Get consistent with a correct ball position

Published 10/09/2010 10:11:09

If your set up and swing were perfect, like a machine, you'd hit nothing but long, straight golf shots. But if you moved the ball out of position, you'd mishit everything, no matter how good your swing was. True, your swing isn't perfect, but ball position is still a vital ingredient in determining the quality of your golf shots.



If you're hitting a lot of topped and thin shots, you're probably playing the ball too far forward in your stance. Weak hooks off the toe of the clubface indicate you're standing too far from the ball, and heeled shots to the right probably mean you're too close.



When using a driver or a fairway wood off a tee, play the ball opposite your left heel to encourage a sweeping action that will give the ball plenty of air time. Tee the ball so that the top edge of your club is level with the middle of the ball.


When your ball is on the ground, position your wood shots about one inch back from your left (front) heel. Without the advantage of the tee, you need to strike your woods with a slightly more descending blow to get them airborne.



Position your long irons the same as your fairway woods, one inch behind your left heel. Locate your mid to short irons (5-to wedges) in the middle of your stance. This will insure that you hit your approach irons cleanly, imparting the backspin you need to keep your shots to the green on line and under control. Take care not to tee your ball too high with the irons. The ideal height allows you just enough clearance to slide the narrow end of a tee between the ball and the ground.


Distance: a Fist Plus a Thumb

Your clubs differ in length by half-inch increments, so to add consistency to ball positioning, use the following routine: Take your normal set up, soling the club behind the ball. Remove your right hand without changing the position of the club and make a fist with your thumb extended. Lay your fist against your left thigh and your thumb should just touch the butt of your club.


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