South African golfer Jaco Van Zyl grabbed some attention at the Joburg Open by using a putter that can only be called “unusual.” That’s because it’s a training aid, and unlike many others in the business, this one actually works.
The tiny little square flatstick that features an effective hitting area that’s only a bit bigger than a golf ball is a Cleveland Smart Square Stubby, and it wasn’t actually designed for competitive play. It was first introduced by Cleveland four years ago to help groove a repeating stroke and develop more consistent contact and a smoother roll. By eliminating the heel and toe areas of the club the player is forced to be significantly more accurate through impact, a benefit that should transfer when switching back to a standard putter.
The club is not currently listed on Cleveland’s website as it is no longer in production, but it can still be found at various outlets online. According to sources at the company, the Stubby was embraced and actually played by a far greater number of golfers than originally anticipated because of the solid feel and confidence it inspires after some practice.