One such gadget that has always piqued my interest is the Technasonic Check-Go. It has been around since the late 80s and it is still a hot seller. In a nutshell, it's a device that's supposed to find the optimal balance point (equator) of a golf ball by spinning the ball at high speeds. Why is this important? Well, if you putt the ball along its balanced equator, it should roll truer on the green. Dave Pelz, the mad scientist of golf, has done research in this area and wrote, "Physics is physics. If balls are not balanced and they are not lined up on their balance point, they’re not going to roll straight."
It sounded good enough for me. I plunked down around 30 hard-earned greenbacks to satisfy my curiosity. Once I opened the package, I inserted my AA Duracells and got "Check-Go-ing" on a new box of Pro V1s. It seemed easy enough; just place the golf ball on the holder, attach the cage, hold down the button to spin the ball, and then mark the ball with a pen. Well, it actually takes some practice.
On my first attempt, the Pro V1 spun wildly out of control when I tried to mark it with the pen. Instead of a straight line along the ball's balanced equator, I ended up with a ball half-covered in ink! But after a couple more attempts, I started to get the hang of it. The key is to let the ball spin up to the maximum speed and then apply the pen to the ball lightly with increasing pressure. To get a heavier line, go back over the Check-Go line with a Sharpie and the Gatorade Line-M-Up method.
For the most part, the Check-Go works as advertised. I have put dozens of balls through this thing and it has always found the ball's balance point. Whenever I re-spun a marked ball, it would return to the same balance point indicated by the original line.
The only gripe that I have with the Check-Go is that the line that is manually drawn is frequently "off" a bit. The cause of this problem is the way that the pen is aligned and applied to the ball. To draw the line on the ball, the pen is simply inserted into a hole of the cage. Unfortunately, this hole allows some "play" with the pen allowing the pen approach the ball at varying angles. As a result, the line can be off from the true center of the ball. I have a couple of Pro V1s with off-center lines and I find it very distracting when I putt. Technasonic could improve the Check-Go immensely and probably sell a lot more of them if they just devised a way to apply the pen to the ball more accurately.
While I'm confident that the Check-Go does find the balance point of a golf ball, I'm not sure that it really matters in practice. I haven't noticed any difference to my putting results. I'm probably just not good enough to know. But if you believe that balanced golf balls will make a difference to your game, then the Check-Go is a great product for you.