I was watching a YouTube video about a month ago and an ad popped up promising to fix my golf swing.
“If you struggle with fat shots, thin shots, or miss hits of any kind…what I have in my hands will solve ALL, yes, ALL your struggles as a golfer”
Whoa! Those are some pretty big promises. And, they got a 37-year Tour Veteran in Rocco Mediate as their pitch man.
Well, there’s one big problem – it doesn’t really do what it promises. I’ll lay out the pros and cons, giving you my full unbiased review.
What is the Straight Stick
The Straight Stick from Performance Golf is a golf club training aid with an adjustable grip and an adjustable “compression clicker”. It is a 7 iron, that you can actually hit balls with. It also claims to be the first AI-Powered Swing Trainer.
The compression clicker is simply a fancy way of saying – it has a metal washer that sticks to a magnet, when you swing it on plane, the washer releases from the magnet and it clicks. Giving you the feedback that you have swung on the correct plane.
The adjustable grip tries to put your hands in the perfect position, and can be adjusted for both weak and strong grips.
The Straight Stick claims to solve all of the necessary swing mechanics that must come together in order to strike the ball consistently every time.
- A controlled clubface at takeaway
- A swing that is on-plane
- Proper release to create shaft lean at impact
Rocco Mediate claims that mastering each of these will take individual attention and weeks, possibly months of practice. All while the other two are falling apart. With just a few minutes of practice swings each week, all of your troubles will magically go away.
“You’ll have no choice but to make perfectly compressed contact with automatic accuracy…”
You can read more about the Straight Stick from Performance Golf.
Does the Straight Stick Work
In my experience – No, it does not work. I was able to get it to click with excessive over the top and inside-out swings. Pretty much any swing at all, it clicked. Not only for me, but also for my son who is a beginner and often swings massively inside-out.
My wife, who has problems coming over the top, also had no issues getting it to click on nearly every swing. And yes, we checked swing speeds and triple checked all of the settings and instructions.
Since I have a simulator in my basement, I am able to get true swing speed numbers. My normal 7-Iron swing speed is around 85 MPH. I put the “compression clicker” right between the 80 and 90 MPH marks and basically got it to click with every swing.
Side Note – If you are hitting balls with the straight stick, it will always click due to the impact with the ball. Swinging it as a practice swing is where you “should” get the true feedback from the clicker.
Since it was clicking for me every time I moved it up to 90, then to 100.
I’ve hit thousands of balls at this point on my simulator and have tons of data points from testing golf balls. I always use my 7-Iron for those tests, so it was pretty convenient to have the data to go back to. The fastest I have ever hit a ball with my 7-Iron (where I have numbers) is 97 MPH.
I can get the straight stick to “click” when it is on the 100 MPH setting with what feels like a relatively easy swing. I’d guess that “easy swing” is probably around 75 MPH.
Bottom line – It just doesn’t work.
Pros and Cons of the Straight Stick
Starting with the grip, I think this is probably one of the nicest features. It kind of forces you to get your hands into a good position on the club. And it is massively adjustable to fit anywhere from a very strong to a very weak grip.
Another positive is that you can actually hit balls with it.
Negatives are plentiful, but first and foremost, its promise to force you to swing on the correct plane just doesn’t work. It is basically an over-priced grip trainer.
I did find one use for it that isn’t advertised – you can use it for overspeed work which will help you gain swing speed. I certainly would not recommend buying this thing for that purpose however, there are plenty of devices on the market specifically designed for swing speed training.
Related – How to gain more distance in golf
I took the “compression clicker” and moved it up the shaft to the point where it was nearly impossible to get it to click. Then, my son and I swung harder and harder trying to get it to click. We were just messing around though.
A few days later my wife was doing some work on the sim. She really struggles with her iron distance and seemingly only has one swing speed. I put the straight stick in her hands, cranking the compression clicker up. After a handful of swings trying to get it to engage, it finally popped for her. Then she went back to her regular club and was hitting the ball with about 8 MPH more speed right away.
Again, I would not buy it for the swing speed work – it was simply something we stumbled upon as a benefit as we tested it out.
Performance Golf – Marketing Machine
I placed my order for the Straight Stick on April 27, 2023. Over the next 30 days I have received 64 emails from Performance Golf. Brixton, Eric, Joey, Hank, Joanna, Martin, and even Nick Faldo himself are flooding my inbox.
If you watch their videos, it is the never ending loop of “if you want to hit the ball 30 yards further” and “if you battle with inconsistency off the tee”…
Then they hit you with the “limited time deal”, playing on your emotions of missing out. They consistently make promises to fix your game without actually having to work hard…”hit less balls” he says. “With just a couple of minutes each week”.
It all seems to be a bunch of “too good to be true” promises and claims.
After ordering my straight stick, I was immediately redirected to a “limited time deal” page to pick up their driver at a reduced price. “But don’t wait” as the timer is clicking down.
It’s all very gimmicky in my opinion. Check out the snippet below from my inbox for just the last couple of days. “World’s Fastest Slice Fix”…”Gone TONIGHT”…”Adds 40 yards of Easy Distance”
The Performance Golf Straight Stick is not something I would recommend, not for beginners, not for high handicappers, not for anyone.
It did not work as expected and Performance Golf seems to be more interested in quick gimmicky marketing schemes, pushing golfers to buy their products “before it’s too late”. I think the straight stick will fall off the radar before long.
If you are looking for something that actually works, I don’t think there is a replacement for good old fashioned hard work.
Good luck on the golf course!