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Matt Saternus

The Putting Alley - REVIEW

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!!CONTEST!! Win The Putting Alley. Details in Post #2

 

 

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Introduction

 

While there are as many different theories on putting as there are stars in the sky, there is one thing I think they would all agree on: you've got to be able to start the ball on line. If you can't roll the ball straight, you aren't going to make many putts. The Putting Alley is a training aid that claims it can teach you to start your putts on your intended line. Does it work? Keep reading, spies…

 

 

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Ease of Use/Set Up – 10 Points

 

The people behind The Putting Alley definitely understand that a training aid has to be easy to use. The Putting Alley is one solid piece of plastic, so there's no assembly, no set up, just drop it on the ground and putt. Even better, you can “load” a ball with your putter, so you don't even need to bend over between reps.

 

Score: 10/10

 

 

 

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Effectiveness – 30 points

 

The Putting Alley asks you to do one simple thing: putt a golf ball 27 inches down a raised strip of plastic. If you don't hit the putt “square,” the ball will fall off of the strip. If you succeed, the ball travels down the strip into a “cup” at the end of the ramp and then returns to you. The Putting Alley has two sides: one side with a 1” strip and the other with a ½” strip, so you can choose a difficulty level appropriate for your putting skill.

 

When I started using The Putting Alley, the first thing that struck me was how lightly I had to strike the putt. This is my one major gripe with The Putting Alley. On The Putting Alley website, they show that making the putt on the 1 inch strip is equivalent to making a 10 footer and making the putt on the ½ inch strip is equivalent to making a 20 footer (check the math here). My thinking says that it is easier to hit a short putt on line than it is to hit a long putt on line (just like it's easier to start a chip on line versus a drive), so it's not quite the same thing. Others may disagree, but that's my take.

 

The next thing that I noticed was that the 1 inch strip was too wide for me. I almost hate writing that because I don't want to be “that guy,” but every good putter that I showed this to said the same thing: “making” the putt on the 1 inch strip was too easy. On the ½ inch strip, I still made most of my putts, but when I didn't concentrate, I missed. That's exactly the feedback that I want in a putting trainer.

 

Unfortunately, I can't report some miraculous change in my game as a result of working with The Putting Alley: I was a good putter before and I still am. That said, I do think that The Putting Alley offers solid feedback to putters of all ability levels. I really like that it offers two levels of difficulty: someone may buy it because they can't make a 5 footer (*cough* Golfspy Dave *cough*), and eventually graduate to using the ½ inch strip exclusively. While not perfect, The Putting Alley is effective.

 

Score: 27/30

 

 

 

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Longevity – 20 points

 

There are a number of things that I really like about The Putting Alley: it's easy to use, it doesn't take up much space, and it gives you solid feedback. Is it the most fun I've ever had with a training aid? No. Do I think it beats the snot out of aimlessly carpet putting? Hell yes. And as a guy who is going to be tethered to a crib for the foreseeable future that means a lot. Most people can't go to a putting green every night, but if you have five minutes, you can get some meaningful practice with The Putting Alley.

 

Score: 18/20

 

 

 

 

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Value – 20 points

 

The Putting Alley retails through The Putting Alley website for $49.95. There are also three hardwood versions that retail for $159.95. At either price, they function exactly the same (the wooden ones just look fancier) so for my purpose here I'm going to ignore the expensive ones.

 

The $50 price tag puts The Putting Alley firmly in the “less expensive” group as training aids go (I generally figure $100 to be average). I think that The Putting Alley is effective, and it will have a positive impact on the most important part of the game. If you put in a little time with The Putting Alley, it should pay for itself through bets won pretty quickly.

 

Score: 20/20

 

 

 

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The Peanut Gallery – 20 points

 

The Putting Alley was a moderate success among The Peanut Gallery. Among our PGA Pros and better players, The Putting Alley was recognized as a good way to get some practice in when you can't get to the putting green. They echoed my sentiment that the 1 inch strip was too wide, but they found some challenge in the ½ inch strip. More novice players found it to be frustrating at first, but came around once they saw some success.

 

When asked if they would purchase The Putting Alley, responses were lukewarm. People generally felt that the price was fair and that the device offered good feedback. The reality of the situation is that people just don't get excited about working on their putting like they do about working on their full swing despite the fact that good putting has a bigger impact on the scorecard.

 

Score: 17/20

 

 

 

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Final Thoughts

 

The Putting Alley is an easy training aid to love: simple to use, durable, effective, inexpensive, and portable. For people who struggle with short putts, I think The Putting Alley is a good way to not only improve your stroke, but to build up your confidence. For players of all ability levels, The Putting Alley offers a chance to work on the most important part of the game when you don't have time to get to the practice green.

 

Score: 92/100

 

 

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VISIT WEBSITE: http://puttingalley.com/

 

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/...#!/PuttingAlley

 

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook...169988566370385

 

 

 

 

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CONTEST

 

Enter to win a Putting Alley of your own. Post a comment in this thread for a chance to win. The winner will be selected on Friday, March 23rd.

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Looks like a nice clean product. I'd be interested in trying it out. My only hesitancy is I already have trouble getting the ball to the hole on the course (at least for March greens in Ohio :D ), so I'm a little concerned it might cause me some further problems there.

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I'd say that putting is my weakest point of my game. I would love to give this a try as a lot of other putting aids don't give you the visual and feel feed back from rolling a ball properly in one unit and not meant for indoor practice. So count me in.

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Would love to win this product. I am a 4 handicap averaging about 32 putts per round - the only way for me to improve my cap is to improve my putting. Product looks very appealing to me as it is small and simple. Thanks for the review and contest.

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Anything that helps promote a smooth stroke is a big help!

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Good looking RADIUS putter there :)

 

I'll post some thoughts on the Putting Alley after I climb out from under the bus :angry:

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This looks like something I would like to try. With my work schedule I rarely get a chance to practice putting. This would definitely work for me. Thanks for the review.

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Nice golf shoes........LOL

 

I think the Putting alley has a chance....if you can improve your stroke so that you can "walk the line" then you may be able to make those shorties on the green.

 

If I had the Putting Alley, it would reside in my Family Room right next to my 9 ft practice green.

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How did I miss this... after today's putting, I need all the help I can get...

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I could definitely use this to work on my putting at home. I probably won't make it out on the course for awhile; my newborn son is keeping me busy! :)

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I could definitely use this to work on my putting at home. I probably won't make it out on the course for awhile; my newborn son is keeping me busy! :)

 

Jonas, how is the boy going to learn the important values and priorities if you are not playing golf at least three times a week? He has a mother!!! If you think this age is tough, wait until Little League, hockey, and all that stuff kicks in.

 

Seriously, when I see a product like this I get mad. WHY THE HELL didn't I think of that? As a quasi-reformed traning-aid ho, I am extremely skeptical of most, but this is a good idea.

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just realized I still need to add my two cents on this product.

 

I've been using the putting alley and I connected with it right out of the box.

 

simple to use, just set it on the ground somewhere level, setup a ball, and immediately you get feedback.

 

I'd been struggling pretty badly with not keeping the ball on line, and the Putting Alley definitely helped me work on this ONE aspect of my putting.

 

I think that's what I liked most about this, it focuses you on one thing, and gives you immediate feedback.

 

You do end up choking down a bit on your putter to gain some height which randomly enough helped my putting because I tend to hit too low with my putter.

 

I didn't see any huge changes in my game after using the Putting Alley, but I still like to pull it out once in a while just to get some strokes in with one purpose.

 

Oh - and I guess another positive for me with this product, it's really easy to use in my livingroom without pissing off my wife, it stores away easily, and there's no setup when pulling it back out.

 

On the negative side - I'd say having a version with narrower strips would be good. The wide side was good for me for a day, then after that I realized that the narrower side was better practice, and something even more extreme would be nice.

 

Also, this product only allows you to practice with a very short stroke.

 

Overall, I give a B+ to this product. For the price I can't complain.

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