Across the entire country, it is likely that most American sports fans have never pondered the question ‘Are goal posts good or bad?’ Are they a help or a hindrance? Friend or foe?
Chicago football fans still have a good recollection of the January 6, 2019, NFL wild card game at Soldier Field that ended the Bears’ 2018 season with a 16-15 loss when Cody Parkey’s 43-yard field goal attempt, with 0:10 time remaining against the Philadelphia Eagles hit the left upright, then bounced off the crossbar and fell to the end zone, no good. NBC football commentator Chris Collinsworth said “Oh my goodness… the Bears’ season’s gonna end on a double doink!” This miss was Parkey’s swansong as a Chicago Bear, as it was his sixth kick attempt of the season (two extra points and four field goals) to hit an upright. In summary, for Cody Parkey, goalposts were a hindrance and very bad.
On Chicago’s Near West side, goal posts are part of another one of Chicago’s pro sports venues, the United Center, home to the Chicago Blackhawks. And while hockey announcers often refer to the goalie as the ‘man between the pipes’, he is still the ‘man between the goalposts’. But unlike in Cody Parkey’s troubles, the posts behind Marc-Andre Fleury and Kevin Lankinen can be helpful and friendly. For hockey goaltenders, the net’s left goalpost, the right goalpost, and the crossbar are regarded as his ‘three amigos’.
SwingAlign / Strand Sports, a company producing products to aid and train golfers’ swings, has introduced goal posts into the game of golf — not as point-scoring targets, but as an attachment affixed to a putter to hone and improve the putting stroke.
Assembly of the Goal Post putting stroke trainer is merely the tightening of the plastic set screw to the back of the putter head. Correct positioning on the putter’s front face has the goal posts perpendicular to the putter face and parallel to the ground pointing in the direction of the intended putt.
This training aid’s only two features to appear on the back of the putter head are the tap hole to insert the set screw and the short cylindrical peg to later hold the alignment pointer attachment. The tap hole will be positioned below the cylindrical peg. Start by twisting the set screw a few turns into the tap hole, but not completely through the tap hole.
Next, lower the goal post over the top of the putter blade such that the goal post uprights are pointing in the intended direction of the putt. Secure the goal post to the putter head by tightening the set screw on / to the back to the putter head.
Depending upon your putter’s manufacturing tolerances and / or your own set up to the ball, the optimum ‘sweet spot’ of your putter head may not be the exact center of the putter face, therefore, it may be necessary to fine-tune the positioning of the goal posts by sliding the goal post slightly out toward the toe or back toward heel of the putter head. The rubber bumpers (washers) on each goal post are movable and can be slid forward to increase the precision required for training accuracy, or, they can be removed altogether.
The final two pieces of this training aid together form the alignment pointer. At the user’s discretion the alignment pointer can be attached to the goal post or completely left off the unit. SwingAlign promotion states that to improve the aiming of your putting add the alignment rod for improved Vernier Acuity (say, what?).
Vernier acuity is the aspect of visual acuity that involves the ability to detect the alignment or lack of alignment of two portions of a broken line. The alignment rod assembly is composed of two parts, the rod support and the pointer stick. Push the alignment rod support’s bottom washer onto the green cylindrical peg protruding from the back of the putter head, then slide the alignment pointer stick through the holder at the top of the alignment rod.
No matter the degrees of lie built into your putter, no matter your height, no matter the length of your arms, or even if you putt with the putter toe up, the alignment pointer can be rotated to suit your personal alignment situation.
The SwingAlign Goal Post carries a lifetime product guarantee: if your Goal Post ever breaks from defects in materials or workmanship during normal and customary use, SwingAlign will replace it at no charge. Furthermore, the SwingAlign Goal Post features a 90-day improvement guarantee: if the Goal Post doesn’t improve your putting in 90 days, send it back for a full refund. No questions asked!
Further information and ordering details can be found at the SwingAlign website.