Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk -- REVIEW
How do you practice putting?
I guess the question for some of you should be:
Do you practice putting?
Personally, I love to practice putting. I find it far more relaxing, than practicing the full swing. Grab a couple of balls, your putter, and hit the green. To me, that’s a great afternoon.
Hopefully, you have some method to you madness when practicing putting. Ideally, you have found some drills and/or gadgets that help you groove in your putting stroke. I have found that the clock drill and the 3’/6’/9’ distance drill are effective for me. The first helps with aim and alignment, the second with distance control. These two drills typically produce improved putting stats on the course.
Putting tools/gadgets are a little more transient for me than my drills. I have used a number of things through the years, but few of them seem to persist in my bag. Many of the training tools shine for a bit, and then are relegated to the back of my mind and the back of the garage. The only training tools that always find the putting surface are tees and an alignment stick. They live in my bag all the time so it’s natural that they get some use.
Today’s Contender: Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk
The Dead Zero Pro is not the most complicated device. What we have here is a small disk of metal and plastic with a bubble level affixed to the top.
Use of the Dead Zero Pro is also not complicated. Here are the instructions for use:
- Drop the Dead Zero Pro on the putting green
- Putt at it.
- If you hit the disk, you made the putt.
That’s it. There are no moving parts, no calibrations, and no lasers on this one (that’s to bad because I love lasers).
What you have is a disk whose diameter is smaller than the hole. The idea is that by focusing on the smaller target, the larger hole will be an easier mark on the course. Think of it this way, if you spend an afternoon practicing throwing darts at the bull’s-eye, switching the goal to just hitting the target would be a breeze. Dead Zero didn’t invent this concept, they are just giving you a way to practice it.
The Dead Zero Pro is intended to be used at distances of 10’ or less, with the size of the disk tuned for 17” past-the-hole speed. If you putt slower than that, and hit the disk, the putt would likely have dropped. Hammer it into the disk and all bets are off though.
Practicing with the Dead Zero Pro
So what did I find when I took the Dead Zero Pro to the course? Hopefully it comes as no surprise that it works as intended. What I mean by this is that I was able to place it on the green, and hit it with a putted ball. As a putting target, it works, and its size makes for a challenging roll.
It’s tougher to quantify the lasting impact of using the Dead Zero Pro. Will consistent aiming at a smaller target make the cup seem larger, or at least easier to hit on the course? Again, it’s tough to quantify, but it seems a logical progression. Anything that motivates one to practice, and to practice with a specific goal in mind, should be an effective tool. It’s not going to fix your stroke, but who cares about your stroke if you are hitting the disk every time.
Now you may be thinking to yourself that you could accomplish the same thing using tees, or even another ball as a target. Undoubtedly you could. I’ve done that myself. When the green is packed, you grab some random objects out of your bag and improvise targets away from the other people on the putting green.
We can all DIY some kind of similar system, but for whatever reason, I found myself thinking about using the Dead Aim Pro more frequently than I ever thought about using self-constructed targets. Maybe that’s because it is the new gadget in the bag. Time will tell. I am keeping in my bag though, with full intention of using it when I practice putting.
What Makes it “Pro”?
The “Pro” part of the Dead Zero Pro refers to the bubble level, something not found in the original Dead Zero Disk. The hopefully obvious purpose of the bubble level is to help with the reading of slope and break.
One thing that I learned from taking AimPoint classes is that my eyes are not always the best tool to use when looking at slope and break. Even the pros get this wrong from time to time. I’m sure Bubba will yell at his caddy again next season and that more than one pro will make that opposite direction arm gesture when a putt breaks away from where he thought it would go. You know that gesture.
The bubble level is a great way to get an actual reading of the green’s slope and break. What’s nice about the level on the Dead Aim Pro is that there are calibrations for degrees of slope. I see this as a great tool for really dialing in how far a ball will break over various inclines. Obviously the effect of the degree of break on ball roll will change with green speeds, but using the Dead Zero Pro before a round on a new course could help you have a better shot at reading the greens more accurately.
For an expert opinion, I had Peter Brown, an Aimpoint instructor here in Northern California spend some time with the Dead Aim Pro. Pete too found value in using the Dead Zero Pro as a putting tool. Aimpoint green reading involves reading the slope of a given putt, and then hitting your putt at a specific target, with a specific speed. While the slope calibrations are not exactly in line with the way Aimpoint slope is taught, he agreed that any tool that helps a golfer more accurately gauge slope would prove beneficial.
Do You Need to Buy The Dead Zero Pro?
It is easy to dismiss the Dead Zero Pro as being $30 that you don’t need to spend since you can just putt at random ball markers and other junk that is in your bag. I was there too initially, but the more I used the little disk, the more I found value in it. Look at it this way, for $30, you get:
- A target that is the correct size to reflect a made putt.
- A level that tells you the correct break.
- A target that you just drop on any surface and putt toward. Office carpet is cool too.
- A cool ball marker that actually helps with aiming the ball on line.
- A carrying bag that protects the Dead Zero Pro and fits nicely in your bag.
- A well built unit. Barring some serious gorilla-power putting, the Dead Zero Pro should last a long time.
Does that add up to $30 of value for you? Naturally, that’s between you and your wallet. You can save another $5 on it if you order two. You get one for yourself, and then an extra one to give as a gift. The season of gift giving is almost here, right? I mean, why else would Sam’s Club already have Christmas stuff for sale?
Anyway, the Dead Zero Pro is a simple putting tool, but I see it as an effective one. If nothing else, it is a tool that I can see myself using again and again.