What is the Proper Golf Ball Position at Setup?

The Game of Golf requires a lot of different shots to play the game at the optimum level, and there are several different ball positions to place the golf ball depending on the golf shot being played.

One crucial element that often goes unnoticed but can significantly impact your swing and ball striking is the proper position of the golf ball at setup. Understanding where to place the ball in your stance can improve contact, accuracy, and distance. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of proper golf ball positions and provide guidelines for different clubs and shots.

What is the Proper Golf Ball Position at Setup?

The proper golf ball position at setup can vary depending on the club you’re using and the type of shot you intend to hit. To hit the golf ball further, a golfer will need a wider stance, whilst also implementing an ascending angle of approach, which will help launch the Golf Ball in the air.

To hit the golf ball with an ascending angle of approach, the golfer will need to play the ball further forward in their stance. The ball further forward in the stance is necessary when using the golf driver, which will help golfers achieve their optimum distance off the tee.

The Ball Position at setup would move depending on the club and the shot’s distance.

What is the Proper Golf Ball Position at Setup?

What is the Proper Ball Position for the Golf Driver?

When teeing off with a driver, the ball position is crucial in maximizing distance and optimizing launch conditions. Position the ball just inside your front foot (left foot for right-handed golfers). This encourages an upward strike on the ball, promoting a high launch and reduced spin for longer drives.

Distance is the prime objective for a Golf Driver, so hitting the golf ball on the desired ascending angle of approach is essential to achieve the optimum distance with the Golf Driver.

Fairway Woods and Hybrids

Fairway woods and hybrids require a slightly different ball position compared to the driver. Place the ball a couple of inches inside your front foot. This positioning helps ensure a slightly ascending strike, allowing for clean contact and optimal launch.

Fairway Woods and Hybrids are golf clubs that serve a main purpose of distance, so placing the ball more forward in the stance will help the clubs with less loft launch the golf ball in the air for the required length.

Long Irons

For Longer golf irons, i.e. the 3-5 irons, the golf ball still needs to be placed slightly forward of the centre in terms of the ball position. This is because golf irons have less loft than shorter ones and are still needed to be hit with an ever so slight ascending angle of approach.

Short Irons

The ball position for short irons becomes more centred in your stance, promoting a descending strike that leads to crisp and accurate iron shots. Position the ball in the centre of your stance for short irons (9 iron, pitching wedge). As you move up to longer irons (8 iron, 7 iron, etc.), gradually shift the ball slightly forward toward your front foot. This adjustment encourages proper contact and a descending blow, resulting in better control, consistency, and distance control.

This can vary depending on how high a golfer needs to hit the golf ball and the type of shot required. Typically if golfers remember that hitting the ball higher means placing the golf ball forward of centre, and hitting it lower would mean placing the golf ball more in the centre or slightly back in the stance.


Wedges, including sand wedges and lob wedges, require specific ball positioning to enhance spin and precision around the greens. Place the ball slightly back in your stance, ideally in the middle or just ahead of the centre. This position ensures a steeper angle of attack, allowing you to make clean contact with the ball before the clubhead enters the turf. By striking the ball first and generating spin, you can confidently execute delicate shots and control the ball’s flight and roll on the green.

It is ideal to experiment with the golf wedges and see which ball position might work best for your game, depending on the type of golf shot being played.


The ideal ball position for the putter is slightly forward of centre, but the golfer should experiment a little.

Place the ball slightly forward of the centre in your stance, just ahead of the midpoint between your feet. Placing the ball too far back or too far forward in your stance can lead to inconsistent contact and off-centre hits.

When it comes to the ball position for a putter, slight adjustments can have a significant impact on your ability to roll the ball smoothly and accurately. Position the ball slightly forward of centre in your stance, maintain a stable posture, and focus on a pendulum-like stroke.


Mastering the proper golf ball position at setup is essential for any golfer seeking improved consistency and performance. Whether you’re using a driver, fairway woods, irons, or wedges, understanding the correct ball position enhances your ability to make solid contact, control your shots, and optimize distance and accuracy.

Remember, these guidelines serve as a starting point, and individual adjustments may be necessary based on your swing characteristics and personal preferences.

Experiment with different ball positions during practice sessions, and seek guidance from a golf professional to fine-tune your setup for optimal results. With consistent practice and attention to detail, you’ll soon reap the benefits of proper ball positioning in your golf game.

If you want to learn a little bit more about some of the basics of the game of golf, click the links below.

Why is the Golf Setup Important?

What is a Pitch Mark Repairer?

Why do Golfers Take Divots?

Golf Alignment Sticks, A Must-Have Training Aid

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