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PGA Tour caddie Tim Tucker launches True Aim ball markers to help you read greens better (plus, Bryson’s feedback)

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Tim Tucker – a veteran PGA Tour caddie, who most notably worked with Bryson DeChambeau from 2016 until 2021 – has turned his green reading expertise into a new True Aim Marker, which is a ball marker designed to simplify the green reading and alignment process in order to make more putts.

Tucker’s True Aim ball marker designs started as prototypes for testing on the PGA Tour, and now that Tucker has proven they to work effectively, he’s teamed up with Bettinardi Golf – and its parent company X-CEL Technologies – to manufacture a retail version for the public to purchase.

Bettinardi is currently CNC milling the True Aim ball markers out of its Tinley Park, Illinois, headquarters, and the ball markers have officially become available on the True Aim website.

Before we get into how and why the True Aim markers work, let’s first get into how they came about.

When DeChambeau and his team reached out to Tucker to fill a newly opened caddie position in 2016, Tucker was fresh off a five-month PGA Tour caddie gig with Tyler Aldridge, and DeChambeau was without a caddie himself. As Tucker told GolfWRX.com in a recent interview, he believes he got the call due to his already-proven green reading abilities.

The history between Tucker and DeChambeau dates back to when Tucker taught a young 15-year-old DeChambeau his green reading techniques at River Bend Golf Club (now called Dragonfly Golf Club), in Madera, California. Years later, the duo met back up – this time professionally – in 2016 when Tucker began caddying for DeChambeau on the PGA Tour. The duo eventually won multiple Tour events together, including the 2020 U.S. Open, before they split in July 2021.

Tucker was a military man out of high school, and after working for the state department in Washington D.C. for three years upon his return, Tucker entered the golf business as a PGA apprentice. His journey took him to him Bandon Dunes to work as a caddie; during that time, Tucker was fully committed to learning everything he could about putter fitting and green reading. He was a sponge for knowledge, reading books and picking the brains of the industry’s smartest putting experts such as putter maker David Edel, top-100 golf instructor Mike Adams, and Aimpoint inventor Mark Sweeney.

At the time, Tucker was amassing invaluable knowledge of how to help golfers make more putts. In the mid-2000s, as an established green reading authority, Tucker was tasked by DeChambeau’s golf coach Mike Schy to come teach green reading techniques at his golf school. It was there that DeChambeau and Tucker first hit it off.

DeChambeau, the ever-fascinated and willing-to-learn student that he is, came to all six school sessions over the three days that Tucker was teaching.

As Tucker revealed to GolfWRX.com in a recent interview, there’s five things a golfers needs to know before reading a putt:

  1. The stimp speed of the green, or, “friction value”
  2. Where on the green is the “straight putt” to the hole?
  3. What angle in relation to the “straight putt” is the golf ball?
  4. How far are is the golf ball from the hole?
  5. What is the percentage of slope that the ball will roll across?

If it seems difficult to process all of that information for a single putt… that’s because it is.

“Green reading is amazingly complicated,” Tucker told GolfWRX. “There’s five things you need to know to read a putt, and it’s very difficult.”

Also, according to DeChambeau, amateurs struggle to commit to the correct target line even when given the proper amount of break to play.

“The biggest thing is that we tell amateurs to aim at a certain spot, and they never aim at that spot,” DeChambeau told GolfWRX. “They can’t aim there. They just are too afraid it’s not going to go in the hole. So they always pull it to the hole, rather than hitting it on the line that designates it’s going to go in the hole if you have the right speed.”

In order to help amateur golfers simplify the green reading process, and commit to playing the proper amount of break, Tucker developed a serviceable ball marker design that functions as an alignment aid.

Here’s how it works:

When approaching your golf ball on the green, place the marker down behind the golf ball, and aim the center line of the marker at the golf hole, without adjusting for slope. Tucker suggests drawing a line on your golf ball, using both center lines to aim directly at the hole, and using your putter shaft as a visual aid to ensure the line is pointed at the center of the hole.

When you’ve decided that the line is pointed at the hole, then you can pick up your golf ball to clean it, await for your playing partners to putt, and begin the process of reading the slope of the green.

Tucker’s new patent pending True Aim ball marker – manufactured by Bettinardi Golf – has nine lines on the top; there’s a center line, then four lines on the left and four lines on the right. Each line is designed to sit at a certain precise angle, but Tucker is keeping those angles a secret, because it’s proprietary information that’s crucial to its functionality.

While assessing the slope of your putt, and whether it breaks to the right or the left, simply grade the slope on a 0-4 scale.

0 means the putt is straight, so match the line on your golf ball with the center line of the ball marker, because it’s already pointed at the hole.

1 is a mostly flat putt, with a slight amount of break, so match the line of your golf ball with one of the white lines closest to center. If the ball is going to break to the right, then use the line to the right of the center line, so the line on your golf ball projects out to the left of the hole. If it breaks to the left, then use the line to the left of center.

2 is an average amount of slope, so use the red lines.

3 is a steep slope, so use the white lines toward the outer portion.

4 is severe, so use the small black lines on the outer most portion.

The ball markers have been tested and approved by several PGA Tour players, including DeChambeau and Adam Svensson (Tucker has also caddied for Svensson on the PGA Tour).

DeChambeau says: “I’ve definitely used it. It goes back to the principles of Vector putting from a long time ago. Whatever percentage of slope you believe to be on, it allows you to aim it down that line. If you start it on that line with the right speed, it’s going to go in the hole. It’s a great tool for amateurs out there, and even professionals, too, that are looking to line the ball up a little bit better and give you a perfect line for whatever percentage of slope you need… It’s a pretty ingenious device that will help a lot of golfers out.”

Svensson says: “True Aim is an extraordinary tool that has helped me understand how to read greens better and start the ball on line more consistently, day after day. Confidence is a huge part of putting and True Aim has allowed me to free up and sink more putts. I highly recommend this product and will be in my bag every time I tee it up!”

The simplified aiming concept started as an idea at the 2022 Valspar Championship while caddying for Svennson. While Tucker first experimented with engraving the lines onto a putter head, he realized that a ball marker would be more effective and consistent. That’s when he began making prototypes of the ball markers through Jayme Coggins, who owns Coggins Machine & Design, a company that makes boutique putters and golf accessories.

Needing more inventory after garnering positive feedback, and with plans to provide the ball markers to the public, Tucker needed a supplier to manufacture the markers on a larger scale.

That’s when Tucker successfully pitched the concept to Robert and Sam Bettinardi. The father-and-son Bettinardi duo runs Bettinardi Golf, a high-end putter company in Tinley Park, Illinois that specializes in CNC milled golf products. Tucker still owns 100 percent of True Aim Marker, LLC and its intellectual property, but Bettinardi manufactures the designs through its parent company, X-CEL Technologies, which is a manufacturing company that’s also owned by Robert Bettinardi and headquartered in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Tucker was drawn to Bettinardi and the company’s product fulfillment for two main reasons:

“One, they’re Made in the United States, and me being a veteran, I love that,” Tucker said. “And two, the high quality that they have. Bettinardi is known for having the finest milled putters, and I want my marker being the finest milled marker on the market. And I think that it is.”

With a price point of $100, Tucker’s new True Aim ball markers, which are milled from 303 stainless steel, are now available on the newly launched website. Tucker says that orders are received and shipped on the same day, and they will come inside of custom True Aim Marker packaging.

For feedback and additional photos of the product, head over to our GolfWRX forums.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Wait_What

    Sep 23, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Isn’t this just a rip off of a Scotty Cameron ball marker? I have one let me dig it out and see.

  2. Kf

    Sep 22, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Sooo, its aim point. Got it.

  3. Pete

    Sep 21, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Another aid, they need to start banning this stuff, along with aim point, lines on balls and all the other time waisting rubbish, we need to speed the game up a lot..!

  4. Paul Runyan

    Sep 21, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    I’ll wait until they show up at Costco for $9.00!

    Vector putting… no wonder a 14 year old.can better first time out than Mr D.

    Just sayin’

  5. Whitey

    Sep 21, 2022 at 11:31 am

    USGA illegal?

  6. Ryan

    Sep 21, 2022 at 10:40 am

    The angles are 3,6,9,12 degrees on each side.

    You’re welcome.

  7. jamho3

    Sep 21, 2022 at 12:40 am

    I’ll pay ANYTHING to put better.

    $100.

    Oh IDK….

  8. Tyler Durden

    Sep 20, 2022 at 12:37 am

    Ain’t buying anything from this arrogant Bettinardi’s

    • Will

      Sep 21, 2022 at 11:39 am

      Love the Bettinardi’s! Best in the biz, amazing family business story

  9. Karsten Solheim

    Sep 19, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Gadget

  10. Joey5Picks

    Sep 19, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    $100?! I was guessing $15 on the high end. Ludicrous.

  11. Ezekial

    Sep 19, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    Cameron made this about 15 years ago…

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Equipment

New Mizuno JPX923 irons: Everything you need to know

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What you need to know: Mizuno is launching the successor to its JPX921 series. Engineers leveraged the company’s custom-fitting program — including data from 350,000 golfers — in the creation of the JPX923 series, which includes five models: JPX923 Tour featuring a new V-Chassis and thinner topline, JPX923 Forged with features Mizuno’s third generation of chromoly forging, JPX923 Hot Metal, JPX923 Hot Metal Pro, and JPX Hot Metal HL all featuring new, faster 4335 nickel chromoly, which is 35 percent stronger than Mizuno’s original chromoly.

Mizuno JPX923 irons: What’s new, key technology

JPX923 Tour

Featuring a copper underlay for “Mizuno feel,” the JPX923 Tour is one-piece Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima Japan from 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel. Narrower top line and sole in tandem, more rounded trailing edge for cleaner turf interaction.  Features Mizuno’s new ‘V-Chassis’.

“The goal was to engineer a compact, players cavity back that looked and felt like a muscleback at impact. With the copper underlay and new topline, the JPX923 Tour is right there,” says David Llewellyn.

JPX923 Forged

Mizuno’s third-generation of chromoly forging places a wider milling slot heel to toe in the 4120 chromoly 4 through 7-irons as well as well as a thinner clubface. JPX923 Forged are mid-sized, full body Grain Flow Forged irons with a thinner topline and bevelled sole throughout. The scoring irons (8-GW) also feature more compact design and are forged from 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel.

“The new JPX923 Forged pulls off two impressive achievements. First it feels more solid even though it’s faster from the face. Second, it looks sleeker with a thinner topline and narrower sole even though it plays more forgiving,” says Chris Voshall, Mizuno’s Director of Product.

JPX923 Hot Metal, Hot Metal Pro, Hot Metal HL

With the JPX923 Hot Metal, Mizuno introduces “4355 nickel chromoly,” which is 35 percent stronger than the original Hot Metal material and allows for an eight-percent thinner clubface. Cup face construction works in tandem with a deep center of gravity for high launch with stopping power.

Mizuno developed Hot Metal Pro, Hot Metal and Hot Metal HL (High Launch) from 175,000 real golf swings recorded via Mizuno’s Swing DNA system and describes the three models as follows.

  • JPX923 Hot Metal Pro is a player’s speed cavity that’s compact, with minimal offset for confident ball-strikers seeking maximum ball speed. It’s suitable for low to mid handicap golfers.
  • JPX923 Hot Metal is a forgiving speed cavity suitable for mid to high handicap golfers. It features a full speed, high stability cavity for straight flight and distance.
  • JPX923 Hot Metal HL is a high launch speed cavity delivering a higher launching option for players with moderate swing speeds or aggressive shaft lean, it’s suitable for mid to high handicap golfers.

What Mizuno says

“The new JPX923 series was planned out with Mizuno’s custom ethos at its core” says David Llewellyn, Director of R&D for Mizuno. “We already offer more than 50 unique shafts within our custom program, by expanding to five iron models, there’s an ideal combination for every type of player.”

“We’re constantly evolving the JPX series based on more than 175,000 unique swings we capture every year on the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer,” says Bill Price, Mizuno’s Director of Fitting. “Recently we’re seeing an increase in the number of players with slightly slower swing speeds being fitted – and a trend to more shaft lean. Hence a slight increase in bounce angles through all the models and the introduction of the Hot Metal High Launch.”

Resident Club Junkie Brian Knudson’s take

Note: GolfWRX has not yet gotten an in-hand look at the JPX923 Tour or Forged irons. 

Mizuno’s Hot Metal HL irons look easy to hit and high flying with their larger sole and longer heel to toe shape. You can see some of the tech that is packed into these irons around the badge like the Harmonic Impact ribs and the Stability Frame. Like you would expect from Mizuno the finish quality and badging all look very good and catch your eye without the need for wild colors.

The Mizuno Hot Metal irons look to be the bread and butter of the lineup. The Hot Metal features a little smaller footprint than the HL, less offset, thinner top line, and narrower sole. The look from address will please most golfers and it is still packed with the technology for easy distance and effortless launch.

Hot Metal Pro irons are the smallest of the three but should still offer a great combination of looks and performance. They are still a little longer from heel to toe while offering the least offset and thinnest toppling of the group. The short irons are shaped really well and the whole set flows great from 4 iron down to the pitching wedge.

What they look like

JPX923 Hot Metal Pro

Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal

JPX923 Hot Metal HL

Pricing and availability

JPX923 Hot Metal Pro: 4-PW RH and LH
JPX923 Hot Metal: 4-LW RH and LH
JPX923 Hot Metal HL: 5-SW RH only

Tour, Forged will hit retail in February of 2023. Hot Metal models at retail late September.

  • JPX923 Tour/Forged – $187.50 per club
  • JPX923 Hot Metal/Hot Metal Pro/Hot Metal High Launch – $137.50 per club

Loft comparisons to JPX921

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Equipment

Mizuno introduces new JPX Fli-Hi

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Mizuno has today introduced the JPX Fli-Hi in a bid to meet every golfer’s demand for greater playability and easier ball-flighting potential at the longer end of the bag.

“We see a lot of players with moderate swing speeds who hit many of their longer irons the same distance – they just don’t have the clubhead speed or consistency of strike to launch the stronger lofted clubs. The JPX Fli-Hi is designed to give those players more practical distance gaps and consistency of flight.” – Chris Voshall, Mizuno’s Director of Product

The new addition features a 17-4 stainless steel face and 431 SS body in a bid to deliver an upgrade in ball speed, while the bendable hosel allows for adjustments in lie angle.

The clubs feature a lighter crown which allows for a higher ball flight, while a re-engineered Wave Soleplate is designed to increase the effective high ball-speed area of the Fli-Hi’s clubface to deliver more consistent ball speeds.

The JPX Fli-Hi is designed to slot seamlessly in to a set, with the models from #4 to #7 designed to correspond directly to the irons they have been created to replace.

The JPX Fli-Hi range features a graduating profile from fairway wood to hybrid to maximize playability. The 20 degree (#4) has a wider fairway type profile, moving towards a tighter hybrid type shaped 29 degree (#7) with a deeper face.

With a deeper center of gravity than the replaced iron, the JPX Fli-Hi is designed to produce more predictable launch and spin rates, thereby more reliable distance gaps between clubs.

The JPX Fli-Hi hits retail this month and costs $137.50 per club.

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Whats in the Bag

Taylor Pendrith WITB 2022 (September)

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Driver: Ping G410 LST (9 degrees @8)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green Small Batch 70 6.5 TX

3-wood: Ping G425 MAX (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green Small Batch 80 6.5 TX

Irons: Srixon ZX (3), Srixon ZX7
Shafts: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 100 6.5 (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore (46-10 Mid, 52-10 Mid, 56-10 Mid, 60-10 Mid)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46-56), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (60)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works Black 3T
Grip: SuperStroke

Grips: Golf Pride MCC, Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

More Taylor Pendrith WITBs

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