Here's your chance to work on a part of your game that you've likely ignored, the breaking putt, which makes up around 90 per cent of your work on the greens. The days of repeatedly finishing on the low side could be at an end
Great roll and quality balls
Brilliant packaging, will last a lifetime
Immediate feedback on what's happening with your putts
Unique product and works on a very necessary part of your game
Comes at a price (but is a sound investment)
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Breaking Ball Putting Mat Review
We all have an idea of how we putt but have very little real feedback – this new product from Me And My Golf offers plenty. Piers Ward and Andy Proudman are world-renowned PGA professionals who will be familiar to all of us through their online coaching and tips. Now they have come together to bring out a fascinating bit of kit which involves three revolutionary breaking balls and a putting mat.
The balls have differently weighted breaks – the green ball has a slight break, the red ball has a medium break and the blue ball has a heavy break. Inside the ball is a screw and, if the screw is on the right, the ball will break left to right and vice versa.
There are three mats to choose from – 7.5ft (2.3m), 11ft (3.4m) and 14ft (4.3m) – and we tried both the 7.5 and 11ft. Just like the best putting mats, they all offer a collection of distances to putt from and I found myself gravitating more to the 11ft one as, personally, I have a blind spot over practising short putts – and hence why that’s a big weakness in my game.
The balls, despite the weights, aren’t clicky and don’t feel alien to other golf balls that you might use on the course and the mat is medium to fast – it should also be added that it comes in some excellent packaging, is of very high quality and is easily packed away.
So what did it tell me about my putting? There are three parts to putting; green reading, start line and pace. The first part is ticked off as you simply line up the ball with the colour-coordinated start line. This was a bit of an eye-opener as you need to get down behind the ball to line it up which sounds obvious but, when you do it from above, then you’re going to be off with your alignment.
The start line is where many of us could focus a lot more on our putting. A few years ago, when Matteo Manassero was at the top of his game and one of the best putters on the planet, I asked him what he thinks about over a putt? He replied that all he was concentrating on was the first 12 inches and that, if he got that bit right, then there was a good chance of the putt going in.
For me, personally, the feedback here was that I had often gone wrong within the first 12 inches. My ability to line up a putt is poor which, aligned to under hitting putts, means the majority of my putts come up short and low. I had an idea of this but not with such straightforward feedback. There is a blue end zone which gives you a good idea of how far past your ball should be travelling, or not in my case.
This is another crucial element. Tiger Woods will say pace is the key component to good putting and this provides some excellent, if worrying, feedback that a lot of us really do under hit putts. The ball doesn’t want to be dropping in the front door – the ideal pace is to hit it something like 18 inches behind the hole if it misses. So, if like me you hit a lot of under hit putts, you really will notice how a putt on this mat will take a lot of break as it loses pace.
This was the case on my right-to-left putts, regularly short and low and under borrowed. On the left-to-right efforts I would regularly hit them through the break and off the mat. Probably similar to a lot of right-handed golfers I have more chance of holing a right-to-left putt rather than the other way round and this was borne out with this piece of kit. Again, it should be added that the roll was very true both ways and any error was pilot error.
“The biggest reason we see people missing putts is because they are not allowing for enough break. Over 40 per cent of all shots on the course are made with the putter and over 90 per cent of those are breaking putts. This training aid is going to dramatically help improve your game and give you a chance to regularly practise something that previously was very difficult to simulate away from the course,” Me And My Golf co-founder Ward explains.
“With this mat you no longer have to take the time to head to the golf club to practise the putts you need. You can do it all on this mat, no matter where you are.”
This really is the case with this product - it will become one of the best golf training aids for golfers looking to improve their putting. The chance to practise breaking putts away from the course is impossible and this will improve your chances of holing more putts. Obviously it can also be used a regular putting mat with a normal ball to keep your stroke in check.
There is a longer version (at 14ft) but I personally found the 11ft one to be plenty and there is also the consideration of fitting it in somewhere. I gravitated towards hitting a lot more putts with the blue ball as I liked the challenge of trying to hole a putt with a lot of break when, if you are really looking to replicate those putts that you face at your home course, then the green and red are more likely comparisons. Again you probably also really want to knuckle down on those six-footers as that’s where many of us could make some easy gains and knock a couple of strokes off.
Through a QR code you can get into five different videos from the boys at Me And My Golf which help with all elements of putting and they suggest the ultimate challenge of hitting seven putts from each distance (three balls x left to right + right left to right + a straight one) and to keep a score of how well you do.
Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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