Ernie Els Training System Review

Great things really do come in small packages (and carry the name of the PGA Tour’s ‘Big Easy’)!

Ernie Els Training SystemMy main goal for 2006 is to lower my handicap and I’ve made improving my short game my a priority. I’ve committed myself to spend more time at the putting greens both at my house and my home course. I’ve learned from Dave, who tells us week after week in the Numbers Game that the key to lower scores is hitting greens in regulation and putting. It’s great to drive the ball well but you’ve still got to get the ball in the hole.

Enter the Ernie Els Training System. The Ernie Els Training System has a simplistic approach that almost makes you doubt its worth. After all, it’s a late-night The Golf Channel infomercial product, isn’t it? Perhaps, but after one practice session with this product I loved it. It hasn’t left my bag since.

Solid Backgrounds
Ernie Els Training SystemThe Ernie Els Training System the brain child of Jim Flood and Brad Adams. These guys are no slouch when it comes to golf equipment products. Jim has developed over 50 golf-related products in the past 35 years, including the graphite shaft, founding Aldila in the process.

Brad was just 13 when his famous father Gary founded a little company called TaylorMade Golf Company. Together Jim and Brad co-founded Odyssey Golf in 1990, the world’s number one putter company. After selling Odyssey, Brad started Never Compromise.

Like many of you I don’t spend time thinking about what I’m doing right but when I get into a slump I panic and think what am I doing wrong. So the idea of the Ernie Els Training system was to develop a tee-to-green training system that re-enforced the good in a players game, specifically Ernie Els. We all know Ernie as the “The Big Easy” because of his rhythmic tempo and swing timing so who better to mimic.

Let’s take a look at each of the four devices included in the “System.” We’ll begin on the tee with the Tempotimer.

The Tempotimer is meant to work like many of the weighted clubs in the market today. Weighted clubs help a player develop a consistent swing plane and to develop a smooth swing tempo, something for which Ernie Els is known. Weighted clubs also help to build strength, which can improve your distance and accuracy.

Unfortunately, weighted clubs are a bit of a bear, and most don’t allow you to hit golf balls. The real beauty of the Tempotimer is that it’s a 9.5 ounce removable sleeve that attaches easily to any club in your bag. It is compact, so you can keep it in your golf bag or in your car. This lets you use the Tempotimer anywhere, anytime, and with the clubs you actually use to play.

Ernie Els Training System: Tempotimer
It’s Ernie’s ability to generate great distance and accuracy with such a smooth swing that led Jim Flood to create the Tempotimer.

I’ve used the Tempotimer with my driver, naturally, but also to practice chipping, bunker shots, flop shots, and a variety of other shots you couldn’t practice with a standard weighted club. Tempo is important with every club and shot so why limit yourself to a weighted 7-iron or driver?

Before the Tempotimer, I’d often grab two or three irons and swing them to loosen up prior to playing. Now I slip the Tempotimer on to the club that I’m actually going to use off the first tee.

Says Ernie Els:

Once you improve your swing tempo and timing, then distance, accuracy, and strength will become as natural in your swing as it is in mine.

At the range or warming up before bi-weekly tournaments at my club, several people have asked to try the Tempotimer. All loved the simple yet effective design. My wife has even become a fan! In the time that I have been using the Tempotimer I have noticed that my swing has become more consistent, my bunker play has improved, and I’ve even picked up a few yards with my woods.

Ernie Els Training System: StimpdimpleNaturally, a consistent tempo will get you on the green in regulation, but making birdie is a matter of good putting. So, we come to the Stimpdimple.

The Stimpdimple is a nifty pocket-sized clip that attaches to the shaft of any putter. It has two dimples in which you set a golf ball. The dimples are different sizes, with a deeper dimple on the outside and a smaller “tour” dimple nearer the clip. To use the Stimpdimple, you rest a golf ball in either of the dimples and putt another golf ball towards a hole. If the ball remains within its dimple throughout the putt, you’ve made a smooth stroke. If the ball falls off, your tempo was off or you changed direction quickly.

I must have a pretty good putting stroke already because it was easy to balance the ball on either dimple when making putts from inside of 20 feet. The real fun came when trying to make longer putts from across the green, uphill, or from the fringe. The ball would often roll out of its dimple not from a poor stroke but simply because I had to move the putter so far back and through to get the proper distance on the putt.

Another flaw is that the Stimpdimple does nothing to improve your aim, nor does the ball fall off when you decelerate. In fact, all but the worst putting strokes or the longest of putts are likely to keep the ball sitting in even the “tour” dimple. I wasn’t overly impressed with this tool, but at least it weighs next to nothing and takes up very little room in your golf bag.

The Rockroller is the last of the three items in the Ernie Els Training System. It was created to mimic Ernie’s putting stroke when he was at his best. In fact Ernie used the Rockroller the week before his win at the 2004 Memorial and set a tournament record with only 99 putts over 72 holes.

The device slides into the top of the putter grip and helps position the golfer’s arms and hands. This creates a perfect triangle between the hands and the shoulders with the shoulders. The idea here is to eliminate the wrist flip and force players to mimic a natural pendulum stroke used by the top golfers in the world.

Ernie Els Training System: Rockroller
The Rockroller takes only minutes to setup and provides instant feedback on how a perfect putting stroke should feel.

Like many, I feel putting is the key to low scores. Countless tournaments throughout the year come down to a few putts here and there or a dramatic putt on the final hole. The Rockroller, like the Tempotimer, attaches to any putter, giving it great versatility. Some putting aids are also a clunky and don’t travel well or fit easily in your bag but the Rockroller is made of lightweight, sturdy, and durable pieces which all disassemble into a compact unit. A separate carrying pouch is even included to helps keeps all pieces together.

I’m an ambidextrous putter. I swing right-handed but feel a lot more comfortable and perform better putting left-handed. To top it off I also employ the “claw” putting grip. The Rockroller is an equal-opportunity training aid and easily adapts to righties and lefties. After all it’s about creating that perfect triangle between your grip, arms, and shoulders. I even tried putting right-handed with the Rockroller and it didn’t take me long to find a comfortable stroke that produced great results.

All three training aids are fairly easy to start using but an instructional DVD is included. Like other videos included with training aids, this is a replication of the infomercial you may have already seen. It discusses the use of each training aid discussing and principles behind it. It is titled as an instructional DVD, but I felt it was more of a sales presentation.

Ernie Els and I aren’t the only ones to benefit from these products, Luke Donald practiced with the Tempotimer and won the 2005 Target World Challenge – Tiger Woods’ own tournament – pocketing a cool $1.3 million, the largest paycheck of his career. He finished at 16-under 272 and matched the record for the best closing round in the event’s history.

While I haven’t won a cool $1.3 million, I have successfully used the Tempotimer, Stimpledimple, and Rockroller to improve my driving, wedge play, and putting. At $99 it falls in line with many other training aids in the marketplace but here you might be paying for the name and the brains behind it and I feel it should be sold for less. However, I love my Ernie Els Training System mainly for its versatility, low weight, and simple design so it has earned its keep in my bag.

6 thoughts on “Ernie Els Training System Review”

  1. I don’t think the Rockroller would work on my belly putter, which by the way, accomplishes the same thing. As an aside, if long putters and belly putters are an unfair advantage (as alleged by many pros wanting them banned), why do so many pros who use them go back to standard length putters (Singh and Cink among others)?

  2. I added weight to my putter-head (Odyssey 2-ball) for more control — similar to my proclivity toward heavier pool cues. The additional weight does NOT cause the ball to go farther than normal weight putter-heads as you might think, possibly because of reduced MOI. But I definately have no problem with the putter face “following through” on my putts.

  3. I wish I could also benifit from the product but…I met Jim Floyd during the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando in Jan. 2006. I was impressed with the product so I placed an order with his associate. He assured me that he will mail it on the first business day. Until now I don’t have the merchandise yet. Bad thing about it is I was never given a recept so I don’t know how to get in touch with them. Can someone give me address or email or phone number of Jim Flood or his company? Appreciate it.

  4. Nick,

    This is nearly two years too late, but if you somehow find yourself back here, I will be happy to get you both the product and contact info of my father or anyone else with Rockroller, LLC. I sincerely apologize that this didn’t happen sooner.

    E-mail me at:, and I’ll be happy to help in this matter.

    Daniel Flood

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