Learning how to play golf we come to realize how important it is that we learn the proper technique in approaching our golf shots. With our clubs being of different lengths some may be a little confused about exactly how far to stand from the golf ball, how far our hands should be from our bodies, and of course ball placement in our stance. There is a lot of very detailed information on specific shots on the internet and very detailed videos, but for many people, filling our minds can lead to information overload and become all too well overwhelming. Even for some seasoned players, sometimes going back to the basics of proper setup in addressing a golf ball works best.
For the purpose of hitting a solid straight shot we will be focusing on setting up stance, body and ball position, for the proper set up in how to address a golf ball. From start to finish, for someone who has a regular routine in hitting their golf shots it takes approximately 20 seconds to hit a ball. Just Before you actually approach the ball we want to know where we want the ball to go. Most will say ‘well straight of course’ but won’t address the ball to hit it straight.
Know your direction before addressing the ball.
How we prepare the shot mentally before addressing the ball is extremely important for us to have an even close chance of hitting it straight even if other things in our swing are proper.
One piece of advice I can give is watching others that are decent players of the game. Just like a child will sit there and watch for lengthy periods at a time, and then get up and mimic or try to copy whatever it was that they were watching and actually succeed is amazing. The power of the mind! We’ll in golf, the power of our minds is totally relevant when it comes to any aspect of the game if we want to progress and be successful at it.
When we watch a pro on TV, what is the first thing they do before they address a golf ball? We’ll they check their yardages to know how far they need to hit the shot they want to make before they address any ball. Mental picture. They take the club they know that will produce that shot. Then they tee the ball on the tee off and step back. Then we see them take a few practice swings to groove their speed and tempo for that shot. Once they do this they are already mentally prepared in knowing they have the right club, their swing has been practiced and now it’s time to address the ball.
The best way to ‘know’ your direction is to stand behind the ball and hold your club up about chest high in front of you and make a straight line from ball to target or landing area where you want the ball to land. Now pick something about 3-4 feet in front of your ball that you teed up, it could be a divot, branch, or even a leaf. The reason being is so that when we address the ball from the side in order to set up to hit the ball we don’t lose sight of our target line. It is a lot easier to line up on addressing the ball when having to line up our club, feet, knees, hips and shoulders at 3-4 feet properly then looking our in the distance.
Knowing how far to stand from ball so it becomes automatic
As mentioned previously, all of our clubs are various lengths so how do we go about judging our distance we stand from ball?
Golf is a very stand tall game. All of our shots given we have a fairly decent lie in the fairway should be approached with a standing tall as we can position. When addressing the ball to prepare to set up, the best way to achieve our tallest position we stand with our club our parallel to the ground arms stretched out with our proper grip in place and we want to bend over the ball from our hips first. Bending from the hips with an outstretched club will sole the club on the ground.
Next thing we want to do is slightly flex our knees so that we can see about 2 inches of our shoes. This will give us a stand tall position with just enough flex in our knees so we can make a proper turn in our swing. Also, our lower back should have a slight hollow to it which will be setting our hips in the right position to make a proper turn keeping our hands in the proper position. Practice this regularly with all of our clubs and you’ll see how comfortable all of our clubs will feel knowing that we are in a very stand tall position with proper flex, our hips are slightly pushed back and up and our hands and arms are almost in a straight line down under our eyes.
I personally try to have my lead hand about 1 inch in front of my line of vision when looking down, meaning my forefinger of my lead hand is just forward of my sight. This puts your hand and arms in a position to make a back and up swing that will give us the biggest swing arc with a tall position. The butt-end of our club should fall to just above our left knee 2-3 inches.
Keep practicing these steps until you’re comfortable addressing the ball until it becomes automatic. So much so to the point where you’ll be grabbing your club setting up and addressing the ball with skill and ease just like a pro.
Addressing the ball with proper ball position, stance and body
David Leadbetter an extremely well-known professional golf instructor truly believes that the ‘ one ball position for all clubs rule’ is the best approach to hitting your shots with the most accuracy and consistency. I believe this as well because it simplifies your setup and it makes perfect sense.
In the golf swing it is widely known that your club reaches the bottom of the swing arc pretty much in line with your left armpit, so playing the ball just to the right usually in line with your shirt logo would the one spot for all shots. The only thing that changes with your clubs of course is the varying width of your stance.
wide stance for driver, about the width of your shoulders inside your armpits not outside, and down to less than 1 foot width for your pitching wedge. This allows you to sweep upwards on ball for drives and a descending blow for wedges for that spin on ball.
Setting up with a square club face, square feet or at 90 degrees to target line, with your left foot flared towards target slightly, knees hips and shoulders all in line with target puts you in the best position for a straight shot.
The mental side of how to address a golf ball
How do you prepare yourself mentally before you address a golf ball? Most weekend golfers probably would laugh at the mental side of the golf game because it’s more social and you get to have some beers with your buddies, it’s a good time. It’s true I would sometimes agree it’s good to let go and just hang our at a club and go for a round with just that thought in mind. I get it.
But some guys are pretty serious about this game they love and from buying the best clubs, the best ball for what kind of game they want to play, shoes, glove, even their attire has to really feel like they are that great golfer. Being serious about the game in all those things, well, it’s nice, but I’ve been our playing rounds with friends and there’s this particular guy/gal who stands out not because he/she has the best clubs, shoes, golf balls, bag etc you get the point.
But man does he ever play! Blows you away kind of accuracy and great putting skills etc, etc. It’s because if you were to actually watch a guy/ gal play like that you would no doubt see a routine that replicates, over and over and the focus. Almost intense. Yet they produce good results. When I go through my routine, I personally try to visualize the ball flying through the air and watch it land prior to addressing the ball. If your minds eye sees what we want to accomplish its amazing on how much better our outcome is.
Addressing the issue of the address in golf
So fellow golfers who love this game it’s awesome to be able to share our thoughts and talk about this game we love.
Remember to always have fun and enjoy your game and build your skills in a way that we can retain them and have them become natural normal routines. One way to improve our game is to concentrate on the proper address and focus and I hope that these tips will help you improve your game in how you address the golf ball.
If you have any thoughts or comments please leave them with me at
I will be glad to answer any questions or comments you may have.