Where Is The Sweet Spot? | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Where Is The Sweet Spot?

Sun, 11/04/2012 - 14:46 -- Don Trahan

All golfers want to hit the ball on the sweet spot of the clubface. You'll no doubt have the best results if you can consistently hit it there every time. The tricky thing is that most golf clubs today are built with the sweet spot out near the toe of the club. You'll find that's the case with a lot of cavity back clubs.

I use blades and the sweet spot on my clubs is in the center, closer to the heel than the toe. So, when I get students asking how to fix toe shots, I have to remind them that they're very likely swinging clubs that are actually designed with sweet spots out near the toe. Gil Bloomer sent in a question asking about this very issue, as he's been struggling with consistency.  

Hello Surge, 
I love the video lessons. I'm sure you've addressed this issue in the past but could you please go over the various reasons why shots are hit off the toe. I use a dry erase marker on a few clubs so I can see where I'm striking the ball and regardless of how or where I address the ball, it shows me that most of my strikes are on the toe. I get fairly decent distance but i know I'm extremely inconsistent as the strikes vary from close to the center of the clubface to very near the vertical lines on the clubface. If I am able to consistently hit the sweet spot I know that it's the difference of a full club. If you get a chance, please address this issue.
Thank you.

First, you must remember that whether you're playing blades or contact assisted golf clubs, sweet spots cannot be bigger on one club than on another. A sweet spot is a small, singular spot on the golf club that when contacted will give you the best result. So regardless of the size of the clubhead, the sweet spot remains the same size. 

Now, as far as the swing is concerned, there are a few different things that can cause a golfer to hit shots on the toe inadvertently. One would be the setup and address position. Another is the way in which the club is swung. Because most golfers swing outside to in, the natural progression of the swing leads to toe shots. This is another reason why club manufacturers have altered the sweet spot location.

Another reason you could be hitting the ball out near the toe is if you have too much knee action. Instructors who insist on teaching a big turn tell you that you need a lot of forward knee action to generate power. But, we don't want to do that. Instead, we want a limited turn, 3/4 vertical swing straight up and straight through. You have to avoid collapsing the forward knee during the backswing, as it can lead to bad shots off the toe. 
 
Although we want to maintain wide knees outward pressure during the setup and backswing, once you start the forward transition with the bump the resistence ends and you fire your right side through the ball. So, only keep outward pressure with the knees to the top of the backswing.  
 
When you start hitting it solid, you'll know because it will have a better sound and you'll feel the ball explode off the club. Most sweet spots are out towards the toe, so it's okay to be hitting it there, just as long as they're good toe hits...not bad ones! If you don't like the idea of having a sweet spot near the toe, take a look at getting a set of blades.
 
Keep it vertical!
 
The Surge
 
If you can't view the YouTube video above try CLICKING HERE. You must allow popups from this site for the link to work.

Comments

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Out today and back to GBSAPS with a vengeance. A stutter or two on the first couple of holes and then, it started to get better, much better in fact. I slooowed down and began to do what I should have been doing for months. Up and bump. What a difference. Birdie,birdie,par,par,par on 5 holes I normally struggle on. Straight off the tee with the Driver and on a steep downhill par 3 with the pin at the back left of the green and the breeze blowing from right to left. Hit my 8iron to 10ft left of the pin.The putt raced in. On the next a par 5 with 115yds to the centre of the green, flag again at the back left. I found the ball was lying on a short upslope and I had the ball below my feet in my stance. Hit an easy 9iron, knowing that the upslope would give more height than usual. When I got to the green the ball was on the back fringe just off the green, a good 30ft past the centre of the green!!!!! Putted it straight in. So My lesson has been learnt. "What did I do wrong?", never got a look in.
Today's comments by Surge on cavity backs was very interesting. I used a 5iron from a very steep slope with the ball way above my feet. Aimed it straight, knowing that the ball would go left. Imagine my surprise when getting to the green, to find the ball just off the green in one putt distance again! I mentioned the other day, that I would have a line around the equator on my ball in future.Well the ball has a permanent 'sharpie' line around it. Noted on the Driver clubface vertical lines from this marker all upright and none more than 1/4" inch from the dead centre of the face : - ) Used a Mizuno SW today to compare it to my usual SW. Love it! One day I will use the complete set, which have carbon shafts and see how they go.
Weather meant to be 'damp' tomorrow, but the rest of the week is meant to be good. Can't wait to get out and give it another go.
Good luck to all Surgites. Will check out the sweetspots on my cavity backs and see what happens. Thanks again for a great video. Keep hitting them long and Straight where ever you are. Don't forget to vote tomorrow heh heh heh! DH

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Mike from Kentucky. Yep Tuesday your time. Here it is 7pm on Monday evening as I peck this out.
To answer your question. What I do is hold the club by the shaft and allow the club to hang straight down like a pendulum. Then with the club hanging free, I poke the point of a tee at the face of the club. Now if you start from the heel or the toe, you will note that the face will at first twist as you prod it. as you move it across the face of the club, there comes a point when the club doesn't twist anymore. That is the spot I use as my sweet spot. Then with a permanent marker I mark a line across the head of the clubs from front to rear in the case of the irons. On the Driver I use the small mark on the head of the club and use that as a guide.Then I check the balance again with the point of a tee. Seems to work for me.
I am sure that other Surgites will have more scientific ways of telling you the answer. If it works for you fine, if not don't use it. Good luck in Kentucky tomorrow ; - ) Hit them long and straight DH

MikefromKy's picture

Submitted by MikefromKy on

Dragonhead

I really did not have a question. Just merely pointing out that election day was Tuesday. When reading your great post after sleeping all day Sunday do to the flu or something I was confused and thought I slept threw Monday.
I actually play with fitted / MOIed clubs. The irons I hit in the middle of the face 90 % of the time with the ball mark starting about 1 - 2 scoring lines higher than the sole not sure if this is the COG are not I usually do not worry about things I cant control and trust that my builder has given the best tools possible. The driver is fitted also. next fitting is for a putter.

I guess that when things go wrong for me its me not the tools.

The thing that goes wrong for me at impact is whether or not the club face is closed or square at impact.

The one thing that I am working on the most this winter is the transition from the BUS to the FUS some times I do not get the bump correct.

Mike

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Mike, Realized that and was killing two birds with one stone with my reply to you [lazy beggar ; - ] after saying it was Monday here.Tuesday now as you have your last day before D Day. If you want google: Mark Ndesandjo a certain half brother of one of the contestants. Very interesting and informative.
Like you in your comeback at me reply, I too have been having trouble with the transition from BUS to FUS with the bump in the mix. Frustrating, but decades of rotational swinging takes a while to banish. It is indeed the indian and not the arrow in my case.
Hit 'em long and straight in Kentucky. DH

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

I know we generally don't talk politics or religion but I am experiencing a first. Since you mentioned "don't forget to vote tomorrow" I'll let you know DH I voted early several days ago. That may not seem a big deal but I need to add that this was the first time I have ever voted. I am a long time skeptic when it comes to politics and have a long explanation of personal reasons for never voting but over the last 3+ years I have become certain of one thing, we need to fire the guy that's President now. I became so determined to see him go that after prayerful thought and consideration I registered and voted for R and R. Enough said and I respect every ones personal choices when it comes to this stuff. Tuesday will tell.
BTW, I sure hope our friends in the northeast that were hit so hard by the storm are getting the help they need. Let's keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

I can't vote being a foreigner. It pains me to see the downward spiral of the US during the past 3+ years. My personal opinion of the present incumbent would not be printed. This election is way above politics, it is about the survival of America. That concerns me. My respect for all things american, good and bad. The handling of the Hurricane other than as a photo Op has been woeful in extremis. God Bless and keep our fellow Surgites from all over the North east safe and relieve their suffering as soon as possible.
They are all in our thoughts and prayers. I too respect everyones' right to make choices, and hope to God, sanity prevails. God Bless America. DH

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Yes, Amen DH.
I share your sentiments and likewise will hold my tongue. May what is best for all prevail.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Since the educational system has been completely taken over by progressives (I didn't know how bad it was until I went back to school) the younger generation is truly without a clue and can't see beyond the smoke screen of individual social issues they think they are voting for.
Mark my words: There will come a day when each will have the same look on their face as the British officer in this movie and say "what have I done".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PskoqCtRFD4

MikefromKy's picture

Submitted by MikefromKy on

Watch and see what happens in this lame duck session of the senate through the end of the year and the EPA has said its going to rush a bunch of regulations through.

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

That is a genius scene, and a very good analogy. I liken it to the day when I was working at the riding stable and the drive down to the main parking area was very icy, so I parked up by the road. But the day before, I had dropped my keys in the snow and it took me an hour to find them, so I decided to leave them in the car. But, I was parking the car by the side of the road with the keys in it where anyone could come along and drive it away, so I locked the door. ;-)

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Absolutely brilliant Steve,love your analogy on the young of today and the "re-education" system. Socialism at it's most insidious. The Youtube link was magic, I have bookmarked it. The final of the Last of the Mohicans brought back so many memories. Movies in those days were thought provoking and deep. Now it is all crash,bash,smash and finish in 90minutes or less. Love the music from Last of the Mohicans. What have I done, will come sooner rather than later.
Keep on keeping on Steve, as the sun comes out here in Kiwiland this Wednesday morning.Maybe Summer is on the way after all, hahaha. Hit 'em long and straight anyway you can. DH

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Glad you registered and voted, RM. I have voted in every election, and most of the primaries, since I was eligible to vote. This year I voted on the first day of early voting. I only wished there was a button on the voting machine that turned off all the calls and junk mail after you vote. ;-)

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

Hey friends....

Never thought much about it, but wouldn't it be nice to have a mark of some kind on the club face, from the club maker, indicating where the approximate sweet spot is ?

My Adams A3's have nothing on club face. Why? Or why not? Any thoughts?

It would be helpful (at least for me) at address, to have a spot to line up with.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Of course club manufactures don't want to promote that they're counting on a slice swing. They rather we delude ourselves that we hit it square in the center.
Professional club makers? yes I'd say that would be a resourceful venture that many would appreciate. Maybe Doc Griffin will way in. Mean while you can figure out where your sweet spots are on your own with a bit of creativity. Simple put some masking tape on the face of several clubs, say the 4 iron, 7 iron and pw (or all) and head off to the driving range with a marker. Now you're well ahead of me I'm sure. Hit as many shots as needed until you start striking the sweet spot. Check the club face as you go and note where on the face the best strikes are happening. Mark it clearly with a large dot.
Do this with all of the test clubs and a pattern will begin to develop.
Now after this you'll know and then the real work will begin, that is developing a swing and consistency that will have you set up and hitting that elusive "sweet spot" on a regular basis.

Doc Griffin's picture

Submitted by Doc Griffin on

Robert,

I'm not clear on this post. If you are saying that where you hit the ball on the club face the most is the sweet spot that would be so incorrect. There are many things that influence where you hit the ball on the club face and the COG is not one of them. Swing path, toe droop, MOI, to name a few, are things that influence where one hits the ball on the face. I've also heard of doing what Dragonhead wrote about. The problem with that method is it is more a test of COG of the club and not the head. The COG of all golf clubs that I have ever checked whether blade or large cavity back has been basically in the center of the face. The only true way to find the COG of a club head is to use a device (golfworks has one) that has a fine point on a base. You can then balance the head on this and the only place that it will balance is the COG.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

I think (?) Robert means to look at where the mark is only on balls that by the feel and performance we can tell were hit on the sweet spot and ignore any that obviously weren't hit on the sweet spot.
In my case I would be ignoring more than I would be using, but still could eventually find the spot.
(For all of the good it would do me). Ha ha!
Since I can't hit that spot anyway the middle of the club face is where I aim.

Doc Griffin's picture

Submitted by Doc Griffin on

Sorry, I completely missed that! Thanks for clarifying for me.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

I am always envious of people that can hit the sweet spot consistently. My son can hit a bucket of balls with his driver and every mark will be in the same spot.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Yes Steve read me correctly as far as finding the sweet spot. I also concur with DH and Terry as far as finding it as Surge discussed in the video Terry referred.
There are certainly a few different methods. I've tried both that were primarily talked about and have found that both feel and results are the best indicators for us less technically able out here. The tape and mark idea (after we find out where on our club faces produced the best results) is simple the most reliable way I have found.
As they say, "What ever works". I am of the keep it simple stupid group. Yes I say K.I.S.S.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Doc,
Thanks for the information on the COG, interesting. How does that spot help or hinder good ball striking? I have been lining up the ball slightly towards the heel of the cavity backed irons! It would seem that I may have been doing the exact opposite to what I should have been doing from what Surge said during the video?
Weather tomorrow is meant to be an improvement on today's weather, so given the chance I will hit some shots from nearer the toe of the clubfaces. Hit a Muzuno SW yesterday. In appearance it has a slight cavity back, but looks more like a blade.Maybe it is a muscle back. Anyway I loved it. When using those clubs in UK I remembered scoring from the low to mid 80's on courses I had never played before in northern england and Scotland!!! So perhaps it is time to give these [carbon shafted] clubs an outing.
Thanks for your valued input on this fascinating topic. DH in [now]sunny and drying Wgtn NZ

Doc Griffin's picture

Submitted by Doc Griffin on

I will just say that if you're not going to hit the sweet spot, it is better to hit the ball more towards the heel as there is more mass located in that direction and the shot will come off more solid than a toe shot. Truth of the matter is, the larger the head, the further the center of gravity is from the heel but it is still located in roughly in the center of the club face. As you move the center of gravity further from the heel, the more difficult it is to get the toe to come back around to square. The toe also has to be traveling faster the larger the club head. So, it goes back to what I said in my last video, "forgiving" ain't necessarily "forgiving"!

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Thanks for that information Doc. As usual more valuable than you know. Have cancelled the thought of hitting them towards the toe. My results were excellent yesterday and will check that they still are tomorrow, weather permitting.
May still give the Mizuno clubs a run for their money sometime in the immediate future to compare them against my steel shafted cavity backs. Brand names are not in the mix. The clubs I use will be on consistent performance only. May the best club like the best candidate or best player win on the day ; - ] Hit 'em long and straight Doc, thanks again DH

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Use a dry marker on your clubface after trying to identify the sweet spot as I suggested to MikefromKy. My line on the ball helped me today note that my good straight drives hit the r7's face right on the middle of the face. Conversely, put a mark on your ball and see where on your clubface the ball strikes for your best results. Easy to apply and easy to wipe off. Good luck on your quest. DH

jon.lucenius's picture

Submitted by jon.lucenius on

Is there a way to determine exactly where the sweet spot on a club by examining it? I can almost tell after a hit, but that seems "hit or miss" if you know what I mean. any directions on how to determine the sweet spot, so it can be marked somehow, and help with alignment and/or swing path.

Thanks and down the middle!
Jon

jon.lucenius's picture

Submitted by jon.lucenius on

Everyone just has said basically the same thing .. mark where the ball hits and wherever it goes best must be the sweet spot. Really? Is that the best we can do? That is trial and error at best and you may never find it. Is there a way you can examine the manufacture of the club in detail and determine it scientifically?

Thanks for the replies BTW.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Hey Jon,
I don't know of any other way other than to put tape on the face or mark the ball. Doesn't take but a few minutes to see where the mark is after hitting the sweet spot, even for me, and I don't hit the sweet spot very consistently at all. Ha ha!
I always joke that I am saving the sweet spot and only wearing out the rest of the club face. Should increase resale value. ;-)

In all seriousness when I do hit the sweet spot there is no doubt about it and I know it by the feel as soon as it is hit. Don't even need to watch the shot to know.

jon.lucenius's picture

Submitted by jon.lucenius on

Recently there was an article where the Surge mentioned adding "lead tape" or "magic dust". My driver (R7 SuperQuad) felt very light in my hands, so I added 4 swing weights to it (2 strips of what I bought). Now it feels like a sledge hammer and sounds different as well. It is like a new club and the distance and consistency has improved. But, I also added some to a few irons, and I have seemed to over do it with them. It is a great idea - if your clubs are not custom fit properly - but one needs to be careful about how much to add and where.

Down the middle (farther now :-)
Jon

Terry Medley's picture

Submitted by Terry Medley on

JON. The explanation offered by DH and this video from surge give some good guidelines for finding your sweet spots without hitting balls. Surge is using a putter reference, but the same principle applies with any other club. It should also be noted that most of the 460 Jumbo drivers have the sweet spot now above center on their face. Good luck
http://swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/finding-sweet-spot-your-putter