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One of the best ways to improve consistency on the course is to have a good setup. Just think about it, if you start in the wrong position, how do you expect to hit the ball well? One of the most common faults is standing too close to too far from the ball.
Standing too far from the golf ball will result in poor posture, which could result in inconsistent shots and no control over the ball. Standing too far can result in less distance, heel shots, and can cause you to lose balance easily.
Standing too far from the ball is pretty common for beginner players. There isn’t a set distance you should be from the club because everyone will be slightly different. That being said, standing way too close or way too far from the ball won’t help your game in any way.
What Happens If You Stand Too Far From The Golf Ball
If you go to your local driving range you’ll probably see a bunch of people doing a bunch of things wrong. One of the most common faults is standing too far away or too close to the golf ball.
During one of my first lessons, the guy said that having the wrong setup would put you in a position where it’ll be tough to hit the positions you need to get to. I realize now that this couldn’t be any more true.
I’m a big believer that the best swing for most people is also the most simple. Being on the same swing plane at the start of your swing, at the top of your backswing, and during your downswing will lead to the most consistent shots.
If you’re standing too far from the ball you might have to swing the club to the wrong spot in order to stay balanced. You’ll then have to add another movement to put the club back on the right plane.
Adding two extra movements is pretty tough for most.
You need to start setting up to the ball in a way that’ll make it easier to hit the ball. That means having the right grip, the right posture, and properly aligning to your target.
One of the best ways to put yourself in a good position is to stand in the right spot, which will put you in an athletic position. This lets you swing the club freely and will let you generate the most power.
I decided to go to the range and hit a number of balls when I was standing too far away from the ball. There were a few key things I noticed right away.
Here are some things that can happen when you stand too far from the ball:
- A posture that’s bent over too much.
- Less distance.
- Lost balance.
- Toe shots.
Bent over posture: For me, the best posture is where the laces on my shoes, my knee cap, and the back of my shoulder (above the tricep) are all in a line. They’re stacked over each other and that puts me in the most athletic position.
Try standing over the ball. Keep everything in that position but start moving your feet away from the ball. Your laces and knees might still be in position, but your shoulders will be way ahead. That makes it really tough to hit the ball consistently.
What I noticed after the first 10 balls or so was that my back started tightening up. Being bent over too much is extremely uncomfortable, so if you feel the same way, chances are you’re in a poor position.
Less distance: When you stand far away from the ball, your arms will most likely be locked. When they’re locked, you’ll end up swinging the club with mostly your body. That will make it tough to get lag in your swing, which will hurt your distance.
Compared to my normal position, standing far away from the ball caused me to hit the ball about 10 yards shorter. I don’t know about you, but I could always use more distance.
Lost balance: Try hitting a ball when you’re standing super far away from it. Most of your weight will be on your toes, which will cause you to lose balance easily. When you don’t have balance, you won’t be able to generate as much power.
On most of my shots, I had a tough time holding my finish. After you hit the ball you should be able to hold that position and then you should be able to start walking towards your ball.
Can Standing Too Far From The Ball Cause A Shank?
Standing too far from the golf ball can cause a shank, but it’s more likely to happen when you’re standing too close to the ball. Shanks generally occur when your swing path is in-to-out and your clubface is open at impact.
Shanks are some of the ugliest shots you’ll see on the golf course. We’ve all hit a few at least, but in my experience, they’re more common when you stand too close to the ball.
The main reason you’d shank the ball is that your clubface isn’t square at impact. It really doesn’t matter when you make contact, if the club is open, that ball is going right (for the right-handed golfer).
What I noticed was that I hit a lot of shots with the toe of my club. When I would stand too close to the ball I’d hit more shots towards the heel.
The worst type of shank is when your clubface is open and you make contact with the hosel of the club. If that’s you, really work on getting the club square at impact and maybe check to see if you’re too close to the ball.
Can Standing Too Far From The Ball Cause A Slice?
Standing too far from the ball can cause you to slice the ball, but it’s more common when you stand too close to the ball. Slices normally come from a swing path that’s out-to-in or more commonly called coming “over the top.”
Standing too close to too far from the ball doesn’t directly cause a slice. Some people stand too far from the ball and slice it while others stand too far away and hook the ball.
It mainly comes down to your swing path. A swing path that’s in-to-out (7 to 1 on a clock) will cause the ball to draw while a path that’s out-to-in (5 to 11 on a clock) will cause a fade.
For me, standing further away from the ball caused the ball to hook more often than to slice. A slice was more common when I stood too close to the ball.
When you stand close to the ball your body tends to get in the way. You either need to clear your body out of the way to have a swing that’s more out-to-in. Most people do option 2, which is why most people slice the ball.
Can Standing Too Far From The Ball Cause A Hook?
Standing too far from the ball tends to cause the golf ball to hook. Standing further away from the ball tends to promote a more in-to-out swing plane and also makes it easier to hit the toe of the club. Both of which can cause the ball to hook.
In saying that, how close you stand to the ball doesn’t directly cause the ball to hook or slice. The main factor is the path of the club coming into impact.
If your club path is in-to-out (7 to 1 on a clock) then you’ll most likely draw the ball. If your club path is out-to-in (5 to 11 on a clock) then you’ll most likely fade the ball.
For me, standing further away caused the ball to hook more often than slice. When you stand further away from the ball, it makes it harder to come over the top, which causes the ball to slice.
What Can Happen If You Stand Too Close To The Golf Ball?
Standing too close to the golf ball will result in a posture that’s too upright, which could result in inconsistent shots and no control over the ball. Standing too close to the ball can result in slices and shanks, which are very common among average players.
Just like standing too far away, standing too close can cause a lot of problems. The main two issues are that you’ll have a poor posture and you also won’t have good balance.
When you have poor posture, you’ll have to add movements in order to get the club in the right position. When you aren’t balanced, you’ll have a tough time generating power.
Some of the most common things to happen when you stand too close to the ball are:
- Heel shots.
- Less distance.
- A swing that mostly uses your arms.
That being said, you could still hook the ball or tie the toe of the club when you stand too close. The faults I listed above was what I noticed when I tested it out for myself.
How Far Should You Stand From A Golf Ball?
The ideal distance you should stand from the golf ball is one where the butt of the club is pointing at your belt buckle and is about 6 inches away from your thighs. This should be the same for all clubs in the bag.
It doesn’t matter what club you’re using, your arm position should be the same. The only thing that changes is how far you are from the ball and how much your body is bent over.
Here’s a really good video that explains things in detail:
The best way to figure out how close to stand to the ball is by addressing the ball with no club in your hand. Bent over like you normally would and then let your arms hang down freely.
This is the perfect position to be in and should be the case for all clubs.
When your arms hang freely, the butt of your club should point at your belt buckle. The distance between your thigh and the butt of the club should be about a hand’s length (close to 6 inches). If it doesn’t, your clubs could be the wrong length.
Benefits Of Standing Further From The Golf Ball
The most important thing to note is that it’s a bad idea to stand too close or too far from the ball. I know it sounds obvious, but why are so many people still doing it?
The perfect distance from the ball is what most people should aim to get to, but it’s not perfect for everyone. Some people could benefit from standing a touch closer or a little bit further away.
I always had issues with slicing the ball, which is pretty common with beginners and high handicaps. What I noticed was that when I stood a bit further away, the ball didn’t slice quite as much.
For me, standing a bit further away helped me swing more in-to-out instead of coming over the top. This might not be the case for you, but it’s worth trying out.
Once you work on your swing and are able to hit the ball straight, you should focus on being in a perfect position. When you’re not too close or too far from the ball, you’ll have the most balance and will be able to generate the most speed (aka more distance).
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