Driving...Importance of Ball Position

Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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How many times have you popped up your drive off the first tee box? When this happens to you, what do you do on the second tee box?

Generally, the first thing that a golfer will do after he or she pops up their drive is to tee it lower. In actuality, what you should do in most cases is tee it higher. By teeing the ball higher, you will subconsciously swing more around. If the mind sees the ball teed low it will naturally swing on more of a descending approach. Ball position plays a tremendous roll when you’re trying to hit a successful drive. The average golfer when hitting the woods gets the ball too far back in the stance. This is detrimental for two reasons:

1). The further the ball gets back in your stance, the more you have to approach the ball on a descending blow.

2). The further the ball gets back in your stance, the overall swing becomes more of a “V” shape. 

While hitting the woods you are looking for a “U” shape swing. A “U” shape swing has more overall roundness to it. The longer the club, the more round the swing should be. For most golfers this is automatically done because of the length of the golf club. 

If you can consistently hit the ball into the fairway, you will place yourself at a tremendous competitive advantage. Regardless of your abilities, a successful drive off any tee sets a positive tone for the entire round. Good driving puts you on the offense. Weak driving puts you on the defense. Most drives are missed before the ball has ever been struck – in the set-up.

How to Achieve a Consistent Set-Up with your Driver:

Hitting your driver is the only shot in golf where you have the opportunity to place the ball on a perfect lie every time – the ball is on the tee. Therefore, since the lie of the ball remains the same, it is only logical that you should set-up to the ball in the same identical manner each time, as well. To achieve this:

Picture #1. This would be where the old ball position would be played.

Picture #2. This is where you would set the head of the driver with the new ball position

Picture #3. From there just put the driver head behind the ball.

Remember:  Perfect ball position doesn’t guarantee anything, it only allows great things to happen.

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine TOP 100 Teacher since 1997, teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale along with being the Director of Instruction at The Rim Club in Payson, AZ. To get more information on lessons, visit Scott’s web site at www.scottsackett.com. To contact Scott personally, you can e-mail him at scottsackett@cox.net.