Tour Tempo SpeedBall – Review

(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) There is no shortage of training aids that promise to increase your club head speed, but almost all of them fall into one of two categories: heavy clubs and wind resistance clubs.  The Tour Tempo SpeedBall promises distance gains, but with a novel approach: adding resistance only at impact.  So, will this be the trainer that helps you break into the ranks of the 300 yard drivers?  Let’s find out…

Tour Tempo Speed Ball

Ease of Use/Set Up

The SpeedBall is pretty simple to use: set one of the targets on the base and swing one of the SpeedBall clubs at it.  You will have to watch the videos to appreciate all the other uses, but once you see them, these different applications become obvious.

My one complaint is that it does get a little annoying to keep peeling the target off of the ball and setting it back up.  That said, a “set” only takes a minute or two, so you won’t have to do it for very long.

Score: 9/10


Tour Tempo Speed Ball

Effectiveness

Let’s start with the feature that everyone will want to know about: distance gains.  I used the SpeedBall as recommended, 3-5 sets every other day, for 3 weeks (I may have missed a day or two, but I kept to the routine as well as my 6 month old would allow).  Did I see swing speed gains?  Yes.

Here’s the data from my FlightScope sessions before and after my SpeedBall Training:

BEFORE: Swing Speed SpeedBall Training

  • Low: 98 MPH
  • Average: 100.5 MPH
  • High: 103 MPH

AFTER: Swing Speed SpeedBall Training

  • Low: 100 MPH
  • Average: 103 MPH
  • High: 106 MPH

TOTAL DIFFERENCE: (+2.5 MPH in 3 weeks)

So…you probably won’t be seeing me at the ReMax Long Drive Championship, but I’ll happily take the 3 MPH boost after just 3 weeks.  As with anything, I’m sure some of you will see greater gains, some may see less.  I’m most curious to see where this will take me after more weeks of training.

Another thing that’s worth noting about the SpeedBall is that while you’re working on picking up speed, you’re also working on squaring the club face and hitting the sweet spot.  If you don’t square the club face, the target won’t stick to the ball, and you get the privilege of chasing down the flying target.  This is a nice way to remind you to square the face.  If you do stick the target, you get to see whether the ball attached to the middle of the target (good) or the inner or outer third (bad).  The ability to work on these two key elements – square club face and centered contact – while building swing speed definitely sets the SpeedBall apart from other swing speed trainers.

Finally, there are many other uses of the SpeedBall that are not immediately apparent (or at least weren’t apparent to me). The SpeedBall can help you to refine or change your club path, work on your weight shift, improve your sequencing, and improve your contact.  And, of course, the SpeedBall is a great way to work on your Tour Tempo.  All of these drills are explained in a series of videos that comes with the SpeedBall.  These drills are going to be laid out in an app very soon for even easier use.

Overall, the SpeedBall delivered on its promise of boosting my swing speed while forcing me to maintain a focus on squaring the club face and hitting the sweet spot.  It also proved to be an effective way to work on a number of other swing flaws.

Score: 30/30

Tour Tempo Speed Ball

Longevity

The SpeedBall occupies a weird space in the  training aid spectrum: it’s not something you would take to the range, but, to use it, you need enough space to make a full swing.  For some people, that will rule out using it indoors because they don’t have high enough ceilings.  And even if you do have the space, it’s rather noisy to use in a confined area. All of these logistical challenges work against the Longevity score of the SpeedBall.

The other major knock on the SpeedBall is that it isn’t all that fun to use.  It’s repetitive, and consistently taking the target off, placing it down, and hitting it again can get old.  I would equate it to working out or lifting weights: you know it’s good for you, but it’s not high on your list of things you want to do.

All that said, the SpeedBall has proven to be effective for me.  While it may not be the training aid that I enjoy using the most, I do make an effort to use it regularly because I know it’s had positive effects on my swing speed.  The demonstrable benefits keep the SpeedBall out of the closet and in the practice rotation despite its shortcomings.

Score: 15/20

Tour Tempo Speed Ball

Value

The basic SpeedBall kit, containing the 7I-length Speedball club, the target, and the base, costs $119.95.  The driver-length Speedball club costs $79.95, and the Power Module (the two targets with “tails”) are an additional $99.95.  While the driver-length club is not totally necessary, I think most people will probably want the Power Module, so we can say that the SpeedBall ends up costing between $220 and $300.  This price tag puts the SpeedBall well above our average price of $100 for a training aid.

In my opinion, this price ends up making the SpeedBall a good, but not great, value.  Ultimately, it delivered on the promise of more club head speed, and, for some people, that’s priceless.  It also has a lot of versatility, and it lets you work on numerous things simultaneously, so that elevates it above every other swing speed trainer that I know.  While I would really like to see this whole package priced somewhere closer to $150, I still think the $220 mark is not totally unreasonable for someone dying for more swing speed.

Score: 16/20

Tour Tempo Speed Ball

The Peanut Gallery

The Peanut Gallery heard the SpeedBall before they saw it.  I was in a teaching bay pounding away, and, one by one, they came in to find out what the noise was.

Overall, the reaction to the SpeedBall was a prolonged, curious, slightly skeptical “hmmm.”  Everyone found the impact feel to be very unique and could easily understand the concept behind it.  A few of them even sent the target into orbit which highlighted the need to square the club face.  Though the concept and potential benefit were obvious, only a few of The Peanut Gallery members expressed an interest in doing more than demoing the SpeedBall.  I blame a good bit of this on the noise it created in the small, enclosed teaching bay, and the rest on the fact that many of the Peanut Gallery members already have more swing speed than they know what to do with.

I did use the SpeedBall with a few of my students, and I found it to be a very effective way to work on certain issues without the concern of hitting the ball.  The most notable success was with a student who had a severe reverse weight shift.  I had no luck in getting her to shift her weight while trying to hit a ball, so we switched to the SpeedBall target and had better results.  I’d be lying if I said it immediately cured her problem, but it was a valuable middle ground between where she started and where she wanted to end up.

Score: 16/20

Final Thoughts

Here’s the only sentence many of you will care about: the Tour Tempo SpeedBall helped me gain 3 MPH of club head speed.

The SpeedBall represents a totally unique method of building swing speed, and I have experienced the benefits firsthand.  While this is great by itself, the SpeedBall takes it to another level by also forcing the golfer to square the club face and try to hit the sweet spot.  If all that isn’t enough for you, there are a wealth of other drills you can do with the SpeedBall to work on other elements of your swing.  While I think that a lot of people are going to pass because of the price, I expect that those of you do take the plunge will be very pleased with the results you get.

Score: 87/100

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