What's that curved thing you're hitting? Does it actually work?

Written By: Dan Mann

The DST is the latest in a long line of training clubs on the market today. Its focus is to get the player into what the company feels is the ideal impact position. I know you've heard this story before. Believe me when I tell you that this one is unique, maybe even special.

Just a Bit of Background

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The DST' Compressor's inventor, Bertie Cordle, was a professional golfer until illness forced him to walk away from the competitive side of the game. With his playing career over, Cordle's curiosity took over. He undertook what proved to be a three-year study into the bio-mechanics of ball striking. His primary subjects, Moe Norman, Lee Trevino, George Knudson, and Ben Hogan.

We're talking about 4 guys who could really strike the golf ball.

As Cordle analyzed their swings, he found a single common denominator; their impact positions.

His aha moment came while reading through Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The modern Fundamental of Golf.

"The front page illustration was drawn by a man called Anthony Ravielli showing Hogan at impact and in order to demonstrate that the shaft was moving quickly Ravielli drew the shaft multiple times. Importantly his hands were leading the club face through the ball at impact. I was staring at this image one day and wondered what would happen if the grip stayed where it was and I connected it to where the last club head was……..  the shaft would be curved! That was the lightbulb moment. I thought if I could prove that a shaft develops this curvature when it’s under its maximum load during impact and I can make a club that replicates that shape, then I’ve cracked it."

Bertie Cordle went to work on designing a club with a curved shaft that could help the average golfer replicate the same impact position common to the best ballstrikers in the world. It took seven prototypes, but finally, the DST compressor was born.

In the short time since DST launched at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in late January, more than 50 pros from the PGA, LPGA, European and Champions Tours, including 8 Major winners, and a group of top coaches, have used DST clubs in their practice and teaching routines.

That sort of validation is great, but can the DST work for the average golfer? I had to find out for myself.

The DST Review

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How do you take what you've experienced using some curved training club and turn that into a review for a larger audience of golfers? Frankly I didn't know where to start...

It's solid feeling. When you pick it up it feels well made. It's obvious someone took the time to consider the details; a quality feeling product with a good grip and club head that wouldn't look out of place in your bag. There's no arguing that with its premium looks or feel.

But how do you sell golfers on a training aid that's initially nearly unhittable, and arguably even encourages shanking? Well, thankfully the cat didn't think it was important for me to be sleeping at 3AM, leaving me time to be alone with my thoughts and then, it hit me...tell it straight. These guys will understand.

People know I get to try a lot of products. They're always asking why they should and shouldn't buy. With the DST I find myself telling the same story.

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Picture this: we're sitting on a patio after a round and someone starts talking about how they've got swing flaw X or they're constantly swing flaw Y'ing.

"You need to try the DST training club", I chime in.

That curved thing you were warming up with? Does it actually work?

"All I know is when my swing is off I hit half a bucket and I'm back on track"

Why?

"Well, because you can't lift up"

So?

"So, it's designed to get your hands forward creating an ideal impact position. Fail and I end up dipping, sliding or flipping the club and boom, shank it"

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Ok but how does it work? I've tried tour striker. Isn't it the same?

"It just seems to work for all the issues I've been trying to iron out since I started lessons last year. I was standing up on my backswing, a huge slide and a tenancy to flip"

And how does this help?

"You just can't do all those things and hit the DST. If your hands aren't forward you'll skull the damn thing. Its got a big old sole bounce that gets in the way. So when I'm at the range I have to focus more closely on my swing points. Maybe its purely a visual reminder of seeing what it looks like with your hands so far out front with the shaft bent and the face squared up."

So what do you do then with it?

"I start hitting balls and focus on that one piece takeaway and stopping at what I think is three quarter backswing. I make sure I don't lift up. I turn and keep my head still so I'm not swaying off the ball."

Ok so how does the club help? Couldn't you just do that with any club?

"Well, now I've set a solid backswing, but from here I can't slide, or flip, or dip, or cast. You get the picture. At the top all I'm focusing on now is getting those hands out in front (for me it's getting that right shoulder straight under chin) and I have to turn, and not slide, 'cause I don't like the ball going dead right off the hosel."

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Ok and then?

"Then I hear that beautiful click at impact and I'm hitting these wonderful 80 yard wedges all over that red flag. Or to the white one out at 140 since I've upgraded to the 8. Smaller head too so I feel like a superstar" (visualize my big grin).

"Like I say, I don't know if it's purely the visual aspect or 'reminder' but I set up knowing I need to achieve those things or it's not happening. You can't argue with the results.

So does the DST work? I say yes.

Should you buy one? I can't argue against it.

Then I whip out an Instagram video of me and the DST after a little winter layoff when I'm completely out of my groove. When I'm back to my old habits so to speak, the DST exposes all my flaws.

A video posted by Dan Mann (@golfspymbp) on


They then laugh and the conversation usually ends with "that's not how you were hitting them today"

To read our full interview with DST Inventor Bertie Cordle, visit the MyGolfSpyForum.

For more information visit http://www.dstgolf.com/