My putting has improved a lot recently. Some of this is due to my new Nike Method 001 putter: it makes long putts behave like scaled-up short putts, making it a lot easier to get line and length right in the 10ft+ range.

Most of the improvement though is due to following a more consistent and structured routine for practicing putting. With the help of an iPhone 4 app called iPing, I have been focusing on getting a more consistent arc and tempo on my putting stroke.

Using a special cradle, you clip your iPhone 4 to your putter and make the putts the app asks you to make. It measures the arc, tempo, and impact angle of each putt and reports back on how consistent you were across all five putts. It also reports the average of the values it measured.

I can practice with this at home, as well as on the putting green: since I can measure my success with the app I have no need for a hole to aim at.

This has allowed me to dramatically improve the consistency of my putting, to the point where it is now the strongest area of my game: putting was 34.8% of my shots (1.8/hole) on Friday, compared with 42.6% (2.2/hole) a fortnight before.

Is it worth buying the £25 cradle to go with the app? Yes. Is it worth buying an iPod Touch and the cradle if you don’t already have a suitable device? Quite possibly: it will do your game more good than buying a new driver for the same money.

The social bits of iPing are a bit ropey, but the core function is almost flawless. Highly recommended.

Here is my current iPing card. The two appalling scores are from a misguided attempt to putt straight back—straight through:


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