Ball position creates a huge debate amongst both professionals and amateurs.
A general theme that does run through golf is that beginners should play each club from a position opposite the center of the stance.
This is something that I disagree with, because it creates a swing that for many would not be natural.
When I begin working with any golfer, seasoned or not I always check the position of the ball.
It is something that can greatly affect the way you strike the ball, resulting in variations in your shot shape, trajectory and distance.
In my opinion the ball, with all clubs played from the ground, should be positioned in the same place for each club.
Doing so creates consistency for both your set-up and your swing arc.
By placing the ball at the lowest point in the swing arc you are ensuring that you will make clean and proper contact with the ball.
As the old saying goes “let the ball get in the way of the golf club”.
Something that, for higher handicapped golfers is fundamental to improving is a consistent set-up.
So the method of altering ball position by either maintaining the same stance width and moving the ball towards or away from the target, or the narrowing or widening of the stance brings an additional confusion and inconsistency that is not conducive to better golf.
If you are unsure of whether your ball is in the perfect position for your swing then this simple drill will tell you.
You need to be on grass for this (unless you have an impact board).
Set up as you would normally to the ball. Once you have done this and are ready to swing take a step back so that you cannot actually hit the ball.
Take a practice swing, clipping the grass as you follow through and take a note of where the club impacts the ground.
Where the first point of impact is noted place the ball and take a shot.
Was the impact cleaner? Did it feel different to your normal ball position?
You should repeat this multiple times to get the best results, taking a video can help if you can slow it down enough to determine the impact point.
This impact point is the bottom of your arc (unless you take incredible deep divots) and the ball should be positioned above this.
For the driver or a three wood played from a tee you want to position the ball ahead of your impact point, this is to ensure that you are impacting the ball on the “upswing” helping to launch the ball forward and up.
Ball position will differ for every person, find the right position for you.