Find the Center

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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One of the most and I mean most important skills needed to be an efficient golfer is center face contact. Without it, the ball will fly shorter and more crooked, needless to say not an ideal combination. There are a variety of reasons why we don’t consistently find the center of the face – far too many to go into great detail. The cliff notes version…golf is difficult.  

Do you miss more towards the toe or heel? What about low or high on the face? It is difficult to rely on feel alone. The easiest way to determine your impact point is by using face tape or in this case Doctor Scholls foot spray – see picture.

•  If you are hitting the ball consistently on the toe, you should get a little closer to the ball at address. Consistently hitting off the toe will result in balls that curve too much from right to left and will cause a loss of distance.

•  If you are hitting off the heel, get a little farther from the ball. Consistently hitting off the heel will promote too much curve from left to right and a loss of distance.

•  If you are hitting high on the face (primarily with the driver and 3 wood) you will bring that pop fly into play. This is never good for distance.

•  If you are hitting too low on the face (primarily with the driver and 3 wood) you will spin the ball too much which is never good for roll on the fairway.

We all know what the perfect shot feels like. This sensation is what drives us to play the silly game of golf. Pay more attention to club face contact points and you will learn to hit the ball in that elusive sweet spot much more frequently.

John Stahlschmidt, PGA is the Director of Instruction at the JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club is Scottsdale, AZ.  John is currently ranked #12 in the state by Golf Digest and is a Golf Tips “Top 30” instructor. To comment or to schedule a lesson, email  John at or visit his website at