Today’s post is going to discuss ball position. It is a much less complicated part of the golf swing discussion, but none the less, an interesting subject. There are two schools of thought concerning ball position. You should keep the ball in the same place, preferably off the left heel for every club in the bag. None other than Jack Nicklaus is the major advocate of this view. The other viewpoint is the ball should be played off the left heel for the driver, but then the ball should be moved back gradually toward the center of your stance, as the clubs get shorter, with the wedges being played right in the middle of your stance. There is a third view on ball position, by another all time great, which I will get to at the end of this post.
Here is the interesting part. Both advocate their position for the same reason. They say that their method of ball position allows you to swing the same for every club in the bag. Instruction to play all shots off the left heel, says that since the ball is in the same position for every club, your swing does not have to change in order to hit the ball cleanly. Instruction to move the ball back in your stance as the clubs get shorter, says that this is where your arc of the swing will make contact with ball naturally on a descending blow. This way your swing stays the same, and you catch the ball at the proper point, with out making any adjustments of your swing. So who is right. I will let you decide on that one, because that is not the purpose of these posts.
Now for the third view on ball position by the great Bobby Jones. He felt that ball position could be one of the things that you could change on a day to day basis depending on how you were playing. He felt this was one method to try to get back on track if you started out with some poor ball striking. He felt you should play the ball forward in the stance, opposite the left heel as a general rule, but he would move it forward or back if he opened with a few bad shots and magically his game would return. He would not move the ball position on any particular pattern of bad shots. It would be an instinctive move forward or backward until he just started hitting the ball better. Another method he used to get the feel back in his game was to choke up and down on the club. He salvaged many a round by playing all shots with his hands just an inch or so about the steel line of the shaft. He would wait until the end of the round to go to the practice range to try find the swing issue. He never tinkered with the swing during the round.
Well, there you have it ball position. Another bevy of information on something that should be so simple but lots of view points. What’s a golfer to do. Next week will be weight distribution of your feet at address. Now that’s a real good one. When I first listed that one I wrote thank God are feet are not bigger or there might be more than the three opinions on this.