Instructions for the PuttStraight
Advantages: Learn to have the face square at impact. Learn what works and doesn’t work in the putting, pitching or chipping stroke. Improve control of the length of the backswing. Increase confidence.
Warning: Laser Class 2, do not shine into an eye for more 1/4 second.
Install the PuttStraight by slipping it onto the shaft near the hosel and slide it to near the grip. If it is too tight or loose, adjust the set screw. (see left) Use a screw driver. CCW makes the fit tighter. Initially set the laser perpendicular to the club face. Use a wall with built in marks or create a target by putting a label or other mark on the wall, 30 to 36 inches above the floor. Turn on the laser (press the red button). Assume address position, shining the laser on the wall. Repoint the laser until the dot is where you want it. You can tilt it up and down in the holder, and turn it on the club shaft. Once the dot is on the target, make a complete putting stroke. There is no need to hit a ball.
Make a swing. The laser dot will move down and back up past the target. The distance by which the laser misses the target is proportional to the club face misalignment at impact position. If you prefer to look down instead of at the wall while swinging, put a cosmetics mirror on the floor next to the toe of the putter, so you can see the target through the mirror. Also you can stand very close to the wall so that your head does not have to turn to see the laser dot. You can use a wall to your right as well as to your left; change direction by reinstalling the laser upside-down or turning it around the shaft.
Another use of the PuttStraight is to produce predictable backswings for better distance control. Backswing length (and ball speed) is generally proportional to how far the laser dot descends. You can attach a tape measure to the wall to measure backswing lengths. Learn to repeat and learn to increment. To reuse exact numbers in different sessions, keep your distance from the wall the same.
Note 1: Some golfers aim wrong and correct the mistake in their stroke. With the PuttStraight, they will miss the target on one side on a regular basis. If you have this problem, you can work with it or you can learn to aim straight and swing straight, which is the preferred method. To stay with the “two wrongs make a right” method, try to miss the target by the same amount on each stroke. You can even put up a second target next to the first one. Then you will address one target and go over the other at impact position. To learn to aim, practice face alignment on a floor with perpendicular lines. Place the club head over a target line and align the club face to the perpendicular line. Then run your eyes up and down the target line. Do the same with one eye closed, then the other eye closed. Compare your left and right eye for accuracy. Decide whether to use one eye or both eyes for aiming.
Note 2: The laser dot for usually travels diagonally on the wall, because for most golfers the club face opens on the backswing and closes on the forward swing. This may not be the most reliable way to putt. Probably a better way to swing the putter is to make the laser dot move vertically by rocking the shoulders. To see how this works, take your address position and raise one shoulder while lowering the other. Notice which way the laser dot goes during this motion. The trick is to introduce enough rocking to keep the laser dot going vertically. Another technique that might help is to bend over more. The closer the upper back is to horizontal, the less rocking of the shoulders is required. Unfortunately, bending over could be limited by back pain, so many could not do it for long periods or at all. Luckily, rocking the shoulders instead of bending over can be quite accurate, especially if the putter and arms as a unit are kept in a vertical plane during the stroke.
To change batteries, unscrew the light emitting end of the laser. “Silver” batteries last 10 times longer but cost more than alkaline. Use two LR44 batteries. Batteries inserted backwards will not cause damage (but not work). The laser does NOT turn off automatically.
To practice distance control, put up a ruler or tape measure on the wall and then use some combination of the following three methods. 1. try to repeat the same backswing length, 2. try to increment the backswing length, 3. choose a length at random and try to produce it.
As general advice, it’s usually better to decide exactly how you are going to swing on a given stroke before doing so.
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