Short game specialist Stuart Smith has added to his portfolio of innovative training aids by inventing a golf ball designed to help golfers slash their scores.
Smith, an Advanced PGA Professional based at Thetford Golf Club in Norfolk, has written Seven Steps to Heavenly Chipping and invented the Putt Easy training aid.
The former is selling well in both digital and hard copy versions and Callaway was so impressed with the latter it marketed the device under licence.
Smith, however, is convinced his SG Pro Balls will be even more of a game-changer for golfers striving to trim their handicaps.
“Golfers play more shots around or on the green than anywhere else on the course,” he says.
“So it follows that an improvement in a golfer’s short game will result in a better score. That’s what practising with an SG Pro Ball aims to achieve.”
Like most successful inventions, the concept is simple but effective.
An SG Pro Ball has three coloured areas – blue, red and green - each one representing the part of the ball that must be struck to execute a different type of shot to achieve the same result – to get the ball as close to the hole as possible. Or, indeed, in it!
The blue area is for executing a lob shot or splashing out of a bunker; red is for a standard chip; and the green a running chip, pitch or putt.
In addition, there is a black dot that must always be visible on the top of the ball before the shot is played.
“This is where the eyes should focus when taking a shot,” Smith explains.
“Looking at the back of the ball when playing a chip, pitch or putt is a common mistake. It results in the head moving backwards which in turn moves the weight backwards. Invariably this causes a poor shot.
“As for hitting the ball in the different coloured areas - when Tour pros want to hit a lob shot or a running chip, they don’t pick up a club and go whack.
“They aim to hit a different part of the ball to make it produce a different spin and a different outcome.
“That’s the thinking behind practising with SG Pro Balls – doing so teaches the golfer what part of the ball to hit to achieve the result he or she wants.”
Although designed primarily as an aid for short game improvement, by way of a bonus, SG Pro Balls can be used to practise driving.
Striking the red part of the ball helps increase its carry while hitting the green area results in a lower trajectory to combat any wind.
Clearly this practice is best done with a net to avoid the possibility of the balls getting lost.
However, should that happen, and given that a box of half a dozen SG Pro Balls costs £19.99, replacing or buying them in the first place is unlikely to break the bank.
● SG Pro Balls, costing £19.99 for half-a-dozen, are available from www.stuartsmithgolfacademy.com.