Learn Like A Junior!

How to master fundamentals like a beginner


Ball position has a directional component that's very important. If you're not set up with the ball in the right spot, you'll have a hard time hitting shots where you want the ball to go. Here's why.

First, let me introduce my models! That's Skyler on the left, Cooper in the middle, and Madison on the right. All three have very good mechanics at setup, and they're willing to show some of the common mistakes many beginners make.

Let's look at Skyler on the left, who has her ball position way too far back. In doing this, it means she's likely to catch the ball while the swing is coming too far from the inside. This can result in all kinds of manipulations, but mostly a push to the right and a compensation of closing the club way too early. She's going to hook this ball, I can feel it!

On the far right, Madison has her ball position way too forward. If she uses her best swing motion, the clubhead will be traveling to the left of the target when she makes impact, resulting in a pulled shot. This will lead to compensations of holding the clubface open and sliding her body forward in the forwardswing. She'll either pull-hook or pull-slice it.

In the middle, Cooper has it just right. You want the ball position to be where the arc of the club naturally is moving toward the target. This will lead to less manipulations and much more consistency!

The swing arc is never exactly the same with different clubs. Why? Because they vary in length.
Longer clubs tend to bottom out farther forward in the stance than shorter ones do. The key is to keep the ball in the same spot relative to your left foot and move your right foot away or closer to the target as needed. Don't move your left foot!

What does it look like at impact? If you set the ball too far back in your stance, you'll look like Skyler and reach the ball too far from the inside. You'll hit a ball that likely starts right and either stays right or hooks too much, depending on how your clubface is oriented at impact. Now, some teachers say that swinging from the inside is a good thing, and they're right. But not if you do it too much like Skyler is doing here.

Cooper has it dialed in. He's catching the ball right at the bottom of his swing arc, with the face matching the path and the ball going straight. Look how much more arm room he has to swing than Skyler does.

Madison is playing the ball too far forward, and at impact, is doing everything to hold the face open and prevent a dead pull. Even with a square face at impact, she's going to slice it.


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