The old adage is "drive for show and putt for dough" and refers to pro golfers where the best putters often make the most money. Well that also applies to us amateurs who are trying to best our golfing partners in a friendly wager. Now Putting Bootcamp has been released and offers a systematic way to improve your putting. The free universal app requires iOS 6.1 or later.
The concept behind the app is to make your putting practice into a series of contests that you score. The app tracks your scores and the more you work on your game the higher the scores and in theory you should see a corresponding decrease in the number of putts you take each round. Fewer putts means better scores and an improvement in the chances of winning your best ball match with your friends.
Putting Bootcamp lays out five basic parts of your putting game that you can work on: Setup, the Putter Path, Putter Face Alignment, Stroke length and Pace, and how to take what you learn to the golf course. Each segment starts with a video explaining what the drills are supposed to accomplish and why those elements are important. Then each segment offers four or five drills and explains how to do them to accomplish the goals of the segment. These become your contests where you compete against your self and work to improve your scores and hopefully your putting game.
As an example, here is the breakout for one of the segments. Understanding the path of the putter comes with five drills: Edge Rail drill, Edge Mirror drill, Putting Rod drill, Balls of Steel drill and Four Corners game. The first four use special training aids which are conveniently sold on the developers web site. However, with a little ingenuity you can duplicate the aids from things around your home.
For example, the edge is nothing more than a piece of wood with a straight edge about 12-15 inches long. The goal of the drill is to take the putter back so you keep the heel of the putter along the straight edge which means you are back and through the putt along a straight path. No taking it inside or outside the intended line. Once you see the aids I am sure you can find a way to make them for a lot less than what they would cost on the web site. Not all the drills require anything special.
Despite the effort to sell you a bunch of training devices, the concepts demonstrated in Putting Bootcamp are solid and if you do the drills, practice a lot, and score higher, you should become a better putter and lower your handicap. Maybe pocket a few extra dollars from your weekend games with friends.