The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

It might not look like much, but this training aid could help you hole more putts

By Keely Levins

Training yourself to make more putts by practicing with a target smaller than a regulation-sized cup is a time-honored technique among golf instructors. It's also the key to the Dead Zero putting aid. The 2 1/8-inch wide disk can be used on a practice green, a carpet or any surface to sharpen your skills from inside 10 feet.

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The disk's size is not arbitrary, says Eric Schmitt, Dead Zero's creator. Schmitt performed tests to identify an optimum diameter given the idea that just because you hit a regulation cup with a putt, doesn't mean the ball always goes in hole. Schmitt claims even if struck with just a glancing blow, the Dead Zero simulates a putt that would have been holed in a standard cup.

The Dead Zero Pro ($30) includes a bubble-level on top of the device to help show the slope of the green.

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