If you can drop a ball on your club face and it pings back at you, then you’ve found the sweet spot.
The sweet spot is usually in the centre or heal of the club. In technical terms the club face has an optimal flex point. When the ball hits that point, it’s known as the sweet spot.
There is nothing like hitting the sweet spot. What’s amazing is that you’ll know when you’ve strike it.
You get that feeling that comes through the club face up the shaft and into your grip. You’ll also come to recognize the ping whenever you hit the right spot.
If you can hit the sweet spot you’re going to become an incredible golfer. Sadly, it’s unlikely you’re going to do that on every time.
TIP: Hitting the sweet spot is a skill. If you’re unsure where the sweet spot is on your club, use some impact tape, and note where you’re hitting the ball.
How big is the sweet spot?
The sweet spot is tiny, and no bigger than a pin head. You’ll reach your maximum distance when you hit this point.
A beginner will find it difficult to hit the sweet spot, so golf club designers produce clubs which they claim have a larger sweet spot.
To do this they make clubs that have the weight distributed around the perimeter of the club, and scoop out the back of the club creating a cavity, claiming that the sweet spot is easier to hit.
The truth is this is not possible, the science shows that you cannot increase the size of the sweet spot, and the design of the club will not affect this.
The cavity back clubs do help the beginner hit the ball straighter by avoiding the twisting of the club on impact.
Better and more advanced golfers will use Blades. These clubs are thinner and have a solid back
Although a cavity back will give you more control over your ball, the downside is that you lose around 10% distance.
Some clubs go even further with their technology. For example the TaylorMade M2 Driver has two bars integrated into the club head that stiffen when you hit the sweet spot, giving you increased distance.
What happens outside of the sweet spot?
Outside of the sweet spot, the ball distance will decrease as there is less transferred energy, and the ball will begin to spin.
The more you move away from the sweet spot the shorter the ball will travel. Moving 1 inch away will generally give you 10% less distance, which is an average of 20 yards with a driver.
The effect is also for the club to twist as you strike through the ball, reducing the energy to the ball. Cavity clubs help reduce this effect for the beginner, and give you a sense of what it’s like to hit the sweet spot.
Hitting outside of the sweet spot is normal for most golfers and although you will lose distance your still going to hit a decent shot.
When you hit outside of the sweet spot you’ll know because the vibration the club makes will come through your hands. The closer to the sweet spot the less vibration.
Also, hitting outside of the sweet spot will cause your ball to fly in the wrong direction. So don’t get too obsessed with hitting the sweet spot every time, it’s not going to happen. Just by improving your swing you’ll get closer to it.
How do I find the sweet spot?
This is a great question, but not an easy one to answer. With lots of time spent at the driving range, you’ll make improvements in your swing, and striking the ball better will become second nature.
A combination of steps will get closer to hitting the sweet spot every time!
#1 Follow through every time
When you strike the ball, it’s not over! you need to complete the swing by following through to the end. By committing to the full swing, your body will be in the right position when you start the down swing.
You need to get into the habit of completing the follow through every time. Watch any professional, and they always follow through, and hold that end position for a couple of seconds, before relaxing.
#2 Don’t look up
It’s tempting to see where your ball is going as soon as you’ve made contact. Many new golfers suffer from this mistake. You’ve hit the ball and you’re impatient to see where it’s going, that split second will harm your follow through and ultimately put you off balance.
Keep your eyes focused on the ball, and don’t look up until the ball has left the tee.
#3 The right grip
You need to get personal with your club, that is to say, you will feel the shot through the club when you strike the ball. I can feel through my hands when I’ve hit the sweet spot, and I know when I’ve hit the heel or topped the ball.
Each shot will feel different and you’ll come to recognize when you’ve hit the ball correctly and when you’ve sliced it.
#4 Keep it balanced
These tips will help you keep your body balanced throughout your swing. Practicing your stance every time you pick up a golf club will help you ultimately find that sweet spot.
If anything in your swing is off balance, you’ll find that you won’t strike the ball correctly, and you’ll be looking in the weeds.
#5 Swing Repeat Swing
“Only practice makes perfect”, and although that’s not entirely true, it’s as close as we’re going to get. Heading over to the driving range and repeating your swing over and over is your best way of hitting that sweet spot over and over.
I’ve spent more hours than I care to remember at the range, hitting ball after ball. It’s the repetitive nature that teaches your body the movements it needs to make to try and make that perfect shot. It’s the only way you’re going to improve.