A self-standing putter to help with your alignment? Who made it, how does it work and is that even legal? We have all the answers

If you switched on the LPGA coverage this weekend you may have noticed a rather peculiar sight. Baseball star John Smoltz successfully defended the celebrity title while using a rather unusual self-standing putter. A few people actually asked me if this clip was Photoshopped…

Smoltz was using a self-standing putter created by Bloodline Golf. The company was set up by Brad Adams and Larry Bischmann who previously worked for Odyssey and Diamana shafts so they know what they’re doing.

The technology in their putters allows you to step back and check the putter is lined up correctly. You then simply address the putter and hit your putt.

This isn’t the first time we have seen the putters. Ernie Els had one in play from 2014 to 2018 on the PGA Tour.

I know what you’re all thinking, is that even legal? Well if it were up to me I would say no but the R&A and USGA outrank me on this one. Here is the official ruling:

Rule 10.2b(3)/1: Setting clubhead on ground behind ball to help the player take a stance is allowed.

Rule 10.2b(3) does not allow a player to set down an object (such as an alignment rod or a golf club) to help the player take a stance. However, this prohibition does not prevent a player from setting his or her clubhead behind the ball, such as when a player stands behind the ball and places the clubhead perpendicular to the line of play and then walks around from behind the ball to take his or her stance.

So let me get this right, you can’t use an alignment stick or, indeed, your caddie to line you up, but it is perfectly fine to use a putter as an alignment tool?

Getting your alignment correct over the ball is difficult as you are moving from one plane of vision to another. It is much easier to see a straight line when you are stood behind the ball looking at the hole than when you are stood over the ball.

self-standing putter

Good alignment is key to good putting. In fact 90% of the start line on a putt is controlled by the face angle at impact, having a square face at address makes a big difference in how you deliver the face at impact and if you make the putt.

So surely good alignment is a skill that needs to be learned rather than relying on an outside source to do the work for you?

Anyway, if you’re struggling with alignment on the greens, maybe it’s time to make an investment.

If you want to buy one, you can do so via the Bloodline website – but you won’t get much change from £400.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me.