This Swing Barrel Review was written by a SCGA member as a product to feature in the Golf Goods section of FORE, a Southern California Golf Association publication. The Golf Goods section focuses on new, improved or popular golf related products. The article below was written by Michael Sheehy (SCGA member), and has been edited for publication.
The Swing Barrel arrived and although it looked fairly complex it was a breeze to assemble in under 5 minutes. Made of strong, high quality metal the device was very stable and built to last. It was simple to adjust the arms to the level of my hip height so the device was ready to use.
I reviewed the video on the swing Barrel website – it was a simple and informative video. I think all a golfer needs to know is included in the video and each golfer needs to experiment with setting the bars at different heights and at different distances from the body to achieve the optimal result for themselves.
I was very excited to try the device with a full swing and I took it to the range the next day. Feeling slightly self-conscious I went to the end of the range where I’d be less conspicuous. (And I didn’t want anyone asking to try the Swing Barrel…I wanted it all to myself!) I began hitting balls and found the immediate feedback to be very helpful. It didn’t take long to get the arms set to just a few inches on either side of my hips and making a full swing without moving the padded arms. When they do move it is quick and easy to reposition them in place and start again. After 15 minutes I was already making better contact as one of my particular swing problems is too much hip slide on the downswing. For a golfer who has read countless books and taken many private lessons, this immediate feedback is worth a thousand words and actually creates the proper hip rotation in a much shorter time frame than the normal swing tip or swing change would take. It takes a little adjustment to get used to taking a full swing within the device, but not long. And the padded rubber on the arms provides just enough feedback to keep one rotating around the spine without any discomfort from hitting the arm when too much lateral slide occurs.
I then moved the left arm down to knee height as I have a slight problem of letting the left knee get outside my left foot on the follow through. Again, the device gives immediate feedback and achieved very rapid results in stopping the incorrect knee action. It actually forced me to straighten my left leg more than normal on the downswing, which had the wonderful benefit of forcing my left hip around faster and generating increased club head speed through impact.
I also noticed that I could use the center base arm to position the ball in the exact same spot which helped with alignment. It also helped keep my head and spine centered over the ball in concert with the padded arms of the device. So after 30 minutes I was definitely turning more, tilting and sliding less, and making crisper and more efficient contact.
The Swing Barrel is one of the better training devices I have experienced. Easy to assemble and made of quality steel construction, this device can be used to quickly correct bad habits and instill proper fundamentals. There is so much complicated theory out there on the golf swing, however this training aid required minimal theory and instead simply relies on instant feedback…swing without moving the padded arms and you’ll develop a better, faster and more repeatable golf swing. For an avid golfer like me who seeks any possible advantage, the Swing Barrel provided immediate feedback that translated into better ball striking.
Reviewed by Michael Sheehy, 17.1 HI
I just read a great article in the most recent issue of New England Golfing Magazine about flaring out your feet to allow for better hip turn. The article was written by Gene Mulak, Director of Golf at The Vineyard Golf Club on Martha’s Vineyard. Gene talks about positioning the feet with enough outward flare to allow the hips to turn fully. “When the feet are angled outward at address, the golfer can turn the hips more on the backswing but will also allow the golfer to have the necessary hip slide forward on the downswing. If a golfer only turned and returned on the downswing, it would make it impossible to have the entire player’s weight get forward at the finish. The hip slide component is one of the biggest moves that separate the expert player from the everyday player.” The Swing Barrel’s adjustability for width will allow you set the forward pad to allow for this slight hip slide. If you combine Gene’s outward flaring of the feet along with a prober hip turn that the Swing Barrel promotes, the golfer will definitely see improvement.
SwingBarrel in the press:
The late Percy Boomer is not necessarily a familiar name in golf any longer, though maybe he ought to be. Boomer was a legend in the teaching ranks in the first half of the last century, and his book, “On Learning Golf,” published in 1946, can still be purchased.
Among Boomer’s timeless lessons was visualizing yourself turning in a barrel. In this Golf Digest instruction article from May, 2012, authored by Jack Nicklaus and the late Jim Flick, Flick cites Boomer’s phrase, “turn in a barrel.” “Boomer recognized that turning around your body, rather than sliding your hips sideways, results in more consistency,” Flick wrote. “It’s difficult to hit it solid when you move off the ball on the backswing, because you have to move back to the ball the exact same amount to hit it flush. That takes more talent than most golfers have and more practice than they can afford.”
Tom Watson also cites the concept, in his book, “The Timeless Swing,” that was published in 2011: “Think of turning in a barrel, not sliding your hips,” he wrote
This is what an amateur golfer from upstate New York had in mind when he developed the Swing Barrel, a training aid devised to replicate swinging in a barrel.
“Through the years I developed a bad habit of sliding,” Jeff Mazzone said. “I went to instructors, who stuck shafts in the ground, or put chairs in front of me. You can’t swing like that. I was reading about Percy Boomer and swinging inside the barrel and thought, ‘how can I make a simulated barrel without having to stand in a barrel?’ That’s where the idea came from.”
The golfer places the Swing Barrel pads about “a fist width” from his hips, and the key is to make a turnwithout moving the pads. “If you slide going back the arms open and if you slide going through the arms open,” Mazzone said.
Mazzone, 55, plays to a handicap index of 8 and was taught to play by Ron Philo, whose daughter Laura Diaz is an LPGA player. Mazzone consulted a couple of PGA of America professionals as he developed the Swing Barrel, he said, and it was formally introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show in January. It is now available for $99.95 at the website.
“My dad likes the SWING BARREL I bought him and says he feels it has helped. He didn’t realize how much he moved back and forth. He is probably a 95-100 golfer and he hit 90 the other day.”
We check in from time to time with our PGA Professionals to see what they think of the Swing Barrel. We loved the answer we got from Tony Greidanus, PGA Head Golf Professional at The Country Club of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA. We asked Tony if he had started to use the Swing Barrel. His answers was short and to the point. He replied “Used it today for the first time…I like it!”
We hear that a lot, “I like it”. They like it because the Swing Barrel is easy to assemble , easy to use and it works. The patented independently adjustable arms make it easy to focus on different areas of the golf swing, giving you instant feed back if your moving laterally opposed to turning or rotating your hips.
The Swing Barrel will improve your swing. You will hit the ball further, straighter and enjoy the game more. Golf is a difficult sport, so you want a swing aid that makes it easy and fun to improve. The Swing Barrel is one of those golf swing aids. Give it a try, you’ll be happy you did.
Most golfer are familiar with the term swaying or lateral movement in the golf swing. When this occurs, you lose distance and control because you haven’t created the proper torque. Torque is the coiling and uncoiling of your upper body.
To create torque (coil) on the back swing, your hips should turn or rotate back, in a circular path, approximately 20 to 40 degrees, while your shoulders make a 90 degree turn. This is done by rotating around a consistent spine angle.
On the down swing, you uncoil by first rotating you hips back to there normal position and on round to where your belt buckle is facing your target line. Your upper body and arms will follow. No matter what type of swing you have, whether you’re a beginner or advanced golfer, this basic element of the golf swing never changes.
Watch the PGA Tour players, their hips rotate around a consistent spine angle. They have very little or no hip movement straight back or straight forward along the target line. They turn their hips around their spine. Like they’re swinging inside a barrel.
This is a great infographic showing the anatomy of the proper Golf Swing:
Courtesy of Lumen Interactive.
Here’s what Trevor had to say about the SwingBarrel!
I think its very good. Very user friendly and effective.
TOUR Academy Tiburon
It’s been almost a month since the SwingBarrel made it’s debut at the 2013 PGA Show in Orlando and orders continue to flow. Many PGA Professionals have purchased the SwingBarrel for themselves to perfect their own swings, others will use it as an instructional tool to teach their students proper hip rotation. How rewarding to have a swing aid that enables a golfer to hit the ball longer and straight. Not to mention lower scores to enjoy the game more!
We at the Swing Barrel would like to thank everyone who stopped by the booth at the PGA Merchandise show. The feedback and input everyone shared was amazing and very encouraging. The show discount is still available, please take the opportunity to purchase this revolutionary swing aid at its great price for your upcoming and/or current season.