Well, yesterday I finished my first of many putting practices for the winter. I decided to start on our rug in the basement because it has many straight lines I can use to help with my alignment. I must say, it was fun to putt, but I did not glean very much from my practice time.
We golfers in the northern climes are housebound due to the crazy weather. We have to find a way to keep our game sharp and focused. Of course, without taking full swings, it becomes more difficult every day.
Over the years, I have tried different things to work on my game, but with little success. It seems I cannot simulate anything of significance in my basement. This year, I am going to try something different by focusing on the more refined aspects of my game; specifically, putting. Continue reading
Every club has a sweet spot! It is that one place on the club face where the ball reacts as intended by travelling straight and long. Most golfers understand this simple concept when they talk about their driver, irons or wedges. But most amateurs do not think the same way when they use their putter.
When making a putt, the intent is to make solid, square contact between the putter head and the ball. To find the sweet spot on your putter, look at the back and you will see a dot or a line indicating the centre or sweet spot of your putter. Sometimes there is a line on top of the putter head that can be used as a guide during your putting stroke.
Hitting the all in the centre of your club face is very important. By doing so, the ball will bounce off the putter consistently every time. Also, it helps with judging the speed of the ball because the same stroke will produce the same distance every time. By hitting the ball off-centre of the putter face, the ball will not travel as far as it normally would. This contact inconsistency sometimes leads players to think the green is slow, but in fact it is the fault of the putting stroke.
Unintentionally hitting the ball off the toe of the club causes the club face to open. The result is the ball will travel right of line (for right-handed players). Additionally, the ball will not travel as far as discussed above. Now, sometimes players, including myself, will intentionally hit the ball off the toe of their putter. This is usually done when the greens are very fast, you have a slick down hill putt or a hard breaking putt from right to left. For me, when I intentionally hit the ball off the toe, I ever so slightly grip tighter with my left hand to make sure the putter face remains square during contact.
Unintentionally hitting the ball off the heel causes the club face to close. As a result the ball will start left of its intended line (for right-handed players). The ball will not travel as far either. I never intentionally hit the ball off the heel, but logic would suggest the results would be opposite than hitting it off the toe. Maybe one of the readers can help us out with their explanation of intentionally hitting the ball of the heel of their putter.
I try to intentionally hit the ball in the centre of my putter most of the time. To practice hitting the sweet spot, I use two tees on either side of the putter head. The tees are just wide enough so the putter can travel through when making my stroke. It is important to pay attention to the placement of the ball in between the two tees. You want to make sure you are placing the ball in line with the putter sweet spot.
Lastly, the three putter drills provided in the video below are new. I have not seen them before and think they would great for us house bound players waiting for the snow to melt. My favorite drill is the first one. Which is yours?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.