There are a ton of training aids out on the market today and it’s easy to get lost when shopping for one. It seems as if there are too many bad ones, some good, and just a few really great ones. I’ve reviewed some that I thought worked wonderfully, and I’ve reviewed some that I thought were just ok. At this point, I am glad to say that none of them have been truly bad. Over time, I’ve found that a great training aid gives me feedback on what I am doing wrong and also helps me learn the necessary motions to do it right. I’ve seen plenty of items that do one of those two things very well, but I haven’t seen many that do both. TaylorMade sent a product called the Speed Stik for THP to review, and I was given the task of seeing what it had to offer. I had a chance to give it a thorough test, so check out how it stood up to my training aid standard of excellence.
Information from TaylorMade
The TR3 Speed Stik by TaylorMade is a classic training aid taken to the next level to match the needs and expectations of Tour professionals, Club Professionals, and average golfers alike. While the TR3 Speed Stick will accurately measure your swing speed, that is only the beginning of the game enhancement features, including strength training, grooving the proper swing plane and improving tempo. Updated and redesigned to be more useful and more manageable, the TR3 Speed Stick will be an integral part of your training program.
Features & Construction:
- 650 gram Speed Stik overloads the swing, developing golf muscles for strength and speed
- Speed Meter measures swing speeds from 60 to 140 MPH delivering instant swing feedback
- 46 inch length promotes a flatter swing plane that corrects steep out-to-in or over-the-top swings
- New tapering grip area allows for a multi-compound grip that delivers maximum traction under high speeds
- Safety grip cap prevents slippage
- Alignment Arrows allow the Speed Stik to be used as an alignment aid while practicing
- New Collapsible design allows for easy storage in your golf bag, locker, or luggage while traveling
- Diamond Ripstop nylon pouch for Speed Stik storage
How does it work?
I thought about giving an explanation of how the Speed Stik works and how to use it, but I think that the video that TaylorMade produced really does a better job than I could, so I’ll put it here for you to watch.
After I started testing the Speed Stik, I noticed that I liked having something with a bit of weight in my bag to help me get warmed up before my round. Quite often, due to time constraints, I don’t get a chance to go to the driving range before I play. However, I was able to find a few minutes to swing the Speed Stik while waiting for my turn on the tee. The fact that the Speed Stik can be broken down into two pieces and placed in its carrying bag was handy as well. It actually fit into one of the side pockets in my cart bag, so I didn’t have to worry about it taking up a bunch of space. Quite often, I took it with me on the course since it wasn’t always convenient to run back to my car, so I definitely appreciated the ability to pack it up and stow it away.
A warm up tool is nice, but that’s not really what the Speed Stik is billed to be. It’s designed as a training aid, and as the video shows, there are some drills that you can do to utilize it. I spent a bit of time just swinging it and using the features to help me learn some things about my swing. First of all, the Speed Stik told me my swing speed with every swing I took. This is very cool, since not many of us have easy access to a launch monitor. For those wondering, it appears that the swing speed indicator is relatively accurate. My average speed is in the 95mph range and I was normally right around there. I found that I enjoyed swinging the Speed Stik, checking my speed, and evaluating what I had just done to raise or lower it. As a side note, I didn’t see any big increases after using the Speed Stik, but I don’t know that I’ve really used it for a long enough period to make a good judgment on that aspect. Another feature that I found very useful was the release indicator. I sort of made that term up, so I’ll explain. There is a small whistling noise that is produced when the Speed Stick reaches its maximum speed and that noise should coincide with the time that the ‘club’ would be impacting the ball. If you hear it before you’ve reached the bottom of the swing, you may be releasing your wrist hinge too early and losing distance, hitting poor shots, etc. I’m a notorious caster of the club, so it was pretty neat to have something give me audible feedback.
The length of the Speed Stik is supposed to assist with promoting a flatter, inside out swing path, which is yet another thing that I struggle with at times. Steep swings with the driver can cause all sorts of problems like side spin and ballooning. I didn’t really find that my swing path improved much after using the Speed Stik. For the most part, I was still able to swing the club over the top and didn’t find that it gave me any sort of feedback on how to swing the club on the correct path. I think there are better aids out there for that specific purpose, but I think that the Speed Stik definitely helped with slowing down my tempo due to its weight and length. I also have some issues with tempo, so I found this feature quite useful. In the video, TaylorMade recommended swinging the Speed Stik both right handed and left handed. I will admit that I was just horrible at this. Apparently, I would be the world’s worst switch hitter. I just couldn’t get any part of left handed swing correct, from my grip to my stance to the turn. However, I think that the theory behind this is very sound and I am going to keep trying.
In the end, I can confidently say that the Speed Stik scored a solid 7 out 10 on my training aid scale of excellence. I really enjoyed the ability to warm up on the tee with something so substantial, yet it broke down into a very compact package. The swing speed and timing feedback was very useful and helped me learn a few things about my swing that I have taken with me out on the course. I didn’t find that it really did much in the way of teaching me how to correct my swing path, but it definitely gave me some good feedback regarding my tempo. In the end, I’d say it’s a valuable piece of equipment that some folks could really enjoy having in their bag. For more information on the Speed Stik, as well as other products from TaylorMade Golf, check out their website at www.taylormadegolfgear.com. A great place to find the Speed Stik is at Blind9Golf. Thanks for reading and best of luck out on the course this year.