Any golfer will tell you, putting isn’t easy. In fact, it’s almost a game within the game of golf. Success in putting consistency can elude even the most experienced golfers – including the pros. Just ask Champions Tour Pro, Jeff Sluman.
Sluman, the 59-year-old veteran golfer, has collected six PGA Tour victories, six Champions Tour victories, and over 150 top-10 finishes. And like many golfers, consistent putting has at times gotten away from Sluman.
In fact, Sluman went from the 33rd-ranked putter during the 2015 Champions Tour season all the way to the top-performing putter in 2016. But how did he climb the putting ranks so quickly?
Jeff doesn’t hesitate to credit Blast technology when it comes to improving his putting mechanics. His belief in Blast is so strong that he now serves as an official Blast Athlete.
“If you try to be perfect in the game of golf, you’re going to be disappointed every day,” said Sluman. “But when I saw what Blast could do for me, the lights went on. It was the keystone to support the rest of my game.”
Sluman insists that he was a very strong putter from the time he picked up his first club as a young boy in Rochester, New York. He’s even held onto the same grip he had back then.
“I’m still using the same grip that I used when I started playing golf at age five – a little cross-handed grip,” said Sluman. “I don’t think anybody has the same grip I have. I can’t even describe it, but it works for me. It feels comfortable for me, which is obviously what you want.”
Sluman started toying with different grips later in his career, when his putting performance started to slip a bit. He realized it wasn’t his grip that was costing him strokes and money, and eventually returned to his signature cross-handed grip. Instead was his putting motion – the mechanics, rhythm, and timing behind the stroke itself. It was about him and his body – and learning how to be more efficient and effective with each and every stroke.
That’s where Blast’s Golf 360 comes in. Golf 360 was designed to help golfers understand their metrics, focus on mechanics to improve putting consistency, and lower their scores. The Golf 360 app combines video from your smartphone with real-time motion metrics and in-app video prescriptions. All of this allows you to gain greater insight into what exactly your body is doing during your stroke – and how and where to improve your performance. With the latest app update, Golf 360 supports not just putters, but drivers, irons, and wedges as well.
Blast technology has been hailed by golfers of all levels over the past few years, including over 150 tour players, and was awarded by Golf Digest as one of the top products at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. Once Sluman got his hands on Golf 360, he knew it was exactly what he’d been searching for.
“When I first used Golf 360, it was startling to see how poor my putting motion was,” remembered Sluman. “Then I spent about 15 minutes every day on tour training with it after every round. And for me, there’s a window for the data of where I need to be. If I’m inside this window, I’m going to putt well. It’s real simple. I’m not trying to be (fellow Blast Athlete) Brad Faxon or some of the other guys that are great putters. I see their numbers, but I’m not striving to get there.”
So what is Sluman striving for on the course?
Jeff Sluman recognized that his golf putting consistency was the area he needed to focus on. “What I’m striving to do now that I’ve recognized where I need to be, is stay in that window. As long as I do that, I’m going to putt really well every day,” said Sluman. “And I could tell you that I haven’t had that feeling for at least 15 years, that every day I came out, I was going to putt well. And now, I know it.”
For Sluman, consistency – and the confidence it can breed – is the key to putting success. Sluman claims that he knew right away that Blast technology was going to help refine his putting performance.
Sluman recalls practicing with fellow Champions Tour pro and Blast user Bob Tway – and being stunned when he discovered the incredibly affordable price of the then-beta version of the Golf 360 sensor and app.
“He explained to me what it did then asked, ‘How much would you pay for this?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, $10,000?’ (Blast) was just going in the stores at the time, I think it was something like $150. Flabbergasted, I said, ‘This is the last bit of information that I need with the other things I was doing with my putting.’ I felt I was getting better, but I was getting no results on the golf course in tournament play, which really means, you’re not getting any better, right? You can miss closer, but it’s still a miss.”
After implementing Golf 360 into his 15-minute training segments, Sluman was able to develop the confidence through putting consistency that eventually led to his surge to the very top of the putting ranks on the Champions Tour.
“It’s funny, because you get the confidence now, and you don’t look at a three-footer and your stomach’s rolling or say, ‘Well, I don’t like this putt, because it breaks a little left to right, and I always miss it right,’ related Sluman. “There’s none of that going on anymore. It’s just, ‘OK. I’m going to go out and make it.’ And that has been an unbelievable feeling this year.”