Pros: Small, Compact, Easy to Set-up, Durable, Instant Feedback
Cons: I wish it was heavier so it's own weight would keep it stable
I have been working hard to improve my golf game over the past several months. And one area that I'm still pushing for perfection is my putting stroke. I know my putting stroke is far from great, and it's an area that I want to put more time in practicing. And I have been looking for a nice putting aid that I could use in the convenience of my own home.
After looking around for quite sometime... I came across an article about the Original Putting Alley which was highlighted at this years PGA merchandise show in Orlando, FL. After reading about it, and looking closer at it on the product website, I decided for $49.95 + shipping and handling, it was worth a shot. So I placed my order using their online store which can be found at their website: http://puttingalley.com/default.aspx
The Original Putting Alley is a unique putting aid, being it's primary feature is the raised alley which you putt along. The goal being that you have a smooth directional stroke that keeps the ball on the raised alley as it reaches the end of the device. If the ball falls off of the raised alley - to the left or right side before it enters the round logo - which resembles the size of a golf hole; the user will instantly know he made a faulty putting stroke.
The Original Putting Alley actually has two raised 'alleys' (approximately 1/16" in height) which are smooth. One is 1" in width and the other, on the flip side of the device, is 1/2" in width. Each raised alley spans the length of 27". And placed at the end of the alley, you will be putting toward a half crescent shaped golf hole.
My favorite feature is that you simply flip the device over to alternate between the 1" or 1/2" raised alley's. Where the 1/2" alley width presents a much greater challenge than the 1" width.
The putting alley track is slightly raised at the end of the hole - such that the ball will return itself back to the starting position, using gravity to help pull the ball back. This prevents the need to reach down and grab the ball after every putt... Which is appreciated as you can get more putts into a putting session, and reduces the need to chase after the ball.
In addition, there is a small slit cut out at the beginning of the track. This slit is useful as it helps load the ball. This is such a simple design, but it serves its purpose - automating the process of getting the ball set into position so that you can pull the trigger on your next putt. This is key as it prevents the need to fiddle around trying to place the ball in the proper spot, time after time.
Below you will find a few videos I took while putting on the device which helps you understand the various design elements. So far, I love this device. And believe it will improve my putting stroke.
1" Alley Width
1/2" Alley Width
The Putting Alley Logo
- You aim at the logo at the end of the device which resembles the diameter of a standard golf hole.
Putting Alley Demo - 1/2" width
Putting Alley Demo - 1" width