Repurpose An Unused Kid’s Toy To Improve Your Golf Game By 5+ Strokes

toy box

In case anyone is curious I will go ahead and let you know that I am no Stephen Hawking, in fact, I am no Bill Nye the Science Guy, or even Beakman.  With that out of the way I will also tell you despite my lack of credentials in the scientific community I am a big fan of sample size.  An example of the use of sample size in my daily life is student behavior, as a coach and teacher I can see a student perform a similar negative behavior 9 times and apologize when issued a consequence each and every time only to commit the same or similar offense a tenth time.  In these cases I have all the samples I needed to know that the apology meant nothing and the behavior was likely to occur again.  I believe that most logical human beings allow sample size to shape how they see and view a particular person, place, thing, action, or event even if they are not aware of what to call it.  With all that said, there is a phenomenon in my life (and millions of other lives) that renders the belief in sample size importance useless, golf.

Like millions of other humans on Planet Earth I love golf, but I hate it.  I can play 18 holes on any given day and leave the course feeling like pre-scandal Tiger Woods and return to the course the following day, with all of the confidence in the world, and leave feeling like Tiger Lilly, it is frustrating.  Sample size means nothing to me in golf, I can hit 100 shots, 99 of which are garbage, but that one good shot keeps me thinking that I am on the cusp of “figuring this game out”, and I am clueless as to why.

rodney-dangerfield-caddyshack

Prior to last month I had not played golf in about two years and had been itching to do so for some reason since about Easter.  With the end of the school year in late May I quickly took advantage of my less busy schedule and headed to the local golf course to play.  I have played in spurts over the last 15 years with several layoffs of a year or more in that span but typically shoot in the low to mid 90’s with an occasional mid to upper 80’s score when playing consistently over a few months so I was not surprised that I shot a 101 in my comeback debut.  Despite my poor score I hit enough decent shots to hook me back in.

driving range

My next four rounds saw me shoot a 97, 93, 96, and 98, which gave me a 5 round average of 97.  Though not horrible scores, the amount of decent shots that I was hitting led me to believe that I could do better if I could just get in some consistent practice but the nearest public range was 45 minutes away and not very practical to visit daily.  This is when I knew that I would have to get creative, so I did.

After checking the prices of golf practice nets online I knew that I had to have something hanging around my house or shop to use that would save me the 50-300 bucks being charged for the nets on the internet.  It did not take long for me to remember my kids old disassembled trampoline and safety net stored in our garage and it was on from there.

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I admit that it is far from beautiful, but it has been effective and I did not have to spend a dime.  This one is hung from a tree branch by rope and the sides are tied off to a tree and fence.  Though not aesthetically pleasing, it is tucked away in the corner of my backyard where only those in the backyard can see it.

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The trampoline material is pretty much perfect for hitting with golf balls.  It is hard enough to withstand the abuse of the golf balls but also soft enough to cradle the balls to the ground without them flying back at you.

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My homemade setup has allowed me to hit hundreds of practice shots that I would otherwise not been able to due to the distance between my house and the nearest driving range.  I can even practice while hanging out with my wife and little ones in the backyard (they like using it too).

The proof that my sketchy looking backyard driving range works is in my scores.  I mentioned the first five rounds that I played this summer (pre-trampoline range) saw me shoot a 101, 97, 93, 96, and 98 for an average score of a 97 per round.  I have played an additional five rounds of golf since setting up and routinely practicing on my trampoline golf net and have shot rounds of 87, 91, 89, 95, and 87 for a round average of 89.8.  My upcycled trampoline mat has improved my game by just over 7 strokes per round!

Of course not everyone has an old trampoline mat at their disposal and there are more expensive and aesthetically pleasing tools that can be bought instead of made to improve your golf game and I have linked to a few below.

optishot complete 2 simulator

10×7 Golf Net

10′ Practice Net

Netting For Homemade Golf Net

Practice Putting Green

Hitting Mat (So you do not tear up your yard)

Thank you for reading!  If you found this post to be helpful, entertaining, or informative please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share tool-school.com on social media!

Jake with tool-school.com

 

Turn Your Old Cooler Into A Portable Air Conditioner

A few years ago I was fixing up an older Jeep Cherokee XJ and when she was finally up and running a problem was realized.  It was June in South Louisiana and the Jeep’s a/c system was leaking Freon.  With no room in the budget for a/c repair or replacement I took to the internet to see what could be done for me to drive my baby without sweating bullets.

My first stab at staying cool was by purchasing the RoadPro 12V Tornado Fan.  Though it was pretty loud, the fan was quite strong and very impressive.  The conditions inside the Jeep were definitely improved, but I knew that I could do better.

Back to the internet I went, more specifically to YouTube, and this is where I found my second, and final temporary solution to my Jeep a/c issue.  I discovered that you can make a portable air conditioner using only a fan, a cooler, ice, and some PVC pipe.  I happened to have all three laying around so I was good to go.  Below are the tools I used to make my portable a/c and the steps involved in the build.

TOOLS

Jigsaw or Oscillating Multitool

Hole Saw

Electric Drill

Silicone Adhesive

THE BUILD

At the end of this article I have posted a link to the video that inspired my portable a/c build.  I put my own spin on the project by using different components than the one seen in the video due to the fact that it was what I already had on hand.

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Trace the outline of your fan onto the top of the cooler.
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Using a jigsaw or multi-tool cut out the hole for the fan.
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Using a hole saw or multi-tool cut out a place for your PVC pipe.

This is where the cool air will exit the cooler.  If this particular cooler had enough area on the lid to put a PVC 90 degree elbow on top I would have place it there, but I put the pipe on the side due to the smaller size of this cooler’s lid.  If you put your exhaust pipe on the side of your cooler do not put it too low, as the water from the melted ice could leak out through the exhaust pipe if it is too low.

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I used a rubber gasket and silicone to seal the exhaust pipe then added two screws for good measure.
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The silicone is really all that is needed to seal and hold the pipe in place.

Your new portable a/c is practically done.  Just place some ice in the cooler and the fan in its hole, plug it in, and enjoy the constant cool breeze.

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Your portable air conditioner is complete!

I will be the first to admit that this is not the sexiest contraption in the world,(it was not always this dirty) but it is literally a very cool project that is a lot of fun to complete.  I was skeptical at first but this thing rode in my passenger seat and worked great.  Believe it or not I actually had temperature readings in Fahrenheit ranging from the upper 40s to the lower 60s exiting the pipe.  The large variance in temperature was due to the amount of ice and type of ice used (packs vs. cubes).

Chances are you have everything you need to make your own portable a/c already laying around your house as I did, but if you do not but would still like to undertake this fun little project I have linked to some affordable components below.

48 Qt. Ice Chest

110V Fan

12V Vehicle Fan

Oscillating Multi-tool

Or you could just splurge for a store bought portable a/c unit like the Black and Decker 8000 BTU Portable A/C.

Here is the link to the YouTube video that inspired my own portable cooler a/c build.  Portable A/C Video

Thank you for reading.  Be sure to like, comment, follow tool-school.com and share this post on social media!  Have a great week!

Jake with tool-school.com

DIY Cheap Football Goal Post Anyone Can Assemble

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A few years ago I had quite a few soccer players in one of my middle school Health and Physical Education classes that were pretty good athletes.  Being an American football and basketball guy, and having never played nor really even watched soccer before, I did not relate very well to their athletic goals and interest.  I encouraged the kids, who would soon be high school freshman, to try their hand at football for the upcoming year because I believed their athleticism would benefit the freshman team.  They appreciated the encouragement but I could tell their interests were not growing in the least bit.  I searched for a way to bridge the interest gap between the two sports and the solution that I came up with was buying a field goal post for the kids to hone their kicking skills on.

Not long into my search I came across this pretty cool soccer goal/field goal post combo sold by Net World Sports but since the acquisition of an upright was coming out of my own pocket I decided to keep searching for a solution.  As it turned out the soccer/field goal post combo ended up being the most affordable of the practical field goal posts that I found for sale so I then shifted into DIY mode.  Not long into my internet search I discovered a few videos that demonstrated how to make a goal post from 3″ pvc pipe and tee fittings, so off to the hardware store I went.

I no longer work at the same school that I built the field goal post at and I left the post there when I transferred to a different school so for cost sake I have recreated the build in the pictures and video below using smaller pipe and fittings.

Pictured below is a 1/10 scale replica of the original goal post build.  The build in the post uses 1/2″ ID pvc pipe with 1/2″ tee fittings.  (“=inch and ID=Inside diameter) The 1/2″ pipe is cut into 12″ and 6″ sections which is 1/10 the length of the 120″(10ft) and 60″(5ft) 3” pvc pipe sections.

The materials and tools list is as follows:

Hacksaw

PVC PRIMER/GLUE (optional)

6 – 10ft long 3″ runs of PVC pipe ($11 per pipe)

4 – 3″ PVC tee fittings ($4.50 per fitting)

Before the assembly begins you will need to take 3 of the 10′ long pieces of pipe and cut them in half (5ft or 60in).  This will leave you with 3-10ft runs of pipe and 6-5ft runs of pipe.

Though the pipe size and length in the video and pictures below differ from that of the actual size and length of the pipe in the build, the assembly process is the exact same.

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You will start the build with (3)-10′ pieces of pipe, (6)-5′ pieces of pipe, and (4) tee fittings.
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Insert (1) of the 5′ sections of pipe into one of the tee fittings as shown above.
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Now insert another 5′ section of pipe into the other end of the tee fitting that you inserted the first 5′ section into as shown in the picture.
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Complete the same process a second time using two more 5′ sections of pipe and another tee fitting so that you have two configurations that look like the two in the picture above.
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Next place a 5′ section of pipe into the middle opening of the tee fitting so that you have a 5′ section in each of the three openings of the fitting.
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Repeat the previous step with the other tee fitting you previously inserted two 5′ pieces of pipe into. You should now only have three 10′ pieces of pipe, 2 tee fittings, and two configurations that look like the ones pictured here.
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Next insert the last two tee fittings onto the two T-shaped configurations that you have assembled. Each tee should be positioned on the one piece of 5′ pipe that intersects the other two installed. The horizontal opening of the second tee fitting installed should be oriented so that it is in an intersecting direction to the bottom two pieces of 5′ pipe.
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Now you will insert one of the 10′ pieces of pipe into each of the horizontal openings of the two configurations that you have made forming a bridge and connecting the two configurations.
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Now that you are left with only two 10′ sections of pipe that have not been assembled, install one of them into the vertical opening of either tee fitting.
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Install the last 10′ piece of pipe into the other vertical opening on the opposite tee and now your field goal post is complete! This miniature version looks pretty good, but the full sized goal post looks even cooler.

If desired the field goal post could be cemented together where all pipes and fittings join to make to post stronger.  When I built my full sized field goal I did use pvc cement, but I did not bond every single joint.  I cemented the post in a way that made it pretty portable without losing much strength.  Below is a picture of the sections that I joined together with pvc cement and those that I left independent of the others.

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This is how my goal post was able to be broken down into 5 pieces in order to be moved more easily than if it were completely bonded together or not bonded with pvc cement at all. Cementing it this way only requires four quick connections to be made each time it is reassembled and reassembly can easily be done by one person.

 

How To Assemble Goal Post Video

So after I introduced the field goal post to my classes and my students fell in love with kicking footballs through our new uprights guess how many of my soccer players ended up joining the football team.  None……..  Not a single kid that played soccer ended up playing high school football.  No sweat because all of the kids (and a few coaches and teachers) that used the field goal had a great time and learned a good bit on the art of field goal kicking.  We had numerous contests and challenges that involved this piece of equipment that were all lots of fun.  I would use the goal post as a “reward” activity for my lower elementary students by allowing them to kick a large inflatable ball through it and it was a great incentive for them to maintain good grades and behavior.  I will have to build another soon.

Below are a few links to tools that will make the build a little easier as well as a few pieces of equipment that will allow the goal post to be used even if no one is available to hold a football.  There is also a link to the soccer goal/field goal post combo mentioned above for those of us that are not very DIY-inclined.

Fusion PVC Primer/Cement One Step

Klein Hacksaw

Soccer/Field Goal Combo

Wilson Pro Kick

Kicking Tee

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