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We're in that special hell of rules controversies with the implementation of the new Rules of Golf. There have been some growing pains with the new rules, and that has allowed the golf media to tee off on its favorite target, the USGA. Which, to be fair, can make itself an easy target: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/despite-harsh-words-from-some-tour-pros-usga-pleased-with-roll-out-of-new-rules-of-golf. That aside, I wanted to talk about the "controversy" about the knee-height drop that the Rules now require. Rickie Fowler got a one stroke penalty for dropping from shoulder height this past weekend. Cue the complaining from him: https://golfweek.com/2019/02/22/rickie-fowler-hit-with-one-shot-penalty-for-illegal-drop-at-wgc-mexico-championship/ I can forgive him - he just had a brain fart, probably didn't gain an advantage in this situation, it cost him money. I'm always annoyed when I get a penalty, personally, and it's absolutely never my fault, okay? But cue the pearl clutching from the media: https://www.golf.com/news/2019/02/25/backstopping-pro-tours-under-policed/ I'm here to tell you that this is wrong, and knee-height drops actually make a ton of sense. One of the best things the new Rules do is simplify dropping. Now, all you have to do when dropping is land the ball in the relief area (without touching you or your equipment before hitting the ground) and ensure the ball comes to rest in the relief area. If you don't do this, you have to redrop. Pretty simple. Yes, you have to figure out what your relief area is, but that's pretty simple, too. (For a fuller explanation of this, see Rule 14 and the definitions in the Rules of Golf.) The old rules were much more complex. Specifically, if your ball rolled to one of 9 areas after you dropped it, you had to redrop. For example, if your ball rolled more than 2 club lengths away from where your ball hit the ground, you had to redrop. You had to know all of these 9 areas to know if you needed to redrop or not. So, the new way is simpler, right? Instead of learning 9 different triggers for a redrop, you only have to learn 1. Great! Why am I talking about when you have to redrop? This is why we're dropping from knee height. Generally, under the new Rules, your ball cannot go as far after hitting the ground as it used to without triggering a redrop. Dropping from knee height reduces the chance that a redrop will be necessary. It also means that a ball has less of a chance of embedding in sand when you drop it. It makes a ton of sense, really. Now, you might say, that's all fine, but why not allow dropping a ball from anywhere above knee height? I think you could easily game the rules to be able to place the ball when you really want to by simply dropping from shoulder height instead of knee height. Think about dropping on a side slope, for example. You're much more likely to have to redrop and place if you drop the ball from a higher point. Sure, this is rare, but why take the chance? We're all on the same page, right? Knee-height drops make a lot of sense. (If you want to know more about the changes to dropping, this is an excellent article that talks about this in a bit more detail: https://rulesgeeks.com/2018/12/30-days-of-2019-rules-changes-day-16-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball-in-playing-it-from-a-relief-area/) Now to the point of all of this: golf media, please take 5 minutes to understand the rule before issuing a HAWT TAKE about the rule. The USGA has a one page sheet that explains the rule: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/new-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball.html. You don't come off very well when you fail to read that. I know it's fun and easy to just mindlessly bash the USGA, but they do get things right. This is one of them. (Oh and by the way, the Rules are actually really good, as a whole. Maybe I'll talk about that in another post later.)
Product Name: Train Your Aim Product Type: Training Aid / Putting Product Website/URL: http://www.trainyouraim.com/ Ratings (out of 5): Quality: 4.5 Value: 5 Effectiveness: 5 Durability: 4.5 Esthetic Appeal: 4 Link to Discussion Thread My Member Review - Train Your Aim I elected to review the “Train Your Aim” putting aid in curiosity of what it had to offer and/or if it would benefit my practice routine and habits. Essentially it quickly changed my outlook on what “a putting aid” can do for any golfer and I’ll be discussing the benefits I have observed. For starters, many thanks to TST and David Keller of Train Your Aim, for the opportunity to use this product and provide my review. I received the TYA on Jan 9th and visited their website to become familiar with product information and suggestions on use and benefits it may offer. The site states – The putting aid that will “improve your game in minutes!” Struggling to make short putts. Missing left and right then you must try Train Your Aim alignment device! Train Your Aim is designed for you make more putts from 6 feet and under. That is where you score and lower your handicap. Nothing in golf makes you feel better than making a putt for birdie or saving par and nothing is worse than missing a short putt. Train Your Aim aligns the club face to the hole and with short putts that is what you need. It aligns the clubface to the hole and that will help you make more and more 3 and 4 footers time and time again. Gain confidence and start rolling them in! Aligns putter face to target line Places golfers eyes over the ball Golfer will see if they are pushing or pulling the putts Immediate visual feedback as to where the putter is facing at impact Smooth stroke Prevents deceleration through the putting stroke Player will improve lie of putter with both toe flat to the putting surface REDUCE YOUR SCORES AND HANDICAP #MAKEMOREPUTTS Easy to attach to the putter. For right and left handers. Fits in your bag and pocket! Lightweight and adjustable. Ready to use straight out of the package with immediate results Produces repeatable stroke, time after time! Simple, sleek and shot saving device! Great for golfers of all ages and skills who want to improve their game. It listed a lot of bold statements which at first, I was a bit optimist but time will tell. My initial thoughts to cover are – the user friendly application, product specs, material, weight, portability, durability, distortion, heat, the impact resistance, does it offer any value and how effective the product would have for users? Good putting requires proper aim, a good stroke and confidence. Practicing with the TYA, should boost a golfer’s confidence when they start making more short putts. The TYA is small and compact, weighs approximately 5.67 grams and will fit in the golf bag. A simple product to use made of a durable plastic and snaps easily onto the putter shaft. It is easy to adjust to the desired alignment position for the user and gives instant visual feedback to where the putter is aimed. This item provides a user two distinctive drills. It points to the target and provides a visual of the putting stroke path. While making a pendulum stroke, I could watch the pointers path and see if I had any motions that rotated the club face. I've been practicing with the TYA daily indoors and used it before several rounds. I created a routine which I used the TYA, about a dozen short putts, then remove and roll another dozen. Yesterday I noticed in just the short time of use, I felt like my aim was better with the putter face squared towards the target. During the brief time of use, I felt like my aim became better and my putting stroke was also benefitting. Concentrating on the benefits of TYA and generating ideas to describe my thoughts for my review has been very beneficial on my practice habits. I now feel these new ideas are important to me to improve my basic putting skills. Video is a great tool, it's time consuming and it is beneficial. My first initial thoughts the TYA may be a challenge to use with my Odyssey Backstryke Sabertooth Putter due to shaft position centered at the back of the putter. The pointer (looked fixed when I first received it) but it adjusts and most likely could be used in a manner for any style putter. As mentioned above, placement lower - closer to the ball would be an added benefit. It is small enough to easily fit in the golf bag to have available and use before a round of golf. I plan to create a routine where I will use the TYA, about a dozen short putts, then remove and roll another dozen. Time will tell if the TYA does improve my short putt skills, a priority I must improve to lower my scores as I will usually miss a few most rounds. I'm impressed with the quick results that have occurred and feel it has been a great value. It is definitely helping my play with the flat stick. Time will tell if the TYA does improve my short putting skills over a full golf season. It’s a priority I must improve to lower my scores as in the past I will usually miss a few most rounds. I'm glad I've had this opportunity to use and review the TYA. At the low price of $9.99 many golfers most likely give this item a try. Thanks again David, it’s been my pleasure to review your Putting Aid.