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Polo Cage

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Please CLICK HERE to download the PDF of the plans.

A Superb Idea in Polo Hitting Cages

by Timothy Monaghan
In the 1950’s a respected veteran and respected polo player in Woodside, California (playing at the Menlo club) named Judd Mak teamed up with Dr. Linfoot (9 goals) to develop a cage which is entitled the Mak-Linfoot Polo Cage. The polo hitting cage has some clever ideas. The number one advantage of this cage’s design enables the ball to constantly return to the hitter in a reasonable fashion where he may once again strike at from any of the four basic hitting positions.

The cage has for quadrants: one to the left front and right front as well as one to the right rear and left rear. Whenever a ball is struck by the polo player seated on a full-sized wooden horse, it will regardless of where it is hit, will fall into one of these quadrants which are “V” shaped troughs. When the ball falls into one of these troughs, it rolls to the center and then comes down one of the four chutes putting the ball on either the near side or the off side of the polo player. This enables him to strike the ball with anyone of the four basic shots. Whether it be near side back shot, near side forward shot, or off side back shot. Of course, tail shots, neck shots and some other angles are easily accomplished.

Many of the cages that have been constructed in the last few years are simply square so that once the ball is struck, it bounces around and virtually never comes back to a position where it can be struck a second time. In fact, the square cage without the ball return slides creates a situation where the player may be struck with the ball he hits.

The Mak-Linfoot cage has the four funnels, as you can see in the diagram enable the polo player practicing his hitting to constantly have a ball in position for him to strike. In fact, the first time you experience the cage, the thing that impresses you the most is that you can take only one ball and keep it in play for a virtually unlimited time. In fact, some people have been know to keep two or three balls in play at the same time in the Mak-Linfoot cage. Whether or not that would improve their hitting proficiency is somewhat doubtful.

The major benefit a the polo cage is to enable the player to concentrate on one of his deficiencies without fear of striking the horse or controlling the horse. It enables the poloist during his off days or prior to a game, to tune up his hitting eye, including striking balls in mid-air and what have you without worrying about the horse, or without the necessity of turning your horse and preparing for another shot.

The concept of a hitting cage is an excellent one. It is curious that more players do not have a cage on their private property, or at least on their club grounds. We believe that the square cages today have been constructed in a manner that makes their use, at best, difficult. These square cages remind one of a baseball pitcher going into a phone booth to throw a fast ball.

The Mak-Linfoot cage is an enormous amount of fun, and if one lives a good distance from the club, they could build it on their private property next to the garage or what have you for a cost ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 depending on how elaborate you choose to be. Clearly this is an opportunity to become a nine or ten goaler without have to ride one of those most difficult animals, known as a polo pony.

In areas the ball strikes most frequently, padding such as foam rubber may be placed to slow the ball’s rapid return. Also variations with six sides or eight sides, and additional ball returns could be considered for all angled shots. One could consider letters or targets to make their aim more exacting.

Should you be interested in the blue prints for design plans for the Mak-Linfoot cage, it is as simple as contacting the United States Polo Association in Lexington, Kentucky for a copy. Architectural drawings were created by Stanford Professor, Vic Thompson a Menlo polo player.

They are available for $29.00 by contacting : Polo Training Foundation, PTF 70 Clinton St. Tully, NY 13159.
Phone 888-PTF-POLO (783-7656)

 

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