Left handed golfers need to ensure their ball position is correct and appropriate to two factors, the club and shot being played.
Each club being hit and shot being played requires a specific ball position. For example, if you were trying to hit a low punch with a 6 iron, the ball would have to be played slightly further back in the stance (nearer the left foot) than usual. If a left handed player was to attempt a low punch with the ball opposite the right toe the shot would not be as successful. However, if the golfer was attempting to hit a normal 6 iron, the ball should be placed just forward of centre in the stance. For a first time, or even an experienced golfer, this myriad of different options with ball position could be confusing but there are a number of simple guidelines which can be followed.
Before an explanation of different ball positions, golfers should understand why the ball should move around in the stance with different clubs. As the club is swung around the body, the club head traces a circular path known as an arc. This arc bottoms out (hits the ground) at different points with different clubs. As the club gets longer, its arc bottoms out near the front foot. With the irons, golfers want to be striking the ball first then impacting the turf to create a downward strike, backspin and a crisp divot. On a normal full swing the pitching wedge arc will bottom out just after the centre point of the stance. This means by putting the ball position in the centre of the stance with the pitching wedge, golfers have a better chance of striking the ball first then the turf, creating a decent amount of backspin and a nice little divot. The 4 iron in contrast to the pitching wedge bottoms out much further forward in the stance near the right foot. This is why the 4 iron is played a couple of inches inside the right heel; to allow the club to bottom out naturally.
Guide To Ball Positions
This summary of ball position is based on the assumption the shot being played is a full swing off a flat lie. Specialty shots such as low and high shots may require adaption.
- Sand wedge, pitching wedge and 9 iron – middle of the stance
- 8 iron, 7 iron – an inch forward of centre
- 6 iron, 5 iron – two inches forward of centre
- 4 iron, 3 iron, hybrids – three inches forward of centre
- Fairway woods, driver – level with the right heel
To achieve these correct positions, players can either change their ball position or keep the ball position constant and alter the width of their stance. This is probably a better way to ensure more consistency with the ball positions. Using this method, you change the width of your stance to match the club; the longer the club, the wider the stance.