For every golfer, right after taking the proper stance and posture for a shot, the most important thing is correct golf ball positioning. Because, if you have made the right stance and kept your body in proper alignment and still you are getting your shot wrong, probably you need to get your golf ball position correctly.
Your ball-striking dramatically depends on how you are placing your golf ball along with your stance and posture. Though for different golfers, different kind tricks do work, there are some basic rules of golf ball placement which can ease your golfing and help you explore the new methods that work for yourself.
You need to know that for each different golf club following your stance, different ball placement is necessary. Through this article, we will share the basic rules of golf ball positioning along with some essential guidelines about how changing your ball positioning can get you different results for one shot. Once you are familiar with the basic rules and tricks of correct golf ball placement, you can eventually fine-tune your own positioning. So, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- Why Is Correct Golf Ball Position So Important?
- Types of Golf Ball Alignment
- Ball Alignment for Sand Wedge
- Ball Alignment for 7-Iron
- Ball Alignment for 3-Iron
- Ball Alignment for Driver
- What to Consider For Golf Ball Positioning?
- Golf Club
- Target Line
- How To Position The Golf Ball Properly?
- Rules to Correct Golf Ball Placement
- How To Position The Ball At Address
- Relative to the Target (Forward, Center, Back)
- Relative to your Body (Forward Always or Continuum)
- Relative to the Ground (Tee Height)
Why Is Correct Golf Ball Position So Important?
Beginners often get suggestions for holding just one common position for making a shot. But this practice can affect your lifetime career. Golf ball positioning is that much important for any golfer even if you are a beginner. Golf ball positioning makes an enormous impact on your shots, and that’s how it has grown this much important for a golfer.
Different golf club works differently in golfing; thus to with a different golf club and a constant golf ball position you would get different results. Again, Different style of your stance with a consistent golf ball positioning also result differently. But even after choosing the correct club length and proper stance you still find your ball-striking weak then the last and the most important thing you need to consider is positioning your golf ball correctly.
If you understand the proper ball position for each club type, you would eventually become able to fine-tune your stance and ball positioning and make a perfect shot. That is how correct golf ball positioning can make an impact in your golfing.
There is an undeniable fact that for different people things work differently. So, there might be some tricks that would work for you well. You need to discover them by practicing more and more with different size of the golf club and taking different ball position with your stance. But before you find out your signature tricks, it is important to master the basic golf ball positioning for each golf club. Try to alter your body alignment, golf ball position, and golf club to discover the secret formula of your golfing, which golf club suits most of your shots, what happens when your stance is too far or too close to the golf ball and etc. Try it all but before that, must learn the basic golf ball alignment.
Types of Golf Ball Alignment
To learn the details about how correct golf ball positioning, you got to determine the types of golf ball alignment first. Types of golf ball alignment will help you to understand the basic idea of correct golf ball positioning. There are 4 types of golf ball alignment. These types of alignment are specified depending on the type of your golf club. For different golf club, the golf ball placement should also change.
The Four types of golf ball alignment are therefore named upon the kind of golf club which are:
Ball Alignment for Sand Wedge
Sand Wedge is the shortest of all the golf club in your bag. When you are going to give a shot with the shortest clubs, you would need to put the golf ball at the center of the distance between two heels. This is the ideal golf ball placement for Wedges and helps you to hit down the golf ball resulting with more backspin. This type of golf ball position is appropriate for the shortest golf clubs of your bag like lob wedge, sand wedge, gap wedge, pitching wedge; in fact, all types of wedges.
Ball Alignment for 7-Iron
The 5-7 irons are also known as the mid irons referring that they are medium length golf clubs. The next golf ball position type is for the mid irons. When you are using a mid-iron club, you should move your golf club from the center between your two heels a little more towards your front foot. For better understanding, if you are a right-handed golfer, then your left foot is your front foot. The 7-iron position is a few inches off the center, a little ahead from your body and towards your front foot.
Ball Alignment for 3-Iron
3-irons are the long irons of your bag. To take this type of golf position, you would need to move your golf club little further towards your front foot than the mid-iron golf position. That means the 3-iron golf position is clearly off from the center between your two heels and ahead of your body.
Ball Alignment for Driver
A driver is the longest golf club of your bag. So, the correct position of the golf ball when you use the driver is the closest to your front foot and most distant from your body.
These 4 types of golf ball positions follow a simple rule that I will simply for the beginners now. Take your shortest golf club and put it right at the center between your two heels along the target line. Then for each longer golf club move your golf ball half an inch toward your front leg and half an inch further from your body. That is the most straightforward rule for the correct golf ball position.
What to Consider For Golf Ball Positioning?
From the little details we discussed in the previous section, you probably have had a rough idea about the correct golf ball position already. There are some specific things you have to consider for correct golf ball position. These factors would decide whether you are going to have a perfect shot delivering the ideal flight for the golf ball.
Beginners are often told to take just one particular stance for all type of golf club you are using, whether it is a driver or the wedge of your bag. It might let you think that there is no role of a golf club in your correct ball positioning. But the truth is, you must consider the type of golf club you are using for right golf ball position. If you are using a wedge club which is the shortest club in your bag, you need to place your ball at the center between your two heels. Thus, the longer golf club you would take, the golf ball should be positioned a little closer to your foot. We will discuss the further details in the next section.
Another factor you must consider to make a perfect shot with a proper golf ball position is your stance. Now, this term means the distance between your two heels. I repeat, it indicates the distance between your two HEELS; not the TOES. Stance is essential while you are intending to achieve your desired golf ball flight.
Target Line refers to the traveling path of your golf ball from its position to the bunk. So, the target line is obviously a factor to take seriously to make the perfect shot. Therefore, for the correct golf ball position, you need to take your stance parallel to the target line, and the golf ball would be placed at a perpendicular line of the target line. It would allow you to create the desired arc for the ball flight.
Not only your stance has a role in positioning your golf ball correctly, but also the upper body is a fact that would influence your shot. Your upper body has to place relative to the ball to achieve the correct golf ball placement. For example, if you are playing with a short golf club, you need to put the ball at the middle of your heels and aligned to your sternum. The longer golf club you are going to use, your sternum should be moving slightly behind the golf ball to make the arc you need for your perfect golf ball flight.
How To Position The Golf Ball Properly?
Golf ball positioning is one of the necessary parts of golf lessons for beginners. If you have just started your career in golf, then you must master the golf positions for different clubs in the first place. We have already discussed why mastering golf ball position became so essential to become a good golfer.
You might be looking forward to learning the right tricks and methods of golf ball placement. So, read further to prepare yourself for the golf field.
Rules to Correct Golf Ball Placement
Before step-by-step learning, you need to learn the two rules of golf ball positioning. Whether you are playing with a driver or a mid-iron club, these two rules are like the constant of your golf ball positioning.
Rule 1: Always place the ball forward.
Golf professionals like Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and many others suggest placing the golf ball always forward in your stance, no matter which golf club you are using.
Instead of that, you will change your right foot placement. The most commonly given guideline is what we have discussed in the types of golf ball positions above; which is- the longer your club the closest your golf ball should be located to your front foot (the left foot is the front foot for a right-handed golfer.) So, you need to move your rear foot (right foot for a right-handed golfer) further for each longer club. In other words, the longer your chosen golf club, the wider your stance should get.
The main benefit of using this ball positioning is that it promotes consistency to your aiming. It does so since the ball is always located on a consistently relative position from the left foot. This consistency helps to gain a certain level of confidence and allows your brain to focus more on the other areas of the golf swing.
Since the golf ball is always forward from the stance, it may increase the risks of mishits itself. Indeed, if the bottom of created swing arc doesn’t match with this ball position, placing the ball forward may lead to fat shots – or skulled shots. For instance, a swing arc which bottoms out before impact is likely to work for a driver that is meant to strike the golf ball on the way up. But the same swing arc won’t work with your wedges. If you try this with a wedge, possibilities are more likely to produce a chunk shot or even end up resulting with a skulled shot.
In this example, it is the best fit for those that can and prefer to see impact happen forward in the stance.
Rule 2: The golf ball position should be along a continuum.
The critical alternative to placing the ball on the same line aligning with your left foot is to move the ball on a continuum from your left heel to the center of your stance. Actually, this competing rule states that the ball should be in the center of your position when you are performing your shot with a wedge and the short irons. Hence for each longer clubs, you need to move forward progressively as the distance to the ball increases. Similarly, the longer your club, the wider your stance. This is the second rule you might be taught in golf lessons these days.
This rule differentiates between clubs when you hit the ball on the way up and those you hit down on the ball. The secret is, Drivers and fairway woods are usually great to hit the ball while they are rising up while on the contrary, short iron and wedges work best when they hit down on the ball. This secret formula is also known as trapping the ball.
The main disadvantage of this rule is found in the adjustments that are needed for each shot-clubs and the ball sometimes even cannot be positioned where it should be. Actually, the alignment of error in placing your golf ball on the perfect location for each new shot is greater here than to position yourself keeping the ball forward in the stance. This can lead to examples where a ball should be put forward, but it is found in the center of the stance.
A golfer already has to make some quick decisions during a round. Adding another one to his pre-shot routine will naturally higher the chances for him to forget to set up correctly. This ball positioning rule is the best practice for golfers to concentrate during the setup and to do so throughout their entire round.
How To Position The Ball At Address
The golf ball position at address can change in different ways. For different shot or different golf clubs, the ball position and its distance can differ from the target (center, forward or back). This variation in ball positioning actually depends on the golf club you are using or concerning how high it flew from the ground when using a tee.
You already got the basic idea about your stance and relation between the golf club and ball positioning. Now this section would help you to understand how different ball positioning works and to learn the correct golf ball placement thereby.
Relative to the Target (Forward, Center, Back)
When intending to make a regular shot, professionals advocates placing your ball safely in the middle of your stance. This means, if you draw a straight line from the ball towards you, then the point this line crosses the straight line between your two heels perpendicularly. I would mention it again, it’s between your heels, not your feet.
There are different shots where you would need to put the ball forward in your stance while for some other shots you might want to place it back.
This has been discussed once before. Yet I would reflect it again. For the shortest club, the best position for the golf ball is in the middle of your stance. The longer club you choose, the further it should move towards your front foot. So, you keep your front foot on its place and move your rear foot backward.
Relative to your Body (Forward Always or Continuum)
In addition to the shot and the goal you follow, the ball mode will also depend on the club in your hand, and the distance of the ball from your body will vary accordingly. Of course, longer clubs require that you put yourself away from the ball more than you do when you have a shorter club.
There are two basic matters to think about in golf. The first one indicates that you should always put the ball forward in position, no matter which club you have in your hand. Some defenders say that it’s easier to make a swing and hit the ball consistently when it’s always placed in the same position (with the target).
The others say that the ball should move gradually from the front position when you are using a driver is applied to the center of the stance when you are using a wedge. Some also argue here that when the club is extended, the ball must be placed forward gradually.
However, I will encourage you to decide where you want to position your ball in accordance with your body or to the target line. But you must make sure that the sole of the club rests flatly on the golf ground when the club is placed behind the ball.
Relative to the Ground (Tee Height)
Every time you hit the teeing ground, the golfing rules will allow you to put the ball off the ground using the tee. The ideal height of this tee should be tied to your club in hand and the shots you are trying to make. In fact, every time you use a driver, you usually want to align the center of the ball with the top of the club-head (also called as the crown).
The same general rule applies for the fairway woods, although it may be safer to push the tee lower than the teeing up the ball. This is because the face of the fairway woods is not as high as the face of the driver, and so it provides less forgiveness.
Whenever you use an iron off the tee, you would need to plant it deep in the ground so that the ball rests on the grass, without touching it. This will give you the best lie possible.
Finally, you usually need to avoid hitting a wedge onto the golf ball which is placed on the tee. As the loft angle of wedges is so high, there is a risk for the club to travel underneath the ball. And more chances are there for the ball to miss hitting the ball squarely in the process.
Golf ball positioning makes a significant impact in your perfect swing. There is no other way to get an alternative way to make a perfect shot without perfect golf ball placement. When you practice with each golf club, it is a better practice to change your golf ball positioning accordingly, just as the simple rules we just discussed before.
Some professionals will suggest you as a beginner to practice keeping the golf ball in the same position, in the middle of your two heels. In my opinion, obviously, you should try that out to explore the result and to know the difference when you play with changing the ball positioning for each clubs. Once you learn the impact the correct golf ball positioning can make, you would know for yourself what is best for you.
But you must not forget that the golf ball positioning is not the only factor that matters in your perfect swing or desired shot. As right before we discussed, you need to learn the way it works along with the target, along with your stance and body, and along with the ground.
The purpose of this article is to help you learn the basic formula of proper golf ball position. Thus, we have segmented the whole thing into different parts for your ease of understanding. If you read through it sincerely, you would find that these parts are connected all together. For instance, ball positioning varies for different clubs in your hand, while on the other hand, it also depends on your stance, your body posture, the tee ground and along with the target. All these interrelated rules together will hopefully help your practice making it easier and allowing you to get your desired swing arc resulting in a perfect shot as you want.