I'm one of the best carpet putters during the winter time, even in North Carolina. I usually have a couple putters and a ball in my TV room ready to go.
You can understand why I was excited to review the Boomerang putting system. Instead of putting at a coffee table leg or the corner of my dusty treadmill, I could use something that was not only more realistic, but could help my game.
The Boomerang Putting System comes in two main pieces. The first part is the Boomerang itself, which is basically a ramp with a cup on the end that can be raised up by a bar and latch system on the bottom. The cup can be set to different depths. The shallower the depth, the harder it is to get the ball to stay in the cup.
In setting up the Boomerang, it must first be leveled to ensure that any putt rolling up the ramp towards the hole will only curve off line if the putt is struck incorrectly, i.e. with side-spin. This can be done by placing a ball in the hole and making sure that it comes to rest straight towards the bottom of the ramp.
Once you have the Boomerang set up, you can then unfold the second piece of the system - the Carnoustie putting surface. This gives you a green-like surface that you can line up with the hole. My strip of putting green had significant folds - something you'll never encounter on actual putting greens (especially at Carnoustie)… but with a little bit of bending and manipulation, I had a pretty smooth path on which to putt.
When I first opened it, all I thought this device would be used for would be practicing your line and speed. You obviously want the ball to go on the right line, but to keep the ball in the hole you have to have great pace on the ball, especially with a shallow cup.
What the manufacturer provides is a variety of games as well, attempting to make the practice a bit more fun. The games vary, but the main objective remains the same. They want you to get the ball to rest in the cup and then knock it out with your next putt. This helps you change pace and still keep a good, straight roll on the ball.
The games challenge you to get the best average of "in-and-outs" in 100 putts, most in-and-outs in 30 putts, most in-and-outs in three minutes, or matchplay against another player to see who can get it in-and-out in the least amount of putts. All make it interesting, but does it really work?
I went through the drills and tried a few of the games that were suggested. I found that getting the ball "in-and-out" wasn't "nice and easy." Part of the reason was because I didn't sink the hole very far down. Even from just a few feet, it is really hard to get the ball to come to rest in the cup when it is at a medium angle. Giving the cup a few turns and sinking it a bit more made lagging the ball easier.
Of course then, getting it out was much more difficult.
Hitting the ball out of the hole without putting a dent in the wall required a bit of skill. I actually found that a slightly off-center strike worked best. This is a bit counter-productive to putting a straight roll on the ball, but for the purpose of the game, it worked well.
After a while, I thought the whole "in and out" thing was a bit childish and that the brochure detailing the games and records was over the top. Also, and this is just my own personal feeling, the tips in the brochure were counter to what I'm working on and could be misconstrued. "Make a forward press" or "hands ahead," as they describe in the video CD that comes with the kit, isn't something I subscribe to. I'll leave it at that.
I know it doesn't automatically return the ball unless you have your niece or nephew rolling it back, but the Boomerang is easy to set up on carpet, hardwoods or just about any other surface. For a quick training aid, that is a big plus. Let me put it this way… I have an automatic return putting aid and have put that in the closet in favor of the Boomerang.
Even though I think that they are trying to promote the Boomerang a bit strangely, I still do use the Boomerang at home… but mostly for a great putting surface and feedback tool, not a game. $50 might be a bit steep, but if you want something that you can easily set up, instantly start working on your putting and getting feedback, then the Boomerang is for you.