Peter Knight: ball position

THE position of the ball in relation to your stance is crucial in ensuring you make good contact, with only a few subtle variations needed.

BALL position does change from club to club, but one thing that I will say about ball position is that it is going to vary with every single shot that you play.

If you were to measure exactly where the ball is placed from shot to shot, it’s going to change a little bit.

So you don’t need to get hung up too much on having the ball in exactly the right spot.
It is important, though, to have the ball roughly where it should be.

In the accompanying video, I placed three balls on the ground, which represent the exact ball positions for me for a 9-iron, a 5-iron and a driver.

Really the 9 and the 5 are pretty much the same position, which is just forward of centre.

This position might vary a little bit from player to player and how they move, but if we look at general principles the ball position for an iron shot should be a little forward of centre.

With an iron, you’re looking to strike the ball with a slight descending blow.

So, you might notice with the best shots you play a divot is formed just after where the ball has been struck.

The driver is different, though. You’re looking to strike the ball without catching the ground at all. Ideally, you might hit the ball with a very small ascending blow.

Every swing that I make, the club is going to swing down, have a low point, and then swing back up again.

All I’ve done with a driver is I’ve shifted the ball to a position where it’s now on the upswing.

I don’t have to start making massive changes to how I’m swinging the golf club, I’m adjusting mainly my ball position.

So, with a 9-iron, when I set myself up, my stance is a little narrower than what it is going to be with the other clubs and my ball position is a little forward of centre.

With a 5-iron, my stance is a little wider and I haven’t really moved my front foot.

So, again, the ball is a little forward of centre with the 5-iron.

With a driver, the ball is more or less opposite somewhere between my instep and inside my left heel.

Again, when I’m setting myself up, I’m adjusting the ball position a little bit, but not a massive amount.

Unless you’re playing a specialty shot, definitely don’t put the ball behind centre of your stance.

It’s going to encourage a very steep descending blow and it’s going to make it difficult to strike the ball correctly.

A lot of players will put the ball position behind centre in their stance for a short shot, to try and give them better contact.

But keep it forward, it’s going to help your shots a lot more.

You’ll find that you don’t need to move the ball around in your stance a lot unless you’re playing a specialty shot.

Use this as a guide: iron shots should be forward of centre, whereas wood shots should be closer to your left heel or instep. 


Peter Knight

As one of only four Master Professional Coaches with the PGA of Australia, Peter Knight has a long track record of helping players whatever their age or ability level.

Peter applies the same care in coaching you as he does international teams and professionals.

All he asks is that you are prepared to put in a little practice to reap the rewards you want from your game.

 You can book lessons with Peter at Yarra Bend Golf Course either on the website www.yarrabendgolf.com or by calling (03) 9481 3729.

Check out his site www.melbournegolfcoach.com.au and subscribe for weekly golf videos and other updates.


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