Ingenius Harrington sticks with his gadgets

Ingenius Harrington sticks with his gadgets
Pádraig Harrington in the Golf Swing Shirt

Pádraig Harrington in the Golf Swing Shirt

Pádraig Harrington is everyone's favourite mad professor — a golfing alchemist toiling in his laboratory in search of the formula that will turn something ordinary into pure gold.

The 44-year old posted a video on Twitter today — just his 106th tweet since he joined the social media platform in June 2011 — and christened it his "Unexpected trick shot."

The slo-mo video was made i  the swing studio in the bowels his Dublin home — an Aladdin's Cave of irons, drivers, putters, swing aids and electronic gadgets. There's a net at one end where he blasts ball after ball during his downtime in search of that special feeling.

The walls are painted with a mural representing the Old Course at St Andrews, where he has won twice but came up short over the last 13 holes of The Open last season.

Harrington's wrists appear to be locked into some sort of swing aid and the ball rides up the  the net, hits a ceiling light and bounces back on the mat again where Harrington nonchalantly fields it and re-tees it for another whack.

The pock-marked wall behind the net (check out the marks near the ceiling) are reminders of other long days spent in the basement.

He cleared it out in December 2009 and sold off dozens of clubs (and other bits and pieces) for charity. But given the number of gadgets he's brought out on tour over the years, we're guessing it might be time for another sale. 

The inventions and innovations were certainly eye catching. Here's a few of my favourites:

The brain hat

Okay, it was just some sort of brain scanning monitor attached to his cap but it certainly made for a good early story during a slow week in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Doral in 2013. Early in the week. the Dubliner wore a specially designed baseball cap fitted with electronic sensors that beamed information to an iPad, so he could work out which side of his brain was more active over a shot - the analytical left side or the more instinctive right side.

The Happy Gilmore warm up

Harrington's Happy Gilmore warm up exercise — a full run up to the ball followed by a full blood lunge with the driver, remains one of the great sights in sport.

Balance paws

It was around the same time the man with 20-20 vision started wearing spectacles. Again it was 2013 and during the build up to The Open at Muirfield that Harrington tried out his Chango Balance Paws to work on his balance and stability.

Swing shirt

He achieved the same effect for years by tucking a towel or a wood cover under his armpits to keep his upper body and arms in sync. He's also put a child’s foam ball between his elbows. But the invention of the Golf Swing Shirt was too good to be true.

Resistance bands and Happy Gilmores combo

Warming up with the resistance band/Happy Gilmore combo at the Honda Classic last year. It was an event he would go on to win in a playoff despite a 71st hole double bogey

Warming up with the resistance band/Happy Gilmore combo at the Honda Classic last year. It was an event he would go on to win in a playoff despite a 71st hole double bogey

Harrington added a new element to the Happy Gilmore warm up by putting a giant elastic bands around his thighs to active his glutes during the last year's Honda Classic win.

Light laser therapy 

Pádraig Harrington ices his wrist at Royal Birkdale in 2008

Pádraig Harrington ices his wrist at Royal Birkdale in 2008

When he injured his wrist shortly before his Open Championship title defence at Royal Birkdale in 2008, Harrington went to Phil Mickelson's hotel every night to borrow his light laser machine. It worked. He retained the Claret Jug.

He's had many, many others from the Torpedo Putter (and the belly putter) to a variety of contraptions such as lasers, elastic bands, spirit levels and other weird and wonderful things.

Back in 2005, he acquired a wristwatch that could tell him his swing speed and other crucial data. At one stage he had three heart monitors, a sophisticated launch monitor, a digital spirit level to help read greens, an altimeter, a computerised putting system, a range finder and dozens of home made inventions. 

“I like my gadgets,” Harrington said a decade ago. “I have all sorts of things that I’m interested in. In my gym I have three different types of heart monitors that do different things. I have one that tells you that information how you are going along day to day.  You wake in the morning, take a reading and it tells you whether you need to rest or not. Basically tells you when you are overdoing it.

“If you were sick in your body and didn’t know it, this thing would pick it up. It would go off the charts with somebody who was stressed.”

Harrington has added dozens of newer gadgets to his collection since then and regularly checks his urine and blood to aid his training regime.

“I have home made gadgets,” he revealed. “Some of them work but I’ve also made plenty of things that turned out to be useless as well.”

Once thing is certain, he's never boring.