Putting aids: A little help

Podcast episode

Toy Box

Affordable, fun putting aids that work

James Achenbach previews three putting aids, which are fun, affordable and can help your game.

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Each year the PGA Merchandise Show is full of little surprises, and invariably several are in the category of putting aids.

Here are three putting aids that appeared to captivate attendees at the expo held last month in Orlando, Fla.

Of the three, only one, RoboCup (www.finetunegolf.com), hit the retail market before the PGA Show. The other two, Big Cup (www.bigcupgolf.net) and Ball of Steel (www.eyelinegolf.com), received no advance publicity and were complete surprises.

• • • 

Big Cup

The skinny: This is the newest creation of Rob O’Loughlin, former CEO of SoftSpikes and current president of rangefinder manufacturer Laser Link. Big Cup essentially doubles the size of the cup. Big Cup has a raised ridge around its circumference, forcing a golfer to generate enough speed to propel a ball up and over the ridge.

This optimum speed, according to inventor O’Loughlin, is equal to a putt that would roll 15 inches past the hole.

Cost: $27.95

Available: March 1


Ball of Steel

The skinny: This ball weighs a half-pound, or five times the weight of an ordinary golf ball. It is designed to help develop a compact, accelerating, authoritative putting stroke. Hit the Ball of Steel with a tentative, decelerating stroke and the result will be a double hit or even triple hit. The ball is covered with silicone so it won’t harm the putter face.

Cost: $24.95 (package of three)

Available: April 1


RoboCup

The skinny: RoboCup is a ball-return robot that will return balls up to 14 feet on an outdoor putting green. It runs on four AA batteries, which will last more than 12,000 returns, according to the company. RoboCup fits into the hole. Missed putts are guided into the hole by a semicircular cord that is included with RoboCup.

Cost: $59.95

Available: Immediate

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