Friday, 15 September 2017

Product Review - No 3 Putt Hole Reducer

Welcome to another product review. If you've been following my youtube channel, you'll see I posted a video showcasing a fantastic training aid that has been in my bag for a number of years. If you missed it, you can watch the video here - The No 3 Putt Hole Reducer - A Product Review

I've not neglected this blog and it's been a busy time on here. Although I'm trying to grow the youtube channel I still think this blog can stand alone as it has done for a number of years. In my last blog, I asked all the readers to a call to arms to support the channel and tell me what you'd like to see. Please, please read it. It's one of the most important blogs I've posted on here (A Call To Arms). In that blog I promised a detailed review of the No 3 Putt and as a man of my word, here it is.

So first things first, what is it? The No 3 Putt fits snugly inside the hole, without causing any damage, to make the diameter much smaller. The benefit it gives is allowing a player to actually hole putts into a reduced target. It consists of two rings. The outer ring reduces the hole to a 3.25" diameter and with the inner ring it makes the hole much smaller at a 2.50" diameter. This relates to a reduction of 17.25% and 41.20%. This is smaller than the figures I quote in the video. Apologies for the discrepancy. 

The No 3 Putt Hole Reducer - a great training aid I've been using for many years
By using the No 3 Putt it gives the psychological effect of making a standard size hole seem bigger than it actually is. This effect can be very powerful confidence builder on those crucial short putts. Your confidence on the course will improve and in theory will be more likely to make a good putting stroke. 

One of the very first videos I put up on the youtube channel was a "What's In The Bag" which I'll put up again here as I'm sure many of you missed it - My What's In The Bag Video
I did it with a slight twist and it shows some of the practice aids I use regularly when I work on my game on the practice ground and driving range. The No 3 Putt featured in that and as I said in the video, which was definitely no HD and I think filmed on my camera, it had been in my bag for many years.

So how does it work? The name and my description gives it away and you put it in the hole and try and get the ball in the smaller sized cup. Depending on which ring you have in, either the outer or with the inner inserted as well, will dictate to a degree what sort of distance you can work on. From personal experience, I find with both rings in, I can't go much further than three feet, and use it effectively. It really is a small target and it naturally becomes harder the further away you go and anything over that three foot mark ceases to be constructive practice for me. 

I would also advocate finding a relative flat area, especially if you are using both rings as slope will naturally reduce the entry point. In the video I putted from two sides and both had a fractional break and so weren't perfectly flat and that worked well enough. The flatter the better, especially initially works best and will get you using it properly and confidently.

By taking the inner ring out, you are then able to extend your practice range to around the five foot mark. I find the No 3 Putt doesn't tend to work as well over that sort of mark as you're getting the ball running at a degree of pace and it can have an effect on actually getting the ball to drop at speed into that reduced target. However I find five feet more than a challenge. I do find though that with the outer ring, you can introduce more of an element of slop to the practice as well as there is still room to allow the ball to drop. However you do still have to be accurate. Lets be honest, it is a fiendishly tricky aid, and there will be times, especially if the stroke is off or rusty, where it will refuse to drop and anything other than in the centre of the hole will not go in. With both rings it can be soul destroying. Stick with it. Practice is supposed to be difficult, in order to improve technique and I am certain you will find your confidence and technique on the short putts gets better. On the course you'll stand over a short one, especially an important one, and can focus back on your practice and remember how small the hole was, look at this standard sized hole an feel confident you can dispatch it.

As always, I end by rating each product I review in a number of categories and this is no different. 

Looks
The No 3 Putt is very simplistic in design and is simply two rings of white plastic that sit in the hole. However the white edge does definitely help and it does stand out when inserted on the putting green. Even from the five foot area the reduced hole stands out and it is very easy to focus on the smaller target because of the clarity in the white plastic

Durability
This product has been in my practice bag for years and is still in perfect order with no cracks or damage. Its made of strong plastic and tucked away in the side pocket of the bag, it sits there until I need it. There has been no sign of any sort of bend or deviation in the design and it still sits snugly in the hole and offers a flush fit.

Cost
In the video I said I got mine from Amazon but if you search online the No 3 Putt is widely available and will retail in the £12-£15 area. I think for something that can be used a lot over the years, it's little money for a great training aid and is fantastic value for money. 

Effectiveness
The No 3 Putt works on improving confidence and has a positive psychological effect when you step on the course after using it. The hole does look bigger after use and it does give you the belief to go in and make the shorter putts. I've found, almost by accident, that I am forced to make a better stroke on these short putts to ensure I am taking the club back and through on a good line, finding the centre of the putter and starting it on a good line. With the inner ring in particular, there is minimal margin for error and an errant stroke will be found out. 

Patience
I've added this but it's very subjective to each person. The No 3 Putt is a great practice aid but it's one that needs to be used regularly and I feel for at least 20-30 minutes at a time to be effective. It does take patience, especially with both rings in. You can feel you've made a good putt and it'll catch the edge of the reduced hole and won't go in. You have to be very accurate and it can be soul destroying to make putt after putt and not see it drop. What you are doing though is improving, gradually, the ability to find the absolute centre of the hole when you are on the course. 

Even with just the outer ring in, the same applies and while the distances involved may increase, you will see a proportion of well struck putts not dropping. You do have to stick with it and to a large degree, it becomes a bit of a mindset that you need to adopt. You have to accept that you won't see balls dropping, but realise that isn't the sole intent of the No 3 Putt. It's about improving accuracy and installing confidence.

Overall
Like all of the best practice aids, this is very simplistic. It is easy to use and just needs a putting green. Durable, cheap and effective, if you are keen to improve your short putting from that crucial 2-5 foot range then this is a perfect device to assist you. The fact it's been in my bag for years shows the longevity and effectiveness. It works and it works well. As a result I'd give it 9/10 

I hope you enjoyed the review. As always, its an honest view from a mid-handicap golfer trying his hardest to get to single figures and I'm not endorsed by any of the manufacturers making any of the products I review so you get an unbiased opinion. 

To end, I implore you once more (but make no apologies for doing so) to read my "Call To Arms" blog (link here - A Call To Arms) and more importantly, would ask you to make the effort to visit my Youtube channel (again, the link is here - The Three Off The Tee Youtube channel) and subscribe. I think my video product reviews sit perfectly with the written reviews on the blog to give a really rounded review on each product.

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