This do-it-all training aid can help make you a better putter. Here’s how

Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

Your putter can be a weapon for your game if used correctly. With enough practice, your flatstick can turn those pars into birdies — and keep the bogeys off the card. All you need to do is learn how to use it properly.

There’s no substitute for practice if you want to improve. But when you go out to practice, you need to have a plan. Mindlessly hitting putts all over the green will have some benefit, but it isn’t the most efficient use of your time. If you want to maximize your gains, you need to be smart about the way you practice.

That’s where the Putting Thing from Why Golf comes in. This training aid not only will help your technique, but it can make you a smarter putter, too. Here’s how it works.

why golf putting thing training aid with putter and ball in the foreground

Putting Thing

Tired of missing the short ones? Meet the Putting Thing. There are putting mirrors, gates, stroke trainers, but nobody’s dared to combine all of these elements into one product – until now.

Guide rail

When you’re getting set up with the Putting Thing, you can use their guide rail to start. Once you find a putt you want to practice, you can hit a few putts through their guide rail, making sure the ball comes out straight every time. This will help make sure that you are lined up properly for the putt you want to practice, eliminating human error and keeping you from implementing poor fundamentals from the start.

Gate system

If you’ve ever used a putting training aid, you’ve likely seen a gate system at some point, and for good reason — they work! Having a physical barrier forces you to be more accurate and ingrains that consistency into your stroke.

With the Putting Thing, you get that gate system both for your putterhead and for the ball to travel through — and they’re both adjustable. Each gate has five different settings allowing golfers of every skill level to choose the right size gate for their practice. No matter where your handicap index falls, you’ll be able to get sufficient practice in with the Putting Thing.


Every golf course measures their green speeds with something called a stimpmeter, and it gives them a number that tells how fast (or slow) their putting surfaces are rolling on any given day. It’s something that most golfers have heard about, but few have experience measuring on their own.

With the Putting Thing, you’ll finally be able to measure the speed of the surface you’re practicing on. The guide rail that we mentioned above is not just useful for lining up putts, it can also be used as a stimpmeter.

All you have to do is find a flat spot on the green, flip the guide rail over and place a ball in the groove. Then, lift the guide rail up until the ball rolls off. From there, you can flip the guide rail over next to the ball to see how fast the greens are rolling.

With that number, you can be more informed when you practice, knowing how your putts react to greens of different speeds.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at