Shiny steel clubs with long, precise shafts, light polo shirts, and freshly cut grass are some of our favorite things! But one thing we don’t enjoy as much is a poor setup. Why is it that people tend not to have utter control of their swings, you may ask? Well, it’s mostly due to the bad position of the ball itself.
But the truth is, anyone can learn to set up for the perfect golf shot with little instruction and practice; the difficult part is actually hitting the ball.
Setting up the golf ball correctly is crucial because it affects the outcome of your swing before you even swing the club.
So, what is the best golf ball position?
Different Golf Clubs Create Different Shots
Unfortunately, golfers can’t use Tolkien’s “one to rule them all” idea—every club needs a specifically positioned ball to achieve that great set-up.
For instance, with a wedge shot, position the ball directly in the middle of your feet; for a mid-iron shot, move it slightly forward of center. And when using a driver, the ball should be teed up inside the left heel.
Let’s dig deeper into the roots of these ideas and find out why they hold.
Best Golf Ball Position for 9-Irons and 4-Irons
When you set up, put your feet together so that your chest is directly over the ball. Do a short hop to the left with your left foot and a similar hop to the right with your right foot. After you swing, the club would then bottom out shortly after the ball, and you may take a small divot. But, as you do that, the ball will still be below your sternum in the center of your stance. This is the perfect angle of attack down the target line for short iron.
For the longer mid-iron, you’ll need to make a minor adjustment to your set-up because it has a different bottoming-out point. Standing with your feet together once more, take the same tiny step to the left, followed by a bigger step to the right. Now that your chest is slightly behind the ball, the club will still bottom out just after the ball.
And for the 4-irons? Again, you’ll take a step to the left, but this time you’ll take a larger step to the right so that the longer club can still bottom out properly. Many amateur golfers have trouble with long irons, which is a crucial part of getting them in the air.
The following are the two most important ideas for an iron setup:
- From the position of feet together, your irons always require a step to the left. And as the iron gets longer, the step to the right also gets bigger.
- If you want to generate more clubhead speed, you need a wider stance. You can achieve this by taking a larger right footstep when using long irons.
Positioning the Ball for a Driver
In order to get into a good hitting position when using a driver, your sternum should be positioned further behind the ball. This is how you get a high launch and low spin, which are the keys to getting great distance, even with a fairly flat clubface.
When learning how to hit a driver, a forward ball position in your stance is a must.
The left foot takes a small, fanning-out step, whereas the right foot takes a large, confident stride. When you do this, your body will be positioned behind the ball, and you’ll see that your lead shoulder is higher than your trail shoulder.
This is helpful because it helps figure out the right angle of attack, which in turn helps keep the driver from spinning too much.
Putting and Chipping
Your feet should be about the width of a club head apart when chipping. A slight forward lean of the shaft and a ball position just off-center is ideal. If you can master this technique, it will greatly impact how well you hit the ball, which is important for controlling how the golf ball spins.
Finally, when perfecting your putting stroke, remember to position the ball slightly in front of your center of gravity. The ball’s position in relation to your eyes is also important because it can change how your putts start off in a big way. Your eyes should be level with or slightly inside the ball’s center.
It’s important to note that adding this step to your pre-shot routine can make a big difference. Doing this before each shot can improve not only your swing but also your mental approach.
As you can see, achieving the best golf ball position isn’t as simple as throwing your ball anywhere on the ground. There is a lot of logic (and physics!) that incorporates your body and how you swing to make a great shot.
With any luck, this breakdown of the best golf ball position for each club will help you improve the quality of your strikes and finally let you enjoy every visit to the golf court.
But remember that practice makes perfect. There is a lot of body movement to get used to in order to execute great shots. And if you want additional golf training, our doors are always open to you!