Hello fellow golfers. Welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. I hope you have all managed to enjoy the sunshine and play some golf on a golf course. More importantly I hope you got a chance to relax in a beer garden after your round!
This week we’re going back to basics again and looking at the importance of a consistent ball position. When you’re on the course it can be very difficult to check this compared to on the driving range.
As you may or may not know the ball position can have a big influence on the strike and start direction of the ball. I usually see lots of people with the ball position back in their stance at setup, especially for shorter shots. This is because they’re trying to get a ball first contact but it comes at an expense.
In general, the further forward in the stance the ball position is, the more the club will be moving up in relation to the ground. Vice versa if the ball position is back, the club will be travelling down towards the ground. This is because of the arc of the swing. The golf swing consists of lift and rotation. Through the downswing the club is moving towards the floor and in the follow through the club lifts again.
The clubface angle can be influenced also. Generally the further back in the stance the ball position is, the more the clubface will be left open in relation to the target and the further forward the more the clubface will rotate and point left.
Let’s start with driver. Ball position inside the left heel. This will help launch the ball up in the air from a high tee because the swing arc is moving up.
Fairway woods can be very personal and can slightly vary on the lie. If you’re hitting from a tee you can treat it like a driver but move it slightly further away from the left heel, maybe about a ball. Try this from the fairway also. It will help sweep the surface and launch the ball with a solid contact.
I often get asked how to hit a hybrid. Is it a long iron or is it a wood? It’s neither or both depending on how you look at it. Just be sure that the ball position is a few balls inside of the left heel. This will again help to sweep the surface and provide a good angle of attack for a good strike. The club used is a 4 iron. I don’t own a hybrid so this is my equivalent.
I try to encourage a gradual flow as the irons change in length. I use about half a ball width for each club as the irons get longer/shorter. Compared to the longer clubs, the irons should have a steeper angle of attack. This means the club should be striking the ball first and ground after because the club is moving down as it hits the ball. The club in the photo is a 7 iron and is about a ball or two away from the middle of my stance.
When I’m trying to hit a standard wedge I make sure my ball position is central. This will ensure a good launch with a good contact and a good amount of spin. The only time I move it back of centre is when when I’m trying to manipulate a shot, for example in the wind.
When it comes to ball position it’s all about trusting the process and finding consistency. I see a lot of people practice on the range, many of which don’t use clubs or sticks to determine their ball position. If you don’t know if your ball position is correct before you hit a shot, how do you know it isn’t that causing your mishits?
Next time you practice put a club or stick down like I have in the photos and make sure that you trust your ball position for each club. You will be amazed how much of a difference ball makes to your ball striking and direction.
If you want me to check your ball position, you know where I am.