Violation Leads to Possible Jail Time

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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Have you ever been in jail? Hopefully not the kind with steel bars. The jail I am speaking of is hitting the ball in trouble. One of the biggest causes of hitting a ball into jail can be directly due to your ball position. This is probably the number one most violated fundamental and is actually paid the least attention to in a golf lesson.  The following is a guideline to assist you in determining the proper ball position consistently:

• An important factor prior to determining the proper ball position is the width of your stance. The width of your feet should be placed so that the inside edges of your heels are shoulder width apart. This creates a very solid foundation for swinging the golf club. Normally this equates to a six foot tall golfer’s feet being approximately 18 inches apart at address.

  With the width of your stance determined, you will start out setting the ball position for your driver. This is accomplished by addressing the golf ball so it is set just inside the foot closest to your target. The golf ball should be lined up at the ball of the foot. This will allow for the proper impact loft of the driver to launch the ball toward your target.

  Now that a starting point has been established, we can set up the ball position with the remainder of the clubs in your bag. Using the theory that your feet are basically 18 inches apart; it is approximately 9 inches to the center of your stance.  With each club progressively getting shorter all the way down to the sand wedge the ball must be moved within the stance back approximately ½ inch for each club. The longer the golf club the less it will feel like the ball position will be moved.  Thus, the ball position will be moved progressively back in your stance less than nine inches from the beginning to the middle.

  As the ball position is moved back in the stance, it is important to emphasize, that the furthest back a shot should be played is just about 1 inch away from being directly in the middle of your stance. By moving the ball back in this fashion, the ball will be in the proper area for you to swing at the ball to make contact at the bottom of the swing arc. This will provide the maximum launch angle, ball flight and chance for accuracy.

All of the position discussion here deals specifically with ball position for normal golf shots. Specialty shots, such as: low or high shots, knock down shots and lob shots the ball position will be totally different than every regular golf shot. Those require practice to see where your comfort level is with pulling those shots off. Be sure to work on this basic fundamental to increase you opportunity to hit a successful golf shot.

For help with your ball position, visit your favorite PGA Golf Professional.

Remember to tune in every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 on Arizon Sports Station 98.7 for the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show for more tips and updates on all of the weeks golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Jim Hill and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week. You can also catch them on the internet by going to click on sports then click on listen now. Also, remember if you have any questions about this drill or would like to have a drill featured, email Greg at