The world's first computer-controlled putting green was one of our favourite techy product launches last year - and now it's been upgraded.
The Zen Green Stage has welcomed a new addition with PuttView, which has transformed it in to a product that has been taking recent golf shows by storm.
The original Zen Green Stage was designed because tour putting coach Nick Middleton believed only one in 100 putts are dead straight, so he asked the question - why do golfers practise on a flat surface?
Zen's Green is 16ft in length, offers up to 12% variation in rise and fall slopes, and at just the touch of a button you can practise breaking and double-breaking putts for as long as you like - so we can certainly see the appeal.
The addition of PuttView helps calculate the exact ball-path at any position and then projects it on to the green so golfers can visualise their putts.
It attracted a lot of attention at both the Hanse Golf in Hamburg and the Irish Golf Expo this year, with creators saying there were large queues the entire day, particularly of youngsters. It then begs the question: Could high-tech gadgets like this be the answer to getting youngsters involved in the sport?
Zen Green Stage co-designer Nick Middleton seemed thrilled with the recent reactions, and said: “People’s reactions to Green Stage have been even more remarkable since the addition of PuttView."
"For the first time golfers can see the perfect line into the hole, exactly like chart topping-video games and TV coverage. This orchestrates real drama, and creates the adrenaline of live play. Anyone can learn to putt – and with our new technology, the results are fast!”
At the touch of an icon in an app, the Zen Green Stage takes just seconds to recreate virtually any putt on the planet under 20ft (6.1m), including double-breaking putts, while PuttView shows you how to hole it with a host of visual aids. The combined system can also create a series of putting games of varying degrees of difficulty featuring animated targets.
PuttView co-founder Lukas Posniak believes that the creation could transform the way coaches teach putting, calling it game-changing.
He said: “Kids love it, adults love it, and nobody wants to leave until they’ve holed a putt on it. Absolute beginners improve astonishingly quickly on it, and golf coaches enthuse about the visualisation. The Green Stage and PuttView work superbly together: this is game-changing technology.”
One of the best perks about the putting green? You even get to choose what speed the green runs at – 8.5, 10, 12.5 or a lightning 15 on the stimpmeter, which is quicker than Augusta National!
Zen are currently programming the green to recreate some of the toughest putts in world golf, and it certainly sounds like a whole lot of fun for an evening of "this to win The Masters" action.
It it arguably the most consistent surface you could ever learn or practice on - but unless you have a lot of money tucked away, you will probably have to stick to putting lessons because it doesn't come cheap.
Want to try it out? You can either contact Zen directly or turn up to their Zen studioes in Sheffield, where the green stage is now on show. The team will also exhibit at this year’s Scottish Golf Show at the SEC in Glasgow from March 24th to 26th.