What is the Correct Ball Position in Golf?

It is hard to know what is the correct ball position these days, because of two reasons:

1. Each coach believes in a slightly different ball position
2. The average golfer has zero understand of what ball position really means

If you want to get technical, ball position is all relative to your center (usually the leading armpit or a little bit inside of it).  But most people have a hard time feeling or seeing this, so the majority of coaches will recommend that you look at the ball’s position relative to your feet in order to determine the correct placement.

If you are using this method, make sure that you understand how different setups might play tricks on your eyes.  To achieve a perfectly center of the stance ball position, follow these steps: 

1.  Place an alignment stick at your target.
2.  Place another alignment stick perfectly perpendicular to the first stick.
3.  Now, place the ball even with the alignment stick setup in step 2. 
4.  Set up like you see in the first picture above, with both feet pointing directly forward, and the ball in the middle of them.
5.  Finally, keeping the same position, simply flare your lead foot out a little bit (I usually flare it about 30 degrees on most shots)

Now that you know how to achieve the perfectly centered ball position, it is important to understand how different factors affect it.

For example, if you open your stance without changing anything else, the ball will move back in your stance.  

Conversely, closing your stance will result in a more forward ball position.

Here are a few simple rules that I use to always get the perfect ball position:
  • Ball perfectly centered with wedges
  • If you open your stance to hit a high lofted pitch or flop shot, re-calibrate the ball position relative to where your feet are aimed (imagine that you have those two alignment sticks setup for your new stance alignment)
  • Mid irons just an inch or two forward of center
  • Long irons and woods 3-4 inches forward of center
  • Driver off the inside of the lead heel