My name is Ronnie Pritchett. I'm a member of the PGA America for over 40 years; I'm a life member. Not too many people have ever heard of Ronnie Pritchett; but hopefully in the near future, they will.
For the past 12 years I have watched people from all over the world putt. And I have discovered that even though putting is almost half a person's game, they literally throw that part of their game away. The majority of people have no idea how to putt. One day, I will write a book and explain everything about putting; how it works, how to understand the putting game, and answer all the questions that have been asked of me for the past 12 years, living on the putting greens.
I am originally from a small town in north Georgia where I was raised. In my early teen years I played baseball from little league, pony league, and high school. I played first base and pitcher, and I was actually pretty good. At the time, I had never dreamed about golf, and birdies; it was a rich man's game.
While growing up and living at home with my family, I worked with my dad surveying land for almost 16 years. We would go out and stake property lines and also set stakes for gripping foundations for building. In other words, make sure the ground was perfectly level so the buildings could be built on the site.
One day my dad came in from his job and told me he was going to go play golf with some of his friends and asked if I wanted to come along. Of course I wanted to because I was going to be on a rich man's golf course and I could look for golf balls while they were playing and also drive the golf cart some.
Once we got on the course and away from the clubhouse and by ourselves, he let me hit some golf balls with an old set of clubs. As soon as I started hitting the golf balls, I was hooked, and fell in love with the game.
As I started playing more and more, I picked the game up very quickly because of the experience of surveying land with my dad. It was very easy for me to see straight lines and angled ones in the putting greens, and it became natural to look at a putt and I could quickly determine the line and how hard to hit the putt to get it close to the hole.
As a teenager I was small in size and weight, so I couldn't hit the golf ball a long distance, and everyone would always knock it past me. But I learned that when I would miss a green, then chip it up close to the hole and make the putt, I could beat all those long-knockers! I won the North Green Golf Championship of my club when I was 18, and after that, I never looked back at baseball.
Upon attending college at Wests Graham College in the fall of 1971 I did not even think about playing on a college team because they were so good. They had all played the game all of their lives and had lessons, so I didn't feel like I was good enough.
However, in my freshman year, I met someone on my dorm floor who played on the golf team. We became really good friends. He invited me out to play golf with him on the course where the college team practiced and played their matches. He showed me how to grip the club and how to set up properly and my game really improved and became very consistent.
So my sophomore year, he said I should try out for the golf team to see if I can make the team. The idea that I could play for free was very appealing to me. After 72 holes of qualifying, I finished 6th place and made the team.
After playing for the next three years for the college team, my game improved to where I made the all-conference team, and played some matches as our number one player. After graduation in 1976, I got a job as an assistant golf pro and have been in the golf business ever since.
During my years as a golf professional, I became a better and better putter, to the point where I felt I could make every putt I struck. I told myself from where that ball sat and to the hole, there was always a line that, if I putted it down that line with the right speed, I could make every putt.
In 2004 I founded our golf company and called it Ashton Golf, named after my two children Ashley and Brandon. At that time I had developed two new styles of putters. One was called the Bermuda Triangle putter and the other style was called the Roundabout putter. Their designs were very simple and based on solid engineering principles.
The only problem I ever had with a putter was hitting the ball down my intended line but because every putter in the world connects the shaft to the putter head with only a 1/4 inch wide connection point and this makes the putter open and close during the swing. So, in order to hit the ball down your intended line you had to be perfect every time you hit the ball. I told myself, there has to be a better way to give the putter more stability and that is what I created.
The two strongest forms of stability in the world are a triangle and a circle. And by applying these two concepts to a putter head and widening the hossel, I gave the putter stability, along with a larger sweet spot when a golfer swings our putters. I simply connected the heel and toe through the triangle or circle to stabilize the putter. Now, you just point and putt! In 2007, Rank mark — one of the top testing companies in the United States at the time — rated our Roundabout putter as number one in the country, and my our Bermuda Triangle putter as best of the best in 2008.
I started doing demo days at golf courses, showing my putters. I have now been doing this for the past 15+ years. And after watching tens of thousands of golfers putt, I have come to the conclusion that that they throw half of their game away.
In July 2011, I won the United States Putting Tour Championship in Carlsbad CA. I defeated 227 qualifiers and won $10,000 first place prize, along with a beautiful trophy, and the title of America's Greatest Putter. Two months later, I was invited to compete in the Long Beach Putting Championship and won that as well, beating over 120 golfers and winning $1,000.
By using the putter that I designed and following my step-by-step setup, I was able to win both championships back-to-back giving myself credibility and consistency. I look forward to sharing more so that other golfers can dramatically improve their putting game and improve their scores.