As a golfer, you have probably heard that you are supposed to hit the sweet spot when you make contact with the ball. But what does that mean? Why is it good? And how do you do it?
If you have more questions than answers on this topic, the article below is meant for you.
Understanding the Sweet Spot
First things first – what is the sweet spot on a golf club?
Basically, this is the spot on the face where the greatest transfer of energy is going to occur between the club and the ball. Usually, it is near the middle of the club face, often just a little bit below the actual center.
The precise sweet spot will vary from club to club based on design, which is why it is important to spend some time getting to know new clubs before you use them on the course. It is often true that irons will have lower sweet spots than drivers, but again, this is going to depend on the specific club that you have in your hands.
Why Does It Matter?
If you are trying to improve your play on the course, you will want to strive to find the sweet spot as often as possible.
There are a couple of significant advantages which come along with hitting the sweet spot. The first, of course, is distance.
Since you’ll get a great transfer of energy between the club and the ball when you hit the sweet spot, you should find that your distance is maximized with a perfect strike. Should you happen to hit the ball out on the toe or in off the heel, you’ll lose some efficiency at impact. That means your ball speed will go down, and the shot will not fly as far in the end.
India’s S.S.P Chowrasia strikes the ball during the Indian Open golf tournament in New Delhi on February 21, 2015. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
In addition to distance loss, it’s harder to hit your targets when you miss the sweet spot.
The club face is almost certainly going to twist somewhat when you strike the ball away from the sweet spot, causing your shot to head in the wrong direction. A minor miss-hit will usually lead to a minor miss, while a big mistake at impact could lead to a really ugly outcome.
Hitting the ball long and straight is the goal of pretty much every golfer and finding the sweet spot at impact is key if you are going to make that happen.
Three Sweet Spot Keys
When trying to improve your ability to hit the sweet spot, it’s best to keep things simple. Sure, you could get into a long list of complicated swing theories and techniques, but those are only going to clog up your mind and make you more confused. Instead, try to simplify the game by giving yourself very specific – and basic – keys to focus on as you practice.
Here are three swing keys that will encourage you to hit the sweet spot with regularity.
#1 Focus on Balance
If you decide to only work on one thing in your golf swing, make it balance. It’s easy to overlook the important role that balance plays, but doing so would be a mistake. By keeping yourself in a controlled, balanced position throughout the swing, achieving a solid strike becomes significantly easier.
During all of your practice sessions, make sure to focus on your balance and make corrections as necessary.
#2 Control Your Eyes
Just as was the case with balance, the role your eyes play in the golf swing can be overlooked. You should be staring at a specific spot on the golf ball when your swing begins, and you should keep staring at that spot until the ball leaves the club face.
Looking up early is a common mistake in this game, and it is an easy way to wind up missing the sweet spot.
#3 Swing Through to the Finish
The golf swing is not completed the moment you strike the ball. Sure, there is nothing you can do to get the shot back once it leaves, but you still need to swing through to a complete, balanced finished.
If you give up on your shot shortly after making contact, you’ll actually change the way you swing down into the ball. Commit yourself to a full swing into the finish and it will get much easier to find the center of the club.
The Value of Repetition
You already know that golf is a hard game. With anything in life that presents a challenge, practice is key to your improvement. The story is the same here with regard to hitting the sweet spot.
Rickie Fowler hits balls on the range during the third round of the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club on September 8, 2018 in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Quite simply, hitting plenty of practice balls between your rounds of golf will go a long way toward improving your skill in this area. Your overall golf coordination will improve as you gain experience making swings, and that coordination is going to help you apply the club to the back of the ball properly.
An Impossible Standard
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by thinking that you should hit the ball on the sweet spot with each and every swing. That just isn’t going to happen. Even professional golfers are not able to accomplish such a feat, again due to the difficult nature of this game.
It’s great to strive for hitting as many shots on the sweet spot as possible but remember that there are always going to be some shots that don’t quite come off as planned.
It’s a great thrill to hit a golf shot perfectly on the sweet spot of your club. As soon as you strike the ball, the feeling that comes up into your hands tells you that you’ve done a good job. Whether you are launching a drive down the fairway or hitting a precise wedge shot into the green, finding the sweet spot is one of the things that keeps us golfers coming back time and time again.