After reaching out to my readers this last week, the area which was touched on most was the golf setup, and in particular the correct golf ball position at address. That’s what I’m going to be talking about in today’s lesson.
The Two Ball Position Methods
First off, there are two main fundamentals that are taught in relation to the correct ball position in golf.
Moving Ball Position
The first method is the moving ball position. With this method the ball is placed in the center of the stance for the wedges (shortest clubs), and then for each longer club, the ball would move slightly closer to the left heel (right for lefties). The stance would also widen slightly for each shot too.
Stationary Ball Position
The second method is known as the stationary ball position. This isn’t as common with beginners as the moving ball position, but it has proven to be quite a popular method with pro’s over the years. Ben Hogan talked about the technique in his book.
The stationary ball position technique involves very little movement of the ball. Instead what changes is the width of the stance. The ball is positioned near the left heel, and the right foot is all that moves to widen the stance. The wider the stance, the longer the club, with driver being the widest stance of all.
This makes sure the head position remains behind the ball for drives and hitting the longer irons, allowing you to get underneath the shot and get the ball airborne. On the shorter irons your head should be closer to the ball, setting you up so that your club is coming in on a much steeper angle.
For shorter clubs it is important to keep the stance open, so open those hips. A simple way to do this is to open your left foot towards the target (right for lefties). As you work your way to the longer clubs you should close your stance slightly each club number you drop, ending up square with a 5 iron, then slightly closed for a driver.
The golf ball position at address comes down to a choice of these two methods. Whichever you choose is down to personal preference. The stationary method does provide more consistency in my experience, as you only have to think about changing one thing during setup. If you use the moving ball position method, then you have to think about moving the ball position as well as the width of the stance, in effect doubling the chance of any inconsistency.
Next time you’re practising, try whichever technique it is you’re not using and see how it works for you. Also, if there’s any golf on this weekend switch over to watch how the different pro golfers position the golf ball in their stance.