A new era of putting practice has arrived with the launch of Green Stage, the adjustable putting platform from Sheffield-based putting specialists Zen Green Technology.
The world-first, computer-controlled Green Stage enables golfers to practice an almost limitless number of breaking putts to their heart’s content, mastering the art of green reading in a comfortable indoor environment.
The 16ft long stage takes seconds to adjust from one slope to another, and can offer golfers challenging double-breaking putts as well as all other putts in the scoring zone.
“The straight putt is a myth” said Zen’s Nick Middleton, Tour putting coach, creator of the popular Zen Oracle putter, and co-inventor of Green Stage. “Contrary to what golfers have been taught for years, there is no such thing as a truly straight putt beyond two feet. So if only one in a hundred putts are dead straight, why do most golfers practice their putting on a flat surface?
“The humble living room carpet may be convenient, but it doesn’t replicate the challenge of a real golf course. Now, with Green Stage, golfers have the perfect place to learn, practice and perfect the twin arts of pace and green reading.
“In a few seconds, Zen Green Stage can replicate every putt under 15 feet on the planet.”
A public appearance for Green Stage at the Scottish Golf Show 2016 drew crowds for all three days “We were delighted to showcase the innovative Zen Green Stage at the Show this year” said Event Manager Julia Girvan. “It proved a great hit with our visitors across the weekend. Golfers loved being able to re-enact iconic Major tournament putts from golfing legends such as Ballesteros and Nicklaus, which the advanced Green Stage technology accurately replicated. It was a popular addition to our Show and we look forward to seeing it again here next year.”
The Zen Green Stage (£16,650 + VAT) offers up to 12% variation in rise and fall slope, variable contours, multiple cups, touch-screen operation, and a quick-change putting surface which can replicate a variety of green speeds.
It can also easily be converted to a full-swing platform for other types of practice.
A touch screen remote enables users to dial in custom slope settings, or to choose from pre-set slopes and challenges which can be created and stored in unlimited numbers.
“If you often face a particularly tricky putt on your home golf course, you can re-create it on the Green Stage, save it, master it, and lose your fear of it” said Middleton. “Green Stage sets your imagination and creativity free to produce an effectively infinite variety of putting conditions from inside the 15-foot scoring zone – and most crucially from within 10 feet, where the biggest gains on the greens are to be made.”
One of the world’s leading authorities on putting and green-reading now coaches students on the Green Stage. “This is the next step for putting practice” said Jon Karlsen PhD, Tour putting coach, author of several academic research papers on putting, and Elite Golf Director at the Norwegian Golf Federation. “Just as launch monitors have become ubiquitous over the last decade, within a few years I think the Green Stage will be everywhere, including many Tour players’ homes.”
Ian Hutchinson, director of the high-tech Core Golf centre in Oxfordshire, said: “Zen Green Stage has no rivals. When we were setting up the Core Golf studio, we looked at all the available golf technology. Zen Green Stage stood out, and it was a no-brainer to offer it here. Once you have tried it, you will see that the experience is on another level from any previous artificial putting surface you may have tried. Green Stage is brilliant, and all of our customers now use it.”
“It is an unbelievable piece of kit” said Lee Sharpe, former England, Manchester United and Leeds United footballer, and 2-handicap golfer. “The main thing I get from the Green Stage is added confidence in my putting. It helps you work on your alignment, your green reading, your distance control and your weaknesses. It can’t fail to help your game, and every golf club should have one.”
Nick Middleton and fellow Zen Green Stage inventor Andrew McCague based the concept on an original idea by the test pilot of the Mach 3 Lockheed Blackbird, US Air Force colonel Horace Templeton, who first created green-reading maps in the 1970s. In September 2014, Zen used similar techniques to help create greens maps at Gleneagles used by the victorious European Ryder Cup team.
“Colonel Templeton’s belief was that a golfer’s fundamental inability to read a green is the biggest single barrier to success, and it is one which we share” said Middleton. “There’s growing scientific evidence that highlights the need for practice environments to mimic the real world. With the new Green Stage, both putting coaches and golfers at every level of the game, up to Tour superstars, can now master the challenge of the breaking putt in a consistent, repeatable, authentic environment like never before.
“Green Stage is the natural companion to a full-swing golf simulator, and it raises putting practice to new levels of enjoyment.”
Zen Green Stage http://www.zenoracle.com/zen-green-stage/
Zen Oracle www.zenoracle.com