By: Matt Saternus
If you ever get the chance to go to golf equipment mecca (the PGA Show), you will see that one thing this industry does not lack is putting trainers. From elaborate devices in beautiful packaging to products that were literally created in someone's garage, everyone seems to think that they have the next big idea in putting. Yet, in spite of all these training aids, the average golfer is still a rotten putter. Why? Well, we could look at the obvious reasons - lack of practice and talent - but I'd prefer to blame it on the fact that most putting trainers are terrible.
To help you wade through the piles of trashy training aids, and hopefully become a better putter, I've created this list of the best putting trainers on the market today. These are all devices that I have tested extensively, used personally, and used in my teaching. While a couple of them aren't billed as "putting trainers," they all share the most important characteristic for a training aid: they give the user clear, accurate feedback.
#1 Trueline Putting Coach
What It Fixes: Line, Speed, Reads, and Path
Simply put, there isn’t a more versatile putting trainer out there: Trueline can help you work on your path, face angle, speed, and reads. Additionally, it’s compact, easy to use, and effective in every application. Though it’s not the cheapest trainer on the list, I think your search for a putting trainer should definitely start with the Trueline Putting Coach.
It's also the putting aid trusted by US Open Champion, Justin Rose, and his coach, David Orr. So it's got that going for it. Which is nice.
#2 Tour Tempo
What It Fixes: Tempo
If you think Tour Tempo is just about the full swing, you’re dead wrong: it can have a near-miraculous impact on putting as well. The best part? You don’t have to choose between putting and the full swing: for $25 the Tour Tempo Total Game app includes tones to help improve your skills on the green as well as the ones that get you there.
#3 The Putting Fork
What It Fixes: Line, Reads
The Putting Fork is easily the most demanding putting aid that I've ever tested. Decent players shook their heads in frustration. An aspiring tour player texted me to ask, "Is getting the ball through there even possible?" Though it will cause more than its share of headaches, the Putting Fork also causes bad putters to become good ones. If you can consistently get the ball through the Putting Fork, you know you have control over your line which should translate to more made putts.
Bonus: The price of The Putting Fork has dropped $30 since the original review!
FULL REVIEW: http://www.mygolfspy.com/putting-fork-review
#4 Tour Striker Educator
What It Fixes: Stroke mechanics (wristy-ness)
The Educator is the biggest surprise entry on this list. When scanning my archives for possible winners, I totally missed the Educator because I (and most others) think of the Educator as a full-swing trainer. However, as I started thinking about the training aids I actually use in putting lessons, the Educator was very near the top of my list. No other trainer is as effective at helping students feel how “wristy” their stroke is. And, much like Tour Tempo, it’s versatile and highly affordable ($30).
What It Fixes: Line, Speed
Distance control is king on the greens, yet few putting trainers help you improve your speed. Puttist is one of the exceptions. A devilishly tough test of touch disguised as an in-home putting game, Puttist fools you into working on a part of your game that will absolutely impact your scorecard in a positive way. Though the price places it out of the reach of some golfers, Puttist is unquestionably effective.
FULL REVIEW: http://www.mygolfspy.com/puttist-training-aid-review
#6 The Putting Alley
What It Fixes: Line
The Putting Alley checks off many of the Wish List items I would have if I were dreaming of a putting trainer: usable indoors, no set up, instant feedback, and inexpensive. The main drawback of The Putting Alley is the lack of versatility: it helps you work on starting line (face control) exclusively.
#7 3Bays GSA PUTT
What It Fixes: Path, Line, Speed
For those that would love to own a SAM Puttlab but don't have a spare $10,000, 3Bays GSA PUTT is an affordable alternative. With data on everything from stroke shape to tempo to face angle, all packaged in a user-friendly app, this device can add purpose to carpet putting and a higher degree of precision to work on the green. One drawback is that the app does not include any built-in instructional information, so some players may struggle to figure out how to change their numbers.
#8 The Can’t Miss
What It Fixes: Line
Possibly the most unorthodox trainer on the list, The Can't Miss uses precision-made gyroscopes to train your hands to keep the putter face square to your stroke. For players who prefer learning by feel, this training aid is hard to beat. While the price tag could be a deal breaker for some, The Can't Miss does offer a money-back guarantee to anyone who doesn't think TCM has improved their putting.