How important is it to strike/centre your putts out of the sweet spot on the putter face?
Having recently spent the day with world-renowned short game guru Dave Pelz it is very apparent that hitting the ball out of the sweet spot is paramount to putting success. Pelz has kept records on everyone that has gone through his golf schools over the last 30 years and it is very evident that better players are more adept at hitting the sweet spot and that you can almost work out what handicap a player is by looking at their ability to strike their putts out of the center. You will find that the sweet spot is in the center of the face and will be shown by the alignment aid on the putter.
There are different methods you can use to give you this feedback, you can use impact face tapes which are readily available on most golf training aid websites or you could even use an ink pad and just dab the ball onto the pad and off you go. Don’t worry the ink will easily come off. The way to test yourself is to hit 30 putts from different distances and different breaks.
So why is it so important to hit the sweet spot? In simplest terms if you hit the ball out of the toe of the putter it will start to the right of the face alignment at impact and if you heel strike the ball it will start left of the face alignment at impact.
Ok so lets say you’ve tested your ability to hit the ball out of the sweet spot and you can see that you need some work on it, what do you do? Well there is hope, there are several products on the market, which help you, train a centered hit ranging from Dave Pelzs and other companies Putting Clips to rubber bands. The clips are great because if you don’t hit the sweet spot the ball will deflect viciously off target and you get instant feedback. We always have rubber bands with us when we are coaching so we can work on our clients putting and they can take them away for training at home or on the practice green. We have even had people play friendly games of golf using the rubber bands. As with the clips if you hit the rubber bands it will deflect the ball and give you a very dead feeling off the putter face. You can also adjust the distance the bands are away from each other if you want to make it easier or harder.
Putting with rubber bands or Putting Clips is perfect winter training. Imagine if at home or the office you could do 2 minutes putting practice a day working on improving your centered hits. Do this for 3 months! Do you think you would be a better putter? There stands a good chance.