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How close should you be to the ball at setup?

3 posts in this topic

Hopefully this isn't a dumb newbie question. I just started playing earlier this summer and I am getting better as I learn and practice. Of course, I still have much to improve upon and learn. Of all the adjustments that I have made so far, the one that resulted in the greatest improvement was setting up with the ball closer to me than it used to be. My hands are quite close to my thigh at setup (just a few inches). At first it felt a bit awkward, but it helped immensely. Is it normal to see improvement with this adjustment?




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Welcome to the forum! :-D

Ball position is definitely something that affects your performance. The sooner you get it positioned properly, the better.

It's hard to describe the position, so I'd rather suggest you look at this thread: Good Golf Posture .

There are individual differences, depending on your height, body composition etc., but from what I've seen, arms hanging down and slightly forward seems to be common. The bend in the elbows also makes it look more forward, while the upper arm still hangs relatively straight down.

The position will change depending on what club you hit, ranging from the driver to wedges. Where the hands are most forward with the driver, and most vertical with wedges, simply because the club is longer.

If it feels awkward, it usually means you are actually doing something different. In golf, it is very easy to believe you are making a different motion, but the muscle memory gets your movement back to how it was before. It's difficult to comment on this based on description alone. If you want the best help, a video or even photos are very useful. That goes for most looking for advice on their swing. "Feel is not real" is a thing in golf. It means what you feel you do and what actually happens are often not the same. With video or photos, we can actually tell what is happening, not basing it off what we feel.


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One tip and instructor gave as a general guideline is the following:

  1. Take your stance and address the ball.
  2. Release your right hand from the club and let it hang.
  3. Your relaxed right hand should be close to the same distance from your body as it was when it was on the club.

This is a general guideline.  There are reasons for having it different.  If you are too close or far, your body had to compensate on the downswing.


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