Pro Golf Tips: Position Your Ball

One of the most overlooked fundamentals in golf is ball position. What is ball position and why does it matter? Ball position is simply where the ball lies in your stance in relation to your front and back foot.

For a right-handed golfer, a ball that is closer to the left foot would be called forward in the stance. Conversely a ball that is closer to the right foot would be called back in the stance. The reason that ball position is such an important fundamental is that it affects the club’s path, angle of attack, and club face position at impact, which are the three most important factors of ball flight.

As you may already have experienced, golf instruction can be complicated and filled with too many thoughts. Ball position lessons are no exception. You will hear all kinds of ideas in relation to positioning the ball and changing it for different clubs. Unless you are a highly skilled single-digit handicap player, the best thing you can do is forget any of those ideas and try the following:

Golf shots off of the ground

Take a nice comfortable stance about shoulder width and make some practice swings brushing the ground. Start to notice where the club is brushing the ground. This is the bottom of your swing and is typically very near the center of your stance. This is your ball position for all shots off of the ground from three-wood all the way to sand wedge. When you’re on the golf course, take one or two nice, easy practice swings to find the bottom of your swing, position your ball right there, make a nice swing, and watch the ball get in the air and fly toward your target.

Golf shots off of the tee with your driver

In this situation, take a nice wide stance and make a few real slow practice swings, not letting the driver hit the ground. Start to notice the point where the club reaches the bottom of your swing and then starts to come back up again. This is typically near the front foot’s big toe (left foot for a right-handed golfer). Tee the ball up in this spot and tee it so that half of the ball is over the top edge of the driver. Now you will make contact with the ball on the upswing, creating a nice high launch angle giving you the most distance possible.

Keep ball position simple and I know your ball striking will improve. For balls on the ground, play the ball near the center of your stance where the bottom of your swing is. For tee shots with the driver, play the ball forward of the bottom of your swing near the front foot. Enjoy!