Review: The Pill

by   (Senior Writer I)   |   February 7, 2014
The Pill Review
Review: The Pill Ronald Montesano
Performance
Looks and Feel

Summary: The Pill gets golfers focused on what's most important in putting: face angle at impact.

4

A training aid with no bad side effects


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Pros: The Pill is idiot-proof; you set it on its edge to practice your putting or on its side for chipping and bunker shots. If your stroke is off, The Pill won’t lie. It’s affordable, portable and easy to use.

Cons: The Pill looks like a fat Necco wafer or an Oreo cookie with dimples. Your friends will give you loads of grief for honing your stroke with a silver dollar pancake wannabe, even after you take their money.

Bottom Line: If you want to become a better putter, you have to develop a solid stroke and strong mental approach. One way to do this is to use smaller targets for your practice. Aim your ball at a smaller hole and the regulation one’s 4.25-inch diameter will seem wider. The Pill, which is roughly half the width of a golf ball, was built on the same concept. Roll it well and your stroke is in good shape. Cut across it and it will wobble or spin out.

Overview

The Pill is so simple that instructions aren’t necessary. All it requires is time. My suggestion is to work between The Pill and your favorite golf ball so that the stroke that you develop when training is subsequently transferred to the ball that you will use on the course.

Plain and simple, The Pill product measures face angle at impact. Too many amateur golfers get ball-bound when addressing putts. It doesn’t matter if the golfer is on the practice green or putting during the course of the round: it happens. The Pill has the potential to free golfers from that tendency.

When practicing with this product, golfers can line up The Pill to a preselected target, and then align themselves to that target at address. A simpler way is to pick a target once you square yourself to The Pill…or better yet, don’t pick a target! Strike The Pill as a child would, without care for its destination. All that matters is your stroke and the reaction of the little disk.

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The Pill is sold on the company’s website. For the curious ones, a single Pill may be purchased for $12.95. A sleeve of Pills saves you a bit of cash at $39.95, while a dozen Pills (a chipping set) are available for $129.95. A Pro Set of Pills, including 50 of the little guys, sells for $497.50.

The Pill offers a series of videos on its website, for the benefit of the customer. There’s an introductory video that shows how to align the disc for one and two-Pill drills. Another video shows how an inside-out swing path causes an open club face and a pushed putt, as well as a quick fix for the problem, while the subsequent video reverses the problem and examines how a closed club face may be caused by an outside-in swing path, with pulled putt as the bottom line.

There’s also commercial footage that shows the Pill’s ability to be used for chipping and sand play. The golfer lays The Pill flat, on the round side, then plays a routine recovery shot. The device either spins back-to-front (when contacted properly) or erratically in a sideways fashion, if the club face or swing path were not square to the target line.

Performance

The Pill promises to do one of two things: roll out or spin out. It does both when it should. The Pill is a modified golf ball and reacts to a putter-blade strike as any top-shelf orb would. If you have the time to use a chalk line or a set of pins and a string to visually lay out a straight putt, The Pill will serve you well as an alignment tool. If the line and The Pill appear to be misaligned, you’ll know that your eyes deceive you.

I made an effort to replicate the chipping and explosion shots practiced in the aforementioned video. You need to be quick with the eyes to look up and determine the spin, so it’s best to work with a partner (or a video camera) to monitor your path, face alignment and spin outcome.

Looks and Feel

The surface of The Pill is dimpled like a golf ball. It feels like a golf ball and is not distracting in any way. The Pill employs a Surlyn cover that offers a different feel from a premium tour quality ball; you’ll notice this most in the sound, which offers more of a click echo than heard with a urethane cover. For golfers who don’t use premium golf balls, the sound won’t present a problem.

IMG_1814

I struck The Pill with anser-style and high-MOI putters and found that the product sounded and felt as would an actual golf ball. Understand that it wasn’t similar to or like an actual golf ball, but as an actual golf ball would feel.

The Takeaway

The question the consumer must answer is, does the value of the The Pill justify its cost? I’d stake my reputation on the efficacy of The Pill, but I won’t give you a money-back guarantee. Could The Pill 2.0 have an alignment line on it, or would that be overkill? How about a Pill with a softer, tour-ball cover? There is room to grow for this teaching aid.

About

Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.


19 Comments

  1. MIKE COLLINS

    August 20, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I have had a set of 3 practice putting balls for 40+ years. They are called the “Align Pure Strike”. They are similar to the Pill but there are 3 differing widths. You start with the thickest one and when you are able to roll this smoothly you graduate to the next size down and eventually to the skinny one.
    By the time you can putt the skinny one smoothly you will have an excellent putting stroke.
    I pull these out every now and then for a refresher course. I thoroughly recommend them but they have not been available for years. Maybe the Pill makers can do something similar.
    Mike.

  2. george kolb

    July 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    How much of a kickback are you getting from the Pill? I agree with the guy who said he would rather get a bag of oreo cookies. My wife saw this item being pushed on the Today Show, and not knowing anything about golf she purchased them. They were quick to take her money, but when I told her to return them, we have not heard from them to this date. My next letter is to the Today Show to have them explain why they have people push things on the show who don’t back them up. Good Customer SERVICE! I will do everything in social media to tell people not to waste their money.

  3. Gus

    June 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I tried these at Golf Galaxy today and they are really neat. Came home and ordered a set of 3 from their website and used the Father’s Day discount code. They seem like a great training aid.

  4. Johnc

    May 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I got a bottle, I mean sleeve of “Pills,”
    And I love them!
    The Pill shows you immediately what you stroke is doing.
    The mistakes are more emphasized than a regular ball, forcing you to hit it “square”. You can kinda flub up a real put and have a decent result with a real ball. But with the Pill, you practice to eliminate the mis-hit bs putts all together.
    Thanks for the Pills

  5. Brett

    February 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    If people really want to improve their game they would take the time to practice putting and chipping not just ripping the ball as long as they can then go out and buy things like this use it for 5 minutes question why they aren’t getting better then go back to the long ball

  6. KCCO

    February 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I’m just baffled by their “deal” for a sleeve…..$.90 savings!?! That’s a bargain! LOL

    I’ll use a marker….doesn’t say anything about weight difference, and I like practicing with the cover feel of the ball I play.

    Conclusion, I’d rather buy $13 worth of Oreo’s

  7. Colm

    February 9, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Check out the “Putterwheel” which adds additional visual advantages with two inner red rings and a name line that will give you sighting and has a great feel …… may be what you are looking for
    I found the “real” ball marker that comes with it with two lines just brilliant when lining up my putts – one line good two lines better – I line it up and then forget it – and trust that line – then all i need to do is get the pace right …. I paid silly shipping charges from US to UK just to get my hands on one !

    website is here – http://www.putterwheel.com/

    • Coll

      March 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Putter wheel is weighted plastic crap- not actually like a golf ball. So what does it teach you?

  8. John

    February 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Why can’t I just take a crappy practice ball and cut it to look like this thing?

    • Ronald Montesano

      February 9, 2014 at 6:44 am

      I wouldn’t want to be remotely responsible for the damage you would do to your body and soul in the process! Is the avoidance/prevention physical harm not worth the price of The Pill?

      Thanks for the comment, John. Keep reading and commenting.

  9. Ronald Montesano

    February 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    A) Not like the Birdie Ball. The BB is an amazing product. I love it.

    B) Not covered by insurance, lad.

    C) Paul, the line rotates too quickly to be seen. This disk veers sideways when mishit, a more obvious flaw-revealer.

  10. paul

    February 8, 2014 at 12:48 am

    I think its a bit silly. I am sure a ball with a line is fine. Or a lesson with a pro is probably enough.

  11. Tony

    February 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I travel alot and these are great to practice the stroke with while in hotel rooms.

  12. Jeremy

    February 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

    My insurance covers it. Low co-pay too.

  13. tbowles411

    February 7, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Well, heck. It’s worth a shot. My putting is terrible!

  14. Ach Underhill

    February 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Does this perform like the Birdie Ball? I bought my brother a pack of the Birdie Balls (4) for like $12 for Christmas, and they are awesome.

  15. MattyTeaks

    February 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

    “a single Pill may be purchased for $12.95. A sleeve of Pills saves you a bit of cash at $39.95″

    $39.95 / 3 = $13.32

    That’s not exactly saving a bit of cash. Sure it’s not $35.95?

    • tbowles411

      February 7, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Yeah, math is funny like that! :)

      • Ronald Montesano

        February 9, 2014 at 6:45 am

        Currently $37.95 for a three-pack, as per site.

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