In today’s mini lesson we will review the proper ball position in the golf stance. This is a common question beginner golfers will have when learning the sport and the fundamentals for the first time.
Before jumping into the proper ball position, let’s discuss the effect it has on your golf swing and why golfers will change the ball position relative to their stance for different types of golf shots they want to hit.
Starting with the basics of the golf stance, your feet should be about shoulder width apart from each other and they should run parallel to your target line.
Try Our Practice Guides:
This means if you set a golf club down so that both toes of your shoes were touching the golf club from shoulder width apart, that line would point out at the driving range of golf course parallel with the line your ball is aimed at.
Here’s a photo for reference:
Now you can also see in this image the center point between your two feet with the golf ball labeled “wedges”
This is a neutral or center ball position used for shorter golf clubs like your wedges, 9 iron, and 8 iron.
As the golf club gets longer in length, we need to move the ball forward more in the stance along that line that runs parallel to the target line.
The reason we need to do this is because the golf club will bottom out at different points depending on how long the club is.
Therefore, we can’t use the same center ball position for all golf swings or else longer clubs will strike the ground back further behind the ball causing chunks and mis-hits.
Since the driver is the longest club in your golf bag, it should be moved forward the most in your stance. A good reference point is to line the ball position up just inside the heel of your front foot.
If we drew a line the golf ball would connect with the inside of your heel on your golf shoe. This forward position also helps you sweep the ball off the tee better which improves contact, ball striking, and overall distance.
Practice Plan: Best Short Game Practice Routines to Follow
When Would Golfers Position the Ball Back in Their Stance?
Moving the ball back in the stance refers to any ball position behind the center position line and closer to your back foot instead of your front foot.
This is not used for normal golf shots but it’s quite common for chip shots.
It can help you make crisp contact with the golf ball but more important it helps the shot come out lower which is most common with chip shots when you hit low, runner style chips.
If you need to hit a high flying flop shot then you’d move the ball forward in your stance to your front foot’s heel, same as a driver ball position.
What’s the Perfect Position for Irons vs Woods?
The best tip for picking the perfect ball position for each of your clubs is testing it out on the range. Move the ball forward from center different amounts to find what feels comfortable with each of your longer clubs.
Shorter clubs can be nearer to the center position but still slightly forward if it feels most comfortable.
How Ball Position Impacts Ball Flight Trajectory?
As mentioned earlier, golfers will change the ball position in their stance forward and backwards different times to hit different types of golf shots.
These adjustments move the ball position away from its normal position they would hit from for any regular golf shot.
One reason for doing so is if you are in the woods and need to keep the ball flight low to avoid tree branches. This calls for a unique set up since normal swings would hit the ball too high and create risk of getting caught in the trees.
Therefore, you’d want to position the golf ball back further in your stance behind the center position line as this promotes a lower flighted golf shot from decreased loft on the club face when it comes down to the ball at impact.
Hitting higher golf shots requires moving the ball forward in your stance to catch it with more loft on the face.
Thanks for reading today’s quick guide on proper ball position in the golf stance. We reviewed the proper position for a normal golf swing for your driver, woods, and irons as well as discussed times you’d move the ball back in your stance like on chip shot.
If you’d like a practice plan to follow with proven drills and routines to improve your short game and golf swing, check out these options below:
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.
Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.
Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.
Nick Foy, Instructor