Alternative to impact tape

For decades golfers have been using impact tape but you may have heard that many are now using foot spray. What is the difference between them and why are golfers now using different methods?

What is golf impact tape?

Impact tape is esentially thin paper with adhesive on. It is stuck to the face of a golf club. When a golf ball is struck, a mark is left on the paper, indicating where the ball was struck on the face.

A golf club with impact tape on

This is excellent for providing golfers with feedback. They can instantly see where they are striking the ball on the face. They may be able to determine a strike pattern which is causing them to hit bad shots.

For example, if every shot is being struck on the toe, the golfer could make an easy adjustment. They could try standing closer to the ball to see if this moves the strike away from the toe and towards the centre of the club. A consistent strike pattern may also help to identify issue with the delivery and release of the golf club.

The imidiate feedback from the impact tape may help the golfer to focus on achieving a good strike. Ball striking can be improved by simply focussing on consistency.

Impact tape is expensive

Part of the problem with impact tape is that it is expensive and bulky. It is bought in a big roll of tape. You then need to use a different sticker on each club and it only lasts for about half a doozen shots.

Additionally, impact tape is usually designed for either irons or the driver. This means that if you want to use it on different clubs you will have to buy different tape. It starts to get quite expensive!

Of course, you could buy a driver tape and make it fit on an iron by folding it or cutting it. But this is quite time wasting an not an ideal solution. So is there a better way?!

DIY golf impact tape

Probably the best DIY golf impact tape is masking tape. Simply cut the masking tape to the desired size for each club and hit away!

Roll of masking tape
Masking tape is an inexpensive alternative to impact tape

Masking tape is cheap, lasts a long time, and you can cut to it to the right size for each club. For many golfers who are considering impact tape this could be a revolutionary answer!

The wide masking tape is probably the best since it covers the clubface pretty well. But thinner masking tape can still work, using one or two strips to cover the face.

DIY impact tape
Here’s one I made earlier! Easy DIY impact tape

Chances are you have some masking tape lying around somewhere. So why not dig it out and give it a go? Make your own DIY golf impact tape!

Does Impact Tape affect distance?

One of the problems with using impact tape of any kind is that it will likely affect distance. The problem is that you are massively changing the face of the golf club.

Masking tape on golf club
Adding tape massively changes the surface of the face – this includes both impact tape and masking tape

This means that the spin will be effected, and in turn, the distance and flight of the golf shot. Impact tape typically reduces the amount of spin imparted on the ball at impact. In most instances this will result in a shot which travels further.

Does Impact Tape affect distance?
Impact tape affects ball flight and distance

Impact tape could affect distance by as much as 10% or more! So a 200 yard shot under normal conditions could go as far as 220 yards with impact tape. That’s 20 yards further!

So while you may be getting good feedback on the strike, you are getting poor feedback on the ballflight and overall distance. Is there a better alternative?

Alternative to impact tape

As well as the issues with spin, impact tape can produce poor marks which are difficult to see. Surely the idea of impact tape is to produce a mark that is very clear, providing instant feedback?

Alternative to impact tape
Is there an alternative to impact tape? That works better and is cheaper?

For these reasons, many golfers are seeking a better alternative to impact tape. Fortunately, there is a better alternative! Instead of sticking something on your golf club – you can apply a spray to the face.

What can I spray on my golf club face?

Golfers have experimented with many different options and found that foot spray works really well. That’s right, foot spray!

It is an excellent alternative to impact tape. It’s cheaper, quick to apply, and provides instant, clear feedback.

You can easily spray it on your golf club and get hitting shots straight away. It wipes off really easily and doesn’t damage your club in any way (but use at your own risk obviously! – make sure you get the right spray).

Athletes foot spray for golf

Athletes foot spray specifically works really well as an impact training aid for golf.

It is important to ensure that you use a “powder spray”. Once sprayed onto the clubface, the powder will settle white. Then, when you strike the ball, a small portion of the powder will be removed at the exact point of contact.

This will leave a very clear mark, showing you exactly where the golf ball was struck. It leaves a much clearer strike than impact tape, in fact.

Also, the athletes foot spray doesn’t affect the spin or distance of the shot as much as impact tape. Simply apply a small amount of spray, allow it to settle for a few seconds, and hit shots. You probably won’t notice any difference in ballflight at all.

Golf strike spray
The spray should quickly dry white

The spray is really easy to use and wipes off with a towel in seconds. It’s inexpensive, you can use it on any club, it’s quick to use, and comes in a small handy can that you can leave in your golf bag.

One you’ve struck a ball, a very clear mark should be left on the clubface. The feedback you get is just brilliant!

Athletes foot spray for golf
A very clear mark is left behind (the mark below the ball is the rubber tee)

Having used it many times myself, I can recommend althletes foot spray to anyone looking for an alternative to golf impact tape. In fact, I always carry a can in my golf bag.

You never know when you may need it on the range. It can help you to find a good strike when you’re having a bad day. Or it can be used in combination with ball striking drills or ball striking focussed sessions.

Strike spray vs foot spray

There are companies which are producing strike spray specifically for golf.

The principal is exactly the same. It is a powder based spray which sets white when applied. I assume the composition is different since it is not intended to relieve athletes foot.

However, this golf strike spray is typically very expensive. Given that it offers little to no advantages over foot spray, I don’t see any need to buy it. That is unless the price is less then athletes foot spray or you want to buy a particular brand.

For me, the price of the golf spray is currently 4 times more expensive than the athletes foot spray! So personally, I’ll stick to the athletes foot spray.

Just be sure to buy the spray powder if you buy the athletes foot spray. It is the powder which sets a white colour, exposing the strike.

Where should the golf ball hit the club face?

The final thing to consider is where should the golf ball hit the face? When using a spray or tape, you may find yourself a little unsure as to where the sweetspot is.

Where should the golf ball hit the club face?
Knowing where the sweetspot is can help you to find it more often!

Part of the problem is that this will vary depending on the club. The strike point for irons will be different compared to woods and the driver. Sweetspots even vary between manufacturers and golf clubhead shapes.

Where should an iron strike a golf ball?

The sweetspot for an iron tends to be higher than most people realise. Because the ball is on the ground, many people assume that the sweetspot is at the bottom of the face.

However, because the golf ball is round, the sweetspot is in the middle of the iron. This is about an inch from the bottom, or the leading edge. In addition, if the club is leaning forward at impact (which is desired) the strike point is moved slightly up the face.

Misunderstanding this could mean that you think you are hitting the iron’s sweetspot when in fact you are hitting the ball thin. This could be very damaging to your golf shots.

The opposite problem can also be an issue, particularly if you are hitting your irons off the tee. A tee that is too high can result is a strike that it too near the top of the club.

This can result in a similar dead feeling to a thin shot. Although the ball will typically fly higher, it will usually lack quite a bit of distance compared to a centre strike.

Driver strike location

The correct strike point for a driver is usually easier to see, and it is often indicated by the manufacturer. It is pretty much directly in the centre of the face.

Driver strike location
The correct strike location is pretty much right in the centre of the face

Although the driver head is very large, the strike location still has a huge affect on ball flight. If you are wondering why you aren’t hitting your driver properly, the strike location could be one of the most important factors to consider.

Hitting the ball near the bottom of the club will typically produce a lower shot with more spin. Hitting near the top will typically produce a higher shot with less spin, which is often more desirable.

Using strike spray or impact tape could help to you find the centre of the driver face. This could help you improve ball flight and distance. You might be amazed at how much more distance you get when you strike the ball in the optimal location!

Remember, too high on the driver face is typically better than too low for most golfers. Raising your strike point could help you to reduce spin and achieve a more penetrating flight (doesn’t balloon due to excess spin) that travells further and rolls more.

Final thoughts on impact tape and foot spray…

I highly recommend powder foot spray for checking your impact. It is much cheaper than golf strike spray and works the same. Both options are far superior to impact tape in my view.

Having said that, masking tape is also worth trying. You may some lying around so it doesn’t cost you anything to try it.

impact tape and foot spray
Try masking tape and foot spray – they work well!

And getting powdered foot spray could be tricky, although I’ve found it easy to get online. Just be sure to get the powdered version or it won’t work. I checked out the product reviews and there were golfers commenting on the best one!

There is no better feeling in golf than a clean strike so let’s go work on it!

Good luck with your practice!

Tom Rothwell from Clean Strike Golf

About Me

I’m Tom Rothwell and I’m a 3 handicaper that's obsessed with golf. You can often find me hitting balls on a driving range somewhere!

I'm on a journey to learn as much as possible about the great game. I've made Clean Strike Golf to share everything I discover along the way.