Golf is a very popular sport, however, it is extremely difficult to master. Practice cannot usually be done anywhere but a golf course. Gaining access to a golf course can be expensive and also inconvenient. Tru Putt offers a practice aid that can easily be used anywhere at little cost. It also addresses one of the most difficult aspects of golf, putting. Putting is also considered to be the most important aspect of the golf and the best way to shave off strokes. Tru Putt is an effective solution not only because of its low cost, but also because of its usability. It is designed to be portable and compact as it folds into three pieces and fits easily in any golf bag. Tru Putt can make a difference in your game whether you are a beginner or an advanced golfer. It will train the golfer to complete a repeatable natural putting stroke, allowing golfers become consistent on the green.
Proof of Concept
The Tru Putt Proof of Concept (PoC) will be a simple design made from wood and common pieces of hardware found in any local hardware store, ensuring that the design is basic and easy to assemble. The Proof of Concept design is much larger than the actual end product but it will still demonstrate the same functionality. The PoC will focus primarily on three main aspects of the Tru Putt device: the retractable cord, the visual aid, and the clip attachment to the putter. These main components will be tested using masking tape for a straight line off the device, a modified tape measurer, wood, and simple pieces of hardware to attach the cord to the putter. The remaining sections of this paper will go into detail of how the Tru Putt Proof of Concept will work and be assembled in order to justify the steps taken towards achieving this goal.
Golf is a very popular sport, however, it is extremely difficult to master. Hours of repetition and correct fundamentals are essential to becoming an exceptional player. Unfortunately, it can be an obstacle to get to the golf course to practice, in addition to being expensive upon arrival. TruPutt offers a portable and reasonably priced putting aid that can be easily assembled on any flat surface, both indoor and outdoor. The handheld TruPutt device encourages the user to practice a smooth and repeatable putting stroke that will lead to lowering scores on the green and ultimately enable golfers of all skill levels to have more fun on the course.
Key functions in the design of the TruPutt have been identified to ensure the quality of the product while meeting the necessary requirements to keep it user friendly. Portability, visual aid feedback, and constant resistance are functions of the design that give TruPutt a competitive edge above other swing training devices on the golf market today.
Portability is important in any golf accessory design because there are golf courses located all over the world. A portable design allows the user to store the product in a golf bag for access at all times. The design also functions in settings outside of a golf course to use at home or in an office cubicle. Three connecting pieces allow for easy setup and breakdown without the requirements of external hardware. Quick and easy setup allows access to the TruPutt golf aid for any occasion.
A visual swinging plane of the user’s putting stroke provides the user with constructive feedback for putting errors. This reoccurring feedback allows for the correction of misaligned strokes and gives the user the opportunity for a perfect and repeatable process. With continuous use of TruPutt, the user will gain muscle memory of the fundamental putting stroke.
Each putting surface and green speed varies from golf course and hole number. TruPutt provides resistance to the stroke ensuring the user is moving the putter head through the ball with a constant velocity. This gives feedback to the user if there is too little or too much speed in the stroke. The resistance is inherent from the constant force spring from which the cord unravels. As the golfer moves the putter forward–the system input–the cord unwinds with the constant force spring, whose spring force acts in the opposite direction of the putter’s motion. This resistance ensures the golfer does not decelerate their putt upon impact with the golf ball. Deceleration at impact is one of the other primary problems many golfers have with their putting stroke. The versatility of having a portable putting aid that offers visual feedback and encourages putting with a smooth and constant velocity is something that has yet to enter the golf market and should be an essential element in the golf bag of all competitive players.
Fabrication of the TruPutt begins with a 3D modeling software. SolidWorks is used to model each component for the TruPutt. Once each component has been designed, the models are then 3D Printed using the Stratasys 1200es printer. Any excess support material must then be removed and edges lightly sanded to give the product a smooth finish. Calipers and a measuring tape are used to verify all critical dimensions and material thickness. Once all parts are verified, the next step is assembly. To assemble the TruPutt, the cord is threaded through the eye of the spool and secured with a knot around the center shaft of the spool. The cord is then tightly wound around the spool leaving approximately 4” of cord remaining unwound. The constant force spring is then placed around the shaft of the spool, securing the center tab of the spring into the spring tab cutout of the spool.The spool and spring assembly is then placed inside the main housing unit and the free end of the constant force spring is secured to the spring tab located at the top of the housing unit. The cord is then threaded through the opening and the housing cap is snapped into place by aligning the cap pins with the pin holes in the housing. A piece of ⅛” rubber is cut to size and adhered to the inside of the putter clip using an epoxy. Once dried, the cord is then securely tied to the string clip. Lastly, the putter clip is snapped inside the string clip and the assembly is complete
Testing and Results
When testing the TruPutt, three aspects were analyzed. First, the material integrity of the product needed to be tested to prove that it could hold up to normal wear and tear of intended use. After the material and construction of the device was tested, user improvement with the use of the TruPutt needed to be evaluated. Multiple tests within the the TruPutt team members would be analyzed in measuring the improvements in accuracy. Lastly, a sample group of golfers would test the product to give feedback on any impediments of the putting stroke caused by the TruPutt and/or positive reinforcements trained by the product.
The first test series consisted of obtaining information on the strength and dimensions of Tru Putt’s important components. In order to discern as to whether the clock spring had undergone any significant strain and or deformation, the clock springs diameter was measured before testing while under no strain. After five measurements, an average diameter was calculated, and used as the datum for future measurements of the clock spring’s diameter after simulation. This was repeated after Test 3 to compare results and discern if any deformation had taken place. Furthermore, the length of the cord was measured five times and its average length calculated. This length served as the datum for future measurements after simulations had been run. This test was important in deciding whether the cord had the necessary tensile strength to avoid any stretching and continue to provide the user with a consistent tension after prolonged usage. This was repeated after Test 3 to compare results and discern if any deformation had taken place. After completion of all tests in the following sections, the previous mentioned measurements were taken and showed to have no significant deformations or failures that would cause any malfunction of the True Putt. Table 1 displays the recorded measurements prior to and after material testing.
Furthermore, to analyze any potential improvements of the users putting ability after using the TruPutt, each member of the team, in random order, putted 50 times without the TruPutt. The distance from the hole on each missed putt was measured. After each member had putted 50 times, the device was connected to the putter and test was repeated using the Tru Putt device.
As before, measurements were taken of the distance from the hole on missed putts. To finalize this part of testing, the team members, in random, attempted 50 more putts without the device to see if any improvements on distance from the hole or putts made were seen.
A positive impact throughout the testing procedure was observed and the data collected supports these observations. Figure 1 displays the average distances missed decreased after using the TruPutt. This data collected is important as it shows the misses are not as bad as before.
Also, Figure 2 displays the average number of putts made prior to practicing with the TruPutt device and after. Once again, significant improvement occurred in the number of made putts
Lastly, the TruPutt was tested by six members of a local high school golf team. The purpose of this test was to receive feedback on the product and any improvements that could be made or aspects of the TruPutt that may have affected the fundamentals of the putting stroke. Each member of the team used the device to perform 20 puts on the practice green. After practicing with the device, each member was asked to make an additional 20 putts without the device and give any feedback they may have. Due to time constraints with the young golf team, the Truputt design team did not have enough time to measure all missed putts or record the number of makes; however, the high schoolers were asked their opinion about the device and encouraged to be as honest as possible.
In summary, the feedback from the golf team was very positive and many participants said that they would use the device in the future. Both aspects of putting that the TruPutt aimed to improve, straight path-to-target, and acceleration through the putt, were both mentioned as the most beneficial features. Majority of the users in this test group mentioned that they felt an improvement on making solid contact with the putt which was said to be credited to the reinforcement of continuing to accelerate through the putt. Overall, the product was well received and said to have shown an improvement or potential for improvement when training with the TruPutt.
The objective of the TruPutt is to provide golfers with a training aid that will reinforce two of the
most difficult aspects of putting: acceleration through the ball and straight putting path. The results of the testing had shown to meet this vision and was supported by both numerical data as well as sampled feedback. The TruPutt will build confidence in golfers of all skill levels and take the knowledge and muscle memory from the practice greens to the course.
Meet the Team
Kevin Bezick grew up in the Washington D.C. Metro area. He decided to attend the University of Nevada primarily because of its proximity to Tahoe. Kevin enjoys skiing and golfing in his free time. Throughout his time at Nevada he has worked hard to excel in academics. As a result he placed runner up in the Western AIAA Conference and also has made the deans list. After school he hopes to pursue a career in the Defense Industry.
Zac Somers comes from the small, rural town of Placerville in Northern California and began his college career in the nuclear engineering program at the University of California at Berkeley. After discovering that Cal was not the best fit for his college experience, Zac eventually made his way towards the University of Nevada, Reno where he has been thriving ever since in the mechanical engineering program. Zac currently works in the Space & Defense industry through his internship with Valley Tech Systems and plans on furthering his education in said field by attending graduate school. Zac is open to all opportunities and would enjoy the chance to be able to begin his own company in addition to becoming a professor at a top tier university.
Joe Saarem was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. He attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA, from 2011-2013 as student-athlete on the basketball team. Unsure of what subject he wanted to study upon graduating high school, he received an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts during his two years at Cabrillo. For the past four years, he has been pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering striving for the dean’s list each semester. He hopes to find a job in industry where he can use innovative technology to propel society forward.
Andy has been able to use the skills he learned in the classroom to gain internships that have allowed him to further his engineering knowledge. His experience is primarily in the fields of manufacturing and metal fabrication. After school he hopes to continue his work in the fields of HVAC metal fabrication and circuit board manufacturing. He is a local and has only lived here in Reno.
Michael Petree is from Loomis, a small town located in northern California. He originally came to college to pursue a degree in physics but found interest within mechanical engineering. He made the Deans list in the spring of 2015 and 2016 and has been selected to be apart of honor societies amongst fellow classmates. He plans to attend dental school where he will take his engineering experience and apply it to the field of dentistry.
The TruPutt design team would like to thank their mentor and original patent owner, Mike Morelli. His openness to change and experimentation allowed the team the freedom to create a product that is believed to have great potential on the golf training market. The team would also like to thank all the ME 451/452 instructors and teaching assistants for their time and effort giving constructive criticism throughout the entire design process. The initial success of the TruPutt has been a team effort by the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno and the design team is excited about the device’s potential in the future.