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The Extra 20 Yards installs easily and takes up very little room.
The Extra 20 Yards installs easily and takes up very little room. (Courtesy of The Extra 20 Yards)

Home golf gym promises an 'Extra 20 Yards'

Mike BaileyBy Mike Bailey,
Senior Staff Writer

What if you could find an easy way to add distance to your golf game and improve you swing at the same time, just by using an exercise machine for a few minutes a day, three to five times a week?

Does it sound like a too-good-to-be-true infomercial? You bet it does, but this relatively new golf training machine called The Extra 20 Yards might be simple and logical enough to do exactly what it claims.

Pros like Gary Player, for example, have long extolled the virtues of swinging a weighted club, but The Extra 20 Yards takes it a step further. This $365 machine uses a pulley and weights to condition all the golf muscles, but perhaps more important, encourage the proper sequence. The machine, which anchors to a wall and uses very little space, can be set on the proper swing plane, has a handle like a golf grip and has weights in increments of 4.4 pounds, which will help the golfer gain strength in the golf muscles resulting in more club head speed.

The machine was the brainchild of Scottish entrepreneur Graeme Alexander, who worked with some European golf professionals to fine-tune the concept. They wanted to come up with something that could help the average golfer get fit for golf without having to spend hours each day in the gym.

"As much as I love my golf," said Alexander, a single-digit handicap, "the idea of going to the gym every night doesn't appeal to me.

"Ninety percent of all golfers are in that same bracket. They aspire to hit the ball like the pros, but there's no way they're going to invest the time at the gym to do that."

The Extra 20 Yards is golf specific

Besides, Alexander said, there's nothing in the gym that really replicates the golf swing.

"When you go to the gym, there is nothing that allows you to make the movement of the golf swing," he said. "So you're forced to do a whole series of exercises that are very good for you, but nothing like the golf swing.

The Extra 20 Yards was first released in Europe a little more than a year ago and launched in the United States this summer. Alexander says he's already had success selling it to golf teachers and professionals in the United States, and some tour pros have been using it in Europe.

What to expect with The Extra 20 Yards

How much improvement can the average golfer expect? Alexander said the "extra 20 yards" claim is sort of tongue in cheek. He recommends instruction from a pro first, especially if your technique needs a good bit of work. Increases really depend on the individual and work habits, but within a month, it's not unusual to gain 10 yards or more.

It really boils down to club head speed. A 1 mph increase is supposed to translate into three more yards of carry with the driver. Increase your club head speed by 7 mph and you've got your 20 yards. Use the machine three to five times a week, and that should be doable, Alexander said.

For a limited time, the price of The Extra 20 yards has been reduced to $299. For additional information and to order, see www.extra-yards.com.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.

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