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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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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 New Ping putter series at WCG Workday

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This week, the PGA Tour is at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton Florida, and we were on-site Tuesday to spy some interesting things from the grounds and on the putting green where players were prepping for the first round of the WGC – Workday Championship where the purse is 10.5 million dollars!

It’s on the putting green where we spotted a whole line of new putters from Ping, and although we don’t have all the details about the new line there is enough visual technology to draw come conclusions including:

  • Dual-durometer inserts like the current Sigma 2 ( red accent )
  • Grooved insert technology
  • Heavy perimeter weighting on the heel and toe to increase MOI – assumed to be tungsten

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

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To see the rest of the pictures and read what GolfWRXer’s are saying about the spotted putters, check out the entire thread in the forums here: 2021 WGC Workday Championship – 2021 Ping putters

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Cameron Smith’s Scotty Cameron 11.5 putter at the 2021 WGC Workday

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In our forums, our members have been reacting to Cameron Smith’s new Scotty 11.5 putter. The flat-stick is a big hit amongst WRXers, and has even been described by one of our members as “basically perfect”.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Katke87: “Ooooh baby baby!!! Can’t wait to get my hands on a new 5 and 11 to see which is more wonderful.”
  • TIScape: “Love it! I’m a slant neck fan. Identical to Homa’s it appears.”
  • MillerTime859: “That’s basically perfect.”

Entire Thread: “Cameron Smith’s Scotty Cameron 11.5 putter at the 2021 WGC Workday”

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Bettinardi signs LPGA Tour rising star Patty Tavatanakit

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Bettinardi Golf has announced the official signing of former World Number 2 amateur and LPGA Tour rising player Patty Tavatanakit.

Entering her sophomore season on the LPGA Tour, Tavatanakit will play her DASS (Double Aged Stainless Steel) Studio Stock 3 putter, with the 21-year-olds first tournament this week at the Gainbridge Championship in Orlando, Florida.

Patty attended the University of California Los Angeles, where she became a 7-time winner and two-time WGCA First Team All-American. With her success at UCLA, Patty qualified and became the Low Amateur at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, where she finished T5. Turning pro shortly after, she earned the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year award in 2019 on the Symetra Tour.

Putter Specs:

Model: Studio Stock 3

Weight: 360 grams

Material: DASS (Double Aged Stainless Steel)

Face Milling: Micro-honeycomb

Finish: Black PVD

Speaking on joining Team Bettnardi, Tavatanakit said

“I was always a big fan of Bettinardi Golf during my collegiate days, and now I couldn’t be more excited to be part of their official Tour staff. Being able to visit their shop, see the technology, and try all their face millings to find my perfect putter was truly awesome.

The confidence I now have in my putting is the best it has been, and I’m really looking forward to this season and seeing it pay off on the greens.”

Tavatanakit joins a young lineup of LPGA Bettinardi Staffers, including Annie Park, Muni He, and PGA Tour stars, such as Matthew Fitzpatrick, Sam Horsfield Jason Kokrak, and long-time staffers Matt Kuchar and Fred Couples.

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