Every golfer, whether professional or average, knows that golf is a sport that is all about concentration, confidence and—most importantly—tons of practice. Most everyone who has ever played even the quickest round realizes that golf is a sport all about putting. While not everyone can knock the ball all the way to the fairways and outer greens with one long shot, you can lower your scores by eliminating putting shots and making more putts in one big shot. This past year, a new training device invention aimed at helping golfers improve their putts hit stores and golf shops; two North Carolina natives and amateur golfers are its developers.
Mike Hicks, who lives in Mebane and has been a PGA Tour caddie for the past twenty years, carrying the bag for such heavyweights as Payne Stewart, joined with one of the Carolinas’ top amateur golfers, Danny Gurley, to create The Big Putt. Hicks remembers watching as Stewart made one heck of a big putt when he made the 15-foot shot on the final green of the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst’s No.2 course to beat our Phil Mickelson by one shot! It’s shots like these that help lower scores and win tournaments and Hicks and Gurley believe that with their new tool, golfers everywhere can begin to gain the confidence and appropriate acceleration needed to make those big putts! If anyone knows what it takes to lower scores and win tournaments, it is certainly Danny Gurley, who, as a top golfer in the Carolinas, has won the North Carolina Mid-Amateur Championship twice, in 2002 and then again in 2005. Hicks loved caddying for Stewart and, after Stewart’s tragic death, he moved on to caddie for Jonathan Byrd and Scott Hoch on the Champions Tour. The guys have taken their knowledge of the game and experience watching the pros use special tactics to keep their confidence and turned that knowledge into an amazing product that is touted by professional giants such as Jim Furyk, Billy Andrade, and Peter Jacobsen.
While this product won’t make everyone land putts like Tiger Woods every single time, it will, over time, help you to visualize the hole as larger and the putt path as wider. How does it work, you ask? The Big Putt is a ball constructed on standard golf ball materials, but the Big Putt ball is a bit larger than regulation balls, coming it at 1.95 inches in diameter, whereas regulation balls are only 1.68 inches in diameter. The Big Putt feels like a normal golf ball, only it is wider and has no dimples. Remember the dimples are there purely for engineering and helping the ball launch, spin and propel through the air, the ball never goes into the air when putting. By practicing your putts with a larger ball you will have to accelerate your backswing and hit the ball when putting; when using it, the hole appears smaller, as the ball is larger. When you switch back to a regulation-sized ball, you will have the confidence needed to swing and accelerate properly into your putt and the hole will appear so much smaller now that you are using a smaller ball. Golf is all about confidence and visualizing your ball going into the hole. Hicks and Gurley even know of a top PGA Tour professional that ends every hole by putting the ball into the hole before moving on to the next tee. The positive psychology behind believing that you can make the putt does wonders for the actual “Big Putts” that you will start to make!
The Big Putt balls are marketed and distributed by Big Golf Ball, Inc. They are available for purchase at a variety of locations. Already beloved by many golf insiders and professionals on tour, The Big Putt will definitely change the shape of the game, at least where putting is concerned. For Helpful Golf Tips and Tricks, click to our section on tips. GolfNorthCarolina.com is the best source for information on the North Carolina Golf Courses across the state and happenings in the golf world in NC. Find the best NC Golf Courses in your area, and plan North Carolina Golf Vacations and Golf Getaways to the top places in North Carolina for golf in the NC Sandhills region at Pinehurst and the beautiful North Carolina Coast. GolfNorthCarolina.com has everything you want to know and find on Golf in North Carolina.