In his ambitiously titled new book, How To Make Every Putt, bestselling golf author and instructor Dr. Joseph Parent outlines a “step-by-step method for mastering the ideal putting routine” as well as new tips from his experience working with tour professionals.
In one of the book’s lessons, Dr. Parent emphasizes the importance of consistently striking the sweet spot of the putter. That may sound self evident, but many golfers don’t pay enough attention to achieving this goal.
Also, the sweet spot isn’t always found along the center of the putter face, as is commonly assumed. Even a marked sightline down the center doesn’t necessarily indicate the actual location of the sweet spot on some putters.
Here’s what Dr. Parent writes: “If you find yourself leaving putts just a bit short or pushing them ever so slightly, it may be because you’re not hitting the ball with the sweet spot of the putterface.”
He indicates that the sweet spot “should” be straight below the sightline, but again, that’s not always the case. He adds, “You can check the sweet spot by holding the putter near the end of the grip and letting it hang loosely. Tap the putterface in different spots from end to end. When you find a spot where the head doesn’t twist to one side or the other, you’re tapping the sweet spot.”
(note that tapping the face with the point of a tee rather than your finger can help with this process)
So now that you’ve found the sweet spot of your putter, how do you make finding it part of your routine? Here’s Dr. Parent’s recommended exercise: “Line up several balls on the practice green. Play the first ball as far out toward the toe of the putter as you can and the next toward the heel. Alternate toe and heel putts, gradually moving the impact toward the sweet spot. Learning the difference in feel between a ball struck on the sweet spot and one that’s not will keep you focused on setting the putterhead properly for every putt.”
Dr. Joseph Parent’s new book How to Make Every Putt will be released on May 2, 2013. The above excerpts are reprinted with permission from Gotham Books, a division of the Penguin Group, copyright © 2013 by Dr. Joseph Parent.