The golf ball's position in the set-up is an essential element in achieving a perfect shot. Once a golfer knows golf ball position chart the ball should be in, they can ace their swing quite easily.
However, if they fail to place the ball in the correct position, it can cost them their game. Keep reading the following article by the end of which you'd be sure where to place the ball in a stance. You will also find a printable golf ball position chart to make your job easier.
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Experts have devised a simple rule of thumb for the ball's position through years of observation and practice. The ball should be in the middle of the golfer's feet for a wedge shot. But the position should shift slightly forward to the center in case of mid-irons. The position should change with longer clubs (about a clubhead inside left foot for right-handers). For drivers, the ball should be teed up inside the left heel.
The rule of thumb positions are accurate but may vary slightly depending upon the golfer's stance. More importantly, even if ball position can alter one's shot, it should not be altered through any other means (which includes pushing the ball as some professional golfers do).
Let us look in a little more detail at what this rule of thumb implies. You can find the illustrations of the positions in the printable golf ball position chart.
Ideal Ball Position for Irons, Wedges, Woods, Drivers
First of all, let's assume that these instructions are for a right-hander (see in golf ball position chart). All these positions shall reverse in opposite for a left-hander. Now, for higher-lofted clubs, the golf ball position is usually in the middle of the stance. And it eventually moves forward towards the left foot as the size of the club changes.
First thing you have to do is to study a golf ball position chart. There are training aid machines available in the market, which help one in the correct positioning of the ball. But it is always better to use a printable golf ball position chart so you can work it out independently. Especially since for every club size, the position of the ball changes.
Check out the helpful chart below to grasp the ideas of exactly where the golf ball position should be for every club.
|Club||Golf Ball Positions|
|Driver||Inside of Your Front Foot|
|#3 Wood||One to two ball widths forward of centerline.|
|#4 Wood||One to two ball widths forward of centerline.|
|#5 Wood||One to two ball widths forward of centerline.|
|#6 Iron||Just in front of the centerline.|
|#7 Iron||Just in front of the centerline.|
|#8 Iron||Half a ball widths in front of the centerline.|
|Wedges||Half a golf ball width behind the centerline.|
|Chipping Wedge (High Shot)||For high-angle shots, keep the ball position close to the front foot.|
|Chipping Wedge (Low Shot)||For low-angle shots, closer to the back foot.|
|Putter||On the centerline.|
Ball Position for Irons: Wedges and Short Irons
Ball position for wedges: wedges that are through to 8-iron, the ball must be as close to the stance as possible, i.e., in the center. Sometimes, the ball can be placed slightly behind the center with wedges, and it can work too. But this position must not experiment with longer clubs.
Ball Position for Irons: Mid-Irons
The ball should be moved a little forward to find an angle that can be useful in a slightly shallow attack. The movement can be a half to full ball width. And this is the position of the ball a golfer should keep in mind while using mid-irons such as 6- or 7- irons.
One can also playfully tamper the golf ball position; the golfers can manage similar swings. They can swing so that it makes either a steeper contact or a shallow contact. Different lofts of the club can be used in tandem in this manner. This is the simplest way to control one's ball position.
Long Irons, Hybrids, and Fairway Woods
The first thing to be remembered while playing with longer clubs like 3-, 4- or 5-, or hybrids is that golfers should take a wider stance. Golf ball position chart says the position of the ball should be in the center. The ball should be placed a clubhead inside the left foot for ideal circumstances.
This ball placement for irons will help to enable a shallow-yet-downwards attack. And this sort of attack is desirable as it ensures that the contact is not chunky. Also, it prevents wringing hands after an attack.
While using a driver iron, experts recommend using the same stance.
Ball Position for Driver
Driver ball position - position the ball far forward, just inside the left heel, while using a driver because the driver is perhaps the only club that allows one to play in an upward attack angle.
Despite the low loft, this position enables a long and high strike by the driver. If a golfer is hitting low or even along the ground with the driver, the first fix should be to reposition the ball.
Golfers can also use a training aid to find the correct ball positions for their clubs. However, printable golf ball position charts are nearly always easier and more accurate to use.
Where should the golf ball be situated for chipping and putting?
If a golfer chases accuracy, the ideal ball position for putting should be in the middle of the stance. If a golfer is hitting long-mid irons or woods with a slightly steep attack angle, then they can move the ball forward to enhance their distance control. However, this isn't always possible as it may sacrifice stability. In such cases, one must not move the ball too far forward as that will affect height and accuracy.
In case of chipping, golfers can go ahead and use an abbreviated stance that will help them execute shots at the perfect speed. Generally, experts recommend placing the ball just outside one's left heel with shorter clubs like wedges. It should be placed in the center with mid-irons. And one has to reposition it so that it's just inside the left heel when using long irons or woods.
The slight difference between golf ball position for chipping and putting is that while using a shorter club, the golfer should place the ball just outside his left heel while executing chips. However, while putting, they can place it just inside their left heel.
Where should the golf ball be situated for sand shots?
When playing sand shots, the ideal ball placement for preventing fat shots is to put it behind your stance i.e., towards right foot if you are a right-handed player. This will ensure that you get maximum distance by striking sand before the golf ball. You can experiment with different golf ball positions while putting or chipping. If you are hitting long, try moving the ball towards your left side i.e., behind your stance. This will ensure that club gets maximum distance because of less interference from your body posture.
Where should the golf ball be situated for pitching shots?
Pitching is one of the most important shots in golf because accuracy matters here more than distance. The correct place to position the ball is just inside the left heel if you are using a wedge to avoid too steep an attack angle and also get desired distance. If you want to hit short then reposition it forward but not too far at the center of stance just outside right foot if you are a right-handed player. To know where exactly to position golf ball for pitching you can use this free golf ball placement chart.
Where should the golf ball be situated for full shots with irons?
Position the ball in the center of your stance when hitting mid-irons, just inside left heel for long irons and just outside right foot if you are a right-handed player for short irons. Keep doing experiments every time to find out the best ball position. Remember that maximum distance is given by swinging club diagonally through the impact zone so try different positions while practicing on driving range.
Where should the ball be in my position on a slope?
Generally, you should place the ball in the middle of your stance. This will allow you to strike it equally well whether the ball lies uphill or downhill. Ball position does not vary much under these circumstances.
What about shots off a cart path?
Golfers can re-position their ball just outside the left heel for pitching and chipping while hitting from a cart path while mid irons and woods should be situated just inside the right heel if you are a right-handed player. This is similar to playing from natural grass because more often than not, there is a slope on a cart path that slopes away from a golfer. In such cases, golfers have to move the ball more towards their back foot i.e., behind one's stance.
What about shots from the rough?
Unlike hitting from natural grass, you will have to take extra care when playing from rough because it is difficult to predict ball flights. In such cases, experts recommend moving the golf ball so that center of mass is just outside the left heel if you are a right-handed player while using a wedge and middle irons. For longer clubs like woods and mid-irons, place it just inside the right heel. This will enable easy execution of shots and at the same time ensure straight flight towards the target. It should be kept in mind that many golf courses cut their roughs high enough to touch the ground behind the ball so try placing slightly forward than usual for better results.
How does my stance affect ball position?
Generally speaking, your stance does not affect ball position much because forward-backward foot movement is limited to around two inches. But, you can move the golf ball inside your left heel for pitching and chipping while hitting from natural grass or uphill slope. And do keep in mind that even though the ball position should be maintained the same, it is always better to experiment with different positions due to game scenarios - like slopes if you are playing on a course with many of them (you may want the ball more towards your back foot or slightly forward).
Where do I need to place my ball when I am standing at an elevated tee box?
When a golfer stands on an elevated tee box he has no option but to change his stance so as to counterbalance the slope, he needs to move the ball towards his back foot i.e., slightly behind one's stance.
Can I place the ball forward in my stance when hitting off an elevated tee box?
Even though it is not advisable if you are brave enough to try this shot then keep in mind that the result will be bad so if your goal is a good score avoid doing so. You can reposition it just inside the right heel for mid-irons and woods while keeping it in the center of stance if facing uphill or downhill direction while playing with wedges. If there are many elevated tees on a course where you need to hit shots from them then practice pitching with the correct golf ball position chart shown above.
How does my position affect ball position?
Your stance does not affect ball position much because your forward-backward foot movement is limited to around 2 inches. But, you can move the golf ball inside your left heel for pitching and chipping while hitting from natural grass or uphill slope.
Hope the knowledge contained in this article will be helpful enough for practicing on the driving range so that you can perfect your short game easily with correct golf ball positions by simply following the below guidelines:
- For Driver, Irons, Wedges - golf ball position chart recommends to place it just outside left heel if you are a right-handed player or just inside right heel if you are a left-handed player.
- When playing from rough – according to the golf ball position chart you should keep center of mass just outside left heel if a right-handed golfer or just inside right heel if a left-handed golfer.
- For pitching and chipping - place it just inside your left heel while playing from natural grass or uphill slope. Golf ball position chart tells that you can reposition it just inside the right heel for mid-irons and woods while keeping it in the center of stance if facing downhill direction while playing with wedges.
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This is all you want to know about positioning the ball concerning different clubs. Happy golfing!
Mike is a weekend golfer from Connecticut and a devoted fan of the game who turned his passion into the writing experience. Any day he keeps it under 80 is a cool day. When he's not writing about golf his is playing it.