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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.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Pingback: Meet KOTI: The Korean Scotty Cameron – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Korean Gadget Report, Pt. 3: Unique Putter Face – GolfWRX

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

  4. PUTTIST

    Nov 23, 2020 at 5:37 am

    Any question?

    [email protected]

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

What is the benefit of using a wedge instead of PW or GW from the iron set? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the pros and cons of using a pitching or gap wedge from an iron set. WRXer ‘jpark0221’ kicks off the thread, asking:

“What is the benefit of doing this instead of using PW from the iron set, which is essentially 10i? I see a lot of pros using wedges from different brands (e.g. Vokey) instead of PW from the same set.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

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.

  • North Butte: “The only way you’ll know is try a different (specialty) wedge instead of the one marked P and see how it works. Give it a couple of dozen rounds, you can’t really tell whether a wedge has an advantage until you get used to playing various shots with it. My point being…they play those wedges because it’s what works best for their game. And you ought to play what works best for your game too. Your best choice won’t necessarily be the same type of club as someone else’s.”
  • Jc0: “If you look a little closer, you’ll notice that most pros who have a specialty 46/48 wedge usually play cavity backs. The speciality wedge is more blade-like to allow a little more control and the ability to play shots a little easier than the PW that matches their set would provide. If a pro plays blades, they usually have the same blade for PW.”
  • PureStrikes54: “Flighting shots lower, getting additional spin for stopping power and to hit it shorter, and minimizing the chance of hitting flier moon balls you can sometimes get with even players cavity irons. At that level, very few players want to be hitting their pitching wedge more than 150 yards. The wedge is a scoring club and is almost always being used to hit knockdowns to tweener yardages.”

Entire Thread: “What is the benefit of using a wedge instead of PW or GW from the iron set?

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (12/7/22): Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons

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At GolfWRX, 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 – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons

From the seller (@bdawg983): “Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons 4-PW. They have Project X 5.5 flex steel shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Midsize grips. Project X shaft bands have been removed. 4 and 5 are standard length, 38.5 and 38. They have P stamped on the hosel. 6-PW are .5 inch short (37, 36.5, 36, 35.5, 35). Played the last few seasons. They have A stamped on the hosel. A few dings and groove wear from regular play, but no browning. $300.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons

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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TaylorMade unveils all-new P770, P7MC, and P7MB irons

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TaylorMade Golf has today announced the latest evolution of its acclaimed P700 Series with the all-new P770, P7MC, and P7MB irons.

TaylorMade P770 Irons

The all-new P770 irons feature a thinner top line, less offset in long irons, and a shorter blade length when compared to the P790. With its hollow body construction and forged L-Face, the 2022 P770 is designed to provide elevated distance, forgiveness, and excellent feel in a smaller sized head.

The P770 features FLTD CG, a strategic design that positions the center of gravity (CG) lowest in long irons and progressively shifts it higher throughout the set to the shorter, weaker lofted irons. The tungsten weighting scheme in the long and middle irons has been redesigned, shifting more weight to the longer irons’ low tungsten mass and a reduction in the middle irons’ tungsten, resulting in an ascending CG through the set.

The aim behind the FLTD CG strategic design is to create easier launch and playability in the long irons while optimizing trajectory and spin in the scoring clubs. 

The P770 irons feature SpeedFoam Air, a technology introduced in 2021 with the launch of the P790. SpeedFoam Air dampens sound and strategically supports the face with a material 69 percent less dense than SpeedFoam, which was seen in the prior generation of the P770.

In addition to the added speed made possible by the thinnest P770 face TaylorMade has produced, the Thru-SlotSpeed Pocket and Inverted Cone Technology aim to help unlock increased ball speed across the face and forgiveness low in the face, where mishits happen most commonly.

“P700 Series irons need to be technical, elegant and timeless and the new P·770 design has all of that in spades. We wanted to take as much performance and hide it on the inside of the iron to where you look at it and it looks like a clean and classic iron with the pearl satin chrome finish and hint of mirror on the toe. On the inside, the technology we have poured in to this iron creates a product that we believe is truly one of one in this space.” – Matt Bovee, Director, Irons Product Creation

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: P770 is offered in 3-PW/AW and comes equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
  • Availability: Pre-order on December 6 at TaylorMadeGolf.com and at retail beginning January 20, 2023
  • Pricing: $1299 USD (steel) and $1499 USD (graphite)

TaylorMade P7MC Irons

The tour-inspired P7MC iron features minimal offset and perimeter weighting.

A narrow sole and tight leading edge aims to ensure consistency through the turf, while TaylorMade’s Compact Grain Forging process uses 2,000 tons of pressure, more than double the industry standard, with the additional force giving TaylorMade engineers precision control at a micro level, producing a tighter grain structure for the best possible feel and strength properties.

Compact Grain Forging seeks to deliver a refined composition inside and out, with the sophisticated craftsmanship coming to life with a satin finish and forged “Metal-T” within the cavity back.

Per TaylorMade, precision in P7MC is paramount, which is why the face of this iron is continued to be machined. Machining the face aims to ensure precision and quality with TaylorMade’s most aggressive score line geometry for exacting shot making.

“There’s no better feeling than a solidly hit forged iron. For pure ball strikers, the consistency of P7MC rivals anything in the marketplace today and has been a favorite among skilled golfers. For players who choose to combo, our cohesive design language allows you to seamlessly pair it with either P770 or P7MB. No two golfers play the game exactly alike, and one of the things I love about our P·700 Series family is the ability for golfers to personalize a set to match their needs and maintain aesthetic unity.” – Matt Bovee, TaylorMade Golf, Irons Product Creation

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: P7MC is offered in 3-PW and come equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
  • Availability: Pre-order on December 6 at TaylorMade Golf.com and at retail beginning January 20, 2023
  • Pricing: $1299 USD (steel) and $1499 USD (graphite) as seven-piece sets

TaylorMade P7MB Irons

As a result of detailed feedback from testing with Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa, the P7MB features a shorter blade length, brand new sole geometry, and progressive offset to create a minimalist profile that’s designed to control shot shape and trajectory.

The sole of P7MB is one millimeter narrower than the previous generation, meaning TaylorMade engineers had to add slightly more bounce to the leading edge which creates a completely different sensation through the turf. Total effective bounce is a combination of sole width and bounce angle, which engineers were able to perfect by increasing the bounce angle to keep the sole from getting caught in the turf.

The shorter blade length of P7MB allowed TaylorMade engineers to create an updated backbar using symmetrical geometry. This allows for more mass to be positioned directly behind the face to support the point of impact and elevate feel.

In addition, the P7MB also features the Compact Grain Forging and machined face and grooves that are also seen in the P7MC irons.

“The narrower sole width of P7MB is a direct result of testing and feedback from Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and our TaylorMade Tour pros. Rory and Collin worked with us to identify the right sole geometry and bounce to match what they were looking for and we perfected that with P7MB. Having two of the best players in the world being a driving force behind the design of this iron have us extremely excited to bring it to the marketplace.” – Matt Bovee, Director, Irons Product Creation

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: P7MB is offered in 3-PW and come equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
  • Availability: Pre-order on December 6 at TaylorMade Golf.com and at retail beginning January 20, 2023
  • Pricing: $1299 USD (steel) and $1499 USD (graphite) as seven-piece sets
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