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Address and Ball Position.

Address and Ball Position.

This month is July 1997 and we present the first in a monthly series of golf tips, brought to you by Mel Sole, Director of Instruction at the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club in Pawleys Island, SC.

Address and Ball Position.

The Address and Ball Position are the most basic of fundamentals that need to be in place if you are to become a proficient golfer.  Here is a guide to get these fundamentals absolutely correct.

For reasons of clarity (because there are left and right handed golfers) I will refer to front and back rather than left or right. The front foot would be the left foot for right-handed golfers.


1. The width of the stance – The stance should be approximately the width of the shoulders for the mid-irons. As in Picture #1) Slightly narrower for the shorter clubs and slightly wider for the longer clubs. (Please note the word “slightly”)

Picture #1


As you can see from picture #2 the knees are only slightly bent (too much bend causes all sorts of problems with the backswing) and the arms are hanging down vertically from the shoulders. This helps keep any tension out of the arms at the address position. The tension in the arms at in the address position causes all sorts of problems on the backswing. The spine should be relatively straight and the chin held slightly away from the chest.

Picture #2

The Arm and Hand Position:

This is an often neglected position at address. It is important that there is a straight line from the top of the front shoulder to the ball as in picture #2. This sets the hands in the correct position relative to the ball position (covered next). Note: The butt of the club should be over the middle of the front thigh regardless of the club in your hand.

Ball Position:

There are three ball positions:

1. The irons – The ball position for all regular iron shots (not low/high/uphill/downhill lies) is about 2″ inside the front heel. Set the hands slightly ahead of the ball to give a slightly downward blow, required for crisp iron shots.

2. The Fairway Woods – The ball position for the fairway woods is directly off the left heel. This automatically sets the hands even with the ball and helps give the desired “bottom of the arc” blow required for lofted fairways shots.

3. The Driver – The ball position for the driver is off the instep of the front foot. This automatically sets the hands even with the clubhead and helps give the desired “slightly upward” blow required for good tee shots.

Remember, without a good Address and Ball Position, you are immediately putting yourself at a disadvantage on the course!

Source: Mel Sole Golf School.


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