How many of you have putted on your office or living room carpet, and after a few minutes realized it was just not a realistic speed, or consistency of a real green? How about with one of those “putting carpets” that have a hole on the end that returns the ball to you? Again, they just do not feel like a real green (they roll like they are a 20 on the Stimpmeter).
Well now there is an answer, from Tour Links. Tour Links offers an unique system of greens that can be installed indoors or outdoors, and installation is a breeze. The company was kind enough to send me a 7′ Training aid indoor green (which the documentation said could be used outdoors), so my review will focus on that particular training system.
Installation of the Tour Links took me exactly 8 minutes from opening the box it was shipped in until the first putt was stroked. You would think something this large would be complicated to put together, need a lot of tools. It wasn’t. All that was required was a Phillips Head Screwdriver to screw in 2 screws that hold the cup in place. The platform of the 7′ training aid came in 3 pieces that easily slipped together, and the putting carpet rolled right over that surface. I was absolutely shocked how easy this was to set up. Did I mention it was easy?
The putting surface of the Tour Links is the most realistic indoor putting surface I have ever used. The green runs very close in speed to my golf club’s greens. It also runs extremely true. Unlike putting on my carpet to one of those plastic cups, or on one of those roll-out mats we’ve all received as gifts one time or another, I’ve found myself wanting to putt more and more on this green. I know when I am working on my stroke on the Tour Links green, I’m spending my time working on a realistic surface.
Tour Links offers training aids in 3 lengths, 7′, 9′ and 13′. In addition to the putting surface itself, the package included a standing pad that allows you to stand at the same height as the surface (which is definitely a big plus for this system) and 6 different training aids. This is a huge added bonus to this system. I’ll go through each one and describe it.
- A “String Guide” which runs the entire length of the surface. This allows you to easily line up putts to the hole confirming that your putter face alignment is perfect.
This is absolutely my favorite of the 6 aids. I set this up on my green, and I have yet to take it down. When I am working on the mechanics of my stroke, I want to make certain that I am not compensating for poor alignment.
- Stroke Groover Block – This aid allows you to work on a straight back/straight through stroke.
I’m more of an inside-square-inside putter, so this block wasn’t as effective for me, but I still found the inch markings on the block useful to gauge the length of my backswing.
- Ball Marking Tool – On the back of the Groover Block, there is a slot to place your ball and mark it.
This is very similar to those plastic overlays you can put on your ball to mark it before you play. The added bonus is it allows you to put a complete circle around your ball.
- Alignment Hash Mark – This mark that is behind the flag, allows you to work on your body position and head position. If you can’t see the hash mark, then you are aligned properly.
- Contour Mats – These allow you to add breaks to your putts. The green comes with 2 of these pads. When using both, you can make your 6′ putt (which is about the maximum length you can get on a 7′ green) break about 3-4 inches
- Cup Reducing Ring – This allows you to make the hole 1/2 the size it was originally.
I found this very useful on 3′ putts, but as I backed up, I found I had to reduce my speed to the point where the ball was barely getting there for it to drop. However, for 3 footers, I was able to roll them in at the right pace.
In summary, the Tour Links 7′ Training Aid is a must have for anyone who likes to putt on their carpet in their home or office. If you are putting on your carpet, you are not getting the most out of the practice time. The Tour Links green will allow you to work on your game whenever you wish. I’ve only had it about 1 week, and I already feel my 3-6′ putting game has become more solid because of the work on the green. On top of all that, it’s very enjoyable to use. I’d highly recommend this product for anyone looking to work on their putting.
Look forward to another post on this product in the near future as I have had more time to practice and see the results.