Lamkin Grips

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I absolutely hate to hit the ball fat. It’s such a rotten feeling to hear that dull sound of a club meeting the grass and then have to watch as your ball travels about half the distance it should have. I think every golfer has run into this problem; some of us more than others. But wait, we see all of the pros taking these beaver pelt divots. How can they still hit such great shots? Well, it turns out they are hitting the ball first and then the ground. This little secret is really an integral component of becoming a better golfer. Hitting the ball first, or bottoming out the swing in front of the ball, has a huge affect on how far we hit the golf ball, how accurate our shot is and how much it spins. That all sounds great, but how can the average golfer learn to do this? THP got a little tool that is supposed to help with learning to hit the ball cleaner. It’s called the Fat Free Golf Swing Trainer (hereby known as the Fat Free).

Initial Thoughts
The Fat Free is a flat board with a couple of extended ‘arms’ and three circular indentations towards the top. One of them came with a penny stuck in it. It appeared to be constructed of some sort of hard plastic-based compound. It came to me without instructions and I will admit that I wasn’t really sure what to do with it at first. Luckily, the company’s website is boldly displayed on the product, and I headed over to my computer.

From the website I was able to learn two ways to use this tool. The first one is probably the most common. You start by laying the Fat Free on the ground with the arms pointing towards you. From here, you can put a penny in the slot that is closest to your target. The picture above actually shows the setup for a lefty. You then place the ball in the center slot. Your goal is to use the penny as a focal point when you’re aiming. You want the club to bottom out where the penny is laying instead of at the ball or behind it. The green stripe is designed to act as an alignment aid, which could be very helpful to some people, especially those with dominant eye issues. The other way to use the Fat Free is to place the arms pointing towards the target. You then place a ball on the grass in the area between the two arms. The goal is to hit the ball without hitting the Fat Free while taking a divot ahead of the ball.

The methodology behind the Fat Free ties in with the technique I have been using to eliminate fat shots and improve my ball striking; focusing on a spot ahead of the ball. Usually, I use a blade of grass as a focal point, but the Fat Free uses a penny. I found the penny easy to focus on, but not overly distracting.

Losing the fat
I used the Fat Free a lot for chipping and pitching practice and found out quickly that I really needed to work on getting my swing bottom further up when it came to my short game. It’s plainly evident when you hit the ball correctly and when you don’t. If you are hitting it fat or not far enough ahead of the ball you can actually feel the club hit the board and slide forward as the ball sort of meanders away from you. A good shot is pretty easy to determine because you not only feel clean contact with the ball, you also hear the sound of the club hitting the penny. While my short game is pretty good, I don’t have much spin. Now I know one of the reasons why. I’m not hitting the ball as cleanly as I should be. I found the Fat Free to be pretty helpful when it came to short game practice. I learned that I wasn’t hitting the ball as well as I could be and was able to adjust my stroke accordingly.

Later, I took the Fat Free to the driving range for some full swing practice and found it worked much the same way as with short game practice. I did have some issues in that I found out I just didn’t feel right hitting the ball off a board with full swings. It just seemed very foreign to me and was a little distracting. This is probably more of a mental block than anything, but it was there nonetheless. This can be avoided by using the second method that I described since the ball isn’t actually sitting on the board.

One other issue that I experienced was that I knocked the penny out of its slot on my first full shot and couldn’t ever find it. I was still able to focus on the indentation, but I would recommend taping over the penny so it stays put. I will say that I had no problem getting the Fat Free to stay still, which was one of my concerns going into the review. I didn’t use anything to pin it to the ground and it hardly moved at all.

One question that I was asked on the THP forums was how well the Fat Free held up to the abuse of getting whacked so many times with a golf club. I found that after repeated use it held up pretty well. Short game practice basically had no affect on it whatsoever. I took one hack that was ridiculously bad and hit the back edge of the Fat Free, knocking out a small chunk of plastic. Aside from that, there was no real damage inflicted from the golf club, even after many full swings. There was some smudging from the bottom of the club, but no cracking or scratching. In all, I would rate the durability of the Fat Free as very good. It takes a pretty strong product to handle the stress produced by repeated golf club strikes.

Final Thoughts
There is no disputing that learning to hit the golf ball before you hit the ground will make you a better golfer. As I mentioned, I was working on this very thing before I reviewed the Fat Free and I found that my iron play improved and my scores dropped quickly. I could see where coupling the Fat Free with some of the literature and instruction on the subject would be beneficial to many golfers. I would recommend checking out the company’s website at www.thefatfreegolfswingtrainer.com to get some more information on the product and the methodology behind it. The Fat Free sells for $34.95 and also comes with a small putting aid as a bonus.

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Category: Accessories, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.

Comments (18)

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  1. TC says:

    Another solid review from Hawk. Good stuff bro. This is one training aid that has me intrigued, but I think it’s way too expensive for what it does. I wish it were priced in the high teens/low twenties b/c then I would have one.

    I probably would only use it for hitting off of grass, and there’s plenty of other things out there that I can use to make sure I’m “not hitting what’s behind the ball”, that costs a heck of a lot cheaper.

  2. Dmb012 says:

    Great review Hawk! I am definitely in need of a hitting down on the ball tool. This one does seem a little expensive for what you get. I might go back to it if I can’t seem to find anything else to replace it.

  3. Todd says:

    Great review

  4. Alan says:

    Great review. Glad to hear this one works pretty much as advertised. Better contact is something most all of us could use.

  5. 9-Iron Man says:

    Great review Ryan! Yet again we have a training aid that I could benefit from. I don’t always make fat shots, but I do, they are fat!

  6. hanks says:

    Nice review Hawk. Great concept however I think the price point is high. Especially when the same results can be had when putting a tee in the ground at the same position as the penny would be on the training board.

  7. Dr. Teeth says:

    Nice review! This product has been intriguing me and I have been waiting to hear your thoughts before I pulled the trigger on one of these. Good job, nice product!

  8. clam fist says:

    I ordered one of these after reading the thread on the forum. The owners enthusiasm is unbelievable. I am glad that the review was positive since I didnt wait for it. The order process was easy and it shipped quick. I hope I get the same results that you did. Great review! I beleive you hit on each of my concerns. Thanks Hawk!

  9. Coolbreeze says:

    Great review Hawk. I might have to check this product out in the near future.

  10. Raider says:

    Great review. This is something I would be interested in but, I have to agree with TC, a little expensive.

  11. Puttin4Bird says:

    Thanks for the review Hawk! When I miss its almost always fat and that drives me nuts! I’ve been waiting to read this since I heard you were doing this review. You did a great job, thanks!

  12. BlueTitan says:

    Thanks for another superb review Hawk. This is most defiantly a product I could use since fat shots plague my game. Seems pricey but cheaper than others out on the market right now. Keep up the great work man!

  13. G-man says:

    Good review, but…..if you’re hitting the ball fat, its because your hips are not leading your swing. Slow hips, fat shots, too fast in the hips, thin shots. This device is probably good for an instructor but you can get the same results by placing a tee in the ground about three inches in front of your ball. TC is right, 35 bucks is a bit on the steep side.

  14. FFGST says:

    This is the company representative and we just wanted to thank everyone for their feedback on our product and the excellent review. I love that we’re a nation of innovators. We don’t need to buy a backboard and basketball rim when a milk crate on the garage works just fine. We understand. But, if your time is valuable, you won’t waste your time retrieving a tee after each swing. Compare our product to other methods and you’ll see there will be no comparison.

    Take care & thanks again!

  15. Clive says:

    These days it is hard to find a meal under $35 let alone a training aid that is sturdy and most of all beneficial. As much as I am a golf teacher and don’t want to diminish our importance, $35 is far less than a single lesson with me. Many will spend more on a box of balls. That they may lose with poor ball striking! I highly recommend the Fat Free Trainer. And I also recommend that anyone who cares about their swing ignore the comment about the hips dictating fat shots. Oi vay! Clive Scarff, author of Hit Down Dammit!

  16. G-man says:

    So what your saying Clive, is buy one of these and not take a lesson with you? What about the head strap and hook under the groin device to help keep your head down? What’s your take on that tool? Good hip roatation is just one of many parts of a good swing, but is the most common problem amongst golfers who hit the ball fat or thin. As an “instructor” or an employee of the fat free shots, you should know that.

  17. Jeremiah says:

    where can I get this?

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