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About Us - The PuttBANDIT story

Two golfers holding putters and walking onto a golf green.

Once upon a time in 2019, two brothers, Neil and Paul Hart, both had a dreadful day on the links. The reason for our terrible performance was obvious - too many missed putts and 3-putts.

 

Golfing ambitions

Our prime golfing years were behind us. Sinking the putt on the 18th green to win The Open or Ryder Cup had become an extremely remote possibility. But we we’re still ambitious and keen to improve and get our 18 handicaps down to single figures.

 

Sadly, we were never going to drive it 340 yards like Rory McIlroy or hit greens in regulation like Scottie Scheffler. But we could get better by improving our putting. So we analysed why our putts were missing and how we could reduce putts per round.

 

Read, speed and line

Our most frustrating misses happened when we got the ball past the hole a foot or so. We were offline. Either our read was wrong or we were hitting the ball down the wrong start line for the speed. Was it poor targeting, stroke path, face angle or any combination of the above? Each variable had to be eliminated to find the reason for our misses.

 

The light bulb goes on

We then had an ah-ha moment. We checked where we were aiming our putts and compared that spot to where the ball line was actually pointing by using a laser. We were way off target, and it got worse with distance. It’s just too hard to point a short thin line at a distant target while crouching over it and looking down. We had to improve our ball alignment accuracy. But how?

 

We couldn’t use a laser on the course. That’s cheating. But what if a ball marker could enable more accurate targeting? Target the marker, stand back to check and match the ball line to that accurate target line.

 

Great putters need a garage

Karsten Solheim made his first Anser putter in a garage, so we needed one too, or at least a shed to start the first chapter of the PuttBANDIT Story. Out of a garage workshop and off a kitchen table came the first prototype PuttBANDIT ball markers with parallel lines that could be adjusted, and all enabled by an anchor pin to keep the marked ball position. It had to be quick and easy to use and fully compliant with R&A equipment rules.

 

It works!

The first prototypes rapidly improved our putting. We sank more putts, reduced putts per round and avoided 3-putting. Our handicaps dropped from 18 to 13 and 11. But was the PuttBANDIT ball marker legal for competition play? We sent our first prototype to the R&A in St. Andrews for examination and waited for the news.

 

Fail fast, learn and pass

Our first prototype failed. It was a wee bit longer than the 2 inches permitted. The next prototype was smaller and a clever combination of a ball marker and pitch mark repair tool. Or so we thought. It failed too, thanks to the cunning ingenuity of the R&A inspectors who found the potential for misuse by jamming the two parts together and increasing the length. We were too honest to think of that.

 

But we went back to CAD and 3D printed the next design candidate and this time we passed the R&A tests. The PuttBANDIT ball marker had been examined (three times) and ruled to conform to the rules of golf. All we had to do was make a few thousand and sell them.

 

From garage to web shop

To share the PuttBANDIT with other golfers, we had to learn about CAD, injection moulding, materials science, 3D printing, CNC laser cutting, precision part printing, industrial adhesives, packaging design and everything about ecommerce. We were in a COVID lockdown, so we did.

 


A Computer Aided Design workstation showing design profiles of the PuttBANDIT alignment golf ball marker.

We sourced manufacturing in the UK and the first PuttBANDIT Classic ball markers went on sale in March 2021. The customer feedback was amazing, and PuttBANDIT alignment ball markers are now helping to improve the putting performance of UK golfers from Shetland to Cornwall.

 

Customer-led innovation

Since our first product launch we now ask our customers to test and review prototypes and we run annual customer surveys. This helps us validate our designs, get performance data, and generates enhancement requests for future design improvements.

 

This data-led ethos has now expanded to our market research programme with the UK Putting Survey, the first large-scale research into the putting issues of UK golfers. The USA is next.

 

These insights will drive our future designs, and new product innovations that help golfers of all abilities improve their putting skills.

 

Putt well.


 

PuttBANDIT Ltd is not affiliated, endorsed by or connected to other brands or websites that we may mention or link to in our communications.

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