T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Truline Greens: Improve your putting without leaving home
If you've played golf for any amount of time, you know that the most important part of the game is the short game.
Unfortunately for many, when it comes to practice, the short game is often the most neglected.
We think we've found a solution for you. And the best part is, you don't even have to leave home.
Paul Branoff is the CEO of a company called Truline Greens, makers of indoor, portable putting greens (they can also be used outdoors and are perfect for an office setting). We know what you're thinking: "I've tried those cheap, roll-up turf greens before. They're nothing like the greens I deal with on a golf course."
No argument here other than this -- that's because you haven't tried Truline yet. While a Truline green does roll up, that's only for your convenience. Truline delivers the ideal year-round practice surface that will help build confidence to step up to those 5-10 foot putts and drain them every time.
Incredibly, even with its synthetic surface, Truline greens are available in the speeds you encounter on the golf course. One speed available comes in at 9.9 feet on the Stimpmeter -- the pace most amateur players see on the course; the other is Tour Speed, which is 12 feet on the Stimpmeter.
A Truline green can be customized to your preferences, but here are the standard sizes available with their particulars:
- Big Murph 12’ Long x 65" Wide
- Little Murph 10' Long x 45" Wide (stance end), enabling you to stand on the putting surface and putt from various angles
- Will not leave “trails” or “grooves” on putting surface
- Regulation cup (4.25” diameter)
- Ability to easily create various degrees of break (system provided)
- “Backstop” to prevent balls from rolling off end of putting surface
- 18” of putting surface beyond cup (ideal putt believed to roll 17” past the cup)
- Indicators may be placed on both sides of green, at any distance, to assist with various practice putting drills
- Portable: Rolls up easily for storage or transportation. Lightweight.
The Big Murph and Little Murph are a nod to five-time PGA Tour winner and longtime commentator Bob Murphy, who helped develop the greens.
The Big Murph is available for $409 at the standard speed, or $429 at the Tour Speed. Little Murph, meanwhile, is available for $309 at the standard speed, or $329 at the Tour Speed.
We recently had a chance to chat with Branoff to learn more about the greens.
PGA.com: What is it that got you into the business of creating these greens?
Branoff: Simple -- winters in Michigan. And I couldn’t find a high-quality, portable putting green at a reasonable cost.
PGA.com: Tell me about the quality of your greens -- it's certainly not the standard turf mat you can pick up at the local sporting goods store.
Branoff: I believe we have the highest quality material and workmanship possible. Our greens are cut and assembled by highly skilled people using only the best material and equipment. They are 100 percent made in Michigan, with the exception being the raw/base material, which comes from an excellent source in Georgia. The material they ship us for the "regular" Murph green is only made for our company.
PGA.com: How are you able to create Tour-level green speeds on your artificial greens?
Branoff: We use the same base material, but the mill in Georgia "shaves" or "trims" the surface to the height we need for faster speeds.
PGA.com: Can you talk a little about your offerings from a size perspective? It looks like you have a couple of "standard" sizes, but you can also customize, can't you?
Branoff: Our greens come in standard 4’ x 10’ and 6’ x 12’, but we do offer custom sized greens, also, to suit our customers’ needs. We have shipped greens 6’ x 27’, 12’ x 29’, 4’ x 22’, 6’ x 15’, etc. We can manufacture from 12 feet wide to lengths up to over 100 feet -- but then they wouldn't really be portable.
PGA.com: Bob Murphy is a big endorser. Furthermore, a couple of your products are named after him. Can you tell us a little about Murph's influence with Truline?
Branoff: Murph and I go back to the mid-90s and I know him from playing golf with him; and I thought that with his stats and reputation as a great putter, he would be a wonderful person to help with our greens.
A few key points in our greens from my collaboration with Murph called for a wider green at the "stance" end to putt from different angles and with different degrees of break. With a wide stance end, you're also able to stand on the same surface as your ball, which is very critical, especially for the better player. We also have 18 inches of green behind the cup for distance control practice, and a true rolling/realistic surface.
PGA.com: How long have you guys been in business?
Branoff: Since 2008.
PGA.com: What has been the highlight for Truline so far?
Branoff: Luckily, we've had a few. TaylorMade asked for a Big Murph for use on the TV Show "The View." TMAG (TaylorMade/adidas Golf) was launching its Ghost putter series and believed our green to be ideal for the show.
Our greens were used by a leading putting analysis system company at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando two years in a row, and then Dave Stockton and his sons used our green in their booth at the PGA Show and Dave was kind enough to place advertisement for us at the booth and allowed me to share the booth with him. He introduced me to countless people from the Tours, who now use our greens.
At the end of July, our greens will be in the men's locker room for players wishing to relax by putting during their breaks at the BB&T Atlanta Open professional tennis tournament.
PGA.com: Can you talk about the significance of the ball stopper that sits behind the green -- you know, other than to stop the ball?
Branoff: There are leading putting instructors who believe the ideal putt should roll 17 inches past the cup, so we placed a backstop at 18 inches. If you hit the backstop, you’re putting a little too aggressively.
PGA.com: What does the future hold for Truline?
Branoff: We have begun shipping to Canada and we will continue to look into how to distribute to Australia, the UK, and Europe. We receive numerous requests from overseas, but shipping costs make this prohibitive -- at least at this point. Another future market I believe is ideal, based upon their love for golf and tight space requirements, is Japan. We don’t advertise yet, but have been growing only by "word of mouth" so far.
PGA.com: Can you tell our readers how they can get their hands on a Truline green?
Branoff: Readers can visit our website at www.trulinegreens.com. Locally, in Michigan, there are a few retailers and golf clubs carrying our greens. We do offer professional discounts to professionals, instructors, and schools.
To learn more about Truline Greens, visit www.trulinegreens.com.
You can also follow Truline Greens on Twitter, @TrulineGreens.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.