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How important is ball position and what is right for you?

How important is ball position and what is right for you?

How important is ball position and what is right for you?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

When I started golf back in 1964, there used to be a cartoon strip of Jack Nicklaus golf tips in the Sunday paper.  

I used to cut these out and paste them into a scrapbook.  One of the tips that have stuck in my mind since then is that Jack said he played all his iron shots 2 inches inside his left heel,  A constant ball position.  Well, if it is good enough for Jack it was certainly good enough for me, and so not only have I played that way my entire career, but I teach this to my students as well.  

I have 3 ball positions. (and you should have them as well)

1. 2″ inside the lead heel for ALL my irons.

2. Directly off the lead heel for my fairway woods.

3. Off the instep of my left foot for my driver.  

The bottom of my arc with all my swings is my left heel.  So when I am hitting my irons I will be catching the ball just before the bottom of the arc (a downward blow), with my fairway woods I will be catching the ball right at the bottom of the arc (for a nice sweeping motion) and finally, I will be catching the driver slightly on the upswing.  Because the ball is on a tee, I will hit the ball in the middle of the clubface with a nice launch angle.

So when I saw this article by Greg Norman via  Inoticed that he played the ball position exactly the same for all clubs – Interesting.  This shows that there is always more than one way to play.  Check this out and see if you agree.  Thanks, Greg!

How important is ball position and what is right for you?

How important is ball position and what is right for you?

When it comes to the fundamentals, consistency is paramount.

If you can repeat the same positions, moves, and methods over and over, you’ll simplify your technique and ingrain the correct habits.

That’s one of the reasons why I maintain one ball position for all shots. Then, to make the setup comfortable and the stance stable, I move my right foot closer to my left as the loft of the club increases. I realize that many instructors advocate that you move the ball progressively back in the stance as your club shortens. But when you do that, you’re changing the loft on the clubs – if you play the 6-iron a bit farther back than the 5-iron, then you’re delofting that 6-iron so that it’s effectively a short 5-iron. You’re also changing the point at which your swing makes contact with the ball. I have enough trouble maintaining one impact point – I don’t want to have to deal with a dozen of them.

Unless I’m trying to play a special shot of some sort, I position the ball at a point just back of my left heel. Your own position may be a bit farther forward or back, but I encourage you to determine exactly where it is, and then stick with it for every club in your bag.

Pictures:   Jeff LatimerSource: Greg Norman

Thanks for reading – How important is ball position and what is right for you?

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