Perfect ball position with every club

Start your set-up with your feet together to find the perfect ball position with every club. GM Top 25 coach, Peter Finch, explains...

Perfect ball position with every club

Start your set-up with your feet together to find the perfect ball position with every club. GM Top 25 coach, Peter Finch, explains...

The chances of making a good swing increase significantly if you take extra care to make sure that things are spot-on at set-up, with ball position one of the key ingredients of a good set-up. Here’s how to find the perfect ball position with every club from short iron through to long irons, and the driver. It’s very much about sternum position and how that relates to swing arc.

First, the 9-iron. Start your set-up with your feet together so your sternum is directly over the ball. Take a little step with your left foot and the same length step right with your right. Ball position remains below your sternum in the middle of the stance, and with a successful swing, the club will bottom out just after the ball and you’ll take a little divot.

The mid-iron is longer and will therefore bottom out differently, so you  need to change your set-up very slightly. Starting with your feet together again, take that same little step to the left but a slightly bigger step to the right. Your sternum is now slightly behind the ball, but because the club is longer it will still bottom out just after the ball.

With the 4-iron, guess what? It’s the same step left again, but a slightly bigger step right to allow the longer club to still bottom out correctly.

Check out the ball position adjustments you'll have to make from fairway bunkers if you need to get the ball up quickly

1 Same step left The step left from the feet together position remains constant with your irons. It is the step to the right that gets progressively bigger with the longer irons.

2 Long iron stability That bigger right step with the long irons also gives you a wider stance, which you need for added stability as you’re going to be creating more clubhead speed.

How to set up to play a hybrid

3 Driver variation You want to be hitting up with the driver, so you need the sternum further behind the ball. So just a very tiny step - almost just a fanning out really - with the left foot then a nice big step with the right.

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...