Have you had days where you just can’t seem to make proper contact with the golf ball and just can’t figure out what’s causing your mis-hits? There are benefits of standing closer to the golf ball.
You have checked your swing mechanics and it seems sound, but there is just something not right with your ball striking.
Well, ball position could just be the significant area that you have overlooked in your ability to make a good connection on the downswing.
This does not only apply to how far forward or backward you place the ball in your stance. The distance you position the ball away from your body will determine whether you stretch for the ball or block your swing being too close.
In this Q&A session, we will address some benefits of standing closer to the golf ball at address.
What is the best distance from the ball? How far is too far and how close is too close?
From my experience, a good distance is when you can swing the club back and down, at a reasonable speed without losing your balance.
If you stand too far away from the golf ball you will have to stretch to get to the ball and stand on the balls of your feet or even end up on your toes. This makes it extremely difficult to hit the center of the clubface and keep your balance.
When your arms get all entangled with your body during the swing you are likely too close to the ball. You will not be able to swing freely and release your arms at the end of your swing sequence.
What is the correct distance to stand from the ball?
The distance between you and the golf ball is dependent on the club you are using. A driver needs more distance than a wedge. This is due to the length of the shaft in play.
Take a good stance with weight evenly distributed between your front and back feet and the balls of your feet. Remember to have flex in your knees at address.
Hang your arms straight down your side in a naturally relaxed and comfortable position.
A good guideline to use is by placing the butt end of your grip on your leading knee. If it touches your thigh, you are too close while any place below the knee is too far away.
This video will give you some insight into where you should stand.
How do I know if I’m standing too far away from the ball?
If your arms are forward from the natural relaxed position thus adding strain to your posture.
Your hands will tend to be higher and further away from your body.
During your swing sequence you will tend to lean too far forward in reaching for the ball, step onto your toes, and unable to hold a balanced finished position.
When the ball is positioned too far away from your body you will generally make impact towards the toe of the club.
How do I know if I’m standing too close to the ball?
Amateur golfers tend to stand too far from the ball rather than too close to the ball.
As your ball position is not an exact science that can be measured on the golf course, you develop a feel for the correct distance over time. It could be out by fractions of an inch on any day causing you to have a nightmare round.
The first thing to look at is whether your arms are hanging in the natural position below your body when you are in posture. If your hands are too close to your body, you are standing too close to the golf ball.
Golfers that stand too close to the ball tend to make impact towards the heel of the club leading to left to right ball flight such as the dreaded slice and the most hated shot in golf, a shank.
Does standing too close to the ball produce an over-the-top swing?
When standing too close to the ball you will tend to have an upright swing and lack the freedom to pull your trailing elbow in towards your body. Your body will tend to lean away from the ball to create the space required and this generally leads to an over-the-top swing.
Are there any benefits to standing closer to the golf ball?
Better ball striking
If you consistently strike the golf ball on the toe end of the clubface you will benefit from standing a bit closer to the golf ball thus enabling you to strike the center of the clubface more frequently.
Impact on the center of the clubface will add to the compression of the golf ball and increase effortless distance.
Standing closer to the ball will prevent you from swinging around your body and maintain a more upright swing for straighter shots.
More balanced swing
Standing closer to the golf ball will prevent you from falling forward onto your toes to get to the ball and enable you to retain your balance on the balls of your feet.
A stable posture will produce consistent strikes and distance control.
An off-balance swing forces your body to find ways of counteracting the movements thus placing severe stress on body parts that can affect your well-being in the longer term.
Reduce the amount of sway
You should avoid swaying back and forth during your swing routine but rather rotate around your spine.
When positioned too far away from the golf ball golfers tend to sway more on the backswing and lack a proper downswing with the correct weight transfer.
This leads to weak swings that lack proper contact, ball trajectory, and distance.
Protecting your body and limbs
Standing closer to the golf ball will prevent you from hunching too far over to reach the ball thus protecting your back. When hunched too much it affects your spine, hips, and shoulders while forcing your lower body to compensate in its movement thus placing extra stress on the lower body.
Reduce arm action during your swing
Sanding too far away from the ball frequently forces your arms to play a bigger role in getting the clubhead to the golf ball and thereby reduces the role of the body in your swing.
An armsy swing reduces power and leads to inconsistent strikes while a swing involving your body adds more power, consistency, and distance.
Over the Top swing
The over the top swing leads to various problems ranging from a dreaded slice to a hooked shot. This is as a result of the club following an outside-in swing path. An open clubface at impact will result in a slice while a closed clubface at impact will lead to a snap hooked shot.
Will standing close to the ball prevent me from slicing the ball?
Standing closer to the golf ball will provide you with the swing mechanics to have an upright or in-to-out swing path. Although this is more likely to produce a straight shot, an open clubface at impact could lead to a push or a slice.
Should I get a golf lesson?
Having a club fitting and golf lessons will enable you to address any equipment deficiencies and to resolve any posture and swing-related issues. Since ball position plays a significant role in your swing, lessons will be highly recommended.
Resolving posture issues and ball position will go a long way to striking the ball in the center of the clubface consistently.
Ball position relates to the forward or backward position in your stance as well as the distance it is away from your body.
Positioning the ball too far away from your body will lead to stretching and losing balance during your swing.
There are many benefits to standing closer to the golf ball at address such as straightening up your swing and enabling more body participating in the swing thus adding more power and distance.
Any feedback and questions will be welcomed in the comments section below.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.