Fool's Tools
By joe jones on 12/21/11
At oob, we love it when users send in articles they wrote because it's fun to read other people's perspective, plus it gives us one less thing to write. Say hello to Joseph Jones, our newest guest columnist. Enjoy his first submission!

It never ceases to amaze me how the advertising mavens that push golf products these days keep coming up with new technology that is supposed to improve the game of the average weekend golfer. If you believe the hype, the correct club combined with the proper ball should give you 20 or so more yards and enable you to reduce your score by 5 or 6 strokes. The fact of the matter is if you are like me, it will probably make no difference at all. The experts would have you believe that going through a series of computerized tests measuring swing speed, spin rate, flight pattern and trajectory will match you perfectly with the $400 driver they are trying to sell you. The only golfers that benefit from all of those things are the touring professionals that get all of this done free and they don’t pay for the equipment. If a new ball will help me play better, I will play it - I just won’t buy it. Any premium ball I find on the golf course will work well for me. I haven’t bought a golf ball in years. Am I cheap? Probably! I also came to grips many years ago with the fact that I am most likely not going to win the U.S. Open, so why worry... just be happy.

Ben Hogan once said that putting and golf are two separate games. In the late 60s I went from being a very good putter to having the worst case of the yips that ever existed. The guys that I played with always watched me putt with admiration. After I got the yips they started to look the other way because they were afraid my affliction was contagious. I also think they were laughing behind my back. Payback for all of the skins I stole from them on the greens over the years. I tried everything to solve the problem and finally started putting sidesaddle with a long putter.

The problem was that in 1970 long putters didn’t exist, so I made one. My brother-in-law ran a factory that made crystal lamps. One of the components was a solid brass base to weigh down the lamp. I took one of those castings, machined it in a shape I thought would work, and then looked for a shaft. No long putter shafts were available so I took a ski pole that I had in my garage, put two split grips on it and I had me a putter. I called it “Big Ugly” and it is still in my bag today. I have been stealing skins with this unlikely device since 1970 and my buddies don’t laugh anymore. That putter cost me about $6.00 to create. It has given me 42 years of enjoyment and paid for itself many times over. Every once in a while I get angry because it isn’t performing up to my expectations, so I banish it to the hall closet as punishment and use my fall back putter. It seems to work because after a few days I go back to Big Ugly and it works very well.

The point of all of this is that spending all kinds of money on new equipment won’t buy you a game. If you have all kinds of discretionary funds available, invest them in something worthwhile like golf lessons. Like they say, a little education goes a long way. Practice won’t always make perfect, but it does make you better. I certainly can’t be called a range rat, but a few minutes a week chipping and putting will improve your game greatly.

It also won’t cost you a bundle.

This was written by Joseph Jones, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by akeg

[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
Outstanding article and welcome to the world of oob writers. :) I think this is a sentiment that's always talked about but never really thought about. Sounds strange but some of people who talk about tools not really helping still have the "neutron sticks" that the big manufacturers say they should have. I'm included in that, but i also test and test to make sure it actually DOES do something before i buy it. I'm interested in your putter though. that's awesome that you made your own. I've often thought about it. I played with a guy who had a putter that was just a piece of copper tube on the end of a shaft. He putted pretty well with it and it made an awesome sound when he stroked the putt. Maybe it's time to check the garage.
bkuehn1952 says:
Hey Joe! Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to more of your contributions to Oob.

Many of our dollars & time would be better spent on lessons & practice rather than equipment and playing. I know I am guilty of that.
cvargo says:
I would like to see a picture of Big Ugly
homermania says:
Should the Tour ban the Big Ugly putter? Discuss.
joe jones says:
I think they would have a problem banning it because it conforms to all of the usga specs. They can't even rule out my method on the basis that I anchor the putter to part of my body. The only thing touching the shaft is my hands on both grips.
As to a photo, I will see what I can do.
Banker85 says:
You said you putt side saddle. I thought that style of putting is banned?
joe jones says:
Side saddle is perfectly legal. What is illegal is the croquet style where the player straddles the line of the putt. Look up Bob Duden on the internet if you would like to know the history of side saddle or face on putting. Sam Snead always took credit for both styles but he copied Duden.
sepfeiff says:
"The only golfers that benefit from all of those things are the touring professionals that get all of this done free and they don’t pay for the equipment".

Are you kidding me? The average weekend golfer would not benefit from a driver fitting and the proper club selection? You and the wedge guy belong together bashing technology you haven't tried and are not willing to research. COMPLETE RUBBISH!
mmontisano says:
KJ Choi most recently used the side saddle putting method in the recent (British) Open Championship.
daytripper says:
Because of not wanting to feel ripped off/cheap and lazy, I never will get any adjustable driver. That being said, You're right about your comments because if ya can;t hit the ball consistently, it won't matter. However with technology now ,probably with the longer and lighter shsfts, hotter golf faces and better golf balls, one can buy more distance. Tried a buddy's Burner 2.0 and gained 20 yds with a junkie 2 pc ball. Used the newer balls and find they fly easier and farther and according to how they are said to be. This leads me to the premise that I suspect the pros use balls that actually fly farther & easier than those sold to the rest of us. Referring to the Ping article, why aren't the pros already using balls that fly much farther than those sold to the masses. I still have a hard time with the fact that pros hit say a 7/8 iron 200 yds.
And your Big Ugly , oh yeah, is the angle of the shaft and the putter head at lest 10*/90* depending which way the angle is measured, that's the USGA ruling on Putter
joe jones says:
daytripper. Yes. conforms to 10/90 rule. Center shafted. true balanced. 48" long and totally legal.
FallOfTim says:
I like playing with people who use a "chipper." Almost guarantees they will be two-putting...
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