Product Type: PGA Tour Golf
Newest Review: ... I mentioned that it also comes with some other gizmos. For starters you get a PGA Tour golf ball to go with this device, along wi... more
If I ever have a snow storm in my office, at least I can find this again!!
PGA Tour Pure Auto Returner With Guide Ball
Member Name: Randal
PGA Tour Pure Auto Returner With Guide Ball
Advantages: Well made and addictive
Disadvantages: A little gimmicky
I used to have a similar version of this from Longridge in my office for ages, and it was something that I got slowly addicted to, knocking the golf balls back and forth into it in my spare time. But when it finally broke a few months ago (the return bit stopped working), I really missed using it. Hence I looked around to get a suitable replacement and came across this in a local sporting shop for £13 - a little more expensive than the Longridge one I purchased for £7, but this PGA version does have a few more gizmos included with it.
What's it all about? Well basically this is a golf putting aid to enable golfers and the like to practice their putting shots. You set this up somewhere (I have this set up in my office) and then putt golf balls into it, but the clever bit is that once you putt the ball into the target, it then activates a mechanism inside which then 'fires' the ball back to you - almost like receiving a gratifying reward for getting the shot right in the first place.
What do you get for the money? Well, it is basically a sort of black plastic box with a semi circle cut out of the front of it. It feels fairly robust and well made, with an overall length of 29 cm and a width of 17 cm, and is fairly heavy, meaning that it is not going to move or slide around when you're putting balls into it. The front semi-circular bit has been made to look a little similar to a golfing green with some green baize material stuck down to it, with a representation of the golf hole marked out on it as a white semi-circle. It also has a slight lip and ridge to it, which goes up at the front and then falls away towards the back. The purpose of this is that you have to play the shot well to get it over the ridge, whereupon the ball is then guided to the back of the semi-circle on the device. As it reaches the back, it comes to rest on a sensor button, that then activates the return mechanism, which is basically a spring loaded bolt which shoots forward against the ball to knock it out of the device and back towards you.
But I mentioned that it also comes with some other gizmos. For starters you get a PGA Tour golf ball to go with this device, along with a training DVD to show you how to be a better golfer. In addition, they have also supplied a sort of little putting flag on to of the device to add a bit of realism so that you have something to aim for, but with the flag only being a few inches tall, in my opinion, it doesn't really add that much realism. Could be useful to help you find it again if you've left the device outside and it gets covered in leaves or snow, but I don't tend to get that problem in the office, so I think it's more of a gimmick if anything. The only other things that you will need, that aren't supplied, are a putting iron and two size C batteries to power the device.
In use, the device can, and does become quite addictive, and as I did with my previous one, you start challenging yourself to do trickier shots by bouncing the ball off of the skirting board or around the table leg. To make it a little more difficult, you can also vary the distance between youself and the device, but then the device does have a limitation in that it will only project the ball back to you in a straight line over about 9 to 10 feet, depending on the surface that you are playing on (eg. smooth carpet, bare floor etc). But over time and with practice, I have found that it does improve my putting skills, making me putt much more accurately.
In summary, just like my first Longridge version, this device is very useful if you want to improve your putting skills. It is a little bit of a 'lazy' golfer's device in that you don't really need to go and fetch the ball from the hole because it launches it back to you automatically. But if you're desperate for that extra bit of realism in fetching the ball, you can always take the batteries out. Either way, it is a fun addictive, if a little gimmicky, device with a training purpose for the keen or casual golfer. Hence a 4* recommendation.
Summary: A fun, addictive training aid for the keen or casual golfer.