Ed’s Blog: Thank God For Birdie Balls

This is about the time each winter when these little golf practice devices that look like napkin rings keep me sane …

Now, I don’t want to whine (much) because it hasn’t exactly been the winter from hell here in the Philadelphia area, especially compared to those of you in New England and across the Northern US and Canada. But there has been just enough snow and bitter cold to keep me off the golf course for weeks, and even though I’m not headed south, my new swing is.

Fortunately, I can still keep it from totally unravelling by some practice right outside the back door. I just put my hard plastic Birdie Ball Strike Pad in the back of the backyard… throw a Birdie Ball on it… and then hit it over the house to have it land in the front yard, short of the sidewalk and street where it might wreak a little havoc. These limited flight beauties are very cool because you can feel them on the clubface and they will draw and fade (or hook and slice) so you really get a nice idea of ball flight. I’m not big on indoor hitting bays, which make me feel claustrophobic and don’t let you see ball flight other than on a simulator. The strike pad is nice because you don’t tear up the grass, and you can literally put it on blacktop and hit in the driveway or street without injuring yourself.

The added bonus with these is that I can head outside, get in several dozen swings, and be back in the house to move on to other things within a half hour… no travel time to or from the range or an indoor golf center. I might look a little silly searching for these white napkin rings in a front yard full of snow, but the neighbors know my act by now and they just smile and chuckle to themselves.

This has been a big deal for me this offseason because after a number of physical issues, including a torn miniscus, I’m trying to transition from a body-oriented swing to using mostly hands and arms, just letting the body support the swing instead of drive it. That’s not easy for a guy who has always just let his hands and arms go along for the ride. When I come across a feel that works, such asĀ using my right arm in piston-like motion through the hitting area, it really helps to be able to reinforce it with these birdie balls several days a week.

I’ll save the swing stuff for another blog entry, but if you think Birdie Balls might be helpful to your game, you can find them here at Amazon.com… a dozen Birdie Balls and strike pad for $49.98 shipped.

IMHO, they’re worth their weight in gold.

— Ed

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