How this putting aid helped me read greens like a pro

GOLF Instruction Editor Nick Dimengo shares how the Alignment Ball training aid helped him improve his putting results

GOLF instruction editor Nick Dimengo shares how the Alignment Ball training aid helped him improve his putting. Here's how it works.

Image via Instagram/Alignment Ball

My putting has been less than desirable the past few rounds I played, as I was scrambling to see any consistency with the flatstick.

But with a little focus and a brand new approach to practicing, I’ve not only found a solid putting stroke that’s shown improvement, but I’m also starting to read greens much better — both for breaks and distance control.

No, I didn’t spend a couple hundred dollars on a new putter, as I’m holding true to my 1960s model that I’ve had since I started playing golf. Instead, I decided to use a new training aid called the Alignment Ball — which has helped me gain confidence on the putting surface.

Alignment Ball

Close to 20 feet of retractable cable! The Alignment Ball will help you work on start line easily and quickly on the putting green. Built in spokes make setup easy and efficient.

How the Alignment Ball boosted my confidence

For me, the Alignment Ball helped reset my mindset with the putter in my hand. It’s not that I needed a full reboot of my grip or my stroke, it’s that I needed to see the ball go in the hole more often, helping build my confidence. It’s no different than how a great scorer in the NBA just needs to see the ball go through the basket to get into rythym.

After feeling lost on the putting green, the Alignment Ball allowed me to find whatever it was I needed.

For example, at a recent golf school at Chambers Bay near Seattle, one of the small group drills was putting practice. There were yardsticks to help with putts within three feet and mirrors to see if your clubface was square at impact. And while those were helpful, I instead pulled out the Alignment Ball to work on my game.

While this specific training aid wasn’t on the menu to choose from, the teachers of the class didn’t seem to care. All they focused on was seeing my improvement — which came quite quickly.

I’ve gone on record as saying that Chambers Bay has the most treacherous putting surfaces I’ve ever played on. They’re intimidating and frustrating. They’re not too fast, but they’re firm enough that they require great touch. And the amounts of slopes are remarkably challenging — which is why I took a whopping 42 putts during my first-ever round there.

But with the Alignment Ball, I was able to take the training aid, position it to read the break and give me my line and make sure I actually struck the putt firmly enough to get it into the hole.

Sounds simple enough, right? With this new aid, it sure made it seem like it.

How the Alignment Ball works

As the video above from Tour Validated Golf shows, using the Alignment Ball is extremely simple — and it has tons of versatility.

While I used the training aid to help me read putts more efficiently, it can also be used for a handful of other things to improve your game. From improving your overall setup to finding the perfect alignment off the tee or with your irons, the training aid offers a dynamic new approach to your practice routine.

The Alignment Ball is a great way to build your confidence and get the feel for every shot on the golf course. And because it’s compact enough to stick in your bag, you can pull it out anytime to work on a variety of aspects in your game.

So whether you’re playing at a former U.S. Open site like I did, or simply your local muni, this training aid is the perfect companion for shooting low.

Nick Dimengo Editor