If we are perfectly honest, some training aids, especially those for putting are a dime a dozen. So, you may be somewhat sceptical when it comes to the latest device that makes crazy claims. Being in the training aids business, we are very sensitive to this. So, we try and carefully pick the products we represent in our online store.
The fact of the matter is, the modern putting stroke has changed. Just take a look at some old footage of Jack, Arnie, Ben and others and you will soon realize that the hunched over stance and 'wristy' motion has been replaced by the modern athletic use of the larger muscles in the shoulders and back. In fact, most players today are really trying to adopt a pendulum motion that keeps the hands right out of it a la Bryson DeChambeau.
Furthermore, golf equipment manufactures are starting to pay more than the usual attention on the ideal putter combined with the ideal stroke. There is no question that the "ideal" stroke would differ for each of us. But, the modern approach is a stance that bends at the hips with knees unlocked while maintaining very light grip pressure on the putter. Then a rocking of the shoulders while keeping the arms, wrists and hands as 'quiet' as possible. The idea being we are trying to use the big muscles to power the stroke and take out all the variability and manipulating of the putter face by the temperamental small muscles of the wrists and hands.
If we do all of the above correctly, we are more likely to strike the ball in the middle of the face with a smooth pendulum-like stroke. Of course there is more to producing great putts, such as ensuring the shoulders, hips, knees and feet are all aligned with your target. Not to mention the ability to start the putt in the correct line, judgment of pace, reading the green etc. But the point to make here is that with getting the stroke mechanics taken care of we have removed one less variable in the area of the game that can cost you the most strokes in a round.
With the above in mind, we took the True Pendulum Motion (TPM) by Perfect Practice for a spin and we were surprisingly impressed. Unboxing the TPM was a bit lack lustre as the device is rather modest in appearance. However, when attached to the putter the training aid comes alive.
There are a few technical bits you need to get right before you can use the device. The quick start guide that ships with the TPM helps in this regard. First of all, the arms are adjustable. And as you can see in the picture they are placed under your armpits. The head of the device needs to be attached to your shaft at a distance above the putter head that allows you to take your natural putting stance. Most importantly, you need to make sure the head of the TPM is perfectly perpendicular to your putter face. If there is one recommendation we would have for any improvement in design would be an alignment aid to make this part a bit easier.
So, with the device setup properly, the fist thing we noticed was that you are almost forced to setup in a square position. Since the TMP actually rests across the forearms you immediately start to feel as though your upper body muscles are working in unison. When taking a stroke you feel the true rocking of the shoulders and yes a "pendulum" motion. In so doing, striking the ball with a square putter face on the sweet spot was very easy and produced many a putt without any side spin. As a result, they held the line perfectly (we were using it with the Perfect Practice Putting Mat that has training lines. You can purchase the Perfect Practice Putting mat with a discount code).
After completing several putts with the TPM. We removed it from the putter and made some more putts. Wow! The motion we just trained ourselves using the TPM actually transferred to the real thing. We holed several putts in a row and the line was nearly perfect every time. One thing we did notice that if you do tend to pull or push putts this fault will be more exaggerated if you are using the TPM incorrectly. So, not only does the TPM tell you how a great stroke should feel it also can provide negative feedback as well.
Granted, we live up north and have yet to take it on to the putting green, but first impressions are very positive and we cannot wait to see what kind of results it can produce over the long haul. If you have not yet tried the TPM, we highly recommend you give it a try. It is well worth the $99.99 price tag. If you already have the TPM, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to get your feedback!
-The GolfPal Team