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gavinski91

 
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About gavinski91

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  • Birthday October 18

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    @gavin.i.willis

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Lynden, WA
  • Handicap:
    20.7

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  1. Wow, you really dug in to this! I think my experience was similar, although I found value in different things. To answer your one question, the maximum putt length on the green is 95 feet - anything further than that and you're off the green (although I didn't notice that slowing the ball down at all). My preference is to train for ball speed, not putt distance, because ball speed is consistent when the swing is consistent, whereas putt distance varies with green speed. I plan to address this in more detail in my final review and see if it actually helps me on course though. I've been mentally associating specific ball speeds with specific stroke lengths, which helped immensely in Challenge mode. As far as data display goes, you get much more in-depth data when you do an "Analysis" set from within the Practice mode. It takes I believe 35 shots to get through (there's a countdown near the bottom left of the screen) and then afterwords you can view all the data, broken down by putt distance. Once you've done it 5 times it will show you your data over time (I haven't gotten to that point yet). And finally, on the topic of sound - I agree with you that the putt sound is unnecessary. I also really dislike the sound of a sunk putt, first of all because it sounds like a cast iron cup, and second because the sound is exactly the same every time, whether you ram the putt off the back of the cup and in, or if it just barely drops into the front of the hole. Maybe my irritation is just a result of sinking so many putts though ..... #humblebrag
  2. My final thoughts on challenge mode: I suspect this will be the least-used mode for me moving forward. Reading a green on a 2-dimensional screen is very difficult to do, and doesn't translate well to green reading on the course. I think the largest benefit will be in being able to compare putt speeds up and down hill at any given green speed to a flat putt. Over the next week I plan to put together a chart that tracks ball speeds vs putt distance on different green speeds - once I have that I'll be able to see that, say for theoretical example, a 20' putt that goes downhill by 6" will play like a 16' putt on flat ground, and be able to adjust my putting stroke as necessary.
  3. Best I managed to do was a 249. Those 8 made putts ended up representing 10% of my score. Here's a picture showing the amount of curve that the mat can get - the result is about 1" of curve over the full length (represented by 1/2" at the halfway point). Unfortunately I wasn't able to putt consistently enough to determine if it had an impact, but I'd imagine that it would. I also tried to find the limit of what the sensor can pick up. I couldn't get it to track any shots harder than 18 mph (it just wouldn't register). This was the longest putt I managed to record. Shows just how crazy that 139' putt that Michael Phelps holed was!
  4. Ticked 5 holes off the list today, including the first hole which I always struggle with, and two difficult par threes on the front 9. Missed GIR on all three of those, but my chipping was feeling really good today - was within an inch of chipping in on 3 separate occasions. My hybrid felt really good off the tee today as well so I was going with that over my driver most holes, which seemed to help as well.
  5. As someone currently playing D200s and liking them quite a bit, I'll be paying close attention to this test! Good luck to everyone applying!
  6. Need to do some more testing over the weekend to confirm, but I think I discovered a possible issue with the system (technically a user error, but the user would never know). Since the mat is made of a slightly stretchy, neoprene-type material, it is possible to set up the mat so it is curved, which would confuse the software. I had a few shots last night that according to the markings on the mat were hit just right of the target, but the simulator measured as going left of the cup. I'm going to do some testing with the mat intentionally curved in one direction, then the other, then with it aligned with a straight-edge, to see how much of an impact that has.
  7. I always thought that "the ocean is full of trash!" was #fakenews, but @Lacassem has proven to me today that we have a serious problem that we need to deal with!
  8. I was doing some more "testing" (read: putting practice) last night and was really struggling to keep my face angle close to zero (my goal is to never have a face angle greater than 1° in either direction). So I'll have to see if I can figure out what the issue was there - was it a lighting issue with the system struggling to accurately read the face angle, or is my putting getting worse with too much practice time? And since I'm never happy unless I can "fix" the problem, I'm going out now to buy a new putter grip. Maybe that will solve all my problems! Either way, the EXPUTT system will give me an easy way to determine if the new grip gives me any improvement. More updates to come!
  9. I mean if I saw these consistent numbers from @GB13 or @B.Boston I would be giving the club all the credit, but in this case I think it's all about who's behind the wheel.
  10. Gavinski91's EXPUTT Review Introduction Well I’m a full week behind the rest of the testers due to a vacation I had already planned with my wife, but I think getting away from the busyness of work and life and spending some time surfing and laying on the beach was the refresh I needed to attack this test with gusto! Since I’m new to the forums I’ll take some time here to introduce myself! My name is Gavin, and I’m from the far northwest of Washington State (literally right on the border). And although I do ski, the nickname predates that! I definitely don’t have the same amount of experience that some of the other testers have (looking at their intros, some of them have been golfing regularly for longer than I’ve been alive!) but I think I have a background that might resonate with quite a few forum members. I first swung a golf club in the late 90s, when my dad had the local golf shop cut down his old wood-headed driver and an old putter to a length that worked for an undersized 8-year-old and took me to the local driving range and mini-golf course. However, it wasn’t until 2016, when I had finished my undergrad and graduate degrees and had a full-time job, that I started getting serious about golf. Between those times my sports focus was mainly on baseball and ice hockey, which allowed me to develop swing mechanics and strength that, although perhaps not entirely traditional, translated well to golf. I could go into detail about my handicap (20.7), swing tempo (high), etc., but to be completely honest I don’t think that information is relevant to a putting test. If we go back to my hockey roots, hitting a driver off the tee or an iron on an approach shot is like a slapshot or wrist shot in a game situation. Putting, however, is more like the fan during the intermission trying to score from center ice into a small slot in a barrier at the goal to win a new car – the mechanics are different, and strength and form don’t matter. The only relevant thing is being able to get the shot on the correct line with sufficient power. When it comes to putting, my biggest strength has always been being able to read the correct line. My process is usually crouching back behind the ball and imagining the full path that the ball will need to take, starting at the cup and working back to where my ball is. This allows me to determine my starting line, and if I can hit that line I can be pretty confident about having a really good chance of holing the putt. The issue for me has always been consistently hitting the starting line for my putt path of choice and having the proper speed on the putt, which for me has been 90% about feel and maybe 10% about stroke/backswing length. I typically average 3.5 three-putts per round (median of 3), and over my last 5 rounds my putts/GIR is a half stroke worse than my putts/hole, so obviously lag putting is a weakness. This is where I think the EXPUTT has the biggest opportunity to help me improve. Other testers have already gone into detail about the packaging and unboxing, so I’ll skip that. I will say that the branding is excellent, with a few smaller touches that are really nice, like having the camera and the shock absorber share some visual elements. Disappointingly, some of the components right out of the box looked and felt cheap. The power adapter in particular looked like it was sourced from the cheapest provider available on AliBaba – the USB port was crooked, the entire unit was bulky and made of low-quality plastic, and nothing about it suggested that it belonged in the same box as a $400 putting simulator. While the manufacturing and QC on the actual unit was significantly better than the power adapter, both the camera unit and the remote felt too light to be a high-quality piece of technology. While I’m aware that consumers wrongly equate heft with quality, and that many electronics manufacturers add internal metal weights to their products (such as headphones) to give the illusion of quality, it’s hard to get past the perception that a product that is very light must be made of thin, low-quality plastics. For comparison, the remote control from my Samsung soundbar weighs twice as much as the remote from the EXPUTT, even though they are the same size and utilize the same battery. Setup of the entire system was very easy for me, although for someone with less tech savvy it may be slightly more difficult, as you may have to navigate your TVs display settings to ensure that the entire display is visible on your screen. The time from when I cut the seal on the box with my pocketknife to my first putt in practice mode was 10 minutes. The menus are all straightforward and easy to navigate, although there are a few features which are named in a way that doesn’t make their purpose obvious. In order to replicate the experience of what I would imagine is most users, I plan to not look at the user manual until the very end of the test. I’ll leave the more in-depth software critique to @cnosil who is experienced in software testing. I will say that the menus are all straightforward and easy to navigate, although there are a few features which are named in a way that doesn’t make their purpose obvious. The main menu definitely gives the unit a dated feel – it looks like something I would’ve expected 10 years ago. The in-game practice mode screen looks much more modern though, and does a good job of including lots of information without being too intrusive in my opinion. I’ve only had a few hours with the unit so far, but I will share a major revelation that I had in my first 30 minutes with it: if you can get your putter face to square up to your target line, it doesn’t matter what path the putter head takes to get there. In the below picture you can see that I took an exaggerated out-to-in path with my club, and tried my best to keep the face square. I managed to sink a 10-foot putt with an 11.5° out-to-in club path, and the resulting numbers show that the direction that your putt travels is 95% determined by the face angle at impact, and only 5% by the club path. As a result, I will be focusing my practice moving forward on squaring up the club face, and not worrying about club path – my early practice has shown me that as long as your face angle is less than 0.5° in either direction from the target line, you’ll sink every putt from 10 feet and in. There will be lots more to come over the next few weeks of testing, so let me know what else you would like to hear from me!
  11. The hint is definitely the key - one of my issues with the system is that the greens are really hard to read on the screen. It might work for some, but doesn't work for my style. A directional line on the heat map in the corner, Wii-golf style, would be a handy feature to have. Here's my best so far - not gonna win the prize, but it's a fail-free round! Here's a picture of what I would like to see added - an arrow in the heat map in the top right corner that indicates what direction you are currently aiming.
  12. Instagram contest was open to whatever people wanted to use for greens and speeds, so you don't have to worry!
  13. Either is possible. I was planning on shooting some video tonight showing use of the controls on mat vs. the remote.
  14. You forget that I'm a millennial - everything is just a different mode of a game!
  15. This should be a good challenge! To clarify the way this game mode works for everyone - you're on a 9-hole course, with three pin locations for each hole. Essentially works out to 27 opportunities to get points. You need to either get your putt to stop within 3 feet of the cup (at which point the game "concedes"), or hole the putt, and you get three chances at each pin location. If you get a concede on your first attempt, you get 10 points and move on to the next pin location. If you get it on your second attempt, 5 points. Third attempt, 2 points. If after three attempts you still haven't gotten close enough, you get 0 points. Additionally, if you hole the putt you get 3 bonus points (so for example, if you send your first attempt way past the cup, but then hole your second putt, you would get 8 points). Exputt recently hosted a contest on Instagram using this challenge, and the winning score was 255. It'll be interesting to see how our test group compares!
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