We all know the importance of striking the ball on the correct part of the club face when using an iron or wood - but does it matter that much where you strike the ball on your putter face?
Well actually yes, it matters hugely where the ball contacts the face. Most putters have a line/dot to denote the “sweet spot” on the putter face - this is where the ball comes off with a lovely soft feel, and is clearly the best spot to hit the ball from.
Take a look at the first picture and you will see that I have sprayed some powder onto the face of my trusty Mizuno putter. Then I have proceeded to hit three balls - the first one came directly off the centre (sweet spot) the next one from the heel and the last one from the toe end of the face. In terms of the ball reaching the hole (at some 10 feet away) the centre hit easily made it directly into the hole - the shot from the heel came up short, as did the toe end strike.
So it is vitally important in terms of pace to strike the ball from the sweet spot. What about direction? The centre hit ran straight and true into the hole - the heel strike caused the face to “ close”, and the ball missed on the left side. The toe end strike caused the face to “open” and yes, the ball clearly missed on the right side.
So if you are not too sure where you actually strike your putts from have it checked out soon, or just get used to missing the hole on a regular basis.
Aother point to note is do you putt with a face balanced putter? If as I suspect the answer is yes, then is it really properly balanced? Take a look at the second picture and I will explain. I have placed a large wooden tee into the small hole at the end of the handle, then holding the putter from that tee in my left thumb/forefinger, I have then placed another tee from my right hand, just below the decal label about four inches down from the handle.
Now here is the interesting part - note how the putter face has completely twisted open. This simply means that my putter is not truly face balanced. It probably is when it is held with the face pointing directly up towards the sky, but is not, when it is held in plane as it would be when actually putting. Try this simple test to firstly see if you are actually using a truly face balanced putter. If you are not, could this be the reason why you miss most of your putts on the right side. Good luck as always. Next week: Board game.