the putter face
Maltby and Pelz noted, the putter face angle accounts for 85% of
the direction the ball will
travel while the putterís path accounts for only 15%. For
example, on a 7í putt, if the putter face
angle is 1į open and the path is 0į (square), the putt will miss
the hole. However, if the putter
face angle is 0į (square) and the path is 1į inside out (or out to
in), the putt would still go in the
hole. Therefore, to be able to roll the ball accurately on
the intended line, itís much more
important to practice squaring the putter face than to practice
the putter path. Ironically, most
golfers spend most of their time working on the putter path.
This is because itís easier for
them and their friends (from whom they take advice) to see.
Also, most of them donít know of
an easy way to practice the face angle.
Knowing the importance of the putter face angle, Iíd recommend
that you spend at least 30% of
your putting practice on it. Here is a simple way to do it.
Go get a marker, point it toward the
target, and putt it as shown in the picture below.
the marker travels straight, your putter face is square at impact.
If the marker spins one way or
another, then you need to adjust your face angle. Be sure to
line the end of the marker up with
the edge of the ball where you make contact with it (rather than
the center of the ball) as shown.
Practice putts of various lengths. You will find that the
shorter putts are relatively easy. As the
length of the putt increases, it gets much harder to make the
marker travel straight. This does
not mean that your putter
face angle is off more with longer putts. Itís just that the
of a long putt amplifies any imperfection in your face angle more.
This drill simplifies putting by moving the concern of squaring
the putter face to the practice
time. Once you can keep your putter face square in practice,
you donít have to worry about it on
the golf course. If you ever miss a putt, youíll know for
sure that there is only one reason: you
misread the break. There is no more guessing whether you
pulled (or pushed) a putt or you
just didnít read the green correctly.
Aides: Square Putter face