Putter Wheel could get your putting on track
Several times per week, I am contacted by someone who has the "next great ______" in golf. From high-tech swing analyzers to the latest, greatest app - there is no shortage in my inbox (or closet) of the ultimate game-changer for the everyday golfer. In truth, though I don't think I've come across too many 'bad' products, I haven't really found too many that I'd adopt for my practice sessions. Until now.
I was recently introduced to the Putter Wheel by a friend - it's a new putting aid that could become one of the best and most innovative products to come along in a long while. The idea actually is very simple and basic; maybe too simple and basic I thought. I mean, a pseudo ball that wobbled if not struck with the proper face angle and path; who couldn't think of that? No one apparently. Well, someone finally did - and I'm really glad for it.
This putting aid is designed to train your stroke, instill better confidence via enhanced visualization and even includes a special alignment marking tool for your ball for when you are out playing on the course. The weight and feel are very much like a golf ball - but the roll is fully a tool for instruction feedback. It is small enough to fit into your pocket, much less your golf bag, and it's so elementary, you do not need instructions (though they are included) to start utilizing right away.
But in truth, I don't REALLY care how it looks, how it acts, or even the feedback it provides. There's only one question that matters at all. Does it work for my game?
I'm a pretty good putter - streaky like most - but certainly a better short game player than ball striker. That said, I'll know pretty quick if a putting aid actually improves my stroke. And that's why we buy these anyways, right?
I stopped by a local course recently with a Putter Wheel and headed directly to the practice green. First, I spent about 20 minutes just practicing as I always do. Felt pretty good I thought. Took 10 putts from about ten feet. Made six of them. That's solid, right? Then I pulled out the Putter Wheel and practiced with it. My stroke was apparently not as good as I thought. The Putter Wheel wobbled immediatley off my stroke. Something was amiss. I focused on a stroke that would get a better roll. I found it after about ten minutes. I tried my 10 putt drill again. I made 8. But even more, my stroke was more pure. The 'hit' felt right. I could definitely take that stroke on the course and shoot lower scores. Most people agree that confidence is a huge part of putting. This item will increase that tenfold for me.
So yes, it's small and easily portable. It's a good price point. And I really think it's going to make me a better putter. Also, I really think it's going to make me a better putter. (I know I said that, but it's worth repeating because it's the main point of any instructional aid, right?)
It's a new product, and I get the feeling in time you're going to hear a great deal about it from many teaching, and even playing, professionals. But in the meantime, it'd be worth your while to check it out and be one of the first to employ it to help your game. When you're staring down that next crucial eight-footer on 18, you'll be glad you did.
PGA of America Championships
Benton Harbor, Mich.
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Hazeltine National Golf Club