A Guide to Ball Positioning

If you want to make a great shot, you have to have it all set up just right. The alignment of your shot is just as important as the power and efficiency of your swing.

A general guide of ball position in your golf swing are as follows:

  • Short irons: If you’re going to use a wedge, 9-iron or 8-iron, you should put the ball right in front of you, as close to halfway between your feet as possible. The idea is that, in order to make a good clean shot with a shorter iron, you need to hit it at a steep angle. It’s always best to put a divot in front of the ball if you’re shooting with one of these clubs.
  • Medium irons: For the 7, 6 or 5, you should put the ball a little forward. With a short iron, you are placing the ball directly in front of you, halfway between; take this position and move the ball one balls-length forward. Here, you should use a shallower divot.
  • Long irons and fairways: Take that original position (for the short irons), and move the ball 2 ball-lengths forward. You want to hit the ball with a very slight divot, and get it right on the bottom of your swing arc.
  • If you want to hit the ball on an upswing, put it 3 ball-lengths ahead of the short iron position.

The above guide can be used as a default starting point for many. Different people will tell you different things and that’s because there are several school of thoughts out there. Most of them have their own merits, so be sure to experiment to find the most comfortable placement for you. This is something you’ll get the hang of and adjust according to your own swinging style eventually.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, as you get tired, you’ll hit the shots shorter. This will result in hooks or slices. To make up for this, you may consider moving the ball further back toward your right foot (for right-handed players), and see if it’s more comfortable that way.

Some golfers find that they have one ball position that works for every iron. They claim that moving the ball position for different irons destroys your consistency. Advocates of one position for all shots say that changing the ball positions means you have to change your golf swing. Their theory is that if you use the clubs correctly, you should narrow your stance accordingly; you should never have to change the ball position.

Golfers don’t see eye to eye on much, and this is one of the big talking points amongst proponents of the game. This is why it’s important to personalize your swing and your technique, and pay close attention to what happens when you try different things. Once you do so, you should be able to find a good setup that is comfortable and works for you.

Denver Lim
Author: Denver Lim

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