Figuring out how far you should stand from the golf ball can sometimes seem impossible. Have you tried to line up a shot and felt it was too spread out or too tight? Fortunately, this is an easy fix, and we’ll show you how to set it up so you’re always at the right distance.
When standing the correct distance from the golf ball, you should be able to bend at the hips with your knees bent. Your back hand should swing in line with your grip, and the tip of the club should be six inches from your thighs. The end of the stick should be in line with the belt buckle.
Every time you line up for a swing, you feel like you can never strike the right balance between being too far or too close to the ball, making your game difficult. It’s almost impossible to hit a powerful and accurate swing when the distance is tight. Finding the correct stance will make judging the distance you need easier.
How far should I stand from the golf ball?
You want to establish an optimal distance from the ball that allows you to use the full force of your body. Your lower body helps create strong momentum, and your upper body strength and mobility will build speed.
When your body is firmly centered and the correct distance from the ball, your entire body works in harmony to give your shot power, accuracy and speed.
Standing too far or too close to the ball takes your body out of this ideal alignment. This disconnect causes you to have an awkward swing that relies only on lower or upper body strength.
Since everyone’s body will be different, from your height to the length of your arm and torso, there is no set measurement you can take to determine how far you should stand from the ball.
Instead, we look for the best possible stance to ensure our bodies have the space to swing freely while still providing power to the ride.
Once you know how your body is supposed to feel in the correct stance, you can use this to determine how far away from the ball you should stand when using an iron.
How to set the correct golf ball distance
Learning to get into the correct stance will help determine how far you should stand from a golf ball when using an iron. To get into the appropriate posture, follow these instructions. Try this without an iron first, so you can understand the movement.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Drop your hips back
- Lean your body slightly forward, as if you were looking at the golf ball.
- Be sure to bend from the hips while keeping your back level.
- Avoid rounding your back and rounding your shoulders.
- Bend knees slightly so you have flexion, don’t lock them
- Lean your body slightly towards the direction of your target
- You want to hang your arms down, directly from your shoulders.
- The distance between your dropped hands and your bent knees should be slightly morethan the length of your hand.
Once you get a feel for this pose, try it again while holding a plank. Feel how your body can move on a swing. You should not feel locked and your knees should remain slightly bent throughout the movement.
You can move forward or backward from the ball when in this stance. Stay in this position while moving to determine the correct distance from the ball.
This stance-first setup works better than using the ball as a guide to determine the correct distance.
What happens if I stand too far from the golf ball?
Standing too far or too close to the golf ball presents different problems. You can easily correct for both by using your back hand (the rear hand) to determine where to reposition your body to maintain the correct distance.
When you’re too far away, your feet are too far back and your hips are out of proper alignment. This forces you to straighten your arms to align the stick with the ball.
This causes your arms to lock at the elbows. All the power of your swing will have come from your lower body. With your arms locked, you cannot use the full strength and control of your shoulders and arms.
This means that you will lose speed, since you do not have whip control of the upper body movement. Standing too far from the ball makes your swing wilder and often causes the ball to snag.
You can check if you are standing too far by letting go of the club with your back hand and letting it hang down. If you are too close to the ball, your trailing hand should move closer to your body to hang straight down.
What happens if I stand too close to the golf ball?
You can’t fully use your lower body when you stand too close to the ball.
Your arms will be held too close to your legs, resulting in rounded or hunched shoulders. Your hands will be forced to hang too low in this posture, and your legs will get in the way.
When you start the backswing, your hips will have to twist your legs to make room for the club. But when you return to the downward movement, your legs will straighten and your hips will push forward for balance.
If you stand too close to the ball, you will have to use your arms and hands to generate force. This not only takes power out of your swing, but also makes your shots more inconsistent. The ball travels a lesser distance as a result. You will likely end up cutting the ball.
Again, you can correct this error by using your hand as a guide. Allow your back hand to swing freely. If it pulls away from your body to hang down, you’re too close and you need to move your feet and hips back to create the correct distance.
What is the correct distance to the golf ball?
The ideal distance to the golf ball positions you to perform a clean swing without moving your weight back or forward. You should not lock your knees or elbows when you are at the proper distance, but rather maintain flexion and power through the joints.
Practice following the position drill to ensure you have the correct knee flexion. You want to twist cleanly at the hip instead of rounding your back and shoulders.
If you are unsure before shooting, use your rear arm to determine the correct distance. If your trailing arm hangs loosely down but is level with your grip, you know you’re standing in the right place.
Another rough guideline is to keep the butt of your club about six inches or a span from your thighs.
Why do professional golfers stand so close to the ball?
Sometimes you may notice that golfers choose to stand too close to the ball. As we’ve seen, standing too far or too close to the ball can lead to hooks and cuts. If you are a professional golfer who knows your shortcomings, you could stand at a different distance to compensate for this.
For example, if you tend toward a flat swing plane, you may find that moving closer to the ball helps correct that by using a more vertical swing path.
The biggest problem with standing close to the ball is that most recreational golfers already tend to place too much emphasis on driving the swing with their arms.
Finding the correct stance will make it easier to find how far to stand from the golf ball. By first getting the distance right, you can learn to use your entire body on momentum, making your swings faster, more accurate, and more powerful.