I’ve watched quite a few of Dan Martin’s Golf Swing Pro videos over the years. It was only after watching one of the clips on BeBetterGolf that I decided it might actually be worth buying. I think in his older videos, everything seems like a bit of an infomercial. However, his newer videos (2018 and onwards) are a lot more laid back, and a lot less ‘salesy’.
I’m also obsessed with the importance of centripetal force in the golf swing. This particular training aid is teaches you how to leverage centripetal force and momentum in such a way that unlocks the ‘true’ feeling of a golf swing. So it’s fair to say that the physical principles that the Swing Pro promotes are aligned with my general understanding of the golf swing.
Advantages of the Pro Swing Trainer
Swinging a club VS Hitting a ball
It is common for high handicap golfers to have a ‘hit impulse’. Even as 3 handicap golfer, I’m not immune to this tendency, and I suspect there thousands of players across the world who share this affliction.
Instead of swinging the club, a large percentage of golfers attempt the ‘hit’ the ball with brute strength. According to Dan Martin, the underlying issue is that you may be using the wrong physics system.
Because a golf club is fairly rigid, it is possible to hit a golf ball using a combination of wrist torque, hand-eye co-ordination and physical strength (he refers to this as a leverage system). The problem is that this approach breeds inconsistency. You are manipulating the golf club, instead of leveraging the physical principles of a swing.
Importantly, the Swing Pro is designed to help you feel these physical principles in action. Broadly speaking, these are the same forces that are applied to a playground swing and a trebuchet.
Say Goodbye to Your Reverse Pivot
I’ve never been truly certain of the best way to load into my right side. I’ve also struggled with a reverse pivot in the past, loading into my left leg rather than my right leg during the backswing (an awful yet surprisingly common swing fault).
Using the swing pro makes it fundamentally clear that loading into your right leg (without actively trying to restrict movement) is both natural and easy. From a power perspective, it’s almost like pulling the cord back on a massive catapult. You might be worried about swaying, but this concern will fade very quickly once you have the Pro in your hands
The Swing Pro can basically eradicate a sway tendency and a reverse pivot, killing two of the most destructive tendencies in golf, with one reasonably priced training aid. In essence, the Pro teaches you how to turn into your right side (during the backswing) in a way that feels natural and powerful. This can definitely help you hit the ball further, without putting strain on your muscular-skeletal system.
An excellent cure for a late release
A late release is one of the most destructive tendencies in golf. It is also one of the most common.
If you fail to release the club at the right time during the follow-through, the only way to save the shot is by flipping the club at impact. While you can get away with this mistake at times, it can also bite you hard, especially when you’re under pressure.
When you use the swing Pro with the impact reminder, your body quickly learns how early in the downswing you have to start releasing the pro, in order to make good contact with the impact reminder. Translating this sensation to your actual golf swing isn’t too difficult. If anything, it may help you realize that your entire release pattern might be occurring too late. The Swing Pro is a very good antidote for this.
In essence, it can help you develop a physical understanding of what Jack Nicklaus meant when he said that you “can’t release the club too early”.
It can improve your transition between backswing and follow through
It is extremely common for golfers to rush the transition between the backswing and the forward swing.
Along with the moment of impact, the transition represents the most anxiety-provoking moment in an amateur golf swing. This is particularly true in windy conditions, which so often cause golfers to ‘get ahead of themselves’, sometimes skipping entire sections of their swing sequence.
Fortunately, the Swing Pro makes it almost impossible to rush the transition. The head of the training aid has to fully wrap itself around your body before you can truly initiate the downswing.
From my perspective, it engrains a very natural ‘pause at the top’, which can be transferred to your actual golf swing in time.Once you start using the pro correctly, you will quickly realize that there is no need to ‘panic at the top of the swing’. You will become more and more comfortable with the slight pause at the top of the swing, knowing that it actually makes the initiation of the forward swing easier rather than harder.
After using the Pro for a few weeks, you may unlock your inner Hideki Matsuyama (he loves a good pause at the top, almost as much as Sungjae Im).
It can improve the entire kinematic sequence of your swing
Dan Martin is passionate about the correct kinematic sequence.
In simple terms, it is the way your body transfers energy from your feet, through your legs, into your thorax (chest), down your arms, and finally into your wrists and hands.
When you use the Pro correctly, you can sense this energy transfer moving through each part of your body, without having to think all too much about it. Moreover, when you use the pro incorrectly (allowing the rope to bend), it’s pretty clear that you’ve done something wrong, effectively breaking the ideal kinematic sequence of your swing
Ultimately, you might be surprised by how simple it is to work on your kinematic sequence using the Pro. You don’t need a degree in physics to get a sense of when you’re doing it right and when you’re doing it wrong.
Disdvantages of the Pro Swing Trainer
The impact trainer is surprisingly loud
I live reasonably close to my neighbors. Unfortunately, I find the sound of the impact trainer too loud to use consistently. In terms of decibels, it’s not that far off a smash bag, which is way too loud for my neighborhood.
It can take some time to translate the feelings from the Pro to your actual swing
It should only take you a few weeks to start swing the Pro with a reasonable degree of efficiency (in a way that is at least somewhat comparable to Dan Martin himself). However, it may take you a few months to fully transfer your ‘Swing Pro Swing’ to your on-course swing.
Personally, I’m still in the transition phase. While I appreciate the feelings that the Swing Pro is giving me, I still have moments where my tried and trusted swing gremlins come out to play (getting ahead of the ball and a late release being the main bastards). My hope is that these swing demons will disperse over time, and I’m reasonably confident the Swing Pro can play a big part in eliminating them entirely.
It’s a little bit light
It took my pro a week or two to arrive due to some shipping complications. In that time, I actually made a prototype using a pool pipe with a weight tied to the end. I found that my prototype version (which is at least twice as heavy) actually amplified some of the feelings that the Swing Pro is designed to unlock.
There is a part of me that wishes it was a touch heavier. The extra weight would make it a little bit closer to a golf club in terms of actual weight, and it would amplify the physical principles that the swing pro helps you feel. I’m actually thinking about wrapping a tennis grip around the Pro to make it just a little bit heavier.
It is not a miracle cure for your golf swing
Before I order a training aid, I always fantasize about how many shots I’m going to shave off my handicap and my future earnings on the senior tour. These fantasies usually last until the day the product arrives, after which, my wildly unrealistic fantasies are forced to retire back into my mind (until the next training arrives… obviously).
In the case of the Swing Pro I am guilty of setting my expectations a little bit too high, only to feel slightly disappointed by the end result. I’m definitely glad that I own it, and there’s still plenty of time for practicing with it. However, it’s not the instant magic bullet that I first imagined.
It’s going to take me a little bit of time to learn how to ‘swing the golf club like I swing the pro, rather than swing the pro like I swing my golf club’. However, I’m definitely glad that I own the Swing Pro, even if it is a touch expensive for a relatively simple training aid.
Ultimately, learning how to leverage centripetal force during the golf swing is something most amateur players need help with. Dan Martin’s swing pro training aid is designed to do exactly that. It might not solve all your golfing problems, but it can help you develop a powerful, efficient, and repeatable golf swing.