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New self-locking putter hits the sweet spot

New self-locking putter hits the sweet spot

CEO Puku Putter,
Simon Moore, sinks a put with the self-locking Puku
Click to enlarge

CEO Puku Putter, Simon Moore, sinks a put with the self-locking Puku Putter.

New self-locking putter hits the sweet spot

It is little known outside the golfing world that Michael Campbell took both a belly putter and a standard putter to the 2005 US Golf Open. And the adjustment of the length of the standard putter just two days before he won the Open was one of the things to which he credits his win.

As all golfers know, putting is a vital part of the game. Belly putting, where golfers stabilise their swing by attaching the putter to their navel, is growing in popularity. But golfers and their bellies come in all different sizes, says Puku Golf Ltd CEO, Simon Moore, and until now both belly and standard putters have only been adjustable by taking them into a pro shop.

His company has changed all that with their US-patented self-locking Puku putter, he says.

“Until now no-one has been able to get a self-adjustable putter through the strict governing bodies of golf. The problem has been that they don’t trust the golfer to tighten something up sufficiently.

“We had to design something that was not actually a locking mechanism, but an unlocking mechanism. It’s taken us several years to get this through - with the outcome that golfers now have control in the adjustment of their putters.”

There have been many balls in the rough along the way, however - not least of which was the design of the clamping technology. There were engineering problems around the original joint and the metals used for the components.

Puku Golf Ltd commissioned Industrial Research scientist, Marcus King, to model and analyse the mechanism and modify the design.

The key to making the putter work was the engineering design of the spring clamp which fixes the handle on to the shaft, Marcus King says.

“The challenge from an engineering point of view was to amalgamate three different branches of mechanical engineering and put them together with a good solid design.

“By default the natural position of the components had to be locked. It also had to be adjustable with a removable tool, as according to golf rules you can’t adjust the shaft in play.”

The result was an auto-locking mechanism which has been confirmed by the US Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (UK) to conform to the Rules of Golf.

The titanium components only release for adjustment when a T-shaped cam-tool is engaged, and lock up when it is taken out. It provides a safe and simple way to connect and adjust metal to metal or metal to glass with no screws or small parts to come loose, and is used on both the standard and belly putters Puku Golf Ltd produces.

Simon Moore is now looking beyond golf to wide-ranging uses for the technology including scaffolding, machine tools, building and furniture fasteners.

“IRL has been a valuable part of the jigsaw for us and helped us understand more about loads and stresses,” he says.

“We were able to go on from this and are now very much focussed on the progression of the fasteners through the patenting process.”

The belly putter is priced at the top of the market at US$290 and is currently available through the company website. Two parts of the putter are made locally, the rest are made overseas and assembled in the US.

With 50 shareholders and recent significant shareholder investment, the goal of making Puku the No. 1 belly putter on the market is looking good, Simon Moore says.


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