changing the covering to silicone to improve the tactile feedback, manufacturing from a stronger composite plastic (since we are offering a lifetime guarantee), and developing a golf training DVD with Steve Bosdosh.
THP: What was your goal when you invented the Tour Angle 144?
David Kardos: When I designed the TourAngle144, my goal was to make an ideal golf swing trainer. Part of this was to make it so that you could very quickly attach it to your club and use it. This is why the TA 144 is secured with hand pressure alone. In my experience, there is no way I am going to pull out a training aid on the course if it takes more than a split second to setup. Also, it had to be small, and I had to be able to take a normal swing with it. Part of my problem with training aids was that when you use them, you are not taking a normal feeling swing, so you are not truly practicing “your” swing. The TA 144 does not interfere with you hitting your normal shot. I also wanted to make it so you could use it with any club, could choke up on your club so you could practice every possible golf shot (sand shots, chip shots, etc), and also wanted to make it very inexpensive so everyone could buy it without thinking twice. After 3 years of development and dozens of prototypes, I finally got there.
THP: Can you explain how this should help amateur golfers simplify their set up and swing?
David Kardos: What I discovered is that the best tour players achieved a consistent shaft-to-forearm angle for every club they swung, from driver to wedge. The only thing they changed was the spine angle. Basically they bend more from the hips for the shorter or longer clubs, but maintained the club to arm to body angle. The TA 144 sets the angle (144 degrees, which is the average angle that male PGA pros hit), so all you have to do is bend from the hips and you are executing one basic golf swing. The Pros do this and have eliminated unnecessary swing variables from their arsenal of swings, and are taking one basic swing, versus the average amateur whose shaft-to-forearm changes greatly from club to club, and therefore are trying to master 12 different swings. If you were to use the TA 144 consistently for practice over the course of a season, I believe that your body would learn the new positions, and you would simplify your golf swing, and most certainly become a much better golfer.
The Tour Angle 144 is pretty simple looking at first glance, though I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it at first. Fortunately, the included DVD and a little instruction sheet give a very simple explanation of how to use the product. Simply stated, you place the TA 144 in between the middle and ring finger, with the red arm pointing towards your body. You place the grip of the club into the recessed holder and grip the club like you normally would. At this point, the red arm should touch the inside of your forearm when you stand at address. From here, you can take your stance. As David mentioned, it does indeed allow you forget some of the variables in your set up and it feels pretty natural to swing with it in your hands.
Here are a couple videos I made using the product. One is with a 6 iron and the other with a driver.
I did find the Tour Angle 144 useful in reinforcing a good set-up posture and it was valuable for ensuring a ‘one-piece’ takeaway. Aside from the actual training aid itself, I really felt like the DVD with Top 100 instructor Steve Bosdosh was a great addition. It adds a great deal of value to the training aid; not only for the instruction on how to use the product, but for some valuable swing tips. In all, you have a pretty nice package and it’s one that I think people looking for some consistency – both in their set up and takeaway – could benefit from. For more information, please head over to www.tourangle144.com. This item sells for $29.95 with free shipping, which is a good value in my opinion. As always, thanks for reading and best of luck on the course this year.