Winter 2019

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If you need a break from yard work, put down the hedge clippers for a few minutes and take some cuts. Just be sure you're not simply swinging for swing's sake. "It really is important to have purpose and intention behind taking swings in the back yard," Small says. "One of the things you can use is a Speed Stik Golf Swing Trainer, which helps with both swing velocity and swing speed; a weighted club is also a good tool for this, helping with stretching on both sides of the swing, especially if you're trying to add length or arc to the back-swing, and also helpful with speed." If neither the Speed Stik nor weighted club is at-the- ready, Small presents an alternate option. "Swing bands are also a wonderful tool, building that resistance strength and getting your hands in the right place," he says. "And, with all of these tools, it's important to swing in both directions, to build that bi-lateral motion." NCGA.ORG | WINTER 2019 43 Practicing in the Backyard If the flatstick has gone frosty due to lack of trips to the practice green, Small suggests pairing some technology with your putting. He believes using a putting mat can be an effective trainer at home. For real-time data and feedback, Small recommends connecting to the BioMech Putting Sensor, which weighs less than an ounce and clips on to your putter just below the grip. Information is available immediately on your IOS device to let you know how long the putter head remains square through impact. "It gives all the proper feedback a player needs for putting, from stroke to aim to path to clubface and also a grading curve," Small says. "It's something a golfer can use at home, say, every-other-day, to improve the skill-set. Really, it's just five or 10 minutes of practice to do at home while watching TV, or while the kids are doing homework." Putting

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