Ball position

First off, to find what ball position you have, put a shaft in front of your feet and a perpendicular line where the ball is and that points to your ball position.

One of the most common mistakes I see at the range is people play the ball too far back in their stance.

Since almost all golfers are either stuck, or whip it too far inside and come over the top, it’s no wonder.

A ball farther back in your stance is just easier to get to, but it promotes the retention of bad habits and starts some new ones. The list is longer than the list of golf courses I hate.

Since most average to below average golfers never have a proper weight shift to their front side, playing the ball too far back in the stance isn’t going to help this.

Actually, an excellent range drill is to practice with the ball too far forward, which forces you to go get the ball. As long as you keep your upper body from moving forward, this is a great drill.

IMO, I like to use a basic formula for myself and most of my students. There are differences of opinion, but I think what follows is the best and easiest way for most golfers to keep it simple and create the proper angle of attack for each club.

Obviously width of stance plays a part of this if you judge ball position according to your feet.

That being the case I use this formula. With a driver, I like the feet shoulder width apart and as the clubs get shorter, the stance should naturally get a little narrower for comfort. How much narrower is individual.

For ball position, I like LW right in the middle of the stance, or under the sternum and I like the driver on the instep or heel of the front foot…with everything else staggered in between.

Obviously those are for regular, run of the mill shots. In the trees, into the wind, half shots, higher than normal shots, etc., require departing from the norm.

Please feel free to ask for clarifications on any of this.




  1. Wally

    It has taken many years and an awful lot of balls to work out ball postion for each club. So what I have done so I don’t forget is put return lables and clear plastic tape near the grip of each club which tells me how far my FEET are and where I PLAY THE BALL. People comment and say “why haven’t you taken the price tag off?”. When I show them the comment is “why didn’t I think of that”.

  2. Rex

    Monte, I seem to remember watching a Jack Nicklaus video a long time ago and Jack recommended keeping the ball position at the same spot for any club (just inside the left instep or driver position in your description above). However, he did move his right foot closer to the left for the shorter irons and wedges. I place the ball as you describe, but I’ve often wondered if Jack’s method might be better as you don’t have to adjust the ball position for the different clubs. What do you think of Jack’s idea?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      i don’t like that and here is why. Most golfers have a hard enough time making a descending blow at the ball and having the ball that far forward with irons makes that even harder…especially for those that have a hard time getting off their right side on the downswing.

  3. Doug B

    This may be a dumb question, but does middle of the stance mean midway between the toes or midway between the heels. If one flares the left foot toward the target, then midway between the toes is a different position than midway between the heels.

  4. FredL

    Just an idea:
    If one were to think that the bottom of the arc is below the left shoulder, would it be easier to position the ball relative to the shoulder rather than where you feet are? Your stance may change, but your shoulders would not.

  5. Nathan Lawrence

    Hi monte,
    I am from australia i have watched all your video.I always get confused where my ball position should be can you please help me cheers nathan


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