As a Long Drive specialist, I feel really comfortable with a driver in my hands and I am confident when I tee it up, I can hit a decent drive. What I struggle with is consistency and solid ball striking with my irons. My coach Paul Horton, 2017 PGA of Canada Coach of the Year, taught me a routine with my golf ball position that has been a game changer for hitting longer, straighter and better irons.
Like many golfers, I used to start my ball position for pitching wedge in the middle of my stance and move it slightly forward for each club (9, 8, 7,etc.), creating a different ball position for every club in my bag.
Paul explained to me that our club bottoms out at the low part of our swing. The lowest point in our swing is at the shoulder joint of our lead shoulder (left shoulder for right-handed golfers).
Paul went on to emphasize that to properly strike a golf ball, you want to contact the ball first, compress it and then have your swing bottom out at the golf ball and moving forward. To know if you are doing this properly, your divot should always be in front of your golf ball, not behind it.
Since your club always bottoms out at the same point, your ball set up should always be in the same positon, except for driver.
Here is the routine:
- Start with your feet together with the ball lined up in the middle of your feet.
- Move your lead foot (left foot for right handed golfers) about 3 inches or the width of an iron, towards your target. (Photo 1)
- Then move your back foot to comfort. It will naturally be closer for shorter irons and farther back for longer irons. (Photo 2)
- Finally, take your regular stance and swing. (Photo 3)
The one change in ball positon is in driver. For all the other clubs in your bag you want to hit down on the golf ball. On your driver swing, you want to hit up on it.
Here is the routine for driver:
- Similar to the ball position for all your other clubs, start with your feet together with the ball in the middle of your feet (Photo 4)
- For driver, since you want to hit up on the ball, you leave your front foot stationary and you simply move the back foot. With driver, you always want to tee the ball up off the instep of your lead/front foot (Photo 5). This is non-negotiable. A lot of golfers let their ball position drift towards the middle of their stance for driver, robbing them of key yards and consistency.
Try these tips and I guarantee you will be hitting more solid and consistent strokes.
Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk is an 8-time Canadian Long Drive Champion for Women. She is a Keynote Speaker, Golf Entertainer, has her own Instructional Video and runs a Golf School for Women. Lisa can be reached through her website www.lisalongball.com or through Twitter @LisaLongball
VIDEO EXTRA: CHECK OUT LISA’S ‘SECRET GOLF’ EPISODE
Steve Elkington visits Calgary, rides jump horses at Spruce Meadows, and plays a round of golf with long drive champ Lisa Longball.