The Big Review – PuttPucks Putting Aid

by   |   September 11, 2009

Of all the areas of the game that we all know we should practice more, it’s putting. The trouble is that putting practice just doesn’t have the allure of spanking one down the middle with a driver, puring an iron or fizzing in a wedge and watching it rip back.

We all know that practicing putting is the quickest way to lower your handicap but too many of the drills that we are told to do are just mindless repetition, not much fun or seem to have little relevance to actual putting. This is were the PuttPucks comes in.

The PuttPucks is 600 grams of finely machine aluminium with two outer rings around a center disc. There is also a poker chip ball marker (while stocks last). You can choose from a wide selection of colors, the standard colors are blue, silver and red which makes the PuttPucks look like a roundel from an RAF Spitfire. Given that I grew up next to what was a fighter base for the Battle of Britain, I didn’t see any need to change the colors. The build quality is superb, the separate pieces practically form a single disc when slotted together.

So how do you use it?¬† First off, it’s a rebound target, i.e you putt at the puck and watch at what angle the ball comes off. While this sounds pretty obvious considering its shape it’s actually pretty good. The idea is that you putt towards it from a relatively short distance and try to get it come straight back to you. While it’s not that hard to hit a hole sized target from a few feet, it’s actually quite a challenge to hit it dead-center. That you have a large target to aim at means that you’ll boost your confidence but you have to be unbelievably precise to get the ball to bounce straight back repeatedly. One of the direct effects of this practice is that not only do you develop a better idea of your aim point but you get used to taking a stronger and more confident stroke at the target. Since the vast majority of putting woes comes from being overly tentative this psychological side-effect has a marked improvement on putting, especially on shorter putts where practice with the PuttPucks makes you used to making aggressive putts at a hole sized target.

Secondly, it’s a series of targets. The beautifully engineered pieces disengaged to make 3 different sizes to aim at. The largest is the same size at the hole. The middle target is a ball width smaller so putts that hit this target would go in the cup. The smallest target is exactly the size of a ball and is reserved for the most precise and accurate drills. Altering the size allows you to emphasize accuracy on different length putts. Usefully, the PuttPucks website has a series of drills and games to improve both aim and distance control.

The third option is one reserved for the putting green and in some ways is the coolest use of the PuttPucks. As it fits into a hole on the green, you can reduce the size of the hole using the outer ring. For all the putting gadgets you can buy, the gold stardard is – can you get the ball in the hole? The sound of the ball hitting the bottom of the cup is what we all want and with the size of the hole reduced your focus becomes pin sharp and getting the ball in the hole is a real acheivement. After practising with the hole reduced, when you take it out the hole really does seem to be the size of a bucket. The only proviso with this is that your putting green cups need to be set up in the same way as the normal cups. If your club protects the side of the hole by not inserting the cup to the full depth you won’t be able to use the PuttPucks in the hole as it will sit above the putting surface.

The only negative that you can say about the PuttPucks is that most of what you can do with it, you can do with ordinary things like coffee mugs or egg cups but the PuttPucks is a brilliant putting aid – it helps with accuracy, confidence and precision and is very easy to use and it is designed to take the abuse of being hit – not something that you can claim for a mug. The vast majority of putting aids require too much setup or make you perform actions that are only vaguely related to getting the ball in the cup but everything you do with a PuttPucks is directly related to putting and you can use it anywhere: on the course, at home or even in the office (so long as no one catches you!). If you’re looking to improve your putting or you’re looking for a present for a golfer that has everything, you really don’t need to look any further than a PuttPucks. Highly recommended.

For more information, visitwww.puttpucks.com

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