I received an interesting gift under the Christmas Tree last year from my wife. It was a golf practice system called Birdie Balls. Normally I am not a big fan of golf practice aids as I prefer the real practice range. However, this one intrigued me as it came in a small box. The Birdie Ball practice system consists of two components. The first component is the Birdie Balls themselves. The balls are cylindrical in shape and slightly larger than a traditional golf ball. The cylinder has a hollow core and a relatively thin shell. The second component of the practice system is a plastic mat you can hit the balls from. Or, you can just hit them off the grass the same way you would a regular golf ball.
The key to the system is that the balls are supposed to fly through the air the same way a regular golf ball does. This is unique because if you have ever hit a plastic golf ball you realize that is not the case typically. So, if you strike the Birdie Ball in a manner that causes the ball to slice, then the ball will slice. Likewise, if you hit the Birdie Ball with a hooking motion the ball will hook. Unlike, most plastic practice balls the Birdie Balls simulate actual ball flight. The other neat things about the Birdie Balls are that they do not fly very far. For example, I usually hit my nine iron about 140 yards from a good lie on the course. With the Birdie Balls I can take a full swing and only hit the ball about fifty yards. The same holds true for my mid irons. I usually hit my six iron about 175 yards on course, whereas, with the Birdie Balls I can only hit it about 70 yards.
One more important aspect to the Birdie Balls flight is the trajectory. Ball trajectory is very important in golf. One of the main reasons for going to the driving range to hit real golf balls is to watch the ball take off. Another added benefit is that the Birdie Balls also simulate my regular ball trajectory. It is not perfect but it is close enough and far superior to other plastic practice balls. For example, when I hit my six or nine irons I am used to seeing the ball take off on a certain path. I do not lose this feedback when using Birdie Balls.
So, if you are looking for a training aid or a golf gift I highly recommend the Birdie Ball system. It allows the player to take full swings, see the ball trajectory and receive immediate feedback on shot shape. Whether the player is trying to correct a hook or a slice the Birdie Balls will provide that input. Plus, you do not have to walk very far to retrieve them. Lastly, if you are fairly consistent with your ball striking then the balls will land in a fairly tight pattern. This makes retrieval very simple and quick.
If you have ever used Birdie Balls, leave us a comment on your feedback.