Found The Sweetspot Yet?…………Feels Good Doesn’t It!
It’s great after a blog post when some of you get in touch to say the tip has really helped to improve your putting. When you suddenly start hitting putts from the centre of the putter it feels good…..and it feels a lot different.
However, Simon who’s an 11 handicap was in touch to say that even though he was addressing his putts from the sweetspot before trying the drill in my last blog post, his strike on the golf ball now feels completely different……in a good way. So, why is that?
You would imagine that if you address the golf ball from the sweetspot of the putter to start with, then you put a good stroke on it, the strike on the ball should feel solid…..right? It became very apparent that even though Simon did not need the pencil to help him align the sweetspot and the golf ball, something was happening which was helping him strike the ball more solid at impact. What was it?
At address, you can see from the image below that the sweetspot of the putter is below the equator or centre point of the golf ball. In order to ensure a good roll on the golf ball we need these two points to be level at the moment of impact, from this position they are obviously not level.
If you are someone who picks the putter up a little too sharply in the back stroke, your angle of attack back towards the golf ball is going to be steep, or simply your putter is going to be travelling downwards too much and the sweetspot of the putter is going to be below that centre point of the golf ball. This leads to a strike which is too high on the face of the putter and results in poor energy transfer to the golf ball.
If you position a pencil on the ground behind the ball, if your putter strikes the ball in a downward motion you will most likely contact the pencil every time.
If you have tried my drill using the pencil (see “Finding The Sweetspot” blog post), you can see from the image below what it does to the sweetspot of the putter in relation to the centre of the golf ball.
Both are now level at the address position, and because the pencil is in there you are discouraged from moving the putter back towards the ball in a downwards motion.
So, coming back to Simon, this is what was happening to him. Even though he was addressing the ball opposite the sweetspot, the subsequent mechanics of his stroke lead to inconsistent strikes which lead to an inconsistent putting performance.
This drill that Simon is now working on is only a slight change from the last drill which involved the pencil. If you feel you are not striking your putts solid try this and feel the difference:
Position a pencil/pen directly behind the ball, but as close as you can to the bottom of the golf ball.
Once you make your stroke, the pencil will act as a deterrent to striking down and will encourage a stroke that has more of a positive rise angle through impact. A positive rise through impact is crucial to a consistent roll, now this does not mean that we start to try hit up on the ball as much as possible, the putter head travelling just over the pencil is more than enough to get the ball rolling smoothly.
Take the time to spend a few minutes working on this drill, you can even do this on a piece of carpet in your home, but the difference you will feel when you take it to the course will be amazing.