Why Ball Position is Important in Golf

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about Ball Position, in which I explained how to find the right ball position. I did not explain why you should do this.

Last week my son had a golf lesson in which the instructor corrected his ball position, which Son never paid any attention to, despite my harping on this detail almost every time we go to the range together.

So maybe I need to explain why it’s so important, and why, after you are set up to the ball, I could move it a half inch and ruin your shot just by doing that much

Your swing is an arc. The bottom of the arc needs to hit the ground at a certain point. Where that point is, is the subject of another post. Let’s just say that it would be very helpful if you could hit that spot on the ground every time. Then, if you put the ball in the right spot relative to the ground-hitting spot every time, you would get good contact every time (all other things being equal).

That is the reason why ball position is so important. When your ball is in a different place every time, you have to disrupt the swing you want to make in order find the ball. This is why I could move the ball a half inch and ruin your shot, because the ball position no longer matches the arc your swing mechanics create.

Most golfers play the ball too far forward, which means they have to reach out for the ball instead of swinging through it. Remember that golf is not a hit-the-ball game. It’s a swing-the-club game, with the ball getting in the way.

The next time you go to the range, take your alignment sticks and set up as shown in the photo. The stick between your feet always points to the ball. Your heels always go in the same place relative to the sticks. Learn (a) what the right position for your feet relative to the ball is, and (b) how to set up with the ball in that position every time.

It is true that specialty shots will find you placing the ball differently. They are all variations of the basic position, though. You need to know what your basic position is before you can vary it successfully.

For example, if I asked you to play the ball one ball back for some reason, I would mean from your standard ball position. You would need to know what that standard position is before you could make sense of my request.

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