Puttle was created by KO Kleppert, a Pennsylvania-based graphic designer and self-proclaimed director of the International Puttle Organization. Kleppert came up with the idea while practicing putting in his office, and, after refining the concept, unveiled Puttle to the world in March of this year.
Puttle artfully combines the concept of bowling with the art of putting, employing three miniature wooden pins and a point system that rewards accuracy, both in terms of direction and distance. Puttle is meant to be played indoors, which makes it a great winter sport, as well as a wholesome pastime for kids and family.
To play Puttle, you set the pins 2.5 inches apart in a straight line. You place a marker 18 inches behind the pins, and then you stand 12 feet away on the other side of the pins and putt your ball, aiming for the middle pin, which has a red crown.
The Puttle point system rewards knockdowns of the pins and, as with golf, the lower your points the better your score. If you knock just the middle pin down, you get one point. If you knock the middle pin and a side pin down simultaneously, you get two points. If you just knock a side pin down, you get three points.
According to Kleppert, “For the serious competitor, Puttle is a challenging game with a par of 54 over 18 Puttle attempts.”
A cool twist to the game is the fact that you are penalized a point if your ball crosses the 18-inch line behind the pins—ensuring that the game is about managing distance control as well as aim.
A complete Puttle package, which costs $18, consists of the three pins, full instructions that double as a handy pin placement guide, pieces of pre-cut fishing line (18 inches and 12 feet) to make it easy to guide the setup, and some dot stickers that you can place on the floor for easy resetting of the pins and marking of the distances.
Puttle can be played alone, one on one, or in teams. Kleppert, whose motto is “play by the rules,” may not like this suggestion, but you can also easily modify Puttle to your liking. Here at PutterZone.com headquarters, where putting is often a solitary pursuit, walking 12 feet back and forth to re-set the pins after each putt isn’t always feasible, so it can become a game of knock all the pins down in as few shots as possible. But if you have a partner, playing by the official rules is a breeze.
One note of advice if you are playing on your living room carpet—conduct some test putts and make sure you’re on a level playing field. Carpets can have invisible breaks that throw your ball off line.
If you’re looking for the perfect golfer’s stocking stuffer or a just a new way to have fun with your putting practice, you can’t go wrong with Puttle.