10/21/2014

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Straight Shooter: Does it work?

Straight Shooter: Does it work?

In honor of Dan Lewis' last official day on the anchor desk at KOMO, I decided to do something a little different for my weekly Does it Work? Segment. Instead of buying an "As Seen On TV" product like I typically put to the test, I found a $20 training tool that's designed to help those of us who share one of Dan's major passions -- golf.

For as long as I've been golfing, or trying to golf, I've had the same goal: hit the ball long and straight like the golfers I met on the practice range at Sahalee Country Club, where Dan is a familiar face.

I enlisted Sahalee's head golf pro, Mike Montgomery, to help me try out a training tool called "Straight Shooter."   A light weight golf ball is tethered to a 90-degree rod that sticks into the ground.  When you hit the ball, it swings on the tether in a 360 degree circle around the rod to show your swing path.

"If we have a perfect swing -- a perfect swing path -- this ball should swing nice and straight,"  Montgomery explained. 

If the ball circles to the right or left, your swing is off.

I'm hoping the Straight Shooter might help me shoot more like Dan, who hits the ball long and straight on a pretty much consistent basis. But from the start, Montgomery and I have a challenge. The unit keeps detaching from the base. Once I'm finally able to take my swings, the Straight Shooter does give me immediate feedback about my swing as promised, but I find the feedback limited. What I really need is help with the proper technique to correct my swing mistakes.

"It's best to go see a golf professional and get a lesson," said Montgomery, explaining that self correction can often result in the false sense of confidence in your stroke when you're actually on the golf course.

On a scale of one to four, I give the Straight Shooter about a one. In golf terms, make it a double bogey. As for my straight-shooting friend Dan Lewis, I agree with the golfers at Sahalee: Dan is definitely a "Fore!"

In full disclosure, I'd purchased that particular "Straight Shooter" tool several years ago and never even opened it until today. In searching online I do notice there have been some design changes that may produce different results than those in our test.

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