How does golf ball position affect your ball flight?

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The position of your golf ball in your posture can have a significant influence on your ball flight. There are many theories about the optimal position for golfers, but in my opinion there is no way to say that there is one correct formula for all golfers. The swing of each player is unique and it is very difficult to determine a precise rule of thumb.

In this article I want to show you how the position of the golf ball can change your ball flight. I have done some interesting tests on my SkyTrak launch monitor with a small iron, middle iron, long iron and a driver. In addition, I share some thoughts and a useful exercise from one of the top teachers in the game.

I hope you can use this information to experiment with your swing, and how moving the ball may or may not improve your ball flight.

My tests

For my test I have taken complete fluctuations with my Sand Wedge, 8-iron, 5-iron and driver. I took a series of photos from the middle of my stand, a few centimeters to the back foot and then to my front foot. Extreme outliers were removed and the remaining data gave me a good estimate of how my ball flight changed.

All tests were done indoors using my SkyTrak launch monitor. You can view my full review here, but this is a great product that delivers accurate ball flight measurements for a test like this.

Although I suspected what would happen, I was looking for significant changes in different areas. First and foremost, did my ball flight change completely? Almost every shot I hit moves in a draw pattern, but I was interested to find out if the ball moved even more from right to left.

Here is an example of my ball flight with an 8-iron with the ball in the back of my position

I have also examined a few other parameters, such as:

Launch angle and total height – did my ball fly higher or lower on the basis of where he was in my position?
Distance – range or do I lose carry and toasts?
Turn – turns the ball more or less around?
Dispersion – do I keep the ball within a tighter distribution from right to left or am I less accurate?

Here are a few examples of how the data is presented via SkyTrak:

Here are my SkyTrak ball data with my driver to the front of my point of view. I am looking for significant changes in many of these numbers.

With these images I can see my spreading gap and the trajectory of my ball flight.

I summarize my findings about each club, but I want to know for sure that these results are specific to my golf swing . You will see some interesting changes in ball flight that you may or may not expect. However, you can find totally different results with your swing. I want to show you what is possible so that you can only experiment.

Sand Wedge

For my short iron test I have achieved full fluctuations with my Sand Wedge. Usually this is a club that I will hit 100 yards with a draw. Typically I play the ball in the middle of my posture on the track.

Here is a summary of my ball data:

Club – SWBall SpeedCarry YardsReturn Turn (RPM) Starting angle (degrees) Height (ft) Dispersion (yards)

Ball Rear 87108781230.3759.2

Ball Center83100745531.46910.8

Ball Forward83100713332.67510.2

The only thing that struck me with my Sand Wedge was distance. With the ball back in my posture, I flew him 8 meters further. This was largely attributed to a big leap in ball speed, which I believe I made better contact on the face from that position.

Other than that, my ball flight remained largely the same with regard to the shape, the route and the spread. I was surprised to have turned the ball the most and also reached the peak height of the back of my posture. Most would assume that if you move the ball backwards, the ball would stay lower.


The next is my 8-iron. This is a club that I usually hit about 155-160 meters on the track and will see more of an exaggerated draw pattern compared to my shorter irons. Typically I play these recordings from the middle of my posture on the job.

Here is the summary of my ball data from SkyTrak:

Club – 8 IronBall SpeedCarry YardsBack Turn (RPM) Starting angle (degrees) Height (ft) Dispersion (yards)

Ball back113161529318.87823.7

Ball base1101565031207811.9

Ball Forward107152483920.17218.5

The clear winner was the middle of my position. Although I hit the ball further from the back of my stand, this was the least accurate position with a total spread twice as wide.

With the ball in front of my posture, I seemed to be losing distance because of less good contact with the ball. If you look at the comparison in ball flights, you can see that the ball in the middle produced the most stable ball flight that remained on the target:


The last test of my irons was with a 5-iron. A typical shot will be about 185-190 yards. With my longer irons I started to play the ball more to the front of my stand. I was interested to find out if this was a smarter strategy for my swing

Here is the summary of my ball data:

Club – 5 IronBall SpeedCarry YardsReturn Turn (RPM) Starting angle (degrees) Height (ft) Dispersion (yards)

Ball back125178369512.55425.6

Ball center126183347514.66316.2

Ball Forward125187388815.27219.7

Based on what I have seen with my numbers, it seems that my instinct was correct. With the ball in front of my posture, I can strike the ball further, higher and reasonably accurate with my 5-iron. Although the spread with the ball in the middle of my position was slightly tighter, it is crucial to hit the ball higher with a long iron.


I saved the best for last. The position of the ball with your driver is extremely important . I have already tested extensively with my ball position, so I know what works for me (and many other golfers). But I want to take this opportunity to show you what a dramatic difference can do with your driver numbers.

Generally speaking, with the driver you want to launch the ball with as much speed as possible, on a higher course and with less spin. Every golfer is different, so the optimal mix may vary, but these are three goals to aim for. Where you place the ball in your posture can have a significant influence on all those numbers.

Let's look at my results:

Club – DriverBall SpeedCarry YardsTotal YardsBack Turn (RPM) Starting angle (degrees) Height (ft) Dispersion (yards)

Ball back147214236187310.14532.6

Ball Center148231252213311.76039.3

Ball forward1512512702103148127.7

As you can see it is not a close contest. Moving the ball upwards in my posture is a significant leap in performance. I start it faster, higher, further and more accurately. With the ball forward in my posture, I get almost perfect figures for my swing speed. With the ball in the middle or the back of my posture, I have trouble getting the ball in the air, which strongly influences his ability to fly as far as possible (that is what you want with the driver).

Key Takeaways

This test confirmed many of the tendencies I noticed in my swing. One of the benefits of working with a launch monitor from time to time is that you can remove the guesswork from your game. I am a big believer in experimenting with small changes in your setup and swing to see if there is anything to be gained. If you can get immediate feedback, you will gain more confidence in the course that what you do is the best decision for your swing.

Based on what I saw, I believe I will continue playing the ball in the middle of my posture on most iron swings, except with long irons. In addition, playing the ball to the front of my stand gave me something I knew for a long time that it gave me a better chance of making longer and straighter tee-shots.

You may not see the same results in your swing. But I believe that almost every golfer would see differences in ball flight that move the ball in their position. Understanding how it can affect your specific swing may be worth considering.

A drill for you

I want to offer a useful exercise for everyone related to the ball position. So I came into contact with Andrew Rice, a friend of Practical Golf. He is also one of the most respected teachers out there with a huge online followers and also a Golf Digest Top 50 instructor.

Andrew told me that "the ball position can be much more personal and unique than we would appreciate." Some golfers have difficulty moving the ball to the "right" position. "

He has an interesting exercise that he uses to help people who hit the ball too high or too low. It may not be intuitive for what some would expect, but Andrew says, "I'm trying to get people who have to raise it up to bring the ball back and vice versa, putting a premium on encouraging the golfer to make the necessary changes. to apply. "

Here is a video of the exercise that can be used with your wedges or even your irons:

Golf ball position – Winding

I sincerely believe that there is no such thing as the correct position of the golf ball for all players. Each golfer has a unique swing and can experience different changes in the ball flight by moving the ball forward or backward. But with some experiments, I think you can find optimal positions that work for your swing.

For some it may be the middle of their stand with every iron, and more towards their lead foot with the driver.

Hopefully my experiment showed you a few things and I encourage everyone to measure their results if possible.

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