GOLFSTR+ REVIEW by GolfAidReviews.org

Jason Tenzer - December 16, 2017

PROS:  Easy to setup and use -Many swing faults can be worked on with one device -Feedback is easy to asses for players -Portable (fits into golf bag or pocket) -You can use the Golfstr+ during a round of golf -One of the best lag trainers out there! -Durable

CONS:  There are multiple cause for the yips and some are not fully understood yet. (Not certain it will take the yips out of your stroke) -A straight left arm is not a necessity to play good golf (refer below to effectiveness for further explanation) -Skin irritation could occur after extended use

 

SUMMARY

WHAT IS THE GOLSTR+?

-Its a rectangular piece of clear hard plastic with the following dimensions and features (Height: 7 inches 1/4, Width: 2 inches)
-One end is bent at 2 inches at approximately 20-30 degrees
-End piece has a rubber attachment which can be flipped to increase feedback on the arm via protruding rubber end
-The Golfstr+ is either concave or convex depending on which use (#1-6, refer to picture below)
#2 (Creating a space where your arm fits into) vs #1, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Arm rests against a flatter surface)
-Two openings on either side where a velcro band feeds through and attaches to various areas of your arm (Refer below for specific positioning)

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HOW DOES THE GOLFSTR+ WORK?

The Golfstr+ provides feedback through the sensation of touch. The piece of plastic or rubber piece applies pressure on your skin.

With 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 your skin should remain in contact with the device, if the contact is lost (device comes off your skin) it means that you have performed the motion improperly.

In contrast number 4, the device provides a barrier to limit the amount of wrist hinge for chipping. The bent plastic end of the Golfstr+ is not in contact at set-up, but during the backswing it comes in contact at the maximum recommended wrist hinge. The skin can detach for the remaining chipping motion, keeping in mind the leading wrist should be flat.

1: Takeaway lag trainer: for more distance
-Keep plastic touching your forearm to increase lag
-If plastic comes off your arm, you have released early
2: Straight arm backswing: for consistent hits
-Keep plastic touching your upper arm to keep arm straight
-If plastic comes off your upper arm, you have bent your elbow
3: Flat wrist backswing: for ease of swing control
-Keep plastic touching back of your hand
-If plastic comes off your hand, you have bent your wrist
4: Limited wrist lag chipping: to avoid fat and thin shots
-Plastic touches back of the hand to prevent excessive wrist hinge
-Touching the plastic helps increase awareness of amount of wrist hinge
5: Flat wrist putting: to take the yips out of your stroke
-Keep plastic touching back of your hand
-If plastic comes off your hand, you have bent your wrist
6: Flat wrist chipping: for directional control and to avoid mis-hits
-Keep plastic touching back of your hand
-If plastic comes off your hand, you have bent your wrist

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SET-UP

-It is very easy to setup
-Feed the arm band in so the loop is on the same side as the bent tip for use #2 or feed the arm band in so the loop is away from the bent tip for the other uses (#1, 3, 4, 5, 6).
After choosing the preferred side of the arm band, you can just slide the arm through the loop and tighten it on the designated area you want to work on (#1-6)
Click here for a instructional video

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EASE OF USE

-Once the device is setup on your arm
-Minimal adjustment is required
-Feedback is easy to asses for players
-One draw back I experienced was it created skin irritation from continuous rubbing during extended use. This issue was easily fixed by wearing a long sleeve shirt.

EFFECTIVENESS

The GolfSTR is effective because it provides easy to understand feedback through the sensation of contact between the device (plastic or rubber) and your skin. Understanding leads to increased awareness of the fault, which leads to greater chance of change. That being said, It’s up to the player to put in the repetitions with the right movements to ingrain the feeling. It’s not instant, it takes time to change habits (for me personally, it takes approximately 70 days of daily use for permanent change). Its also important to consider if the faults the aid attempts to fix are even important. By that I mean are they crucial to having a functional golf swing. Lets Analyze all 6 uses and get to the bottom of this.

1:Takeaway lag trainer: For more distance
-Feedback: Keep plastic touching your forearm to increase lag
-If plastic comes off your arm, you have released early

Does lag increase distance? What is lag?
Lag can be defined as the “trailing” or “following” of the club head behind the hands or simply having the hands in front of the club head at impact. The opposite would be If the club head gets in front of the hands at impact known as casting, flipping, scooping, flicking, or an early release. So now that we know what lag is, does lag increase distance? Yes, but why? And how do we produce more of it?

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To help explain this, lets talk about ice skating and physics…

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Did you ever notice that when figure skaters perform spins on the ice, they make their body as tight as possible to speed up their spin, and they open up their arms or legs to slow down their spin?

In physics terms, they are adjusting the moment of inertia (MOI): decelerating their MOI or increasing their MOI
-mass x radius2 = moment of inertia (MOI) = speed of spin
-Tight as possible = reducing radius of rotation = decrease MOI = accelerate spin
-Open up arms = increasing radius of rotation = increase MOI = decelerate spin

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-In the golf swing we are trying to achieve a similar movement; trying to achieve maximum acceleration of the downswing
-In order to do that, we need to decrease the radius squared
-Like the figure skater, the golfer cannot do anything about their mass but they can change the radius of rotation of the downswing
-The golfer has to make their body as compact as possible
-They do that by cocking the wrist and keeping the right elbow bent (this is where the GOLFSTR+ lag trainer increases lag).
-The radius of rotation for a golfer is the centre of chest to the club head.
-The more you cock your wrist and bend the right elbow, the more lag you will produce.
-The smaller you make the radius of rotation, the moment of inertia of the downswing decreases, allowing you to accelerate the downswing as fast as possible to optimize your club head swing speed.
-To increase distance, you want to cock your hands/lag your hands and keep the right elbow bent as long as possible to allow the torque that you built up to accelerate the downswing.

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-You see this with women golfers that don’t weigh very much but can drive the ball 270 yards, this is due to lag.
-High handicap golfers have the opposite problem which is early hand release. This early release increases the radius of rotation. For every increase of radius, they are increasing MOI by the squared amount making it much more difficult to accelerate the swing. This essentially makes you need more torque to get the same amount of club head swing speed at impact.
-High handicappers struggle because they try to overcome a high level of inertia in the swing. Plus if you have an early release, distance will decrease because you increased loft, essentially making your 4 iron a 7 iron. Do you ever wonder why some golfers hit similar distances with their clubs?
Physics are the only laws you have to abide by.

To conclude lag increases distance for 2 reasons

#1: It reduces radius of rotation which decrease MOI allowing you to accelerate the downswing as fast as possible to optimize your club head swing speed.

#2: Lag decreases loft which produces more distance. (Making your 7 iron essentially a 6 iron)

To produce more lag you need to cock your hands (hand lag) and keep the right elbow bent as long as possible to allow the torque that you built up to accelerate the downswing.

The Golfstr+ provides feedback on keeping the right elbow bent for longer period of time, it is important to combine this with hand lag as well.

2: Straight arm backswing: For consistent hits
-Keep plastic touching your upper arm to keep arm straight
-If plastic comes off your upper arm, you have bent your elbow

Will keeping a straight arm during the backswing improve consistency?

-To figure this out we need to discuss the mechanics of swing consistency. The more moving parts you have, the more difficult it is to time all those motions to get you in the correct position at impact. This will more likely cause you to be inconsistent from shot to shot.

-The Backswing in its simplest form consists of an initial rotation of the left shoulder to initiate the backswing. In the progression of the backswing you are going to cock your hands. On the downswing, the timing you are concerned with is the release of the hands at impact. If you are going to add another moving part, for example a left elbow break on the backswing; you are now not only dealing with coordinating the release of the hands but also the left elbow coming back to a firm left position at impact (straight left elbow). No matter how small that movement is when you come to think of it, you have increased the complexity of the swing by two times. If you do not get that elbow back in the initial position your hands won’t be in the right position at impact.

So should the left arm be straight?
-Yes in an ideal golf swing you want it straight, but it does not mean you can’t play good golf with a slightly bent left arm. Good examples of players that play great golf with a bent left arm are Lee Westwood and Kurtis Strange. The key thing is to produce a consistent motion! That being said, you will have a greater chance for consistency if you keep your left elbow straight. This way you don’t have to bend and unbend it the same amount. To conclude, a straight arm is not a necessity but its probably something golfers should strive towards achieving.

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3: Flat wrist backswing: for ease of swing control 
-Keep plastic touching back of your hand
-If plastic comes off your hand, you have bent your wrist

Should a golfer have a cupped, bowed, or flat left wrist position at the top of swing? If you look at the best players in the world, you will see some large variations in left wrist positions at the top of the swing. This is because they all have different grips. When we get into wrist positions at the top of the swing, we can keep it simple by looking at the right wrist. In order to have a forward leaning shaft at impact and take a divot after the ball the right wrist must be bent backwards. If your right wrist is not bent at the top of the backswing it will probably be harder to create this bend on the downswing, and even harder to do it consistently.  Let’s look at a couple tour players at the top of the swing and see where they differ and where they are similar.

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If we look at these three swings we see players on every end of the spectrum; cupped, flat, and bowed. While these players look different at the top of the swing in many respects they all have a similar amount of right wrist bend at the top of the swing. The stronger your left hand is in relation to your right hand the more cupped the left wrist will appear when your right wrist is bent backwards. If your left hand is weaker than your right hand the left wrist will appear bowed when your right wrist is bent at the top of the swing. The correct left wrist position at the top of the swing is whichever one that results from having your right wrist bent at the top of the swing. Producing a consistent left wrist position which ever you choose with a bent right wrist is the key!

4: Limited wrist lag chipping: to avoid fat and thin shots
-Plastic touches back of the hand to prevent excessive wrist hinge
-Touching the plastic helps increase awareness of amount of wrist hinge

Will limiting wrist hinge help avoid fat and thin shots?
We found in fault #2 that the more moving parts in a swing, the more difficult it is to time all those motions to get you in the correct position at impact. This will more likely cause you to be inconsistent from shot to shot. In chipping limiting the wrist action would simplify the motion and help avoid fat and thin shots. Actually very little wrist action is required in longer shots like pitch shots as well. This is because wrist action is a speed lever that you don’t require with shorter shots.
Steve Stricker is a good example of a player who has had success on tour with the “straight-arm pitch”, other players often call the technique “Stricker style”. Instead of using the conventional pitching method of hinging the wrists going back, then unhinging them coming down and rehinging after impact, Stricker swings his wedges back and through with very little wrist action.

His hands and arms feel extended and passive throughout the shot—hence the name “straight-arm pitch.” He simply turns his chest away from the target to swing the club back, then rotates his whole body forward to swing it through. The body motion propels the arms and the club with no conscious hand action.

Yes many other pros will hinge their wrists and vary the length of their swings to alter distance, spin and height on pitch shots. The problems with this approach is, if you don’t unhinge your wrists early enough the ball can come off low and hot and go past the green. Other times releasing the wrist angle too abruptly could result in too high ball flight that comes up short. If you need to change the height or distance, change clubs or play the ball up or back in your stance. You don’t need to tweak your swing.

The point is with the straight-arm pitch, the trajectory and spin are much more predictable (other players who use the “straight-arm pitch” are Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, Peter Uihlein, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Martin Laird and Mark Wilson). To conclude, little to no wrist hinge will help avoid fat and thin shots not only in chipping but also in pitching.

5: Flat wrist putting: to take the yips out of your stroke 
-Keep plastic touching back of your hand
-If plastic comes off your hand, you have bent your wrist

Will the GolfSTR+ cure your yips? What are the yips?
The yips is a movement disorder known to interfere with putting. The term yips is said to have been popularized by Tommy Armour a golf champion and later golf teacher to explain the difficulties that led him to abandon tournament play.

The literature states there are three possible causes of the yips. The three causes can be interlinked as the physical problem becomes mental, let’s look at each one and explore what you can do to fix the problem.

1) FOCAL DYSTONIA
Focal dystonia is a neurological condition that affects a group of muscles in a specific part of the body causing involuntary muscular contractions. For example in focal hand dystonia the fingers either curl into the palm or extend outward without control. Misfiring of neurons in the sensorimotor cortex (a thin layer of neural tissue covering the brain) is thought to be the cause but is not precisely understood. When the brain tells a given muscle to contract, it simultaneously silences muscles that would oppose the intended movement. In dystonia, it appears the ability of the brain to inhibit the surrounding muscles is impaired, leading to loss of control and feel. Some research suggests this can be made worse by overuse of the action required. It makes sense then when some golfers find that the more they practice the worse the yips get because what they are doing is making this ‘impaired’ mind-body connection even worse the more times they try to fix the problem. It makes sense and somewhat explains why a new grip or a totally different action can be a cure. You are in effect recruiting a new set of neurons to perform the task and utilizing a motor programme that has not being impaired by overuse.

2) PERFORMANCE ANXIETY
Mayo Sports Medical Centre came to the conclusion that another cause of the yips was down to extreme anxiety which resulted in an increase in self-awareness and attention to the performance itself. Simply paralysis by analysis. When a physical movement has been learnt, it will function far more efficiently when your focus of attention isn’t on how to perform the movement in a pressure situation. The yips can and will occur under pressure if you become very self-aware and you try to over control the movement. You are thinking when you should be doing. Sam Snead would often hum a tune inside of his head while playing. He felt this helped with the rhythm of his swing but might also have distracted the conscious mind from interfering. The conscious mind had been given a focus that distracted it from paying too much attention to the “How” of the movement. This conscious distraction then had the effect of allowing the subconscious mind to take over and perform in a way to set the golfer free to play closer to his potential. Tiger Woods has spoken about how he feels when he plays his best golf, it is as though ‘my body just takes over and I get out of my own way’. Essentially with this type of yipping you need to be smart enough to distract your mind in such a way the wisdom of the body is allowed to do its job.

3) SIGNIFICANT EMOTIONAL EVENT
You are faced with a straightforward shot. You only have to get the ball onto the putting surface and the ball will roll down to the flag and you will have a putt to win the tournament. You feel tight all over and your breathing pattern has become shallow and fast. As the club moves into the backswing, you feel a lurch into impact and you hit the ground two inches behind the ball. The crowd that has gathered lets out an audible groan. Another three putts later and you walk off the green absolutely shattered as your moment of glory has slipped away.
Can you imagine the effect this scenario could have on someone’s psyche? There is evidence building that highly negative experiences can build up and affect us over a period of time, creating a kind of emotional block that can manifest itself in the physical form of the yips.

TREATMENTS FOR SIGNIFICANT EMOTIONAL EVENT
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a form of acupuncture that uses tapping to stimulate acupressure points on the head and torso. EFT is a process that clears these disruptive emotional programs from your mind-body system and thereby frees you from the underlying cause of the yips. Some research on EFT is indicating that the tapping resets the emotional part of the brain from a fight or flight response to a more neutral state.

To conclude there are multiple cause for the yips and some are not fully understood yet. I really don’t know if this aid will fix the yips but anything is worth a try when you got the dreaded yips.

Next does the leading wrist need to be flat during putting?

Lets go back to Steve Stricker and check out his putting. Why Stricker? Steve Stricker is frequently named by his peers as one of the best putters in the game. In 2011, he ranked second on the PGA Tour in a new statistic that many believe is the most accurate way to judge a player’s putting ability: strokes gained putting. This stat is an analysis of how many strokes a player gained on the rest of a tournament field by making the putts that others missed. At address his left wrist is cupped and maintains that angle throughout the stroke. To conclude, it is more important to maintain a consistent angle throughout the stroke than the actual angle.

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6: Flat wrist chipping: for directional control and to avoid mishits
-Keep plastic touching back of your hand
-If plastic comes off your hand, you have bent your wrist

Will flat wrist chipping improve directional control and help avoid mishits?
What happens if the wrists move?
As the wrist cups, the face opens, the swing steepens and loft is added to the shot. Bowing or flexing the wrist has just the opposite effect. The key to having a successful golf game in general is producing an action that is easily consistently repeatable. Keeping the hands relatively quiet and passive during chip shots makes the swing simpler and therefore easier to repeat.

That being said there are many more aspects like ball position, stance and even different chipping techniques (putting style chipping) to consider. Just having a flat left wrist won’t eliminate mishits and make your directional control laser like. It is only one aspect to producing a good chipping motion. To conclude, flat wrist chipping will improve directional control and help avoid mishits but will not eliminate them.

Customer reviews:


5 stars (43%)
-I have been using the Golfstr+ for over three years. It is not only a versatile product that it very inexpensive but also one that greatly improved my ball striking. The six swing aid positions are all very helpful but for me the biggest improvement has come from using the basic position of the product above the elbow of my lead arm. I carry the Golfstr+ in my bag and use it almost everyday. Using it in the position above my lead elbow has, over time, ingrained the importance of maintaining the swing radius with the lead arm and also graphically demonstrated to me the equally important notion of soft arms (as well as a fairly light grip and flexible wrists).
That is because the Golfstr+ has the great advantage of helping the body learn important movements without unduly restricting it or causing tension. I am 75 and have tried swing jackets, elbow and “Secret” wrist braces, elastic straps that connect the arms or elbows and almost every other device you can imagine. They almost all have the great disadvantage of creating tension in your swing!!

GOLFSTR+ LONGEVITY

-Many swing faults can be worked on with one device
-Portable (fits into golf bag or pocket)
-You can use it during a round of golf
-Durable device: Velcro has not worn out after continuous use for 6 months, Plastic and rubber has had no issues

MY GOLFSTR+ CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

-Easy to use and setup
-Effective in what it says it does
-GOLFSTR+ is not a revolutionary product, many other products do similar things. Its revolutionary in the fact it has them all in one. I do believe the GOLFSTR+ provides a good value for a training aid on the market and with regular use it will add pleasure and improve consistency to almost any golf game.

CHEAPER GOLFSTR+ ALTERNATIVES

This heading might be a little misleading since due to the multiple uses for this aid and its price point its going to be hard to beat. I have chosen to keep this heading since I have it in my other reviews and people really enjoy it. Here are some similar aids, even if they are cheaper, they only address one swing fault therefore buying multiple aids will be pricier than buying GOLFSTR+. Hence you really get the best bang for your buck with GOLFSTR+.

 

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