We have all played miniature golf. A game of simple putters and windmills. Putting never seemed so easy and fun. That said, real putting on real golf courses is a different beast. The greens are more subtle, the stakes seem higher and the equipment is far more refined and complex.
Putting requires a set of skills that are often overlooked or at least under-developed. With over half of a golf score typically coming from the putting green, it is time to focus on improving putting. Below we list and describe our view of the best putting training aids for improving your score on the greens.
A couple quick notes:
- All highlighted putting training aids have full posts dedicated to them. To read those reviews just click on the section title or product item name (printed in blue font)
- In this post we will not be talking about green reading nor putting speed. We will focus on aids that help with the basics of a proper putting stroke
- The Covid pandemic has impacted the availability and price point of some of our recommended products. We believe that both price and availability (where skewed) will come back into line over time
Best Putting Training Aids: The Golf Putter Wheel
Perfect contact is when the face of the putter strikes the golf ball square to the predetermined putting path without exerting any side spin.
The Putter Wheel is a great putting training aid in that it gives golfers immediate feedback on whether they hit the golf ball square and without sidespin.
Essentially the Putter Wheel is the same size and feel of a real golf ball with two side removed forming what looks to be a wheel. The aid is designed to hold true to line if hit square. If impact is not square the Putting Wheel will wobble off course giving instant feedback. We love “instant feedback” in all of our training.
The Putting Wheel can also be used as a head alignment aid for those who want to position their eyes directly over the ball. The sides of The Putting Wheel have red trim. If a golfer can see any of the red trim, it clearly will indicate that the golfer’s eyes are not directly over the ball. Instead, the golfer’s eyes would either be inside or outside of the top of the ball. Again, instant feedback.
When buying the Putter Wheel, the wheels come in single, two and three packs. We recommend buying a two pack or more. A single Putter Wheel could get frustrating in terms of continuously having to fetch it.
Best Putting Training Aids: Best Putting Arc Trainer
It is argued that a completely straight stroke theoretically leads to squared contact every time. The challenge is that the body, especially on long putts, wants to rotate around its spine. Thus, to hit a perfectly straight stroke, back and through, a golfer must make a lot of micro adjustments with arms, wrists and hands to hold off the body turn.
On the other side, a slightly arced stroke, it is argued, better conforms to how the body wants to move. The club tracks back inside the putting line, then squares up at impact and then tracks back inside the intended putting line.
The Putting Arc is a training aid that helps golfers learn how to rotate their bodies to perform a proper arced putting stroke. The hands, arms and shoulders rotate as one, enabling the club face to square up on impact without having to manipulate the putter head with hands and wrists.
We recommend the following two Putting Arc models:
- The T3 model is 20 inches long and is highly portable. Given its comparatively light weight it either needs to be pegged to the ground or weighted down
- The MS-3D model is 33 inches long and weighs 4 pounds. Given its size and weight it doesn’t need to be anchored to the ground and can be used indoors or out.
Best Putting Training Aids: Best Golf Putting Alignment Mirror
- The aids mirrored and lined surface helps a golfer see how his eyes are positioned over the ball. Are the eyes directly over, inside or outside the line of the ball? A golfer can also check to see if their putter head is squared to the ball
- The Eyeline Golf Putting Alignment Mirror has strategically positioned holes that golf tees can be placed into for various forms of stroke and gate training. For instance, a golfer can practice how far he takes the club back ensuring a concise and confident stroke. Or a golfer can set up gates for the club’s toe and heel to pass through to make sure the center of the club face hits the ball.
We recommend the Eyeline Golf Putting Alignment Mirror as our top choice for this type of putting training aid.
Best Putting Training Aids: Best Automatic Return Golf Putting Cup
Essentially, we cannot always go to a golf green to practice putting. The weather might be bad, or we might be stuck in our office or house for the day. The Automatic Return Golf Putting Cup gives us a simple and enjoyable way to practice putting when trapped inside.
While a simple concept, a few aspects of this automatic return putting cup make it a standout as a true putting training aid.
- Instant feedback (and penalty for a missed put). If the ball “enters” the cup appropriately it returns directly back to the golfer. If the putt is missed it has to be retrieved
- The cup has a lip on its front edge to encourage golfers to exert enough force for the ball to reach the hole and if unimpeded go slightly passed the hole. The putting gurus recommend 14 inches beyond the hole. The lip encourages adequate force
Whether bought as a gift or personal use, this putting training aid enables a golfer to practice without leaving the house.
As mentioned near the beginning of this post, putting typically makes up around 50% of a golf score. It is a stroke that takes little athleticism and can be significantly improved through practice. Start now and lower your scores!!