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The Down Under Board is a training aid developed by Bradley Hughes, formerly a player and currently a teacher on the PGA Tour. A very effective way to engage your lower body, create a stable base, and fix many common swing problems. One of the best trainers I’ve tested in years.
I’m tough on training aids. I think that most over-promise and under-deliver. Not many trainers get great reviews from me, and even fewer become part of my regular practice routine. The Down Under Board, however, has not only earned my strong recommendation, it’s a tool that I’m using on a near-daily basis at home and on the range.
Set Up & Ease of Use
When you unbox your Down Under Board (DUB), you’ll see that it’s a pretty simple device. It’s a plastic board, approximately an inch tall, 10.5 inches wide, and the length is adjustable from 14 to 18 inches. Before you take it to the range, I’d suggest watching the instructional video HERE. It’s just under 14 minutes, and it gives you a good overview of how to use the DUB and what you’re trying to accomplish with it.
When you take the Down Under Board to the range, the first thing you’ll need to do is set the length. Take a normal stance, then get a little wider, and then slide the board between your feet and tighten the screws. The DUB comes with wing nuts so you don’t need tools to adjust it.
Finally, I strongly recommend that you take time to warm up your lower body before using the Down Under Board. In my first session with the DUB, I did everything wrong: went in cold, squeezed too hard, swung too hard, and the result was a pop in my left hip. I was lucky: I’m in good shape, and the pain went away pretty quickly. I could imagine someone who doesn’t have strong legs sidelining themself by doing the same dumb things I did.
The genius of the Down Under Board is that it cleans up a lot of swing issues without making you think about them. By simply pressuring the board between your legs, you’re going to have a more stable back swing, you’ll rotate better through the downswing, and you won’t stand up through the shot. It also allows you to feel more relaxed in your upper body.
In using the Down Under Board, I really felt my flaws. I’ve gotten pretty good at using my lower body correctly in the back swing, but I have a habit of “jumping” too early in the downswing rather than rotating. When I had the DUB between my feet, I could feel the difference between right and wrong. The sensation of keeping my bottom “back” and having room to swing my arms was very rewarding. It also shifted my impact location from on the heel to more consistently on the sweet spot.
I started to get concerned that I was fanboying on the Down Under Board, so I had two other people test it: Matt Meeker and my older daughter. Meeker was equally impressed: he reported that he was more stable in his back swing and that his swing felt more powerful. My daughter is a beginner who, like many kids, jumps all over the place during her swing. This leads to a lot of whiffs and frustration. It took literally two swings with the DUB before she was consistently hitting her driver on the center of the face and enjoying the game more.
One of the first things I look for when evaluating longevity is how easy it is to keep the trainer handy. The Down Under Board won’t fit in your golf bag, but it can live in your trunk without becoming a burden. If you prefer to use it at home, it can easily lean against a wall without bothering anyone.
Another plus for the Down Under Board is that it can be used in every facet of the game. From driving to putting, having a strong base is a fundamental that never goes out of style. On the negative side, the Down Under Board isn’t particularly fun to use – there’s no “gamification.”
Personally, I’m using the Down Under Board at home every day when I’m making practice swings, and I’ve brought it to every range session since I got it. I don’t use it on every swing, but it’s always in arm’s reach if I start to get sloppy.
The Down Under Board sells through their website HERE for $109. If it’s not clear by now, I’m a huge fan of the DUB, and I think it’s something that every golfer ought to try. You can use it in every facet of your game, so I think it’s a great value.
I’ll say it one more time: I’m a huge fan of the Down Under Board. This is a truly universal trainer that any golfer can benefit from. I had to go back to the middle of 2017 to find a training aid on this level [Putting Fork Pro 2.0 HERE]. If you’re willing to put in some work, the Down Under Board will help you improve your game.