The pitch goes like this:
If I handed you a golf ball and asked you to roll the ball to the hole, how would you do it? Assuming you’re right-handed, you’d probably face the hole, put your left foot forward, and roll the ball underhand towards the hole. The hammY Putter enables you to putt the same way; the natural way.
After all, a three year old can roll a ball to a hole, right? They don’t do it by standing facing perpendicular to their target and throwing the ball straight sideways. That’s how most of us putt, however. Sideways. The hammY Putter aims to change that (pun intended).
To putt with the hammY, you set up differently:
- Open your stance about 45° left of the hole.
- Put your right hand on the lower grip.
- Make a nice, smooth stroke back and through, using your shoulders.
Opening your stance, the company states, allows you to visualize the line and distance more so than you can in a traditional putting stance. The company’s slogan is “makes putts, makes sense.” It seems to.
The hammY came about when the founder strained his hamstring playing softball and realized that he could putt with less strain by following the steps above. 27 prototypes later, the hammY was born. The hammY consists of a 38-inch “triple-bend” shaft (which you can find in several other kinds of putters) that puts the shaft over the ball, resulting in an automatic forward press.
The putter head itself is nothing to write home about. As you can see to the right, it’s a fairly standard putter head. It is also available with a polymer insert for $30 more. The grip, seen below, is comfortable and thicker than most putting grips, which helps to encourage quiet wrists through the stroke.
I’m fairly confident as a putter. I’ve got a Scotty Cameron mallet putter that I use with a traditional putting stroke. I recruited two additional testers.
Rob is 35 and has played hockey for a number of years. He plays golf only occasionally, and suffers from both poor distance control and an inability to putt along the right line, resulting in numerous three-putts per round.
Kati is a fifteen-handicap female golfer who relies on her short game to keep her in some of the longer holes. She currently uses a belly putter and has putted cross-hand. Always experimental, Kati tries new things each week because nothing seems to stick.
After two practice rounds (and an hour or so on the putting green each), both Rob and Kati expressed a great amount of pleasure with the hammY. Rob, who previously averaged 42 putts per round (yes, 42!) lowered his average to only 33 putts per round. That’s a savings of nine strokes. Rob said:
I play hockey, and this feels a lot like hockey. With the hammY, I just step up and hit the putt. I can see the line, and my distance control becomes almost second nature.
Kati had some success as well. She’s used belly putters, cross-handed grips, and more because her putting stroke has long been a bit too wristy. The hammY, she says, “eliminated all of the wrist movement and made my stroke far more pendulum-like.” Her putting average dipped from 28 putts per round to 26 in the two test rounds. Two strokes in two rounds is not statistically significant, but Kati said that “this feels like something I might keep in the bag for awhile. Even if the two strokes were an anomaly, I’m a bit more confident with this putter than any other I’ve used in the past few years.”
As for me, well, I putted worse with the hammY. I am comfortable aligning my eyes along the line of the putt, and I could not adjust to putting with the hammY. I line up my ball’s logo with the intended line of the putt from behind the ball, eliminating the need for me think about the line while I’m over the ball. I line my putter up with the logo and then concentrate solely on distance. I always judge the distance by pacing off putts and looking at the putt with my eyes horizontal. When putting with the hammY, I found it more difficult to control putterface through the stroke, resulting in off-line putts. My distance control, however, was equivalent to that obtained through my traditional stroke.
In the End
In a golfing public filled with belly putters, chin putters, long putters, cross-handed grips, claw grips, and putters as funny looking as the Futura or the Ping Docs, the hammY and the method you use with it is actually relatively subdued. If you struggle with the putter, the hammY offers a simple way to do something that may be more natural to you. For $149.95 ($30 more for the polymer insert), the hammY costs less than most brand-name drivers and offers a much greater chance to improve your scoring.