When it comes to marketing, golfers are easy targets. Almost every single player on the planet wants to hit the ball farther. Simply mention you're going to help them do that in your advertising, and you're gonna make some sales. In the golf infomercial world, this is a very common tactic. In this article, I'm going to tackle the Super Sonic X10, which is a training aid that touts a way to help you increase your clubhead speed.
You've probably seen plenty of commercials for the Supersonic X10 on the Golf Channel. I decided to purchase it, along with many of the other popular products you see on TV to find out if they actually can deliver on their bold promises.
The main problem with "as seen on TV" products is their claims. The only way they are going to get golfers to make an impulse purchase is by promising them the world. Here are a few claims I took from their website:
- You'll get longer, straighter & more consistent throughout the bag
- It will boost your swing speed (and distance) more quickly than any training aid out there
- The SwingSpeedometer and SpeedSlider provide unmatched feedback and motivation
- Spend two months practicing with the Super Sonic X10 and you'll pick up at least 8mph and 20 yards off the tee
How Does It Work
There are two main elements to the Supersonic X10 - the SwingSpeedometer (yes that's a real term) and the SpeedSlider.
You can see how it functions by watching this video. Also, I'd recommend taking a look at their lessons page to see more.
The SwingSpeedometer (try saying that then times fast) shows you how fast you're swinging the club to provide instant feedback.
The SpeedSlider is the more important element of the club. It has two functions - to work as a resistance trainer and promote more "lag" in your swing. There are 10 settings on the dial, with 1 being the easiest and 10 the hardest. The idea is that the slider will not release until you cross a certain swing speed threshold and "lag" the club. In theory, you're supposed to start with the easier settings as you build up speed and then move to the higher numbers.
The SpeedSlider also provides feedback on whether you are creating lag in your swing. You'll want to hear an audible clicking noise around the time you make impact. This is a common tactic used by several other training aids including the Impact Snap and Blue...
So in short, the Super Sonic X10 is trying to get you to swing faster, with more lag in your swing by providing feedback through the digital monitor and use of a slider that has different resistance settings.
When I got the Super Sonic X10, my main goal was to see if it was an effective practice tool. I've tested a lot of training aids over the years, and to be honest, most of them are junk. A lot of it comes down to how engaged golfers will be with the product. A majority of the tools out there fail at this, which is why many of them are currently collecting dust in garages.
I'll cut straight to the chase, I did not like the Super Sonic X10 very much.
The main issue I had was that the SpeedSlider did not seem to function very well. I'm not sure if my product was defective, or if it's poorly designed, but I could not get the slider to release outside of the easiest setting (1 or 2).
I doubt that it was my own problem because my driver swing speed has been tested anywhere between 105-112mph depending on the length of the shaft I use. Additionally, I've seen my swing on video and in 3D motion analysis, and I certainly don't release my wrist angles too early.
So my main question is if a scratch golfer who has a relatively fast swing speed can't engage the main function of the product, what does that mean for a golfer who swings much slower and doesn't create much lag with their wrists? My guess is they'll likely be frustrated and stop using it.
As a side note, I didn't find the SwingSpeedometer (there's that amazing word again) to be very accurate. The fastest reading I could get was 94 mph, and I know I'm swinging much faster than that. However, it might work on a relative basis since you can see if your numbers are increasing or decreasing.
There's No System Here
Despite the product's poor functionality, my main issue is that there really is not a great system here. If a golfer religiously practiced with the Super Sonic X10 and followed the videos on their site, it is possible they could see increases in swing speed. However, I'm not sure it would be because of the actual product itself, but rather the exercises. My hunch is that the vast majority of people who purchase it are not going to do it because there really is not a system in place that's based on any kind of research and the product seems to have some design flaws.
I've done a lot of research into what it takes to actually increase your clubhead speed. I've done the work myself and I wouldn't call it easy.
If you want the help of a training aid, I would suggest looking into SuperSpeed Golf. I've worked with it myself, and I believe it's far more effective. Also, it's designed based on the latest research that is used in numerous sports to help athletes increase their throwing motion. Phil Mickelson uses it (along with 350+ other pro golfers), and the results are there.
Additionally, I would suggest a golf-specific training program. The Titleist Performance Institute has a huge network of trained professionals that help give you a plan to train your body to be stronger, more flexible, and powerful. It's a great idea for injury prevention, health benefits, and to increase your clubhead speed. I'm currently doing workouts based on their philosophy, and there is a noticeable improvement.
Long story short, there are no quick fixes if you really want to swing the golf club faster. You have to be prepared to do some work, and I'm just not sure the Super Sonic X10 is going to effectively lead you down that path.