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2019 Official Forum Member Review- Tommy Armour TA3 Impact Putter

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Follow along as four members of our forum will be putting the Tommy Armour TA3 Impact Putter to the test on the course and putting green.  This is a My Golf Spy Most Wanted winner, so see if it performs as well for them as it did the Most Wanted testers and how it might work for your game. 4

 

The Four Testers Are:

@tchat07                           Stage 1                         Stage 2

@skrupa15                         Stage 1                         Stage 2

@Txmason123                   Stage 1                          Stage 2

@HeathS16                         Stage 1                         Stage 2

@jayjay0808                         Stage 1           Stage 2

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Posted (edited)

 

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Introduction

 

A big thank you has to go out to My Golf Spy for selecting me to be a part of this testing group.  Obviously, this is an exciting test because this is a back-to-back winner of the Most Wanted test.  You “drive for show and putt for dough”, so this will be a lot of fun to see how my game can improve with this equipment tweak.  I’ve been gaming the Odyssey Works Versa #7 for 4 years now and have absolutely loved it.  I enjoy the feeling off the face and that it rolls nicely even with slightly off center shots.   This shouldn’t factor into your putter choice but I also like the ability to pick the ball up with the back of my club.  I have a slight arc putter stroke so it will be interesting to see how the Tommy Armour Impact No. 3 works considering it is a straight-back-straight-through (SBST) putter.  I putt with left hand slightly low and an unusual double pointer fingers extended grip.

 

I became very passionate about golf in winter of 2015 which has led me down an incredible winding path from playing with my grandfather (our family golf patriarch), to going to Hawaii for PGA tour events, to volunteering at LPGA events, and to now being a collegiate golf coach.  Golf is an incredible game that is never the same no matter how much you play and rewards you for hard work and perseverance. I have a handicap that has dropped progressively every year from 20-16-14-11, last year I had my first round in the 70s and feel I am constantly knocking on that door.  Currently I am sitting at a 9.6 and my goal for the summer is to shoot a sub-75 round.  


 

Have spent my whole life in Maryland and have played a lot of different courses but have a rotation of 3 that I play often.  Each course has a difference in the greens; they go from slow to medium to fast.  They don’t have a ton of undulations so it is all about getting the right speed control and starting on your target line.  When it comes to my putter I think “feel” is the most important thing I am looking for because it allows me to control my speed.  My miss is an open faced shot that ends up swerving right after about a foot.  I also have a bad tendency to not “roll” the ball well on long putts.  For my personal golfing data I use myRoundPro from Taylormade and over the last year I averaged 33 putts per round with the range of putts being from 30-35. As you can see I lose about a stroke per round with putting (-0.85) and am really hurt by putts outside of 15ft. 


 

 

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First Impressions

 

Any need for hype is unneeded considering it has already been recognized as the back-to-back winner of the MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Mallet Putter Test.  It has a higher MOI design with perimeter weighting, S-Bend shaft and a balanced face.  It has a multi-compound insert for feel and a milled faced for consistent contact and roll.

 

First thought when I opened the box was the face looked smaller than I expected.  Second thought was how “cheap” the putter cover looked.  Now I understand the putter cover does not make any difference to what you are actually gaming but at a first glance I thought it makes sense this is an off brand putter.  It has this felt type material covering and *gasp* a Velcro closure. 

 

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Take the head cover out of the equation and then you have a very sleek and sharp putter design.  The black Winn grip, with the matte black shaft, down to the matte black top of the club with the “eye-catching” copper line, even the bottom of the club exudes sleekness with a third being a black glossy finish which is enhanced by the matte black rest of the club.  The club looks like something that your friends would comment on about how sharp it looks, but does it work as well as it looks? 

 

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We will surely find out I plan to drop this straight into the bag and just go at. I will maintain my data through myRoundPro, I will also keep “stats” of my practice and compare that with my Odyssey.  Any suggestions on other ways to test the new flat stick out are more than welcome.  

Edited by tchat07
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Tommy Armour Tour Impact No.3 - Stage 1

About Me:

I have a confession…

For the past year or so I’ve been carrying on a torrid affair in my imagination with mallet putters.  If you were to ask me what single “dream” club I would add to my bag, the answer would be easy:  Evnroll’s ER5 Hatchback in all black with the gravity grip.  Maybe this all sounds a little too convenient, that is, my obsession with mallet putters after MGS picks me to test the Tommy Armour Impact Series #3.  Unfortunately, I’m not so good at keeping my affair a secret…

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While my obsession with the ER5 is an open secret, I’ve also made it a point to try a few other premium options in this category:

If you’ve been lucky enough to get your hands on any of these putters, they are all premium feeling and very sharp looking despite having a unique identity.  In addition, as a scientist I’m inclined to defer to the experts even when it runs contrary to subjective thoughts. The promise of more consistency from higher MOI mallet putters is simply seductive.

So how have I managed to fight the urge to drop a couple hundred dollars on a new putter?  The answer is a combination of cold showers, gentle reminders from my fiancé that we’re getting married in October, and a current gamer that putts well. 

Just when I think I’m in the clear, MGS comes by and gives me a chance to test the Most Wanted Mallet Putter for 2019, the TA3.

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I’m Sean by the way, and for a more formal introduction/bio I’m going to refer you to my last forum review on the Vice Pro ball back in 2017.  Much of the relevant information is still the same.

I never thought I’d get picked to be a reviewer once much less twice in three years.  Thank you MGS for this awesome opportunity to test the TA3 (and enabling my mallet putter obsession).

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My Game:

  • Handicap: 10.8
    • This is down 0.7 strokes from 2017 thanks entirely to a few lessons at Golftec followed by another maintenance lesson this year at a Trackman facility.
       
  • Video of putting stroke:  I’ll add a video of my putting stroke as an update to Stage 1 when I get chance to visit the practice green.
     
  • Putting strategy:
    • Look at every putt from at least two angles
    • Pick a line and commit, never second guess (thanks Bones)
    • Give every putt a chance to go in, with a smooth efficient stroke
    • Misses should be 1-2’ long and on the high side

While I consider putting as a strength of my game, this wasn’t always the case.  I struggled mightily on the greens as a teenager.  The most significant help with my putting came from reading “Putt Like the Pros” by the great Dave Pelz.  This book was worth its weight in gold to me.  It taught me how to practice and completely changed my mindset about putting.  Armed with knowledge from a reliable source, I spent many a late night at the practice green until my putting improved. 

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Go figure, but I’ve found that keeping my putting sharp requires more practice than I can always budget.  When I can’t get to the practice green, I rely on my Putt Out training aid for at home work.

My Bag:

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  • Callaway Great Big Bertha 10.5*, -1”
  • Ping G30 5W, -0.6* to 17.4*
  • Cobra King F7 Hybrid 20.5*
  • Mizuno JPX-EZ 4, Taylormade R9 5-AW, -.75”
  • Cleveland RTX 3.0 CB 56*, 60*
  • Srixon Z Star

My bag has seen few changes in the past two years.

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I’m currently gaming the Ping Karsten TR PAL model putter.  This has been my gamer for the past three seasons with zero regrets.  While the PAL might not be for everyone, it’s been a great fit for me.  The TR face technology is buttery soft and I find consistent distance control very easy to manage.  I’ve made a lot of big putts with this putter, so it’s going to take something very special for me to shelve it.

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Conclusion:

Thanks again to MGS for this opportunity.  I’m going to try my best to give the Tommy Armour Impact #3 a thorough, honest review.  My plans for the TA3 include on course testing as well as a head-to-head comparison with my current gamer on a SAM PuttLab system.  If anyone has a question or suggestion for the review, please don’t hesitate to share.

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While the full Stage 2 review is still to come, I already inserted the TA3 into my bag for a casual 18 holes I played before a friend’s wedding.  I won’t spoil too much, but after a single round I am VERY intrigued.  While you can tell it's not a Ping, Evnroll, Scotty, etc., the all black is just so clean looking and the Winn Midsize Pistol helps give it some "heft".  The transition into my bag was much easier than I expected.  If there’s one thing that will make me forget about the TA3 feeling just a little less than premium, it’s seeing putts go in the hole.

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Can it supplant the PAL and find its way into my bag on a permanent basis?  Have I found an economical alternative to the ER5?  We’ll see! 

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Tommy Armour Tour Impact No.3 - Stage 1

I would like to begin this introduction by expressing my gratitude to MyGolfSpy and Dick’s Sporting Goods for giving me this opportunity.  This is my first time to be a tester, and it is truly an honor.  I have been the envy of all my friends, and I often speak of the great community that is MyGolfSpy.

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My profile

I am relatively new to the golf world.  I have been playing for 3 years.  I have been taking lessons for the past 2 years.  Although the lessons have improved my swing considerably, it hasn’t really been reflected with lower scores.  I do feel that I am on the verge of becoming a bogey golfer.  My handicap is currently 22.

I would say the best aspects of my game would be driving and putting.   Off the tee, I am fairly accurate, but not very long.  Distance is not one of my strong suits with any club.  It seems I struggle with consistency in regards to my ball striking on approach shots.  My putting game is fairly solid.  I average around 33 putts per round, with just a few 3 putts per round. 

Although I have taken lessons, I haven’t had any instruction in my putting game.  My typical miss on the greens is short.  Up to this point in my game, I haven’t tracked too many putting statistics.  After preparing for this review, I may start tracking more data.  On putts more than 10 feet, my confidence level decreases in regards to swing weight.  I am more confident when it comes to reading greens.   I typically use a traditional putter grip style for putts, but I will sometimes transition to a claw grip for short putts under 8 feet.  I feel it gives me a little more accuracy and better touch.

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When it comes to putters, I prefer the look and feel of mallet style putters.  I currently game an Odyssey White Hot Pro V-line putter.  It has a Super Stroke Ultra Slim 1.0 grip.  I have been very pleased with the feel of this setup. 

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Once I found out that I was selected as a tester for this putter, I researched and reread previous Official Member Reviews.  While I was in the Testers Wanted section, I noticed that the number of applicants for putters was lower in general than for drivers or irons.  I wonder if this is because, generally, people are more loyal to their putters than the rest of their bags.  I also think there may be fewer true technological advances in putters than in other clubs.  I know that I am not an expert in this field, so these issues may best be left to the staff of MyGolfSpy.

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The Putter

My first impressions of the TA Impact #3 were generally positive.  I like the total black concept of the putter.  The black shaft looks good.  At first glance, I wasn’t impressed with the grip, but after a little while it grew on me.  It is a really soft rubber Winn Excel AVS midsize pistol grip.  The soft rubber allows you to keep a light grip on your putter with plenty of feel.  The putter face has a black milled insert that is reminiscent of the Cobra CNC milled driver face.  After using this putter a few times, I have notice the groove around the insert holds grass blades in it.   It is not a big deal, but I like to keep my putter clean, so it does bother me a little.

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Comparison of the milled faces of the Impact putter and Cobra driver.  Notice the groove around the putter face.  

The Impact weighs 365g, and  is 15g heavier than my Oddyssey.  I noticed the difference immediately.  I like the weight and feel of my putter, so it feels heavy to me.  The impact is a fang style putter.  This shape has never been my favorite aesthetically, so it is a new experience for me.  I have found that I like the shape, when it comes to ball retrievals off the green.  The putter slides in nicely around the ball and holds it securely to pick it up.  The sound of the Impact #3 seemed quite loud initially.  The more I use this putter, the less I notice the sound, but the first impression wasn’t positive.

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When I received my putter in the mail, the box was heavily damaged.  Luckily the putter survived shipment without a scratch. 

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Several other testers reported the same experience.  If you plan on buying this putter, I would recommend you pick it up from your local Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

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Those are my legs, not a leg model.  Also, this is a staged photo, my aim would be better if I was actually putting.

My testing plan

I am going to spend some time adjusting to this new putter, before I start seriously evaluating its merits.  It seems only fair.  Once I have gotten used to the Impact #3, I plan to test it head to head with my White Hot Pro.  I will put both putters in my bag.  During a round a golf, I will play one putter for nine holes, and then switch to the other.  The next round of golf, I will switch the order.  I will also play complete rounds of golf with the Impact #3.  On the practice greens I will test both putters at different distances, 5’, 10’, 20’, and 30’.  I will repeat the same tests on different days, and switch up the order.

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Is it just me, or does it seem that any testing that we do will still pale in comparison to the MyGolfSpy testing?  Even so, I will be thorough and impartial.  May the best putter win!

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Tommy Armour Impact No. 3 Testing Stage 1-

So only a little bit has changed since my review last year on the Cleveland CBX Launcher (Click HERE for more details on my story from last year's stage 1) irons so I will briefly update you all here from the stage 1 I linked above.  The Cleveland irons were pretty good to me for a bit but I really struggled with low flight, low-spin shots that would take off over the green by 20-30 yards.  So I was able to trade in the Cleveland’s for a set of PING i210s with a 120g KBS Tour shaft and they fit my game so much better. I can hold greens much better now and have consistent gapping, all of which affects my putting tremendously since these are the clubs responsible for hitting the green. 

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Since the stage 1 linked above was for an iron review I am going to take moment to give y’all a brief overview of my putting game.  I use a left-hand low grip a la Jordan Spieth, due to the fact that I am naturally left-handed in everything but golf.  I feel as though I have more control of the club face with this grip (see picture).

                                                           

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Consistency is going to be a key for me in this review as speed control is an issue for me.  I may leave one short on one hole and then nuke one by the hole on the next, it is a bit of a mystery this year.  I do tend to be aggressive with my putts as it at least gives me a little sense of being confident. Distance control can be spotty at best but my worst distance by far is 10 feet from the hole.  Most of my approach shots leave me with something around 10-15 feet and I certainly do not make as many birdies as I would like. One of the main reasons I wanted to test the TA3 was due to its performance from 10’ in the last two Most Wanted tests. Anything outside of 10-15” always brings in the possibility of 3-putting for me as I nervously pray that I can two-putt (the MGS blog just posted a write up on this from shot scope check it out HERE if you haven’t already) and move on. Actually, I have had at least 1 three putt in every round I have played so far in 2019…sorry MLA but you're in the Hot Seat.

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Enough about me and my crazy putting, let’s get to the meat of matter here and start talking about the Tommy Armour Impact #3 putter (hitherto referred to as TA3)!! My first thought after pulling it out of the box was “SICK!” I am a huge fan of the “murdered out” all-black look of the putter. 

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My second thought was, “My goodness that is a small putter head.”  At least compared to my current putter, the MLA Pro X-Dream almost a good inch difference between the two. 

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Here is a quick run down of the rest of the cosmetics from the TA3, the grip is the stock flat pistol Winn grip which is black and grey that goes pretty well with the rest of the putter’s look ( I would have loved to see a bit of that bronze color on the grip, but I digress). I love the clean murdered out look of the putter head and the shaft, the graphics on the bottom of the putter look pretty clean as well. No complaints in the cosmetics department.

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The significant thing about the TA3 is the fact that Tommy Armour is not trying to recreate the wheel.  This model simply takes already existing technology slap it into a putter and present it at a great price for the consumer.  The fang-shaped design offers easy alignment, the aluminum insert along with the elastomer behind it provides excellent feel.  Probably the most significant technology this putter offers is the milling across the whole face of the putter to minimize bad strikes. As you can see there is nothing new going on in the technology department with the TA3.  Everything on this putter is stock at 34’’ as there are no custom options (please don't mind the baby in the picture.)

                                               

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I am so excited for this test as I think I can really serve as a gauge of how effective this putter can be for someone who truly struggles with putting. Here are my top priorities for testing:

1.      Performance from 10’ most common distance for birdie chances for me.  This MUST be good for the TA3 to stay in the bag.

2.      Proximity, really interested to see if my misses are closer to the hole than the MLA

3.      Total number of putts, reducing this will obviously reduce my scores.

Of course, I will be dividing the review into on-course and practice green segments to track performance from different distances in different scenarios.  However, in order to truly evaluate the TA3 for each priority I plan on gathering data from my previous rounds with my current MLA putter and comparing them directly with the rounds I play with the TA3.  I will also be switching between the two putters during testing to compare performance. I guess we will see if a value-packed switch in equipment truly lower scores.  I do have to mention one major concern I have with this putter, the connection between the head and the shaft looks a bit weak, I think I can see some of the glue (see picture) so hopefully the durability of this club is not an issue, stay tuned...

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Edited by HeathS16
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Posted (edited)

Stage One – Tommy Armour Impact No.3

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So where to begin… Well I am totally stoked to finally review a putter for MGS, let alone the back to back winner of the Most Wanted Mallet. And a major thank you to MGS for selecting me to put this putter through its paces. The reason for my excitement is that putting is the one aspect of my game that has been very inconsistent since finishing up my college career. Right now, I am playing out of Washington State, more precisely Bellingham/Blaine. And so far we have had a great start to the golf season. Courses are drying out and greens are getting slick. Which is perfect for testing out this Black Beauty.

To put this nicely I have survived playing golf since I was 14 years old. The game came pretty quick to me and ended being a sport I played through college. Since then there have been years that I have played a large number of tournaments and kept the game sharp, and others where life is just too busy.

I used to describe myself as a past glory golfer, however I think the last couple years I have started to realize that if I am not putting the time it will be hard to be consistent. Some days I will play well and others will be something straight out of a horror film.

What I love most about the game of golf is what also makes me hate it some days. You never will play the same round twice for good and bad. 

My home course for the season is called Loomis Trail. It used to be a sister course with Semiahmoo which is a fairly well-known member club in this area. Just this past year it was sold to a Native American Band that also owns a casino resort close by. Many people were hesitant with that news but they have done an excellent job putting in the money to getting the course in prime shape. Loomis Trail is an amazing, fun, yet tricky design. It has hosted large state and college tournaments. I wouldn’t consider a parkland or links style course but a little mix of the two. 

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What Is In The Bag 2019

Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Black TS 6X

Wood: Tour Edge CBX 13.5* Project X HZRDUS Yellow 70 6.5

Hybrid: Tour Edge CB Pro U 17* Mitsubishi Kura Kage Silver 90 X-Stiff

Irons:  Mizuno JPX 919 Tour 3-PW Modus Tour 120 X-Stiff

Wedges:  Cobra MIM 52* and 58* Modus Tour 130 Wedge

Putter:  Seemore PTM 2 34.5 with Rosemark Grip

Ball:  Oncore Elixr

This year the bag was revamped quite severely. The only two clubs that survived the winter is my trusty Tour Edge CBX 3 wood which I was selected for last year, and my Seemore PTM 2. I had previously used Cleveland RTX 3 wedges which I tested as well for more than 2 seasons but with wear I decided to switch them out.

Being a putter test let me expand a bit more on my Seemore. The putter spot in my bag has been a rotating door the last few years. I had an older original Scotty Cameron GoLo which I loved. But I probably did the silliest thing ever to my bag when I took it out for a few rounds, put in a new putter and ended up selling the Scotty. Last year I got myself my Seemore and it was quite the change as I was traditionally a forward press putter and the Seemore really pushes me to have everything very neutral. But I putted well the first few times and have kept it in since.

This year the handicap continues to stay steady at a +1.2 and truly this is due to a couple good rounds this year and not consistency.

Like the rest of my game I have a very quick tempo and putt on a slight arc. When I am on course I like to try and get it to die at the hole as I hate having longer testers behind the hole. Yes I know… 99.9% of putts left short never go in. And I hate to admit it but my miss is typically short. I think it is funny but I have the highest confidence level from 10 feet, then 20 feet, lag distance, and lastly 5 feet. When I am outside of what I consider to be makeable I am more relaxed. My biggest problem is once I get inside 5 feet I have the expectation that I should be making every single putt and tend to start to think how I can miss it. I need to take a page out of Lee Trevino’s book and just get over a putt and hit it.

To say I was very excited to receive my Tour Impact No. 3 was an understatement. I had rolled it in Dick’s a few times, but they never had the all black version in stock at my store. Already had the nickname set as Black Beauty

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First when I received my package, like others had stated, it was damaged and held together carefully with tape. Luckily the putter was still intact and wrapped in plastic.

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I have to say Tommy Armour was quick to advertise the Back to Back wins in the MGS Most Wanted Mallet. I thought this was a very nice touch.

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Overall the putter looks nice however I will say that it doesn’t look as high end as others on the market. The face is advertised as a multi layer insert but does look somewhat cheap, I don’t know if that is because of the large gap between the insert and head. The grip is of nice quality, being a Winn midsize pistol. The black shaft brings the look together but after having in the bag only a couple rounds its already showing wear and rub marks. Lastly, the headcover does seem to be of poor quality as the Velcro has already came apart. 

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A lot of weekend warriors and experienced golfers would now view Tommy Armour as a house brand and not remember their glory days with the Silver Scot irons. And I was extremely hopeful that the quality of this putter would sway my bias. Sadly so far this has only reinforced that thought.

Coming from a brand such as Seemore that prides itself on its craftsmanship and quality, it will be hard to put the Tommy Armour on the same level. But what cacn you really expect from a $100 putter. And as always, the proof is in the pudding, or putting if you may. And if this champion putter allows me to get the ball in the hole in few strokes, I can care less what looks or feels like lesser quality. 

Edited by jayjay0808
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Stage 1 has been posted.  Testing is now in progress.  The TA3 is on vacation with me and being put through its’ paces.

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Happy Sunday everyone! My Stage 1 is up, now time to really put this thing through it's paces

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So first thing I have to say about this putter is how square it sits behind the ball. I feel I do not have to do any manipulation to square the face which had led to far more confidence on starting the ball on it's intended line. Through 2 rounds thus far I set a new low for putts in a round with 29 and have sank 3 putts over 20 feet.

Sent from my SM-G950U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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Got to play the other day, first full round with the TA3. No 3-putts and several good up and downs to save par. Total putts were not that different than before but 1-2 shots is still a great showing.


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So first thing I have to say about this putter is how square it sits behind the ball. I feel I do not have to do any manipulation to square the face which had led to far more confidence on starting the ball on it's intended line. Through 2 rounds thus far I set a new low for putts in a round with 29 and have sank 3 putts over 20 feet.

Sent from my SM-G950U using MyGolfSpy mobile app



Glad you’re liking it. I do find the putter very easy to line up but for some reason it feels like it sits just a hair open to me. I may have to go check my alignment in a mirror or something but felt as though I had to mention it.


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Interesting that you say that because I was messing around putting on a ruler today and hit a couple off center putts. The putts off the toe stayed relatively straight but off the heel fell off the ruler to the left. Both of those lead me to believe I was hitting with a more closed face (correct if I'm wrong on that though).

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I’m going to be brutally honest and say that my first impression of this club was

It looked cheap and didn’t deserve a second look.

Then I read the testing results and despite someone’s confirmation bias, they end up gaming it.

It’s really something to see how this has held up as a legitimate star. Excited to see how you guys tell your story through Stage 2.


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Interesting that you say that because I was messing around putting on a ruler today and hit a couple off center putts. The putts off the toe stayed relatively straight but off the heel fell off the ruler to the left. Both of those lead me to believe I was hitting with a more closed face (correct if I'm wrong on that though).

Sent from my SM-G950U using MyGolfSpy mobile app



Could just be me honestly


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