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Saturday, February 3, 2018

When to Change Your Ball Position

A couple of days back I posted a video showing how Cristie Kerr positions her ball at setup with a driver. But the driver is different from other clubs since the ball is on a tee. What do you do with the other clubs?

I was digging through some old Golf Magazines and found an interesting one from March 2002. It had an article called Which Way? that claimed to sort out some of the conflicting advice you often come across.

One of the sections was on setup, about whether you should use one ball position for all your clubs or vary your ball position. Their perspective made a lot of sense to me so I'm passing it on.

According to this article, the best time to use a single ball position for all your clubs is when you're making a standard full swing shot. The single ball position always places the ball an inch or two inside your lead heel -- or, if you prefer, even with the logo on your golf shirt (if it has one). With this method, the width of your stance (how far back you move your trailing foot) determines how far forward the ball is in your stance.

On a standard full shot, a single ball position obviously gives you more consistency in your setup because the ball is always in roughly the same position relative to your lead shoulder. (That makes the impact angle of the clubface and ball similar on every shot.) It also helps you stay slightly behind the ball during your swing, which should help you get more distance and -- since your swing will be more consistent -- more accuracy.

By contrast, the best time to vary your ball position is when you want to play a different type of shot (rather than your standard shot) or when you have a bad lie. By moving the ball back farther in your stance, you can get a more downward strike on the ball when you have a bad lie or just need to keep your ball flight down. Or you can move the ball farther forward with your driver, which can be helpful when you want to hit the ball higher to take advantage of a downwind situation.

So there are some thoughts that might help you develop a more consistent approach to ball position. The fewer changes you have to make for each shot -- and therefore the less confusion you have over each shot -- the more likely you are to make the shot you intended.

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