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Checking out the Chili Wacker


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I received on Saturday and will today begin messing around with a new training aid, the Chili Wacker (https://chiliwacker.com).

cw_1024x1024.jpg?v=1463323073

As you can see, it's a couple of pool noodles on a tripod with a tilting mount (ball head). It costs $169.95 with free shipping at https://chiliwacker.com/products/chiliwacker.

The ChiliWacker was dreamt up by Minnesota PGA Professional/Director of Instruction Eric Chiles over his 22 years in the golf business. As with any good idea, Eric needed help making his idea a reality. You can read a bit more about it here: https://chiliwacker.com/pages/why-chiliwacker.

Some videos:

 


As with many training aids, yeah, you could build one yourself. But it won't be the same quality, you won't be supporting a guy's efforts, you won't get the nice carrying bag… and you're not valuing your time.

If you have any ideas for how Chili Wacker can be used, please post them here and I'll try to make a video testing out your idea.

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Nice concept,  but I have reservations about it taking a hit with a club.   I've built something similar using pvc pipe and alignment rods and it was useful for visual and slow swings.   When I did finally hit it with a club, the pvc broke.  The tripod doesn't look robust enough to take a hit. 

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4 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

Nice concept,  but I have reservations about it taking a hit with a club.   I've built something similar using pvc pipe and alignment rods and it was useful for visual and slow swings.   When I did finally hit it with a club, the pvc broke.  The tripod doesn't look robust enough to take a hit. 

Interesting. As one who often fools around with making training aids from items laying about the house much to the chagrin of these inventors, I will probably play around with the tripod I have. I never would have thought about using the pool noodles perpendicular to the target line as most are set up to mimic your swing plane . I can see that you could place the tripod far enough away to avoid striking it, yet close enough to hit a noodle if off plane. I agree with Erik from the standpoint of supporting the guy's efforts. I've come up several ideas that probably could have made it to commercial production yet I did not pursue it. Kudos to Mr. Chiles.

Just a thought, but if the tripod could be adjusted low enough to the ground, a noodle could be affixed and extended to mimic a swing plane with infinite amount of adjustment capability.  or....stick an alignment rod in the very end of the support member shown, adjust the support member to the lowest point to the ground, alignment rod 90 degrees ...and you get the idea.

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43 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

When I did finally hit it with a club, the pvc broke.  The tripod doesn't look robust enough to take a hit. 

The only thing you might hit is the hollow pool noodles. You should be feet away from the tripod itself.

The noodles are on little sticks that aren't very long themselves. So you don't even hit those.

You can cut/dent the noodles but they're easily replaced.

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Some images from a trip downtown and a practice session.

First, the bag that it comes in:

2016-10-24 11.23.41.jpg

Unpacked:

2016-10-24 11.24.20.jpg

Assembled:

2016-10-24 11.26.14.jpg

And you can of course take the head off and just use the two foam noodles to help with someone's swing path, as I'm trying to demonstrate here:

2016-10-24 11.43.15.jpg

I'm editing two quick videos now.

So far:

  • I like the compactness.
  • I like the idea.
  • I think it'll be great for smaller strokes or swings, or slower practice sessions.
  • You can dent/cut the noodles if you hit them full speed, but they're relatively easy to replace.
  • You can widen the gap, but I don't know how much I like these for full-speed swings. Then again, you all know my policy on full-speed swings…
  • I wish there was a hook on the tripod to help weigh it down so if you did hit it, it would be less likely to fall over. (see https://cdn.instructables.com/F2E/0CED/GXL6624X/F2E0CEDGXL6624X.MEDIUM.jpg).
  • The rubberized "Clubhead Here" bands are somewhat pointless, but I guess there are dummies out there who would try to hit too close to the tripod, so… I can't blame Eric for those.
  • I like this so far. I'm thinking of other ways to use it.

 

4 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I'd like to see them offer it without the tripod.  As a photographer I have at least three tripods I could use with this and the bulk of the cost (beyond R&D) has got to be the tripod.  

I too have many tripods, but I like having them for their uses and leaving it at that. Most of them already have something semi-permanently mounted on the head of them, depending on the cost… (my actual photography tripod costs over $2k all told, a tripod I use to hold my iPhone during quick photo shoots cost about $20).

I doubt this tripod adds too much to the cost (but then also to the shipping, so…?). You'd of course need to have a mounting plate that matched up… and you (and I) are probably in the minority with a plethora of tripods. :-)

But… write to him. Or I'll invite him to this thread, and he can comment on that.

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

The ChiliWacker was dreamt up by Minnesota PGA Professional/Director of Instruction Eric Chiles over his 22 years in the golf business. As with any good idea, Erik needed help making his idea a reality.

Is his name spelled with a C or a K?

I like the idea and see it being very beneficial. It's a practical device that seems like it was born out trying to teach people how to get the club on the right path. I agree that having a weight hook could be beneficial. I don't know if it would stay up on a windy day. Hard to tell without actually feeling how heavy or stable it is. 

Issues / Concerns:

When I heard the name, I thought "chili dipper" which isn't exactly a positive image.

I am concerned with setting it up properly. Is it easy enough to make sure that the bar is on the right angle and height?

 

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27 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

Is his name spelled with a C or a K?

My phone and computer autocorrect c to k. His is with a c.

28 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

I am concerned with setting it up properly. Is it easy enough to make sure that the bar is on the right angle and height?

Yes pretty easy. If you know where you're trying to get it of course. There's nothing that magically puts it in the right spot.

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Just now, iacas said:

Yes pretty easy. If you know where you're trying to get it of course. There's nothing that magically puts it in the right spot.

That's my concern. How would a 20+ handicap know where to set it? 

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14 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

That's my concern. How would a 20+ handicap know where to set it? 

Because your instructor told you or you are not a dolt? :-) It is not hard. Put it along a good club path. Depending on the height it will be along your toe line or slightly in or out from there.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Because your instructor told you or you are not a dolt? :-) It is not hard. Put it along a good club path. Depending on the height it will be along your toe line or slightly in or out from there.

Is it safe to say that this thing is meant primarily for K4 issues, or can it help with other keys?

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2 hours ago, newtogolf said:

I'd like to see them offer it without the tripod.  As a photographer I have at least three tripods I could use with this and the bulk of the cost (beyond R&D) has got to be the tripod.  

Actually, that was my very first thought. Some time ago, I bought an inexpensive tripod online. It has full tilt, equatorial type mount, crank heights, extendable legs.  From a marketing standpoint, I think the seller would do much better selling just the mount that would fit any conventional tripod. Easier to ship, less cost per unit, more than likely larger profit margin, and more demand.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

I too have many tripods, but I like having them for their uses and leaving it at that. Most of them already have something semi-permanently mounted on the head of them, depending on the cost… (my actual photography tripod costs over $2k all told, a tripod I use to hold my iPhone during quick photo shoots cost about $20).

I doubt this tripod adds too much to the cost (but then also to the shipping, so…?). You'd of course need to have a mounting plate that matched up… and you (and I) are probably in the minority with a plethora of tripods. :-)

But… write to him. Or I'll invite him to this thread, and he can comment on that.

I have a $1500 Gitzo that I'd never use for this but have some cheaper Manfrotto's that would work well with it.  For me it's as much about storage room as it is price.  My wife already complains that my golf and photography equipment takes up too much space.  

Thanks for inviting him, it's worth asking.  

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

As you can see, it's a couple of pool noodles on a tripod with a tilting mount (ball head). It costs $169.95 with free shipping at https://chiliwacker.com/products/chiliwacker.

yeah, you could build one yourself. But it won't be the same quality, you won't be supporting a guy's efforts, you won't get the nice carrying bag… and you're not valuing your time.

Good concept / idea and execution.

That said the price point is a bit steep for the typical amateur (largest potential market segment).

3 hours ago, newtogolf said:

I'd like to see them offer it without the tripod.  As a photographer I have at least three tripods I could use with this and the bulk of the cost (beyond R&D) has got to be the tripod.  

It's possible there's a special mount that is more robust than a regular tripod head screw?

I'd agree that could lower the item cost (and his own shipping / handling cost & time) and those who want the tripod included would be just be a nice extra profit center for those who don't already have one and want to bother with finding their own or use his 'approved' high-quality model.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Good idea.

1 hour ago, Hacker James said:

Actually, that was my very first thought. Some time ago, I bought an inexpensive tripod online. It has full tilt, equatorial type mount, crank heights, extendable legs.  From a marketing standpoint, I think the seller would do much better selling just the mount that would fit any conventional tripod. Easier to ship, less cost per unit, more than likely larger profit margin, and more demand.

I agree. Those nice adjustable slider bars would be a bit harder to do as a self-made kludge version, and ~ $60-$80 would be less intimidating a sticker price for a golf aid.

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@natureboy The cheap tripod I have has a plastic mount plate that screws into your camera. Then this mount plate slips into a little notch on the top of the tripod and is held snug by a little pressure toggle. It is made by Ravelli and comes with a carry bag and they even include a  tiny spider tripod. I forget what I paid, maybe $40 or less. Another feature is a set of two bubble levels.

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1 minute ago, Hacker James said:

@natureboy The cheap tripod I have has a plastic mount plate that screws into your camera. Then this mount plate slips into a little notch on the top of the tripod and is held snug by a little pressure toggle. It is made by Ravelli and comes with a carry bag and they even include a  tiny spider tripod. I forget what I paid, maybe $40 or less. Another feature is a set of two bubble levels.

I have one too. Just wondering if the wacker has something more robust for the attachment point because it's going to absorb some torques and vibration - and possibly justifying the higher cost than off the shelf tripod.

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1 minute ago, natureboy said:

I have one too. Just wondering if the wacker has something more robust for the attachment point because it's going to absorb some torques and vibration - and possibly justifying the higher cost than off the shelf tripod.

ha ha..only if you hit it!  

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