Pros: The Navigator offers immediate feedback on alignment. It’s compact, lightweight and attaches directly to any putter. At $60, it’s cheaper than most lessons and new putters.
Cons: Users must be careful not to bend the lightweight aluminum aiming arms.
Who’s it for: Golfers looking to aim their putter down the target line on a more consistent basis. It’s great for the putting green or the carpet at home.
It is said that a golfer’s putting stroke is as unique as their fingerprint. So while it’s true that most strokes can be classified into a few general categories (strong arc, slight arc, straight back/straight through), every golfer moves their putter from Point A to Point B a different way. This is where the Navigator looks to find its place, maximizing a golfer’s aim and accuracy on the green regardless of their stroke type or the putter they use.
There’s also a great back story about the development of the product, which you can read about here.
Here’s the company’s boastful video on how the Navigator works.
Designed to improve a golfer’s aim in 5 minutes or less, the Navigator succeeds, at least for myself, where many other training aids do not. The positive effects begin to take effect immediately, as promised.
In order to test the claims that the Navigator can improve a golfer’s stroke in 5 minutes, I set out to gather the data to prove, or disprove that statement. I used SAM Puttlab to test my aim and direction before and after using the Navigator. The putter used to gather the data was a Cleveland Classic 2, 35 inches long, with a 71 degree lie angle and 3 degrees of loft.
Before using the Navigator, my aim on average was 2.5 degrees open to my target. My variance ranged from 1.17 degrees open to as much as 3.43 degrees open, a difference of 2.26 degrees. While those numbers don’t initially sound too high, they’re not very good.
On a straight 10-foot putt, a ball that starts on a line that’s 2.4 degrees open to the target will miss the hole on the right by 4.63 inches. As a reference, the diameter of the hole is only 4.25 inches. That means the putt will be missed by more than one cup to the right.
After using the Navigator, my aim was 0.1 degrees closed to my target on average, an an improvement of 2.6 degrees. My variance was -0.63 degrees closed to 0.28 degrees open, a total difference of 0.91 degrees. That was an improvement of 1.35 degrees.
If you look at the two bars on the right side of the charts, you can see that my aim initially was in the 58th percentile while my consistency, or how close I was to aiming the same way each time, was in the 59th percentile.
After using the Navigator, my aim improved to the 95th percentile and my consistency improved to the 94th percentile.
A second effect that the Navigator had, above and beyond my aim, was on my club face alignment at impact. Before using the Navigator, my putter face was on average 0.8 degrees open at impact and my variance was -0.18 degrees closed to 1.92 degrees open, a total difference of 2.1 degrees. These numbers put me in the 71st percentile while my consistency was only in the 58th.
After spending five minutes with the Navigator, my club face angle at impact, on average, was completely square and my range in club face angle was -0.46 degrees closed to 0.76 degrees open, a difference of 1.22 degrees. In this case, my face angle improved to the 88th percentile, and my consistency improved to the 91st percentile.
The Navigator produces immediate results, and at $60 it won’t break the bank. Its ready-to-use design allows golfers to go from setup to practice in just a few seconds, which sets it apart from its larger and more complicated counterparts.
In my experience, golfers are always more likely to use a training aid they can covertly slip in their bag. It’ll be there when they want it, and if their results are anything like mine they’ll want to practice with it a lot.