Ball Position At Address: Distance From Body

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DataDude

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I have been taking lessons for about 2 months and I am engraining a new swing, but now I am getting to the nitty gritty type stuff where I need to really practice and tune in the details. One big detail is ball position at address. Last night while working with my driver I stopped for a second and took 3 practice swings. The first one I set the clubhead closer to my body and did my swing. The arc of the club as it swiped over top of the spot I was focused on was cutting across the ball out to in. I set up again with feet in the same spot and stretched the clubhead out about 2 balls further from my body and took another practice swing. This time the arc came through the ball from slightly inside and went through the ball strait and then started curving back inside maybe 6 inches or so past where the ball would be. Next I setup with my feet in the same spot again and stretched out another 2 inches and swung again. This time the club swiped the ball from way inside going out past the ball by about 7 or 8 inches.

I set up and hit a couple of balls in the middle position and absolutely roped them. The next one I set up a little closer to my body and hit a midflight fadey ball. The last one I set up really far away from my body and hit a hook off the toe. Is this a reasonable way to alter ball flight? Is the middle spot the goldilocks range for my swing? Is this a reasonable way to find where I should set up with the ball?
 

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I’m interested in the answers on this. I try to have a fist between the butt end of the club to my body. I slip out of that often. Ball position I try set up with left foot in line with the ball. Next I take a tiny step left to get ball more in line with my arch. That’s with the driver. I go further back from there with 3,hybrid, to wedge in middle of body
 

AuzzieMatt

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@DataDude it sounds like you've found the best position for you. I've been battling my own swing changes from lessons and found that I also need a little bit of stretch (for want of a better word) to hit a good straight ball.
 

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That's interesting. Gotta try that
 

Et Tu Brute?

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I have always (since at least the first time I took a golf lesson a couple months after first picking up a golf club) tended to stand too far from the ball then lean over and "reach" with my arms. I can practice or not practice, take lessons or don't take lessons, play lots of golf and still I'll realize from time to time "Hey, I'm standing way too far from the ball!".

I was recently noticing a couple really good players hit irons shots and it looked to me like their arms and hands were just super, super close in to their body. So I figured I'm probably going through another of my too far from the ball phases.

I went out and played a solo practice round and just forced myself to move uncomfortably close to the ball at address with my irons. The ball went higher, straighter (although not particularly longer) and more on-target than I've hit it in months. Can't believe after three decades in the game I still don't know when I'm too far from the darned ball. It just just feel so good to do it!
 

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I have always (since at least the first time I took a golf lesson a couple months after first picking up a golf club) tended to stand too far from the ball then lean over and "reach" with my arms. I can practice or not practice, take lessons or don't take lessons, play lots of golf and still I'll realize from time to time "Hey, I'm standing way too far from the ball!".

I was recently noticing a couple really good players hit irons shots and it looked to me like their arms and hands were just super, super close in to their body. So I figured I'm probably going through another of my too far from the ball phases.

I went out and played a solo practice round and just forced myself to move uncomfortably close to the ball at address with my irons. The ball went higher, straighter (although not particularly longer) and more on-target than I've hit it in months. Can't believe after three decades in the game I still don't know when I'm too far from the darned ball. It just just feel so good to do it!
I think I may integrate a check on the practice swing and just kind of see what the arc looks like and then try to adjust the swing accordingly for a round or 2. Since my lessons I have been hitting some shots that are absolute 🔥 and some that are absolute 💩. Setup is something I know is super important to get right so I know that I need to tune that in. We will see. Gotta keep working. I want that Morgan Cup in the red teams hands on October 11th.
 

Et Tu Brute?

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I think I may integrate a check on the practice swing and just kind of see what the arc looks like and then try to adjust the swing accordingly for a round or 2. Since my lessons I have been hitting some shots that are absolute 🔥 and some that are absolute 💩. Setup is something I know is super important to get right so I know that I need to tune that in. We will see. Gotta keep working. I want that Morgan Cup in the red teams hands on October 11th.
One thing I've noticed over the years, for my own swing at least. I can stand a good bit too far from the ball and still kind of compensate and manage to hit mediocre shots.

But if I get just a tiny bit too close to the ball it will be nothing but absolute :poop:. Being a six inches too far from the ball is better than being two inches too close, for me at least.
 

thewilderside

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I'm definitely intrigued by this thread, and will actually take a look at toying with the positions you mentioned. I've always felt like I can struggle in finding a way to consistently get the right distance between myself and the ball.
 

MarMill

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When you decide to change your ball position in that way, do you feel a different weight distribution more on the toes or heels? That can def effect swing pattern
 

Et Tu Brute?

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When you decide to change your ball position in that way, do you feel a different weight distribution more on the toes or heels? That can def effect swing pattern
My swing teacher definitely wants me to feel some weight on my heels. Not rocked back too far but I shouldn't feel like I'm perched out on my toes at address or at any point during my backswing. I think my own tendencies to stand too far from the ball AND to get my weight too far out onto my toes are in fact the same tendency. They go together. Naturally if I'm reaching out for the ball I'll lean forward a little bit. Hard to say which problem is the chicken and which is the egg.
 

wadesworld

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I'm not a golf coach and not a very good golfer.

However, in my opinion, one should not be swinging anywhere that is not natural. If you have to reach at all, it's likely wrong. If you're scrunched up at all, it's likely wrong. Both conditions will put you out of balance.

The path of the club should really be driven by physics. That is, if you allow the club to swing, the weight of the head will pull your arms taught and it will follow a perfect arc. That's the goal. You can see where the club head will pass by observing the blur of the club on a practice swing. You then place the arc where it will intersect the ball.

It's a simple concept, but much harder to execute in reality as it's difficult to get yourself to truly allow the club to swing without trying to steer it.

(Caveat: one can address the ball with a reach but not actually reach when swinging. Or one can feel like they're reaching but not be reaching at all. Having a trained eye evaluate whether you're reaching too much or scrunched up is best for that reason - feel is usually not real)
 

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Your arms naturally stretch out to be longer during the downswing. I know that happens with me. I think how we all are built determines distancing from the ball. I like farther than closer to me. Gives me room to get the arms through and hit the sweet spot easier. I tee all balls near the toe when I place the club behind the ball. If I don’t do this, I will hit push fades/near shanks or fat shots.
Thicker chests and tighter upper bodies need this. The long and loose guys can move the ball closer. Just my feedback and observations. I think we all have to experiment.
 
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-CRW-

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Like others have said, let gravity show you where the club should be at address using practice swings. Don’t try to steer or guide the club and let it go where it wants to go. It sounds like your middle position is likely the optimal position for you. It’s hard to argue with the results.
 

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You make a judgement of where the ball needs to be to dynamically fit your swing for your intended type of strike.

Example:
You address the ball in the middle of your clubface when your in static address , but then do some practice swings that reflect your intent (ie. a straight/high/low /draw/fade ) and you can see the blur of the clubhead is showing the heel of the club is meeting the ball and its attacking the ball too steeply and ' in-out' path , you might make the judgement that the ball needs to be placed a bit more targetward and a few inches further away from you. At static address the ball may need to be nearer the toe of your club rather than the middle to fit your dynamic swing intent.

Wild Bill Mehlhorn said "Accuracy is just judgement and naturalness"
 

DataDude

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When you decide to change your ball position in that way, do you feel a different weight distribution more on the toes or heels? That can def effect swing pattern
Yes the further extended gets out on the toes. So getting a comfy spot with weight on the balls of my feet but a feeling of very slight extension is good. When I am too close to the ball I can often feel comfortable at set up, but then as my body subconsciously tries to create space to swing I get back on my heels. Likewise if I am too extended as I bring the club down I can kind of fall forward. The problem with this analysis is it comes after the swing which is not helpful because the ball has already been struck poorly LOL!
 

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