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Korean Gadget Report, Pt. 1: Meet the Puttist

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Since the days of Marco Polo, the Far East has been a source of mysteries, full of new wonders and…OK, that intro seems a bit much for today’s context, but nonetheless, I think a lot of GolfWRX readers in English-speaking countries will appreciate the many interesting golf gear available here in Korea.

With that said, I would like to share my experience with one of the most effective putting aids I have seen here in Korea, and something I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Just say NO! to three putts with the ‘3 putt killer’

Direction vs Speed

What aspect of putting would you say is more important – direction or speed control? If you have three-putted as often as I have, I’d venture that you chose the latter. And most pros I spoke to also agree that speed or the amount of “weight” you put on a ball is more often the deciding factor of a good putt.

I consider myself a semi-serious golfer and put in a fair amount of practice towards both putting accuracy and distance control. I have bought many training aids over the years and have always had a large putting mat at home and the office for those days I couldn’t make it out to a practice green.

But looking back, I realized that all of my putting practice revolved around putting towards a hole or a target for accuracy. I couldn’t recall a single training aid or a putting lesson that really taught me how to control my putting distance. Most often, I would hear “it’s a matter of practice” but nothing more specific than that.

In addition, practicing longer lag putts necessitates that I visit a real putting green, and even then I would only be getting accustomed to that particular green speed only to start all over again on another course.

I had thought I was a pretty good putter from within 6 feet, but my score wasn’t reflecting it. Simply, my problem was not that I couldn’t make 6-footers, but that I was leaving too many 6-footers from the hole on my lag putts.

(Sturdy and portable to take anywhere, the Puttist allows lag putt practice of up to 50ft)

Enter the Puttist

The Puttist is a portable and rechargeable digital putting aid that helps golfers build muscle memory to consistently roll the ball to any distance between 6ft to 50ft. It is also labeled the world’s first”putter meter” as it uses a putting surface of only about a meter long.

Attached to the end of the putting surface is a smart sensor, an innovative technology that translates the force of the impact and displays the distance the ball would have rolled on a real green.

Similar to other putting mats of this size, the Puttist requires only one ball that allows you to stay relatively in place without having to go and fetch the ball from the hole after each putt. This provides a more effective putting session because I can save time while focusing more on maintaining the feel for the putt, stroke after stroke.

In addition to being easier on my back, the machine also offers a variety of putting games that mocked challenged me to putt better. For example, one game presents 7 random distances between 3~9 meters, and only the putts that go past the hole (but not beyond 50cm) are considered as successful putts. Like the saying goes,“never up, never in.” In terms of accuracy, the LED shows whether your putt was slightly pulled or pushed with an arrow if you miss the center of the “hole.”

(Puttist offers three speed settings of Slow, Average, and Fast at about 8, 10, and 12 on the Stimp meter)

I have been using the Puttist for over a year now, and I still find it tough to walk by without having a go at one of its games. The immediate feedback of whether a putt was successful or not, coupled with a visual total score after each game made for a powerful motivator. To this day, I have yet to get the Holy Grail score, which requires the perfect distance right on the number, seven times in a row.

Eventually, my body began to form its own baseline sense of “putting distance,” and I was able to visualize the amount of backswing and follow-through I needed to register a certain distance on the Puttist.

That’s all well and good as a game, but does this help on an actual course? After all, the green speed on golf courses will vary on any given day with some being painfully slow, while others may be as fast as glass.

(LPGA star In-Kyung Kim says the Puttist has helped her to win the 2017 Women’s British Open Championship)

The answer soon became evident on the practice greens before a golf round. While I was hitting some practice putts, I learned that the ingrained “feel” for distance only needed to be tweaked a bit to get accustomed to the different speeds of the green. For example, if my 10-foot putting stroke only rolls eight-feet, I’d simply adjust to hit my putts to 12 feet for that day.

In this simple manner, I was able to decrease the number of 3-putts from five or six times a round to almost zero, since I was now effectively lagging all my putts to tap-in distances. And it didn’t matter whether the greens were fast or slow as I just had to adjust for the new speed and let my ingrained muscle memory roll the ball to the distance I wanted.

To be sure, I wasn’t making one-putts any more than what I was used to. But the immediate absence of three-putting visibly improved my score.

I am sure there are many putting training aids out there that help golfers, but the Puttist was the only one I have encountered that helped to control my putting distance.

(Dr. Kim Dong-guk says he was motivated to invent the Puttist to stop 3-putting, while finishing his Doctorate at
the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in advanced sensor technology)

As for the price, it is about 170,000 KRW, which would be about $150. Personally, I think it is well worth the price, as golf lessons aren’t cheap these days. And even then, it is difficult to learn the feel for distance, as it isn’t something that can be taught easily.

The Puttist has now entered its 10th year in existence and has been voted as one of the best golf training gadgets here in Korea. And with Winter just around the corner, I predict we are going to be seeing a lot more of each other.

Now if I can only find an equally good putting aid that helps me to read the breaks on the green, I’d be golden come spring… Any thoughts?

Stay tuned for more golf gadget updates from Korea!

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James is a golf gear-nut living and writing about all things golf in Korea. A fan of Tiger, Fred, and Seve, he is forever seeking the holy grail of golf clubs that will lower his score. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada and has been in Korea to witness the explosive growth of golf since 1996. Despite playing golf for over 30 years and being a perpetual 10-handicapper, James steadfastly claims to be the embodiment of the Average Joe Korean golfer. He can be reached at [email protected], and often introduces cool new Asia-based golf gear on YouTube and Instagram.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2021 Virtual PGA Show: Things we loved, Day 1 – GolfWRX

  2. PUTTIST

    Nov 23, 2020 at 5:37 am

    Any question?

    [email protected]

  3. Ed LeBeau

    Nov 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    James, Please help the golfing world to give up the notion of “muscle memory”. Ask any doctor, psychologist, physical therapist, or biologist. Muscles have no capacity to remember. There is no such thing as muscle memory. Any effort build muscle memory is a fool’s errand. Muscles cannot remember. They can only respond. They respond to nerve input from the brain’s motor cortex. We can improve our distance control–but not through muscle memory.

    • Micah Kim

      Nov 20, 2020 at 3:27 am

      I agree that muscle memory is governed by the brain.

  4. Scott

    Nov 16, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Are there different versions or are they all the same as the original?

    • Micah Kim

      Nov 20, 2020 at 3:26 am

      There are 2 kinds of things by the distance unit, meter or feet. Need to take care when buying. All is rechargeable in US.

  5. Kevin

    Nov 14, 2020 at 12:25 am

    Where can I purchase one for the US? Does their site ship to US?

    • Douglas Kim

      Nov 14, 2020 at 6:17 am

      Amazon or ebay searching by PUTTIST

    • Micah Kim

      Nov 20, 2020 at 3:30 am

      We have some in Amazon warehouse and in Seattle area.

  6. Carolyn

    Nov 13, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Just another great part of Golf..Golf Gadgets and training aids….Golf is a hobby that lots people go crazy with or buy a set of clubs some topflight golf balls and enjoy the day, so many choices…Still making the tee time is number one.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Tiger Woods 2007 Tour Championship WITB

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Tiger’s what’s in the bag for his eight-stroke win at the 2007 Tour Championship. 

Driver: Nike SasQuatch Tour 460 (7.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 83 TX

3-wood: Nike SasQuatch II (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 TX

Irons: Nike Forged Blades (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Nike Pro Combo (56), Nike SV (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Nike One Platinum TW

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Related: Tiger Woods WITBs

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GolfWRX Member Experience: TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedge fitting at The Kingdom

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We had four very lucky GolfWRXers who got to take a trip down to TaylorMade’s Kingdom at Reynolds Lake Oconee to get fit for the new Milled Grind 3 wedges (which arrival at retail today). And as if that weren’t enough, the fortunate forum members also got to take a trip to the Tour Championship at East Lake for a peek inside the TaylorMade truck and a look at Wade Liles’ beard in the flesh, or…hair.

While there are plenty more observations and a full gallery of photos in the forum thread, we wanted to highlight recaps from a couple of the four WRXers (@drvrwdge, @madeinguam81, @agadawg17171, @rebby).

@drvrwdge

So just to kind of reiterate what everybody else has already said, Greg was our fitter for the wedges. Greg chased the dream for seven or eight years and had his tour card at one point but his love and passion for club design ended up taking him down a different path. Greg has always been super passionate about the short game and wedges and played an integral part in the design of the MG3 wedge.

Greg gave a brief presentation in the morning about the design characteristics of the MG3 how it differed from the MG2 and why they did what they did design-wise with the new wedge. In short, the design is all about optimizing launch and spin conditions to make the wedges as accurate as possible. Movement of material and the shape to optimize feel and center of gravity location for the proper trajectory control. Center of gravity, which is progressive through the set, which is what a lot of people do placing it higher in higher lofted wedges to keep trajectory down and lower in the lower lifted wedges to keep it up. There is a new groove or face feature this year in addition to the raw face. They have actual raised ridges, where with the MG2 used laser etching on the face which they realized wore off faster than they wanted it to. With the raised ridges that is not an issue. This was primarily done for additional spin in that less than 60-yard range as opposed to more spin on full shots. There was also some slight changes made to the sole and grinds in the different bounce options to optimize turf conditions as well.

For me hands-down the club that absolutely stood out as head and shoulders above the rest and actually took me into a direction I never thought I would go was the 46° pitching wedge. I have never understood playing a non-set pitching wedge especially one that is not the same brand as your iron set but with the way Greg was able to explain the advantages of playing the non-set wedge, he was able to change my mindset to looking at the wedges as a set of clubs as well as looking as the irons as a set of clubs but having those be able to be two different sets really convinced me to go this route. And trust me when I say it’s probably the best-looking club I’ve ever seen. The lines, the shape, the size, the way the leading edge sits on the ground and the flow of the hosel into the top line it’s just absolutely perfect. And on top of all that it just flat outperforms.

I currently play SM8’s and Greg was able to get me into some different bounces than I normally have played which greatly improved my turf interaction on full and partial shots which in turn got me into my optimal launch and spin conditions. And they flat out just feel better than my Vokeys. I have never been able to do a wedge fitting on grass and I can honestly say if you are serious about your game, there’s absolutely no other way to do it. For me, that was the greatest thing about this trip, because I just don’t have anywhere near me that I could have done a wedge fitting on grass. And I had somebody with the knowledge to fit me properly.

…We hit shots from 70 yards with a 58/60 the full shots. We then went to the short game area for chips and pitches. Honestly the spin, launch and carry numbers didn’t different a huge amount from my current SM8 58M, Greg actually said my numbers were ideal and almost to the number the same as Collin’s (humble brag). What I did find was that they were more consistent getting away from the M grind. Turf interaction was much cleaner, and you could really feel the club enter and exit much quicker. And as I stated previously, the feel off of the face was much better. Softer and more solid.

Where I really think the raw face technology and the raised ridges shined was chips and pitches. Was easily able to hit the 20-yardd one-hop stop pitches with the MG3 where I wasn’t able to with the SM8. Keep in mind some of that may be related to the bounce as well. Cleaner turf interaction = cleaner contact = more spin.

@agadawg17171

I’m a 100 percent club ho and try just about every wedge that comes out. Over the years I’ve played them all. But I’m the end I go back to Vokey. They’re consistent and I like the more classic look. The MG3’s grabbed my eye as soon as I saw them on the forums for the first time. Then I got to see one in person at PGA SS and was even more intrigued. They just looked so good!!! The shapes were traditional with incredible lines. I knew right away I wanted to try them. I actually had a fitting scheduled until I got the email that I was selected for this experience.  Once I got the email, I knew I had to make it happen!

After hitting a few balls with my current gamers Greg put the MG3’s in my hand. These wedges are ??. My spin was up. The descent angle of the ball was better as well. The ball flight was great. But the thing that impressed me the most was the turf interaction. These wedges glide through the turf and do not dig! The CG and weighting has been moved up and out of the heel which makes them feel much more balanced and stable through the shot. The sound and feel are also much improved over the MG2.

I’ve always wanted a wedge with higher bounce that sits flat on ground at address. Greg and his team have made that happen without having to get a custom grind which is $$$ and tough to get your hands on. It allowed me to hit a bigger variety of shots, especially with my 54.

After running them through the gauntlet on the range, we went to the short game area. Things got even better down there! We took a few different bounce options and my gamers and dialed things in. The chip shots were drop-and-stop from a variety of conditions. Again the sole set perfectly behind the ball for my eyes and glided through the turf without digging. Even on mis-hits the ball was still close to the intended landing area. I was very impressed. At that point, I was pretty much sold but wanted to try it in the bunkers. Took the 60 into the bunkers and started with short shots to a tucked pin. I was able to get the ball up quick over about a 4-foot lip and onto the green. When the balls hit the green, they had a controlled spin and very little roll out past my target. After the bunker work, I knew I wanted them no matter the price!

The combo I went with is below.

  • 46 bent to 45 with steel fiber 110 CW
  • 50/8, 54/13, 60/12
  • Modus 125 Wedge
  • Went 1* Flat and 1/4” long. Can’t wait to get them in hand and will post more.

Check out the full thread here for more!

 

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (09/3/21): Scotty Cameron TeI3 T22 Newport 2 putter

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Scotty Cameron TeI3 T22 Newport 2 putter

From the seller (@Beege35): “Scotty Cameron TeI3 T22 Newport 2 — $1200. Brand new, never rolled a putt, tape still on face and sole. 34 inches.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Scotty Cameron TeI3 T22 Newport 2 putter

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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