If you've ever watched the Nike Golf videos from The Oven, you've seen their athletes—Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Paul Casey, Stewart Cink and many others—working in the Putting Lab.
I was given the opportunity to participate in the very same process.
I've seen just about every Nike Golf video ever made.
So having the feeling of being in one myself was kind of surreal.
First of all, I placed a striped ball on a red dot on their putting surface. The red dot is from a laser. It's the precise spot on the floor where the ball must be placed in order for Nike's cameras to accurately capture ball speed, launch angle and skid distance.
And it's 13 feet 6 inches from that red dot to the middle of the hole.
They had me use a Method Core Drone because it's the putter that's been in my bag since they sent it to me about a month ago when I was crafting an interview with Suzann Pettersen.
This particular one was 34" and had a medium grip, which is slightly thicker than a normal grip.
I found this "exploded" Drone in the Machine Shop at The Oven.
Somehow, I made my first couple putts but my numbers were all out of whack.
I was advised to move my hands forward a bit, as in a forward press, because they were actually behind the ball at impact and throwing off my numbers.
The result? It was a night and day difference.
My first putt. Good. Same with the second putt. And the third.
I don't remember how many putts I hit, but I know I only missed one, and that was a lip-out.
Having my hands in the proper position during the putting process felt funny, as you can imagine, because I had gotten used to putting with my hands behind the ball. It caused me to contact the ball at a bad launch angle. So, the ball was skidding more than it should.
With my hands in the right position, virtually no skid at all.
My launch angle went from 4.7" to 2.7" and the initial skid went from an abysmal five inches to a fantastic 0.2" reading. I was in the ballpark with Anthony Kim, Paul Casey and Lucas Glover's readings. That made me feel pretty good.
Here's a screen shot of my numbers.
Method Core Drone was now able to do its job properly. And I was putting with a lot of confidence.
I smiled and said, "This changes everything."
I couldn't wait to get back out on the golf course.