How to Choose the Correct Ball Position for Any Golf Club

By Steven Bann

Some books and magazines tell us that we can play golf from one ball position with the same swing. Wouldn’t it be great if that were so? Unfortunately it only people like Jack Nicklaus with the world’s best hand eye coordination who can make the compensations that are required to play every shot in golf from the same ball position. So it’s good for Jack but not so good for most people out there playing golf.

The 3 Ball Positions That You Need in Golf

I’ve broken it down into three ball positions. One for our short clubs, one for our fairway clubs, and one for our long clubs. Let’s have a look at those three ball positions now.

  1. The first one is the driver, we are going to play the driver opposite the left heel. Now opposite the left heel is also under the left shoulder joint. The reason we are going to play the ball there is because that is where the club is going to get to the bottom of its arc. So at the moment the clubhead hits the ball it will be traveling parallel to the ground, sweeping the ball off the tee with minimum backspin so that when the ball hits the ground it’s going to roll out a little bit and we are going to get maximum distance.
  2. With a fairway club, I have picked a 4-iron here, we are going to play the ball a couple of inches back inside the left heel. Now that means that it is a couple of inches behind our left shoulder joint, so I am going to be catching the ball just before the bottom of the downswing. As that club is traveling downward it is going to impart some backspin on the ball, which is going to flight the ball nicely and give it a good chance of checking up and stopping when it hits the green.
  3. Now when I really want to increase the spin that is when I am hitting my short irons into the green, I am going to play the ball back more towards the middle of my stance so it is about four inches back from my should joint. Now I am catching the ball as the club is coming down on quite a steeper angle and that is going to impart a lot more backspin on the ball; therefore, a lot more backspin will stop the ball and we get greater control over our short irons.

Let's hit the one in the middle here, the 4-iron, I’m going to play the ball a couple of inches inside my left heel, which means I am going to catch it slightly on the downswing so I am going to take a little divot just after I hit the ball. Little bit further forward than that for the driver, a little bit further back than that for the 9-iron and we have got the correct ball position.

Category: Ball Position
Sub Categories: Address/Set-Up, Impact

About the Instructor

Steven Bann
Steven Bann
385 Centre Dandenong Road
Victoria Australia 3202
Tel: 61 3 9558 3688
Steven Bann is director of the Pure Golf Academy in Australia and instructor to PGA Tour Pros Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, and K.J. Choi.