The Putting Cyclops Review
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Would you pay $100 to drop 12 strokes off your game? The Putting Cyclops claims that, “On average our users drop 12 strokes off their game after using Putting Cyclops only 5 times.”
The Putting Cyclops is a putting aid that can teach a straight-back-straight-through stroke, a massively arced stroke, or anything in between. In addition to shaving 12 strokes off your game, the inventors claim that it can cure the yips and help to stop you from watching the putter in the backswing. This skeptical spy put it to the test…
Ease of Use/Set Up – 10 Points
The Putting Cyclops clips together quite easily; set up doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes at the most. If you take it to a putting green, the only thing that would take much time is getting it perfectly aligned to a hole.
It should also be noted that ThePutting Cyclops can be used for right and left handed golfers without any modifications. They also include two different top pieces: one for center-shafted putters and one for all other types…no putter left behind!
As far as ease of use, The Putting Cyclops is quite simple once you decide what setting you want to use: simply allow the toe of the putter to “ride” the wall. The trick is deciding what settings will fit your stroke. On the instructional DVD, the inventor of The Putting Cyclops suggests that you try a number of different settings until you find one that feels good. You might also know the settings you want based on a putting lesson you’ve had or a philosophy you subscribe to.
Overall, after some initial calibration and decision making, The Putting Cyclops is quite easy to use.
Effectiveness – 30 points
The Putting Cyclops makes three major claims: you will have a consistent putting stroke, you will not watch the putter head, and it can cure the yips. I’ll address each one individually.
First, The Putting Cyclops claims that it will give you a consistent putting stroke, and that “on average our users drop 12 strokes off their game after using Putting Cyclops only 5 times.” Well, if it could shave 12 strokes off my game I would be on tour, so let’s get rid of that expectation right out of the gate. To me, this claim says more about their test group than anything else. Either they tested this on the worst putters in the universe or the “after” testing was done on a par 3 course.
Regardless of the claim, the idea of a putting path trainer has been around for a long time in the form of putting arcs and putting rails. Many players swear by them, and believe that they are ingraining the stroke through repetition. The Putting Cyclops essentially takes all of those trainers: arcs, rails, inside-down-the-line, down-the-line-inside, and rolls them into one device. If you believe in the idea of training this way, but haven’t found a device that fits your stroke, The Putting Cyclops could be for you.
Personally, I have a healthy skepticism about the notion that you can ingrain a putting stroke with a trainer like this. Alas, I currently lack the technology to test whether or not sheer repetition can change or ingrain a putting stroke. I am hoping to have access to such technology soon, and if I do, you can expect that this idea will be put to the test.
Next, The Putting Cyclops claims that their device will help you to stop watching the putter head and instead focus on the ball. Again, I was skeptical. The human eye has evolved to be attracted to motion (kudos to Golfspy Dave for explaining the science of this to me). The putter head moves, the golf ball doesn’t, so it’s obvious which one your eye will be attracted to. Ultimately, I found that The Putting Cyclops did not have a huge impact on whether or not I watched the ball or the putter. The more important factor was whether or not I made a conscious effort to focus on the ball.
As far as curing the yips, this is a claim I can’t test. I don’t have the yips, and I hope to never have them. If anyone has some firsthand experience with it, please share it with us.
Coming up with a score for this was very tough for me. Ultimately, given that the number of golfers who believe in arcs and rails is probably in the thousands, and I can’t scientifically argue against them, I feel inclined to say that this type of trainer could help. As those types of trainers go, The Putting Cyclops is very good because of its flexibility. Thus barring the results of future testing, I am going to give it a solid rating for effectiveness.
Longevity – 20 points
As always, longevity comes down to three things for me: is it effective, is it fun or rewarding to use, and is it easy to use. The Putting Cyclops is easy to use and the carrying case makes it easy to transport to the practice green. As far as fun, it’s no more or less fun than a putting arc or rail. It’s definitely fun to see the ball go in the hole a lot, but it’s not a ton of fun to hit the same putt over and over.
Value – 20 points
The Putting Cyclops can be purchased through The Putting Cyclops website for $99.97, which places it right in the heart of the training aid price range. Putting arcs and rails can be purchased for anywhere from $10 to $90, but the difference is that those devices can’t be adjusted to the stroke you want to make. The Putting Cyclops also has the added feature of not watching the putter head.
For a teacher who wants to adapt the device to different students, The Putting Cyclops is a good value. For the player who is going to set up the device once and never change it, the question of value is a bit harder to answer.
The Putting Cyclops does come with two DVDs. One explains the basic function of The Putting Cyclops and how to use it. It’s a solid “How To” video and won’t take up too much of your time. The other is a putting DVD by Michael Breed. I imagine that there are plenty of people who might prefer other instructors (I’m one of them), but there are some good tips and drills on the DVD.
Overall, I think The Putting Cyclops is an average value as a training aid.
The Peanut Gallery – 20 points
The Peanut Gallery’s response to The Putting Cyclops was generally lukewarm. The biggest question was, “How do I know what setting to use?” This reinforced my opinion that this is an aid that might be geared more towards teachers or players who have very strong ideas about how they want to putt.
With regard to “hiding” the putter head during the stroke, our test group was split. Some of the testers thought that this was a cool idea and felt that it was beneficial. Others argued that they still wanted to watch the head, and just watched the shaft or heel of the putter instead. The most knowledgeable member of the Peanut Gallery argued strongly that it is better to simply putt with your eyes closed, whether to cure the yips or just to teach feel and confidence, but he’s “not a training aid guy.”
The Peanut Gallery did like the carrying case and acknowledged that The Putting Cyclops was easy to set up and use. They also appreciated that it could be used for right and left handed players. While no one expressed disgust with the $100 price tag, no one voiced an interest in owning The Putting Cyclops at that price.
Ultimately your decision to buy The Putting Cyclops comes down to a couple of questions: 1) Do you believe that this type of trainer can improve your stroke? And 2) Do you know what type of stroke you want to train yourself to have? If the answer to both of these questions is, “Yes,” than The Putting Cyclops might be a great fit for you.
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