After owning my custom-sized (6’x26′) only briefly, I have a few observations. First, the green performs exactly as advertised. It is not lightning fast, which would create inaccurate speed training. My green averages 10.5 on a USGA “Stimpmeter”. This is useful, realistic speed, precisely the way my greens roll at the TPC at Sawgrass. Secondly, the speed of the green is influenced by humidity, putting a bit more slowly on hot, humid days. This perfectly replicates the speed changes on our warm, humid AM rounds. Third, (not mentioned on the website) is the accuracy of the missed putts. The Tour Links cup allows very realistic “lip-outs,” so hitting the edges with a bit too much pace, you’ve missed, fairly and accurately. This positively reinforces speed control. Every other accolade made by other owners has proven to be well earned. The Tour Links green is a wonderful product and will improve your putting if you put in the practice time.
Ponte Vedra, FL
Thanks for asking me to provide a testimonial for the use of the Tour Links panel system. I appreciate the fact that you value my opinion.
As you know, I have been installing sand filled greens on top of compacted stone bases now for over 6 years and I was trained by probably the best installation company in the industry. I have recently become an independent installer and I am very excited to begin using the Tour Links panels. While a compacted stone surface is the surface of choice for my former franchise, one disturbing finding has been the shifting of the surface after a few winter freezes and thaws. A stone base takes a lot of time and effort to get just right. When am called to do a maintenance, there is nothing worse than finding that some putts no longer travel along the path that I worked so hard to provide. Another issue is when I find that the turf either shrinks or expands due to temperature changes.
Recently, I was asked to do a maintenance on a surface where the putting cups were not aligned properly with the putting surface, even with the weight of the sand filled surface, the turf still shifted slightly. The turf was found to be overhanging the cup where the turf had to be trimmed. It is easy to see that with the floating cup system that is built into the Tour Links panel, turf issues are solved. While I realize that the tiles are more costly than stone, the whole reason for doing this business is to provide the best putting surface to a customer that will last the test of time. I have completed 2 jobs this year using the panels, one using a sand filled surface and the other, a nylon surface that required much less sand infill. Both customers were thrilled with their installations. The reason for the different putting surfaces is due to the way that the green will be utilized. I have found that a sand filled green is best to use if the customer wants to hit shots into the green and the nylon surface is a great choice for chipping and putting.
So from years of experience, I can see that by using the Tour Links panels, the surface will remain the most consistent surface possible. I was able to create some interesting breaks and elevation for the customers and I am now convinced that using the panels not only speeds up the installation process but will provide a putting surface that my customers will be proud and happy to own. Thanks Dave for your dedication to the golf industry and for providing a product that just makes perfect sense to use.
Green Life Designs, LLC
Matt: I heard the advertisement for the Tour Links putting green on your broadcast yesterday. I can attest that the purchase of my Tour Links Putting green has made the biggest difference of any other training aid than I have ever purchased. I got mine for Christmas 2 years ago. I worked several hours a week through the winter on my putting stroke. The following season, I lowered my handicap from 16 to 12. Primarily because of my improved putting. I went from averaging 37 Putts per Round to an average of 33 putts per round. Worked through the winter off season again last winter and dropped my putts per round to 31 this past season. My handicap index is now down to 10.1. I went from putting being the biggest weakness in my game to now I am very confident over every putt and don’t look at any putt I don’t think I can make. I would highly recommend the Tour Links putting green to anyone looking to improve their game.
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania 17552
On June 30th I received an email from Brian Cohen regarding a customer referral in Midland Texas. I contacted the customer and eventually sold him a custom green installed on Tour Links. The entire process from lead to ordering to shipping went exceptionally well. As a result of your staffs good work, Tour Links and Hughes Golf Greens have a very satisfied customer. Midland is five hours from Austin in west Texas, I thought you might be interested to see how the process of selling a Tour Links green over the phone and email worked in this instance. The customers wife and his boss were both skeptical about hiring someone from out of town whom he had never met. I have attached several files and photos to detail how this process worked.
After I closed the deal but before the installation, the customer attempted to give us a referral for his boss who was also interested in a putting green(1500 s.f.). I spoke to the boss but he decided that he couldn’t wait and was going to have a local putting green dealer install a sand filled green. Needless to say he is unhappy with the finished product he received. After seeing the smooth undulations and true ball roll of my customers Tour Links green he asked me to inspect his green and give him a recommendation as to what might be done to improve it. I found that his green had a beautiful appearance and the turf installation was done very well, however the preparation of the compacted limestone base was totally unacceptable. There were dips and bumps, valleys and humps that were unlike anything you would ever see on a golf green. My recommendation to him was to remove the turf and re-work the base. The base was actually so bad that if Tour Links were installed directly on top of the green there would be soft spots and ridges that would require sanding. The worst part is he did not save any money by going with the local installer. I would have built a Tour Links green for the same price.
Thank you for providing an excellent product that lives up to its claims and thanks to Brian, Jay and everyone at Tour Links for helping me to provide the best putting greens available anywhere.
Hughes Golf Greens
I recently had a custom Tour Links putting green installed by Jim Dickson.Jim helped me in the design phase and did a great job on the installation.I have 4 boys who use it almost everyday.We are very happy with the product and the first rate help of Jim Dickson. I would highly recomend Tour Links and Jim Dickson as your installer!
John Kelly, North Potomac Md.
You are so right about the panel clips. They do finish off the job and give a solid look. I used them on the green that I sent you a picture of and the homeowner loved the finished look. Thanks for all the great ideas–also, anyone who thinks that your panels won’t conform to undulations obviously hasn’t used them very much. That is one of the greatest aspects of the panels. Once again–great stuff!!
ForeverLawn of NC Inc.
I just wanted to drop you a quick e-mail to tell you how thrilled I have been with your Tour Links Putting Green. I have had your green in my backyard for the past 2 years and it is in the same beautiful condition it was the day I put it in. It has become a focal point of my yard, but, more importantly, it has greatly improved my putting. Simply by hitting a few putts every day or so while I am in my back yard playing with the kids my putting stroke has gotten so much smoother that I make a lot more putts during my rounds [particularly 3-5 footers!]. As you know, not missing 4 footers will have a positive effect on your scores [ and your nassau bets!]. My children [ages 11,8, and 5] are also on it often and I have notice all of them develop a “soft touch” that wasn’t there before the green.
I just wanted to let you know how pleased I have been with my Tour Links Putting Green and to thanks you for making a great putting green that is actually realistic and affordable. Feel free to use me as a reference any time!
Timothy Muscaro DDS
Tour Links has expanded my business exponentially! I no longer have to be around when the sub base is prepped because the Tour Links system takes away the skill needed to construct a perfect sub base. Not to mention it takes 1/2 the amount of time needed to do an install. I used to spend countless hours getting the granite sub base correct. I can now let my installers do there job while I focus on expanding the business. I no longer need to stress about the sub base settling wrong or there being “woopties” in the final product. I am now confident my customers will have a perfect ball roll for years to come.
Forever Putting Greens
I purchased the 12×8 Tour Links pre-packaged green several weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier with the product. The tour links green was very easy to put together (20 minutes top) and delivered on the hype. The green rolls true, is aesthetically pleasing, and rough and sturdy. I especially like that the green is elevated which allows the ball to role into the hole just like on a real practice green. My kids especially love the green (2 boys 3 and 7) and not a day goes by that they don’t play and practice their short game on the green. This green is going to be perfect for giving putting lessons to my golf students whom I’m sure will be equally thrilled with the product.
Golf Teaching Professional
I recently installed the “Tour Links” System on a fourth floor balcony of a customer in Marina Del Rey, CA. The system went on top of a concrete patio and was extremely easy and quick to put together. There was a slight contour in the patio concrete which the Tour Links System easily adapted to and conformed.
I plan to use the Tour Links System in future similar applications as it was much faster and more economical than any conventional methods we explored.
Vic Watterson, President
WaterLess Turf Concepts
Marina Del Rey, CA.
Thanks to Tour Links for improving my putting! I received my new Tour Links putting green this winter and noticed improvement in my putting within a few weeks of practice. The green is great with easy installation instructions, excellent quality, and a true to life putting surface that mimics my own club’s greens. The speed is very realistic. Your service was great and I have recommended Tour Links to my friends at the club. After trying several other products, Tour Links is hands down the best practice putting green available. Thanks for all of your help.
I have attached a few pictures of a custom Tourlinks installation we did in August 2007. The installation went very well, the panels worked out great! The installation manual video was very helpfull and we used many of the techniques illustrated. Our customer is very pleased and is planning to show off their new putting green and recommend us to their friends. Thanks again!
Maryland Custom Putting Greens, LLC
I have a small backyard space and was looking to put in a putting green. Tour Links had a product to complete my dream. The customer service was very helpful. They answered my questions, shipped the green to me within two days, and followed up to make sure I was satisfied. It was easy to install, a quality product, and enhanced my landscaping. I love it!
Tom Rebholz, Shorewood WI
I have to let you know that I just built my first green using Tour Links panels and I will hopefully never again build a green on granite. The panels were so easy to install, contoured so well to my surface below the panels, and provided the smoothest possible surface for the turf to sit on. I know you already know all of this, but I’m just so excited about building all my future greens on Tour Links panels. I’ll be installing another green on Tuesday and have many more in the design phase.
Aquafree Lawns & Putting Greens
I recently putted my way out of three events at my club. I’ve bought at least 4-5 other home practice putting items ranging from basic to those with big promises. Nothing until Tour Links has actually had the feel of a true country club green. The string especially is helping train my stroke to follow through at the target better than anything else I’ve tried. The measurement block has also helped me control my backswing to a short consistent length.
As an experienced Canadian wholesaler and installer of synthetic putting greens, the “Tour Links” modular system is the easiest, most durable, synthetic putting green system I have installed. With a limited golf season, we sell many systems that customers use both indoor and outdoor. We also do many promotional events and tradeshows and the Tour Links system is a quick and easy set-up to showcase our products. There simply are no better systems than Tour Links.
Mirage Putting Greens of Alberta Inc
“Canadian Dealer of the Year”
I love my new Tour Links 6 x 14 custom putting green. It is very high quality, and was very easy to assemble. It is so convenient to be able to practice putting at home on a professional surface. In my opinion, it is the best putting training aid you can buy. An additional bonus is that it looks great on my back patio. My putting has improved within the first month of using it. Thanks for the great customer service.
Don B in Arizona
Your modular concept is a great product that has a variety of uses in our industry. Our company has worked with Creative Sports a number of years and have watched you tackle manufacturing and other issues and solve these as part of your service. Whenever we have had any issues at all, you and your staff have always gone out of your way to help us and our clients. We appreciate all you are doing to keep improving your products and look forward to a long and successful relationship with you.
Adventure Golf Services
Infini-Tee Golf Center is a totally indoor facility covering 24,000 square feet with driving bays, a 4200 sq ft short game area with bunker, a 1300 sq ft putting green, four golf simulators, miniature golf course, and two state of the art video teaching suites. When we began to design the facility we researched the best available suppliers for our specific requirements. We chose Tour Links to provide our short games area, putting green, and miniature golf course. Our decision was predicated on the following criteria:
Reputation of vendor
Design support and installation expertise
Quality of products
Cost effectiveness of total turn-key project
Expected life cycle of the installed materials
Ability of the vendor to meet our specific requirements for low dust and low total weight of playing areas
We have been open for almost six months and have absolutely no complaints about the putting green, short game area, and MiniLinks miniature golf course supplied by Tour Links. Their team delivered the project on target, on budget, and on time. Their staff is very customer oriented and continues to provide assistance long after the installation process.
Our customers are very enthusiastic about our facility and spend a great deal of time practicing their short game on both the putting green and short game area with sand bunker. We were able to precisely set the speeds of the putting green and the chipping green to match those of the top private clubs in our area. The greatest compliment is that the top area teaching professionals and players are using our facility when weather prohibits them from using their own golf courses. Infini-Tee Golf Center is very happy to be a member of the Tour Links family.
Infini-Tee Golf Center
I find these panels very easy to manipulate and easy to install. They help us save a lot of time and labor during an installation. For interior use, they are the only products that some one should use. Exterior wise it is very competitive in price and a lot better for the time of labor. It will take you 5 X less time, to install the Tour Links® panels, than to excavate. These panels are very rough and resistant. It will allow you to be creative and give you new ways of doing greens.
Synthetic golf Design
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how pleased we are with your product. We purchased the 12’x12′ Tour Links putting green to practice working on really making those “gimmies” and putts that you really need to make to score better while out on the real coarse. Very cool product and my kids and friends all like to socialize and play on it to boot.
The quality of the product is excellent and was rather easy to assemble. Keep up the great work!
Jaime in Wisconsin
The Tour Links panel system is the best product that has been introduced into our industry in years. Not only does it decrease installation time and labor, but it increases the quality of the finished product exponentially. The panel system has allowed me to double my putting green sales due to the fact that the quality and durability is far above a traditional aggregate base green. When a potential customer sees the system, they instantly see the value they are getting. This makes it a very easy decision for them. The other key element of the panel system is that it has opened up other markets that I previously could not have pursued. No longer are there limits to where you can install a green. To sum it up “Thanks Dave”.
ForeverLawn of NC Inc.
In my first round after practicing on my 12×4 Tour Links Green for less than a week, I recorded 5 birdies and 27 putts. That’s 4 strokes less than my average of 31. My green rolls very true and was simple to install. Tour Links has the best product I have seen in my 11 years in the golf business.”
Vice President, GolfQ.com
Posted by Golfer Gal
Tour Links Putting Green
It has been said many times that the greatest equalizer in golf is the short game. Length off the tee is great but if you can’t close the deal around the green you are no better off than the person who hit it 40 yards shorter but can clean up with their short game. Putting is the one part of golf that a person of any skill level can excel at. It doesn’t matter the strength, height, age, or gender of a person when it comes to putting instead it is all about practice and patience. At The Hackers Paradise we are always listening to our readers and asking them tools they think would best help them with their game or what item they would most want us to review. At the very top of the list was help with putting, ways to practice putting all year long, and where they can find putting greens for their home. Well, that is where the Tour Links putting greens comes into play.
We contacted Tour Links per the request of our readers to review their putting greens and they gladly agreed. They are so confident in their product that they were happy to supply one of their Standard 4′x10′ putting greens. Below is some information and specs on this particular green.
From the Company:
With 40 square feet of putting surface, this all weather green is a golfer’s dream come true! The first full size putting green that creates quality practice for golfers of any skill level. With room enough for two, the 4 x 10 delivers everything an enthusiast of the game demands. Club speed turf with adjustable breaks, and two regulation cups and pins are standard. The 4 x 10 green is ready for use in any indoor or outdoor space. Molded from high impact polymers, the patented design makes installation a snap. Elevate your game to a new level with Tour Links!
Item Description: 4’ x 10’ Putting Green
Part Number: PG-10PP-1
Assembled Length: 116.00 inches 9 ft – 8 inches 2.9464 meters
Assembled Width: 47.50 inches 3 ft – 11 ½ inches1.2065 meters
Assembled Height: 3.25 inches.08255 meters
Assembly Time: 15 Minutes To Assemble; 1 Person Required
Number of Packages: Arrives in (2) boxes plus (1) tube of turf.
Parts Included: Panels – (6) Straight Edge Panels; (2) Outside Radius Single Curve Edge Panels; (2) Outside Radius Double Curve Edge Panels; Turf – (1) Putting Turf; Accessories: (2) Cup Filler Plates; (2) Cups; (2) Pins; (2) Packs of Contours; (2) Packs of Hardware; (6) Packs of Bump Rail Clips; (1) Instruction Manual Pack with Decals
Materials Composition: Panels – Polypropylene Copolymer (Recycled Materials) Turf – 100% Polypropylene with Natural Rubber Latex Back
Care Instructions: Clean panels with a soft, damp cloth. Carefully sweep or vacuum the turf. When rolling up turf for storage, roll loosely with the green side out. Never crease the turf. For outdoor application: If unit will not be in use for an extended period of time, roll the turf with green side out, and store turf and accessory pieces indoors. If moving the assembly, use at least two people.
Warranty: 3 Years (Turf); 5 Years (Panels & Accessories)
The first thing I want to touch on is assembly. The company claims that assembly can be done in 15 minutes. Once all the items arrived we decided to put that claim to the test. I should start by saying that the two people putting this together, myself and a colleague, are not the most handy people so we expected assembly time to be triple what the company suggested. We laid all the parts onto the floor and realized that it’s just a big puzzle. Getting the pieces to slide together was fairly easy for the first side, however, adding the second side was a little more difficult but nothing a little bang with a hammer didn’t fix. After all the pieces were snapped together we got out the electric screw driver and placed the screws in the specified location and dropped the cups into the precut holes. After that we put the pre-cut turf on top and we were done. There are some minor steps in between but that is mostly putting stickers on the flag stick and connecting the rod to the cup, all very simply and take just seconds to complete. The assembly from start to finish took us about 20 minutes but as mentioned earlier the two of us are not very handy so overall we were really impressed with just how quick and easy it really was to put this putting green together.
Once everything was put together the next step was to take the two foam contours and place them under the turf to create breaks. This is such a fantastic feature because these contours can be changed as many times as you would like to create different breaks in the green. For people who have trouble reading breaks in a green this feature will be a life savor for your putting game. The other test we had to perform right away was durability because an indoor/outdoor putting green is great but if it breaks when two people are standing on it then it’s really useless. So we got up on the green and did the unthinkable, we jumped up and down. We were pleased to see that this putting green did not move an inch, did not crack or break, and still looked brand new.
The real test began once we started working on our putting. The company says with just 15 minutes a day you will see major improvements with your putting. Our goal was to try and putt at least 15 minutes a day and since this was within arms reach of us everyday we found ourselves taking several 15 minutes breaks during the day to putt around. The turf rolls so true and is made of the highest quality materials. Putting the breaks in certain places can make some putts seem impossible but the challenge of sinking that putt is too much fun.
In the short time that we have had the Tour Links putting green my putting stroke is a million times better, my confidence on those 10′ and in putts is so much higher, and I sort of have a new found love for putting. This was the one part of my game that I struggled with the most and I always found it a hassle to go to the putting green. I was always embarrassed to practice in front of a large group of people because my putting was so bad I didn’t want others to judge me. Now I am confident in my putting abilities, especially from 10′ and in and I really do have the Tour Links putting green to thank for that. Between the vast improvement in my speed control and putting stroke I have gone from four putting many holes to consistently 2 putting every hole. In my last two rounds that I played I sunk a 25′ and a 30′ putt that I would have never been able to do before.
The Tour Links putting greens are not like those twenty dollar roll up putting greens you buy at your local sporting good store this is a high end, high quality item that is more like a piece of furniture that will last you a life time. Some might feel the price tag is a bit steep but if you have the means and the space and you truly have a passion for golf then this putting green, or any of the standard and customized putting greens from Tour Links, is an incredible investment. For more information on this style or any of the other styles available you can visit their website here.
Your Fashion & Putting Guru
Tour Links 9’ Training Aid Putting Green – A MyGolfSpy.Com Review by GolfSpy Dave
I love to putt, but hate the rain.
This was my thought about a year ago when I started researching artificial putting greens that I could use indoors when it was raining. Living in a home with hardwood floors has many advantages, but putting practice is not one of them unless you are going to see greens that stimp at about 90. After looking around the net it seemed like there were tens, if not hundreds of variations on the roll out, roll up type of putting carpets. I probably went through about ten of them before I just came to accept that putting on one of these greens could, at best, allow me to hit a ball to fight the putting withdrawals. These greens had many natural (unnatural?) breaks and rolls that just didn’t feel like grass. I don’t think “it’s better than nothing” is the rave review that a manufacturer seeks when they bring a product to market, but that’s how I felt.
What about Tour Links’ Greens?
During the course of surfing the putting green options on the web, I came across Tour Links. Right away, I could tell that these were different than the rolled up carpets sold by other vendors. Each one of their greens had a modular plastic base that could be assembled into a small green like the Dogbone green (HERE), or the larger 14’ x 20’ Professional series green (HERE). Go click those links. I’ll wait…
Don’t those look amazing? Sure the big one is expensive, but I always find it is good to have lofty goals in life. You see in addition to wanting something to practice on inside, I have a large section of my backyard (not surprisingly about 14’ x 20’) that I often dream contains a putting green. Big putting green, Par Aide ball washer, benches, kegerator, and etc. I am sure that many of you can visualize a similar spot in your background where you could put a similar set-up. Based upon experience, this may not be something that you necessarily need to share with your spouse at this point.
Tour Links: The Best Kept Secret in the Golf Industry
When I became an official golf gear reviewer for mygolfspy.com, one of the first vendors I sought out was Tour Links. I was hoping to see if the green that I had imagined matched up with the actual product. After sending an email inquiry, I received a call from the President of Tour Links, Dave Barlow. Dave is actually the one that said that Tour Links may be the best kept secret in the golf industry. His explanation for this statement is based upon the fact that there greens are everywhere, but most average golfers don’t know who they are. Look at this list of clients listed on the Tour Links site:
American Express, Bobby Grace, Callaway, CNBC, CNN, Darren Clarke, Disney World Orlando, Ernie Els, ESPN, Geico Insurance, Golf Smith Super Stores, Hank Haney Teaching Academy, Jack Nicholas Jr, Jim McLean School of Golf, Kennedy Airport New York City, Mc Gregor, Mirage Putting Greens, Mizuno, Mutual of Omaha, New York City Department of Parks, Oceana Cruise Lines, PGA Tour, Ping, Pro Greens, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ryder Cup, Science and Motion, South West Greens, Synthetic Turf International, The First Tee, The Golf Channel National Amateur Championships, The White House, TOMI, Trump Towers, United States Army, United States House of Representatives office complex, University of Connecticut, University of Oregon, University of Washington, USGA, USS Alabama, & Wilson Golf
Impressive, huh? There is a reason that when you go to the Tour Links site, you are greeted with a glowing map of the world. This is a company with international distribution to big players both inside and outside of the golf industry. Hank Haney uses Tour Links greens in his Teaching Academies. I only know Mr. Haney from watching him on TV, but I get the feeling that he would not install a product at his academies if that product was not the best product available.
After researching Tour Links a bit more, I quickly realized that this company was much more than a maker of a few models of putting greens with a novel plastic base system. A tour through the Tour Links website will show the Standard and larger Professional greens that one could buy and install, but the Designer greens show that the folks at Tour Links can really make any style of green to fit any need. Perhaps the best representation of the level of customization can be found in the greens that they have made for mini golf (HERE). I don’t know about you, but I have never seen greens like those before, especially not all rolled up in a box at a local golf retailer.
So they look cool and are installed in a bunch of places, but how do they play?
After our conversation, Dave generously agreed to send me one of the Tour Links 9’ Training Aid greens to review. This green would serve as an excellent example of the Tour Links system because although it is not 14’x20’, it is constructed of the same base materials and the same turf as the larger models. And so…
Review: Tour Links 9’ Training Aid Putting Green
Assembly (20 Points)
When box containing the green arrived, I immediately cut it open and began the assembly process. I had watched some of the videos and read the instructions on how to assemble the base pieces together. I expected a quick sliding together of the base pieces and then rolling out the carpet on top. This is exactly what I experienced. The base pieces just slide together. Some gentle pressure is required to get them fully integrated, but nothing more than a person or two could handle. In the sake of full disclosure, I did have help putting the base together. My seven-year-old daughter helped me open the boxes. In the whole process, only one tool was required. The cup is secured to the underside of the base using two screws. I think that the whole assembly process, including reading the directions and unpacking took maybe fifteen minutes.
Connecting Base Sections
Adding the Cup
The actual putting surface does come rolled and it is suggested in the directions that exposure to sunlight for a period of time will help it to flatten out. Well it was dark when I put it together so this step had to be skipped. In spite of this, the green unrolled very flat. Really flat relevant to some of the other putting greens I have bought. I was able to roll balls right away without the surface resembling some type of rollercoaster. The only construction issue worth noting, and the source of the point deduction was that the green is cut just a touch long. In no way does this effect performance though. Perhaps when I can get the turf into the sun as directed, it will contract a bit and eliminate the millimeter or so overlap.
Adding the pin flag, the aiming string, and the platform to stand took no time once the main green was assembled.
Assembly Score: 19/20
Performance (60 Points)
I have put most of the points for this review in the performance category. Honestly, I am sick of using the cheap roll out greens as a way to hit balls, but not actually improve as a putter. I set up the standing platform all the way at the end of the putting green. Sure I could have started with three footers, but where is the glory in that? It is worth noting that you can move the platform to any point adjacent to the green and thus practice at any distance. The platform is very stable. I have the green and platform sitting on bare concrete in my garage. You can also stand on the putting surface without worry of damaging it. I have seen other greens where if you stand on the green and not the platform, the green can be damaged. Not the case with this Tour Links green. My comfortable putting position actually puts my feet on the intersection between the edge of the green and the platform. Zero problems with doing this. Initially I didn’t even realize that was the position of my feet.
The Training Aid is actually a green that is designed to help you improve as a putter and it comes with accessories to help you meet that goal. Two foam pads are included that can be placed under the turf to introduce breaks. An elastic string is suspended from one end to the other to show you the straight putting line. This line can also be adjusted to other locations if you are practicing putting with the breaks in. A plastic ruler shows you how far you are swinging to work on pace and also doubles as a way to put a line on your ball. One of the simplest, yet helpful accessories is the white sticker that you attach to the lip behind the cup. What this allows you to do is to check and see if your eyes are properly aligned over the target line. If the pin flag blocks the white sticker, you are correctly aligned over the line. Simple, instant feedback. Outstanding.
So with no small level of excitement my trusty Byron and I started firing yellow Z Stars at the cup. This green is smooth and quick. Even without rolling the turf out in the sun, it was nice and flat. I will get a stimp meter at some point, but I would estimate that it rolls at a 9 or maybe a touch faster.
So I am rolling and rolling putts and it became apparent that the putts were all breaking a bit right to left at the hole. I got a little less excited about the green at that point. The last thing that I needed was a green with a built-in break make be start pushing every putt right to compensate. Then in a moment of insight, I grabbed a level and checked the slope on the plastic base. Sure enough part of a bubble out. So then I moved the green out of the way and checked the garage floor. Low and behold, part of a bubble out. The green doesn’t have a break, my garage does.
In looking at the Tour Links Green, I realized that the plastic base on the green allowed me to do something with this practice green that I could not do with any of the others, level it. One quick trip to the hardware store and one $3 package of wooden door shims with about 10 minutes of trial and error with the level and I had a fully level, straight rolling practice green. Awesome.
Once I had the green set-up, I made a personal commitment to putt 20 balls a day on the green from about 8’ and to monitor the effect on my putting. About ten days in, I can safely say that this regimen and this green are making me a better putter. My stroke is more consistent and I feel like I can trust the feedback that I get when the ball goes left or right. Thanks to the Edel fitting chronicled in my other review, I know that I aim my current putter correctly. The string and other aids definitely help me making sure that the stroke sends the ball where I am aimed. I feel like I am being a bit over the top with praise here, but I have looked for quite a while for a green that would actually help me get better. This green is not a novelty item; it is a true training aid.
Performance Score: 60/60
If you are still not convinced, check the bottom of the page HERE for some videos from the Tour Links site showing the aspects of the green as a practice tool.
Value (20 Points)
As always I look at value as a combination of durability, longevity of use, and initial cost. In terms of durability, Tour Links offers manufacturer warranties on both the turf (3 years) and the base (5 years). I can’t see the base wearing out with 5 years of use indoors. Look at the photo below showing the underside’s construction. Maybe outdoors, but in reality, the base is very sturdy and should last well beyond that warranty. The turf, being the part that interacts with the putter and the ball, could wear faster, but it too is very high quality. I also bet that should your turf wear out before the base, you could order replacement turf from Tour Links. Longevity for me is related to durability. As long as I know that I am getting true rolls as I practice on the green, I will continue to use it. It was even a bit of a party game last weekend as some friends came over and we took turns seeing if we could make putts with the cup reducer in. It’s fun and I can see it being fun, and helpful, for at least the length of the warranty.
Underside of Base Section
This brings us to cost. Some of you may have clicked on the link for the 14’x20’ green that I love, saw the $4248 price tag and maybe skipped the rest of the review. However, the 9’ Training Aid green is priced at $359 including shipping. The 7’ version is a little less expensive at $339 and the 13’ green a little more at $429. If all you want is a mat on the floor to putt indoors, or if carpet putting is plenty for you then obviously you are probably not interested in a $359 putting green. However, if you want to have a green at home that you can putt on and actually improve as a putter, the relationship to that price point changes. We are really only talking about the cost of a new driver or fancy putter here. I can say with confidence that this is by far the best quality and most useful home putting green that I have ever encountered.
Value Score: 20/20
Total Score: 99/100
Tour Links artificial putting greens are fantastic. These greens have applications ranging from an individuals home, to one of the preeminent instructors in the golf industry. The greens come in various prepackaged confirmations and also in seemingly infinite custom possibilities. Someday I’ll get that big green in the backyard, but until I do I am very happy putting and getting better at putting on my Training Aid green. Roll a few balls on a Tour Links green if you have the chance, but based upon how widespread the products of this “secret” company are in the market, you probably already have.