ball position in golf stance

Golf Ball Position in the Stance: Complete Guide

Our stance is simply when we set up our feet relative to our golf ball on the ground and the target we are aiming out at on the golf course, such as a fairway or green.

We adjust our stance depending on what golf club we will be swinging. For longer clubs, we need a wider stance to help give more stability for the increased swing speed generated by the longer golf shaft.

Another aspect of golf stance is the ball position relative to our stance setup.

As you spread your feet apart, find the center point in the middle of your stance. This is the starting point for the middle club in your bag, the 7 iron.

Longer clubs will need the ball position to move slightly forward more and more for each ensuing club to give it some room to bottom out since the shaft gets longer and longer for each club.

If you keep the ball position back instead of forward for these long clubs, it will be difficult to make solid contact with the ball without chunking or taking a divot behind the golf ball.

The goal is strike ball first, then take a divot.

Shorter clubs will have their ball position stay center of the stance or just slightly forward of center. This allows the club to still come down into the golf ball on a descending angle of attack and bottom out near the center of your stance.

Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System (Practice Plans)

Swing Plane

If you struggle to make solid contact with your longer clubs like your 4 iron or 5 iron, consider shallowing out your swing plane some so it’s not as steep as you normally swing with your shorter irons and wedges.

Shallowing out the swing plane means simply swinging more around your body like a baseball swing as opposed to a more vertical steep golf swing where we take the club up high above our shoulders.

Combine a shallower swing plane with a ball position more forward in the stance and you’ll find you’re making better contact with long irons.

Angle of Attack for Driver Is Different than Irons

Lastly, let’s make note of an important difference between the driver and your irons. The irons require a descending angle of attack on the golf ball on the downswing to hit the ball off the ground.

But with a driver, we are trying to “sweep” the ball off the tee since it’s teed up and not sitting on the ground. This requires an upward angle of attack. The driver swing bottoms out just before the golf ball and then starts an upward angle of ascent as it strikes into the back of the ball, creating this “sweeping off the tee” feeling.

To help achieve this, set up to your tee shots with your shoulders tilted by dropping your back should down some toward the ground. Then make the turn back on the takeaway and get the weight shifted slightly to your back leg to help keep your body and head behind the golf ball at impact.

Do not try this with long irons. You will chunk behind the ball. Irons are meant to be swung with level shoulders and a downward angle of attack to hit crisp contact shots off the turf. The body should not be leaning back behind the ball at impact with irons.