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February 1, 2015

Medicus DualHinge: Delivering Instant Feedback for Your Student

PGA Professionals use the Medicus DualHinge to help students improve in a multitude of ways

Today, Medicus Golf is responsible for developing over 30 different products including golf equipment, apparel, 5 Simple Keys instructional DVDs, instructor certification programs, and of course, teaching and training aids. But at its origins, the company is known for their hinged training aid. They have evolved quite a lot over the years and grown the customer base and product lines, thanks in part to input and direction from renowned golf instructors like Chuck Evans and Jim Estes. Evans played an integral role in the development of the latest DualHinge model from Medicus, while Estes has had success using the aid as part of his teaching regimen with Salute Military Golf.

From Chuck Evans…

The DualHinge club is the second-generation of hinged golf club training aids that Medicus Golf designed and produced, improving upon the single-hinged aid that helped put the company on the map. While the single-hinge provided some solid feedback to students and golf instructors alike, it definitely needed some tweaks – thus the birth of the DualHinge model. Now, the training aid can “break” during any part of the golf swing to notify the student or instructor of a crucial swing error in need of fixing.

“After using the hinged golf club training aid, and especially after helping Medicus Golf improve the device, I really saw the use and tremendous power it could have in helping golfers improve their swings,” says Chuck Evans, a GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional. “At times, for certain students, some teaching and training aids can be confusing to use, which makes it very difficult for them to understand why the changes need to be made. My students have responded very well while using the DualHinge; when the club breaks down, they can immediately feel their mistake and work to fix it. Once students understand where you are taking them and understand how the aid works, they are much more likely to remain dedicated to the lesson plan and to continue working with the training aid.”

Evans recognizes that feedback on the DualHinge from fellow golf instructors over the years has been both positive and negative. However, more often than not, the negative feedback comes from teachers who have not yet tried using the Dual-Hinge in their own instruction. Evans explains that he really likes that the DualHinge, and all of Medicus Golf’s aids for that matter, because it does not force the instructor to change his or her philosophy, but rather encourages them to change how they use the aid.

“No teaching aid should be used as the end-all be-all for helping a student fix a swing issue,” explains Evans. “Teachers need to recognize that they are to use the training aid that will work best in given situations, rather than having a go-to device.”

For example, Evans says the DualHinge is especially useful for swing issues concerning clubhead and sweet spot control. He says that if one of his students is having an issue with his or her clubface position in a swing, such as rolling the face too far open or not enough roll, he will use the DualHinge on most occasions. Evans also does not use the DualHinge as a crutch; he relies on his own instructional acumen and drills, along with the training aid, to best fix his students’ swing ailments.

“Let’s say I’m working with the same student who is rolling his or her clubface too much in the swing, typically as a result of early wrist rotation,” describes Evans. “I would have the student work with the DualHinge, which will break when the face opens too early, but also place objects in the way, like a pool noodle, to help promote a more vertical backswing and help control his or her clubface. In this instance, it is helpful to use other avenues to help the student.”

Evans also stresses that he does not rush the swing or the lesson while using the DualHinge. It’s tempting for students to continue to swing even if and when the device breaks down. However, it’s your job as their golf instructor to not allow them to move past that point in their swing until they have mastered the issue. In cases like this, repetition is the student’s friend.

However, there are examples where the DualHinge may not be the best to use. Evans cites an example where some single-digit handicapped golfers bring the clubface back slightly closed and the aid breaks down, yet they still produce quality golf shots time after time. “That’s why we are working to tweak the club,” says Evans. “The TriHinge is slated for release later this year and will hopefully be one of most complete aids we have produced to date.”

The DualHinge and the other Medicus Golf products and training aids that Evans uses in his instruction practice have become quite the hit with his students. He says that someone asks to purchase the DualHinge or one of the other aids from him almost every day.

“As mentioned, the aids are not only easy to use, but also very easy to understand, which is why so many students look to buy a device of their own,” explains Evans. “They want to take the aids home and continue to practice and get better, which is really exciting and makes my job easier. The Medicus Golf DualHinge teaches students about their motions and the feedback the device provides allows them to learn about their mistakes very quickly.”

While Evans does not push the training aids he uses in his instruction on his students, Medicus Golf does offer an affiliate program for teachers and the company does not require them to stock a minimum number of any one product. This allows instructors to sell when needed and earn a little extra revenue as a result.

In all, Evans has been impressed enough with Medicus Golf and its product development that he has been associating professionally with the company for years. Evans says that the company’s products have not only helped him and countless numbers of his own students, but many golf instructors and thousands of golfers across the world.

From Jim Estes…

Jim Estes carved a fairly successful playing career as a professional. After competing on the golf teams at both the University of Tennessee and the University of Maryland, Estes spent six seasons on what’s now the Web.com Tour, where he won the 1996 Nike Inland Empire Open. The prior year, while serving as PGA teaching professional, Estes won the PGA of America Player of the Year Award. His pinnacle was reaching the PGA Tour for the 1998 season, with his best finish being T16 at the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic.

“The game of golf has been good to me,” Estes says. But Estes has been even better to the game the golf. Along with child-hood friend Jamie Winslow, Estes is the co-founder of Salute Military Golf (SMGA) – a non-profit, charitable organization that encourages injured veterans to use golf as a means to overcome the limitations caused by the visible and invisible wounds of war. SMGA supports this effort by providing golf equipment, golf training, and golfing opportunities.

The Medicus DualHinge is one of the devices that Estes likes to use with his students, both SMGA and otherwise. Estes has had to be creative when coming up with drills for his students, as some of them have physical limitations that prevent them from performing traditional golf swings.

“The first drill I use the Medicus for is the belly button drill. I have my students stick the butt end of the club in their belly button, bend forward and then point the club at the ball,” Estes describes. “Maintaining arm extension, I have them move the club away from the ball using their core muscles, maintaining the triangle formed between the arms and the shoulders. This drill gives them the correct feel for the takeaway.”

Estes really likes the belly button drill for first-time users of the Medicus because it engrains the proper first move. So once they start taking full swings with the Medicus they’re able to takeaway the club without it breaking. It’s also a really good drill for golfers with a limited range of motion, as it helps them develop a stable first move in their golf swing – which they can then incorporate into their full swing motion.

Another drill Estes has his students do with the Medicus DualHinge is get into the address position (with a golf ball), then hinge the wrists skyward and slowly take a back swing until the left arm is parallel to the ground – so the club and the left arm form a 90-degree angle. He then asks his students to take the club up to the top, and then swing through the golf ball. “This helps golfers get the club into the right position on the takeaway, and feel what’s it’s like to make contact with the golf ball from the proper position,” Estes describes. “I came up with these drills through trial-and-error. I’ve used the Medicus with a lot of students, and these drills seem to have to best results in my experience.”