make poor contact to control quick putts

True or false: Every shot should be hit on the club’s sweet spot.

The answer is… Well, it depends on who you ask. Many pros and golf instructors say you should always align the club with the intent of hitting the ball flush on the sweet spot. Others, though, advocate playing certain shots toward the club’s toe to “deaden” contact.

For example, when facing a downhill putt on extremely fast greens. A ball struck purely will come off the face with a little more heat – that’s the whole point of hitting it there, right? This can cause the putt to get away from you, however, and slide well past the hole.

Tom Watson is among those who believe super-fast putts should be hit near the club’s toe. Try it for yourself by finding a slick spot on the practice green and simply setting up with the ball just beyond the putter’s alignment guide. The ball will feel slightly less solid when struck and should roll a bit more slowly, giving you a better chance to get it close or knock it in.

Try the same technique on delicate chips and pitch shots. You’ll notice a similar feeling at impact and the ball won’t jump off the clubface with the same velocity. The toe method is especially effective when hitting from rough, which can get between the ball and clubface and reduce backspin, causing the ball to fly and roll too far.