Ball Position For Different Golf Clubs Explained

Asheville Golf Home

Dear Jitterbug,

Can you explain your take on ball position? Forward for longer clubs? Back for shorter clubs?

Jeremy Rice

Jitterbug Gang Fan


My “take” on ball position is that it is very important; it greatly effects accuracy. This is because a ball positioned too far rearward, struck with an on-plane golf swing, will fly right of the target. A ball positioned too far forward will take off to the left. So, it’s not just a trajectory thing, ball position has to do with getting the shot started on the correct line, too.

Mr. Vaughn:

As far as where in your stance you should play the ball, uniformity is a must. A constant ball position means you can use a constant weight shift.

For young folks, golfers who can make an aggressive move on the ball, I’d like to see a ball positioned within an inch or two of the front foot, and keep it there for every club in the bag. As golfers get older, and maybe aren’t as agile any more, a ball positioned two to four inches inside the left heel works better. But, again, it should stay there for every club in the bag.

Of course, whether the ball, positioned in the same place relative to the front foot, is back or forward, will depend on the width of stance. A driver stance is quite wide, so a ball two inches inside the left heel will be quite forward. A nine-iron stance is much narrower, which means a two-inch position may only be slightly forward of middle.

Lord Berry:

Keep in mind that the constant ball position Mr. Vaughn advocates is for clean or teed up, level lies only. As uneven ground and varying lengths of grass come into play, so must adjustments be made in ball position.

Asheville Golf Home

Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner

Ask Jitterbug - Author Bobby Steiner

About the Author

The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.

You can reach Bobby at: or

All the Same Distance

I hit all my clubs, seven-iron and longer, the same distance. Do you know of a cure?

Bad Rhythm

My swing rhythm gets fast when I play. Do you have any suggestions to help me slow down?

Bad Teacher

There is a young assistant golf professional at our club who plays extremely well, but could use some help as a teacher. Any suggestions that might help him?

Ball Position

Can you explain your take on ball position? Forward for longer clubs? Back for shorter clubs?

Die or Lag

Do you think it is better to be a firm putter, or to putt the ball so that it barely drops into the cup?

Fanning the Club

My tendency is to fan my hands to the inside on the takeaway. When I use a straight takeaway I can't hit the ball.

Fix is the Problem

My friend has a knack for giving me helpful tips when we play. It works for about six holes, then I totally collapse. Have you heard of this?

Get the Ball to the Hole

I have a very difficult time getting my putts to the hole. Can you help?

Golf Schools

Are golf schools worth the money?

Guide the Ball

My golf instructor tells me that I try to 'guide' the ball too much. I've never heard this term, is it a bad thing?

Hip Slide

Can you explain the proper way to pivot during the backswing?

How Many Hours

I'm currently a solid 8-handicap, but I've reached a plateau. How might I rework my practice regimen to improve steadily like I used to?

Kids Learning Curve

My thirteen-year old son and I took up golf four years ago. Now, I am still struggling to break 100 while he shoots low 80s. How do I catch up?

Length of Backswing

I've read that the putting stroke should be the same length going back as going through. What is your take on it?

Long and Slow

I have great touch, and play standard chip shots quite well, but I can't hit a soft pitch of any length to save my life.

Make Practice Swing

I have a beautiful practice swing, but it doesn't carry over to my real swing. Any Suggestions?

More Distance

I'm a good athlete, but don't get the distance I think I should. How can I hit the ball farther off the tee?

No Scoop Chips

I suffer from the chipping yips; I can't prevent my right hand from taking over and flipping under the ball. How do I avoid scooping the ball?

No Touch Short Game

I have no short game touch, and I'm a good athlete. Everything I hit feels like a jab or punch. Any help?

No Whiffing

Golf is frustrating to me because I hardly ever get the ball up in the air. Please help!

Range Brilliance

I'm a great range player, but can't get it together on the course. Do you have any advice to help me?

Sound Swing

An assistant pro refers to some swings as "sound," and others, "not sound." Can you compare and contrast the two?

Taking Lessons

I've taken golf lessons for years from many different instructors, but I never get better. Are golf lessons the biggest scam ever thought up?

Teacher a Good Player

Do you think it is important that a teaching professional be a good player?
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Golf Ball Position