How to Position the Golf Ball to Improve Your Swing

By Steve Silverman

Golfer holds driver behind back
The goal of most golfers is to learn as much about their golf swing as possible so as to improve their play. One of the keys to getting more accuracy and distance is making sure the ball is in the right position as you stand and address the ball.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Play the ball a bit forward in your stance when you are using a driver. A driver has very little loft, so if you want to get the ball in the air and flying accurately toward the green you need to play it about 1 1/2-to-2 ball lengths closer to your front foot than to your back foot.
  2. Play the ball about midway between your front and back feet when hitting with an 8- or 9-iron as well as with pitching, gap or lob wedges. These are shorter clubs and you will be standing a bit closer to the ball. The loft of these clubs means that you don't have to play forward in your stance.
  3. Play the ball about a half of a ball length closer to your front foot when hitting a fairway shot with your 5-, 6- or 7-irons. These are middle irons and they are a bit longer than the short irons. As a result, to get the ball in the air with control, you need to play the ball a bit forward in your stance.
  4. Play your fairway woods (3- and 5-woods) along with your 2-, 3- or 4-irons about one ball length closer to your front foot. These clubs have less loft than your middle irons but more loft than your driver. Playing it closer to your front foot will allow you to maximize your distance without putting your accuracy at risk.
  5. Play the ball about a half a ball length back in your stance when your are playing from the rough. In order to get your ball to jump up and out of the tall grass or weeds, you will want to swing down on the ball to get it to go up. By playing your middle- or short-irons slightly back in your stance, you can get your ball to fly out of the rough.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust your stance regularly when you are practicing at the range to know where to play each club in your stance. Make sure you are comfortable in your stance.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.