3 boring basics every golfer should know about this 1 very important thing

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So you're on the golf course—that's good! Except things aren't going well—that's not good! Maybe the ball is hooking wildly left, or floating high and wide to the right. They're not shots that you want to play, except for the fact that you are playing them. You need to get whatever you have to the house. What should you do?

That's what we discussed in the latest episode of the Golf IQ podcast, which you can listen to below (and subscribe to here).

While it's not a catch-all solution to everything, sometimes the fix for wayward shots—or dreaded contact errors like chunks and skulls—can be as simple as tweaking your ball position.

Here's what you need to know about it:

Basic #1: Ground before or after ball

In the simplest terms, the clubhead moves from high, to low, to high again as you swing. So ask yourself: Where do you want the bottom, or the lowest point, of your swing to be?

  • For drivers, you want the low-point to be behind the ball, because you want to hit up on the ball for more distance.
  • With irons, you want to strike the ball first and the ground second, because you want a descending blow for crisp contact.

That's why we play the ball position further forward in our stance with our driver (to put the low point of our swing behind the ball) and further back in our stance for irons (to put the low point ahead of the ball with our irons).

Basic #2: Ball back sends path right

The golf club also moves around our body as we swing in a semi-circular fashion. The clubface and the club path point out to the right at first, then along the target line before swinging back left.

Where you impact the ball along the semi-circle can influence where the ball ends up.

When you put the ball position back in your stance, it kicks the path out to the right, but it also opens the clubface.

So, if you're hitting shots that start left and go more left, check your ball position: It may be too far forward.

Basic #3: Ball forward sends path left

If your ball position is too far forward, the opposite is true. The club is swinging more left, the clubface is closing.

So, if your shots start right then curve more to the right, again, red flag on your ball position: It might be too far back.

Again, there's no perfect solution, but ball position is a fundamental pros keep an eye on for good reason. The goal is simple: To find the right balance for what your golf swing needs.

Once again, you can listen (and subscribe!) to the Golf IQ pod below.