P3 “Perfect Putting Pendulum” Review.

At the PGA Merchandise Show in January, several new companies brought their inventions to show the golfing world. As with any collection of new inventions, some are good, some are okay, and some should be thrown into a river somewhere. The P3 (Perfect Putting Pendulum) was one of the few inventions that I was really anxious to start using when I got home to Cleveland.

My approach to reviewing training aids is a little different than putters. Putter reviews only take about 50 putts of varying length and complexity. It usually only takes a day or two with a putter to get a feel for its idiosyncrasies. The quality and craftsmanship come out in the pictures I take when I get to the studio, so that part takes care of its self.

To properly judge the validity of a training aid, however, it can take quite a bit of time. What I decided to do was to outfit a putter in my office with the P3, and spend a month with it. I generally putt throughout the day while I’m on the phone, so I can putt 75-100 times a day and evaluate something over time.

Concept:
The idea behind the P3 is to help train you to use a proper pendulum putting stroke. Incorporating the proper use of shoulder rotation into the putting stroke helps eliminate the “yips” that come when you smack at a putt by breaking your wrists. A noble concept for sure, but is the P3 able to deliver?

The way the P3 trains your stroke to use your shoulders is to separate your hands from each other. This effectively takes the area you are rotating from the small “Shoulder <- Wrists -> Shoulder” to a larger “Shoulder <- Putter Face -> Shoulder” triangle. With an area that large, it is much easier to move as a unit. By moving your hands apart, you are no longer able to break your wrist and are forced to rotate your shoulders properly.

The largest, and first, position of the P3 has your hands 16″ from each other. Because you are using YOUR putter with this device, you are looking at, and hitting balls while looking at a familiar face (pardon the pun). This is important because many training aids use a different putter to teach, and then send you off with your own putter to fend for yourself on the greens.

As you spend more time with the P3, you bring the grips closer towards the center to get yourself used to having your hands on the grip. The end result should be a consistent pendulum stroke without breaking your wrists. There are three ‘settings’ that you can use to work your way down to “No Yips” mode (as I like to call it).

Construction:
The P3 consists primarily of an ABS plastic frame. There are three positions on either side that you can easily snap one of the two included grips into. Rare earth (extra strong) magnets keep the grips in place while using the P3 in any position. I was a little skeptical about the magnets at first, but the reality is the putting stroke isn’t all that fast. The way that the grips snap on makes it almost impossible to get them to break loose during normal operation.

Use:
I put the P3 on one of my trusty “Ping Anser” putters in early February, and spent the next 30 days using it throughout the day. When it wasn’t in use by me, there was someone in my office that had it in their hand as they were passing through. The comments ranged from “Is that a game?” to “How do you put it in your bag?” When I explained the concept, they immediately started putting correctly with it.  Comments then changed to “Oh…I get it!” or “Wow. Too cool!”

Operation:
Attaching the P3 was a snap. It basically clamps right on and you are on your way. The whole kit breaks down and fits into the included bag. You could easily spend 5 minutes with it on the practice green, and get your confidence back before you hit the first tee.

I’ll warn you that when you hit a putt with the P3 attached, the ball seems to ‘bounce’ off of the putter. This is the result of the putter being clamped a little lower than normal, and the clamp being a singular point of contact. You get used to it in no time (it honestly makes 0 difference…more of an initial feel thing),

I also found myself wanting to leave it on a putter, rather than trade it out all the time. This COULD be the result of my having 100+ putters at my disposal, so your results may vary.

Immediate Effects:
After using the P3 for an hour, I was excited to see what effects it had on my “real” stroke. I immediately noticed that after 20 minutes, my putter without the P3 seemed like a toy.  Not in a bad way though.  After stroking a putter that felt more than 4X as heavy for any length of time, your normal putter will feel very…small. This had a nice effect on my path and tempo.

Lasting Effects:
After a month of using the P3, I noticed that my tempo and shoulder movement have improved dramatically. In all the putting lessons that I’ve taken over the years, I’ve never been told that shoulder rotation was such a big part of putting. I hear them say it, but the results were fantastic when I went to visit Kevin Weeks at Cog Hill and saw what my path had done on the SAM Putt-Lab analyzer. My tempo and consistency improved dramatically after using the P3.

“Skip to the End” re-cap:
If you are struggling with the “Yips” you need to do something about it. The P3 is one way that you can iron out your stroke. The $99 price-tag is a small price to pay for a training aid that you can use with any putter you own, or will own in the future. At some point, we all get the Yips with any putter…getting rid of them gets easier when you have the right tools.

Truth and usefulness can be found in about any training aid…some more than others. I imagine that in time, we’ll run across plenty of useful gadgets…and a few duds too. Count the P3 as our first in the “Very Useful” category.

NOTE: To see the P3 in action, tune in to the The Golf Channel on Thursday March 22nd at 11:30 am eastern.

Stats
Company: SLO Golf Solutions, LLC
URL: http://www.p3putter.com/
Street Price: $89.00
Manufactured & Assembled: USA – Paso Robles, CA
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