Golf Stance Ball Position, Basic Stuff

If you are starting out in golf and are a little confused as to where you should switch your golf stance ball position for each club, let us make it very simple for you.

This is actually a very easy one. The actual swing for all of your full shots does not change, but your golf stance and ball position will change slightly from the driver to the irons and wedges.

Short Iron

For a short iron, you ideally need to hit the ball on a descending angle of approach, and the loft of the club will get the ball in the air. To achieve this make sure that you position the ball in the middle of your stance as per the below diagram. You will notice that the stance is also quite narrow for a short iron. Your goal is to hit down on the ball and let the loft of the club get the ball in the air.

Golf-stance-ball-position

Mid Iron

The ideal ball position for this club would be about one inch forward of the middle of the stance. You also want to descend into the ball for this club as it has a decent amount of loft. As you can see there is really not much difference between this and the pitching wedge, but the ball is just slightly forward.

Golf-stance-ball-position

Long Irons and Hybrids

For a long iron and a hybrid club, you want to play the ball a little further forward in your stance. Because they have less loft you will need to play the ball forward to get the ideal angle of approach. A couple of inches forward of the middle of the stance is an ideal ball position.

Fairway Woods

The fairway wood ball position will creep up even more forward in the stance. The ideal ball position would be about two to three inches inside the left heel. The fairway wood will also need to be attacked on an ascending angle of approach. The less loft means you need to help the ball in the air on the upswing. The adjusted ball position is all you need to do to achieve this.

Driver

Finally, the ideal spot for the driver is directly opposite your left heel or about one inch inside the left heel. Drivers do not have much loft on them so you need to hit the ball on an ascending angle of approach to help the ball in the air. A ball position that is further forward will help achieve this.

Golf-stance-ball-position

Changing Ball Flight

You will notice as you become more familiar with the game that some players adjust their ball position with their golf clubs. The reason being is to achieve the following ball flights. This is based on a right-handed golfer, so a left-handed player will implement the exact opposite.

Left to Right – A player will place the ball further forward in their stance. This is known as fading, slicing or cutting the golf ball.

Right to Left – A player will place the ball slightly further back. This is known as hitting a draw or a hook if it is a severe right to left.

Low Ball Flight – A player will place the ball back in the stance depending on the club. Also known as the punch shot or the stinger which Tiger Woods has made famous with his 2 iron.

High Ball Flight – A player will place the ball further forward in their stance to achieve this shot.

For example, if a player had a long iron and was after a lower ball flight they would simply place the ball closer to the centre of their stance.

I hope this has helped simplify the ball position question as it is a common question that is asked.

This is actually quite simple and with a little practice you will know where to position the ball for each club in your bag based on the type of shot you want to hit.

If you have any questions feel free to ask them below.

14 thoughts on “Golf Stance Ball Position, Basic Stuff

  1. Pete

    As an avid golf nut myself you have made the game seem so simple with your articles. If only reality was the same lol! You have explained the basics very clearly and should be of help to newcomers to the game. If only we could hit our best shots all the time?

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Pete

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Golf would be too easy if we hit our best shots all the time. The difficulty of the game is what keeps us coming back for more. Getting some of the basics right is the best starting point to achieving any sort of consistency.

      I appreciate your comments.

      Cheers

  2. Richard

    If there was one sport I would have loved to excel in it would have been golf. I know it’s not too late to do anything sporty. I am a gym fanatic and do my walks daily. Your post on golf stance was fascinating and had no idea that there were different positions for different golf clubs. You explain each golf stance very simply and I am assuming one does getter with practice

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Richard

      I appreciate your comments.

      Yes it’s never too late to start golf, and improvements can be made rapidly with the right guidance and practice.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Chris

  3. Chanan

    I’d like to think that golf has been one of the most played sports in the world. Aside from the fact that you can have a good exercise for it, you can also improve your concentration as you try to hit the ball with the right angle to get it straight into the hole.

    Thank you for providing the different stance that can be made when playing this sport.

  4. Brad

    Felt like I was going to tear up reading this because it is 65 degrees here in New England today, a perfect day for golf, and yet there is still so much snow on the ground. Sigh.
    Anyway, I am curious what changes in stance would do to my game. I probably play 10-15 times a year and am not very good. I typically have always had very little difference in my ball placement for my irons and wedges.

    I have always been a little afraid that changing my stance would kill any chance I have of hitting the ball. Since I do not play very often it is hard to make huge chances and grow into them.
    Is a change like changing ball placement something that will make you worse before you get better and you really need to work at? Or is that simply the best way to make quality contact with those clubs and should be done for everybody. Thanks

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Brad

      Thanks for dropping by.

      The Ball Position and Stance change is something you will adjust depending on the golf club you are using for a particular shot. As the club gets longer, the stance gets a little wider and the ball position goes a little further forward in the stance. The driver is the longest club in your bag (usually around 45 inches) this needs to be played off your left heel to achievethe desired angle of approach.

      The good thing about this one is that you can actually practice it at home, as you do not need to hit a ball to get in the correct position.

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Chris

  5. markfromnz

    HI,

    Nice article. Easy to understand. I haven’t been a particularly successful golfer in the past, but your article has cleared up a few things for me.
    I may take a couple of mates to a driving range this weekend and see if your suggestions improve my shot.

    Keep up the good work.

    Mark.

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Mark

      Thanks for stopping by.

      This is some fairly simple advice but it is amazing how many golfers get some of the basics wrong. Half the time it’s not even their fault. They might have just gotten some inconsistent advice from a friend who has developed some bad habits over the years. Golf is funny, if you play long enough with the incorrect techniques it actually becomes comfortable and some golfers play ok this way. Improvements do take a lot longer this way, so learning the correct ways initially will put you on a quicker path to better golf.

      Cheers

      Chris

  6. Shawn F.

    Hello,

    Awesome post on how to position yourself over the golf ball.

    Many people don’t know that you need to adjust your stance according to the club in your hand. Some people think just get up and hit it!

    Do you recommend and solid irons for an amateur golfer?

    Thanks,
    Shawn

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Shawn

      I appreciate your comments.

      Yes, ball position, stance, grip and setup are vital to hitting consistent golf shots. Get those right and learning the rest of the game becomes easier.

      As for irons, I would check out the Callaway Steehead Irons. They are a great Game Improvement set designed for a lot of amatuer level players. Callaway Steelhead Irons Review.

      Cheers

      Chris

  7. Celeste

    Hi, thanks for this article.
    I noticed that you didn’t include putters in this article. Why is that? I guess its a totally different swing, that’s probably why.

    Thats really good to know that your actual swing shouldn’t change according to the shot you’re trying to take, it should just be all in the positioning. That’s going to be a big help next time Im out on the course!

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