2017 PGA Championship Winner: Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas, in just his 4th year on tour, has notched his first major- The 2017 PGA Championship. This win adds to his 3 regular tour wins for 2017.
I shot a quick Izzo Golf Smooth Swing unboxing video yesterday right after I got it in the mail. This was an absolute impulse buy, as I was looking for other items to feature on Golfer Geeks. It makes perfect sense, though from a personal standpoint. If you read Golfer Geeks at all, you know that I feature Ben Hogan pretty prominently. I picked up his book- Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons– a couple months ago to review for the blog. It’s a classic golf instruction book that I’m actually using to improve my game. As I say in the video, one of the fundamentals Ben Hogan emphasizes is the relationship of the arms to each other and to the body. He wants you to have them as close to each other as humanly possible at address and throughout the swing. This is easier said than done for me since it isn’t something I’ve necessarily focused on in 25 years of playing golf. I want every advantage I can get in learning his method for a repeatable and effective golf swing.
While I’ve long thought that staying “connected” during the swing is vitally important, I didn’t really have a way to drill this into my game other than really trying to keep my right elbow attached to my right side during the swing. The times when I’ve played best I definitely had the connected feeling and the swing felt almost effortless My striking was very solid, my distance was outstanding, and my accuracy was pretty good too. It was Anthony Kim that was my model during this time. He had a very tight (tidy) swing that generated plenty of power was deadly accurate.
Anyway- I want to get that “connected” feeling back. I want to keep my arms in front of me, working as a unit, and use my core to hit the ball instead of swinging at the ball with my arms. I think the Izzo Golf Smooth Swing will help me do it. I’ll keep you updated in these pages and on YouTube.
Check out my video below
Taylormade is very active this Christmas season, actively marketing their newest line of Irons – Taylormade 2016 M2 irons and M2 Tour Irons., as well as the M2 and M1 line of drivers. I don’t find these quite as handsome as some their other Taylormade clubs, and the competition. If you’ve looked at my Ben Hogan Ft. Worth iron review, you know how in love I am with their appearance. I go into how they play in the review.
I’ve got to pass on these Christmas season offers from my favorite golfing apparel manufacturer, Adidas. From their shoes to their hats, everything they put out looks good, fits well and can be worn off the golf course as well as on. I very recently purchased a pair of their Climalite pants, 4 pairs of Climalite shorts, and Tour360 shoes. I gotta say I’m very pleased with every item on the list. The pants and shorts are made for movement, as you would expect from apparel designed for the active golfer. The shoes are light, comfortable, and look good too. I didn’t use Adidas coupons for this purchase, but you can bet I will whenever I get the chance.
Today I was lucky enough to briefly speak with the owner, inventor, and CEO of PlaneSwing, Tony Clark. Mr. Clark is a native of the UK but now lives in Orlando, Fl. The PlaneSwing is actually the second swing plain trainer company Tony has been involved with. His prior company has now since closed, and the PlaneSwing was made with improving on the shortcomings of that original in mind.
I feel very lucky that I was able to track Mr. Clark down, as he spends a tremendous amount of time going around the US and the world promoting PlaneSwing, and the game of golf. He is very hands-on in all aspects of the company he has created, and he is 100% confident in the quality of his product and what it can do for golfers of any skill level. To this, he adds above and beyond customer service that I’ve never heard of in many other companies or industries. He’s got a heap of positive reviews but spoke of the only 2 negative reviews the PlaneSwing has received. He and his team tried to track those reviewers down to offer personalized instruction and help with the product but got no response after repeated attempts. I can tell you, from the sound of his voice, this clearly bothers him. It’s clear to me that this company and providing unparalleled support for its customers and products are a passion for Mr. Clark. We had a fairly wide-ranging conversation discussing his background as a golf pro and also his business background.
If you’ve read my review of the PlaneSwing, you know that I’ve longed believed in the concept of this type of golf swing trainer. It just seems elementary to me that if you have an actual physical guide your club can follow throughout your whole swing, that all you have to do at that point is put in the reps. So I was already on board with the concept and thought this product had real potential. Now, after talking to Tony Clark, I’m on board with this man and his company. I look forward to turning on as many people as possible to his company and his products.
We had a fairly wide-ranging conversation discussing his background as a golf pro and also his business background, but for deeper insights into the man, his company, and the PlaneSwing- go to my Q&A he was kind enough to participate in @ Interview With PlaneSwing Owner & CEO Tony Clark
Exclusive Interview With Tony Clark
Tony Clark is the inventor of the PlaneSwing, the CEO of the PlaneSwing, and the owner of PlaneSwing.
If you’ve read my blog, you know I talk about how the Plane Swing has been a game changer for me. It’s a product I believe in and it’s something that I believe could help you too.
In an effort to further my knowledge about the product and the company behind it, and to provide my readers with truly unique insights and content, I managed to get the CEO and owner of PlaneSwing to agree to answer a few questions, Q&A- style. Here’s how it went. Enjoy!
Golfer Geeks: How long has PlaneSwing been in business?
Tony Clark: We launched in 2010 simultaneously in the UK and USA
Golfer Geeks: Who owns PlaneSwing? What is the background of the owner? Where is it based?
Tony Clark: I’m the owner and CEO. We’re a niche global business, a family business, based in Florida, USA with offices in the UK and Australia. I turned Pro in 1976. I played a little and though I really enjoyed and excelled in the coaching side of the business I soon realized that I wasn’t going to win The Open Championship so looked at other options. I went into retail management and then the drinks industry and the UK National Lottery occupying senior positions with some of the world’s biggest companies.
Golfer Geeks: What made you decide to start the PlaneSwing company? Why not the usual style of swing plane trainer like seemingly hundreds of others sell?
Tony Clark: I had invested and been the CEO in a similar product some years previously. With a small team, we successfully expanded but there were shortcomings and these were exposed at shows and by PGA Pros and amateurs. These centred around the excessively heavy roller, the confusing mat and the extension at the top of the hoop. When that profitable business collapsed due to shenanigans I set about addressing those shortcomings and developing my own swing plane trainer, PlaneSWING and in doing so created a product that delivered better results because it more closely replicates how the golf swing should be and feel.
Golfer Geeks: How is the PlaneSwing different from other swing plane products on the market? What makes you better/more preferable?
Tony Clark: It’s the FIVE key components that set PlaneSWING apart.
a) The multi-adjustable hoop means PlaneSWING is suitable for all golfers 4ft 5in to 6ft 9in.
b) The PowerSLIDERS do not roll. Because of this, through a natural resistance, they engage & strengthen the core and larger muscles, prevent excessive forearm rotation, create LAG in the downswing, deliver a dynamic position at impact and a powerful release.
c) The PlaneCHECKER which fits into the butt of the PowerSLIDER is a reference point throughout the swing and ensures that the golfer can maintain his/her spine angle.
d) The Stance Alignment Mat has straight lines for a consistently square set up. No confusion
e) PlaneSWING has numbers, 1 to 12, which are placed in a clock formation, helping the student build their swing through drills
Add to this the best after-sales service of any golf training aid available and testimonials and reviews that are the envy of the industry.
Golfer Geeks: How many products do you sell? I noticed the Power Stance and Xtensor hand exerciser, as well as a cover for the PlaneSwing.
Tony Clark: We sell PlaneSWING accessories and other kinesthetic products including T-Stroke and PutterWheel. We only create, stock or recommend products that work. Every month we reject products that are presented to us to invest in and or re-sell. We will not offer anything that compromises our philosophy of delivering game-changing products.
Golfer Geeks: How are your prices in comparison to other similar products?
Tony Clark: There are other cheaper products that make similar claims but our unique selling proposition is our performance. PlaneSWING delivers on its promise. PlaneSWING is an investment in your golfing life. We are priced very competitively versus other swing hoops but it’s the amazing results and service our customers receive that sets us apart.
Golfer Geeks: Where is the PlaneSwing manufactured?
Tony Clark: Asia
Golfer Geeks: Who came up with the name Plane Swing, and why? (Seems obvious, I know)
Tony Clark: I did. Swing plane was too generic. PlaneSWING® just sounded great and I’m grateful that it wasn’t already taken. We also have the straplines “It’s Golf. Plane & Simple™” and “No Plane, No Gain” each describing perfect what PlaneSWING is and does
Golfer Geeks: What are you most proud of?
Tony Clark: My family. After creating a brand from zero and then losing my life savings due to rogue partners it was my family that said, “do it again”! With a vision of creating a better product I put everything into PlaneSWING development and production and here we are today with PlaneSWING used by golfers in almost 70 countries including leading instructors and Major winners Shaun Micheel, Darren Clarke, and Dustin Johnson.
Golfer Geeks: What’s the best part of owning PlaneSwing?
Tony Clark: It sounds corny, but it’s our customers. The positive game-changing and in some cases life-changing effect we have on people gives me and the Team a level of satisfaction. The fact that we can prove that we are improving the standard of golf worldwide, albeit one golfer at a time is about as exciting as it gets; plus I am blessed to be in a position where I am able, through PlaneSWING, to participate in the rehabilitation of injured veterans through working with small veterans’ charities like “Fairways for Warriors” with Kenny Nairn, “Salute Military Golf Association” with Jim Estes and the amazing Brian and Nancy Coleman at “Golf Supports Our Troops”.
Golfer Geeks: Any fun and/or meaningful anecdotes you’d like to share? Maybe the “best thing a customer ever said/shared…” etc.
Tony Clark: You can view our unrivalled testimonials from people that are now single digit golfers thanks to PlaneSWING and hear from PGA instructors that share their successes with students because of PlaneSWING’s ability to help them communicate more rapidly and effectively; but one story that sticks in my mind is the call I received from an 81-year-old in Australia enquiring about investing in a PlaneSWING. This gentleman believed, quite rightly, that he could improve and felt that PlaneSWING was the answer. We spent about an hour talking about his game and how and why PlaneSWING works and when he’d decided he wanted to purchase I helpfully suggested that at 81 he may wish for us to swap out the standard PowerSLIDER for the ,lighter PowerSLIDER. The octogenarian gentleman’s response was “Listen mate; I’ve been wrestling hogs for almost 60 years, send me the heavy one!”
I find his story and the story of the PlaneSwing company fascinating. Check out my PlaneSwing page for my full review and you can also check out my blog post where I describe my first phone call with Tony earlier this week @ I Had A Nice Little Phone Conversation With Tony Clark of PlaneSwing
Continuing my review of the entire Ben Hogan Line, I ordered the Ben Hogan PTx Irons demo clubs last week and got them in lickity-split! Not unlike the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth Irons, they are very attractive and feel ever so solid in the hands. These particular demo clubs appear to be very lightly used, with minimal face marks and a clean, tacky grip. The lofts this time around are 41* and 29*.
I took them to the golf course a day or so after I got them, without ever practicing, but I didn’t have the courage to pull them out during the round. I did hit the 41* on the driving range a couple times prior to the round. Again, I noticed the distinct heavy fell and strong ball flight. These are cavity backed and forged, and are billed as the most technologically advanced irons around. I’m not sure about that, but I plan to give them a nice workout in the next 18 days or so.
And, if you want to know how to best swing these bad boys, head on over to my PlaneSwing page and check out the #1 swing plane trainer in the world.
So yesterday was my last day with the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth irons. I took them to the range for a little over an hour to get some last minute impressions and thoughts.
First thought– I’m not good enough to play these irons. I’m a 10-15 handicap right now. I’ve played Very sporadically for the last three years, and my swing and game are inconsistent in the extreme. Blades, even blades touted as being very forgiving, can’t make up for my swing faults.
Second thought– Those times over the last 21 days when I Did catch the ball solid, resulted in beautiful, mid-trajectory green-grabbing shots. The ball jumps off the face with a powerful flight and a satisfying non-feeling in the hands. Ft. Worth irons are heavy, even heavier than my set, which is on the heavy side, so you have some pretty solid mass behind your shots.
The rest of my thoughts will be given in my full review here : Ben Hogan Ft. Worth Irons Review
Also, if you want a little help on learning how to hit an iron of this caliber, I sincerely think you should check out this golf swing plane trainer I reviewed a while back. I truly believe in this product and the company that produces it.
I hit my favorite driving range yesterday to give my Ben Hogan Ft. Worth demo irons a try. The irons in question are the 27* and 35*. I think this equates to an 8 or 7 iron, and a 5 iron. I also brought out my current wedge, 7 iron, 8 iron, and 5 iron. I wanted to get a feel for the difference in feel and performance by doing as close to a apples to apples comparison as possible
I warmed up with about 10 wedge shots and hit those pretty solid. I know, I know, you’re supposed to hit wedges solid. But that’s how I warm up, and I’m no stranger to hitting fat wedges to start out. I then moved on to my 8 iron and hit about 20 balls or so. I was catching them pretty solid, but I ended up hooking most of my shots. The right to left crosswind didn’t help matters.
Next, it was time for the 35*- which I figured is comparable to my 8. My hooking intensified. Now I know this is me hooking the ball. Forged clubs aren’t supposed to cover up your mistakes. They did feel really solid, and the slightly smaller clubhead didn’t throw me off from a visual standpoint. You just have to know you can’t be as sloppy with your swing when using this caliber of club.
I eventually hit a few less hooky shots, but never really buttered it. I went straight to the 27*, or 5 iron equivalent, without hitting my 5 iron. The truth is, I was almost finished with my bucket, and I didn’t feel like getting another one. I did take the extra precaution of teeing the ball up to make sure I got solid contact. The club felt fine, and I hit quite a few solid shots. My severe hooks turned into slight over-draws- but would have been playable on the course. Within a couple shots, I stopped using a tee and started hitting off of the deck. A little to my surprise, I continued hitting solid shots, if slightly over drawn. I even hit one or two fades, which is not an easy task for me.
I’m going to chalk up my success with the 5 iron to being thoroughly warm and learning from my earlier sloppy swings.
All in all, not a bad first outing with these players clubs.
Hey! If you like this page and you’re a golfer, like me, check out my Adidas coupon code page! It’s saved me a lot of money on gear and can do the same for you. Cheers!
I ordered Ben Hogans’ Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals ofGolf on Thursday, August 25’th and got this in morning August 28’th at about 10 am. I shot the unboxing video immediately before I opened it and forgot.
What struck me initially is that the book is relatively short. But from what little I know about Ben Hogan, it seems he was a very matter-of-fact kind of man. So it wouldn’t make sense for him to write an over-complicated instruction book for what looks like a pretty uncomplicated- though extremely effective golf swing? As an avid golfer, I’m hoping to get some solid takeaways from this book. I haven’t played much the last three years since my twins were born. I’m started playing again about a month or so, ago. My golf-juices are flowing, and I can’t wait to hit the range and the course with some of these lessons under my belt.
What I think I’ll do now, and I’m not at all sure how I’ll do this, is combine my reviews of the demo clubs and Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons. I’m just starting to get back into golf again, after a major slow down over the last three years (Jesus Christ, time flies), and I can’t think of a better way to start off on the right foot.
I’ve now gone through the first lesson, and it’s exclusively on the grip. The process of physically executing the grip is explained very well, as well as the reasoning behind the way he teaches us to grip the club. The illustrations complement the written instructions perfectly. Thought the image below isn’t focused on the grip, you can get an idea of the effect it could have on helping someone get into the correct position to swing the golf club. It looks simple and powerful to me.
Be sure to click through to my full review and read it once it’s complete. In the meantime, stand by for updates in posts just like this one.