Birdieball Golf Review
The Birdieball is a golf training aid from America that attempts to let you practice your golf…anywhere. Now given golf can be a pretty restrictive sport at the best of times, so anything that even attempts to allow you to practice anywhere can only be applauded. However, it’s a big claim, so can the Birdieball live up to its lofty claim?
What are they like to hit?
So lets’ start with the obvious – it’s not a ball. The Birdieball is a cylinder. The width and height of each Birdie Ball is the same as a regulation golf ball at its widest point. It takes a little getting used to looking down at the ‘ball’, but after a few strikes you soon get used to it. It’s this shape that allows you to use the Birdieball anywhere – the aerodynamics means you can hit it as hard as you like with any club you choose and it’ll only travel between 40-65 yards.
Each ball is made from a re-enforced polymer, meaning they’re nice and durable. I’ve been hitting it loads and not managed to damage one yet. The balls are wrapped in a sticker decal, which does scratch off after time, but that’s to be expected and doesn’t effect performance.
When you strike the ball, it feels quite similar to hitting a normal golf ball. I’ve got to admit it doesn’t feel the same. To me, hitting the Birdie feels a little lighter than a regular ball. However, when you hit an old school whiffle training ball, you don’t feel anything at all, so for me the Birdie is definitely preferable.
Another key feature of the Birdieball is that you can shape your shots just as you would with a normal golf ball. This is a great feature if you’re working on your basics of shot shaping. I’ve not got access to any scientific data, but I’d suggest the margins are much larger when using a Birdieball. Personally, I know how to hit a draw and fade, however, I found it much easier to control using the Birdieball than I do with a normal golf ball. But if you’re just trying to practice your face to path of your swing, and not make specific small change, the Birdie Ball could be ideal!
While testing the Birdieball I used a variety of different clubs, ranging from a lob wedge to Hybrid (you can use a driver, but you need to create some kind of tee that will hold the ball, or use Birdieball’s specialist wedge tee) and all went between 40-60 yards on a full swing. Interestingly all also generally go the same height.
To be honest, the difference in distances mainly comes down to strike. Thinning a shot, much like a regular ball, means it will travel further. I can also confirm it’s possible to shank the Birdie Ball…
There’s two things I want to say about the sound. Firstly, at impact it sounds pretty much the same as striking a normal ball. However, after impact, the sound is then very different. Due to the aerodynamics, the Birdieball will backspin very quickly, resulting in air being trapped in the ball with every rotation, thus slowing the ball down (sorry for using the word thus). As a result of the air flow, the ball makes a unique whoosh noise as it travels. Personally I think it sounds cool, but it will take a little getting used to you, You can also tell who cleanly you’ve struck the ball depending on how loud the whoosh noise is.
Should you buy the Birdieball?
So is the Birdieball worth your hard earned money. Well, maybe. If you’ve got a nice open space available to you, Ideally your own garden/yard, then the Birdieball could make sense, and you’re going to be more inclined to use it.
It also depends what you want to practice. If you’re a beginner or intermediate golfer, you can use the ball to practice your swing, strike or shot shaping. However, if you’re already a consistent ball striker and are looking to fine tune your skills, I think your ability will outstrip the Birdieballs, and you’ll be better off going down the range.
Personally, I really like the Birdieball, as I don’t get to play or practice my golf nearly as much as I’d like, and will take any help I can get to help make my swing and strike more consistent.
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