Ball Position

A desirable ball position places the ball at a point on the bottom of the swing arc. In addition, a good ball position will also optimize the direction of your swing path. Typically, the best position is measured at about 2 to 4 inches off the inside of the left heel (illustration#1, and photo#1). This measurement is constant with all irons. The driver is an exception. Since the ball is elevated on a tee, it will be placed more forward in your stance (see tip 'driver set-up').

Common Errors
If you place the ball too forward in your stance the ball can start left of the target-line. (illustration#2) Conversely, if you place the ball too far back in your stance, the ball will start off right of the target-line. (illustration#3)

Width of Stance
After establishing the correct ball-position, we need the correct stance width to go with it. The width of your stance is pre-determined by the length of the club. The outside heels are approximately equal to the width of the arm pits for a pitching wedge. The right foot merely widens for the longer clubs. Typically on a level lie, you want your spine aligned over the ball for pitching wedge and sandwedge. For mid-irons 6, 7, and 8 your spine will be slightly behind the ball - approximately one ball width. As the clubs get longer there is a slight progression for the spine to drift behind the ball. This tilt of the spines allows for the clubhead to come into the ball at the correct angle of decent for each club.

Note: The ball is still in the same position realtive to the inside the left heel.

The heels are approximately outside shoulder width for the 3 iron. As the right foot widens for the longer clubs, the spine will naturally slightly tilt more away from the target.

Distance from Ball
The distance you stand from the ball is determined by how your arms hang naturally. Normally, the measurement by the butt-end of the handle to the inside left leg is about a fist away for all clubs. This is a great way to check if you standing at the correct distance - hold your right fist between the handle and your left thigh. (photo#2)

(illustration #1)

(illustration #2)

(illustration #3)

(photo #1)

(photo #2)