Like all objects, the clubhead of a putter is subject to twisting around a central axis. This means that if you strike your putts away from that axis (normally the centre of a putter face if it is balanced) then the face can open or close, causing the golf ball to start on the wrong line and dooming you to another missed putt.
On top of that, when the face twists it transmits less energy to the golf ball and changes the loft of the head at impact – creating even more inconsistencies in your results, especially when it comes to distance control.
Improving your contact with the ball during putting does take practice and getting some feedback will help you measure your level of success while you are working on it.
An easy way to find out where you are striking your putts is to make use of foot spray. This can be purchased at any pharmacy. Apply a light layer of it to your putter face before you putt. When you strike the ball, it will leave an impression on the face and indicate how successful you have been in hitting it near the centre.
If you are striking the ball in the centre of the face but still missing your putts, you then know there are other issues taking place that you may need to work on.
Spraying the face is a simple solution and at just $10 or less for a can of foot spray, one that is not that costly.
Invest a little bit of time and not a lot of money and you should see your putting improve.
/ Scott MacLeod is the Associate Publisher of Flagstick/Flagstick Golf Magazine and a Class A member of the PGA of Canada