How Foot And Golf Ball Placement Add Distance To Your Golf Swing

By Performance Golf Zone · · 6 min read
Close up of golfers shoe next to many different golf balls

The first place amateur golfers look to generate more power in their game is the golf swing.

Would you be surprised to find out that ball and foot position have just as much impact on how far you hit the ball? If you want some quick and simple ways to add some distance to your golf swing with proper foot and ball placement, here’s how it’s done.

What Is Ball Position?

The ball position is the location of the golf ball in the setup. When referring to ball position, we usually consider the center to be the position directly between your two feet. The optimal ball position varies with each club.

The Impact of Ball Position On Distance In Golf

The ball position will increase or decrease the trajectory of your golf shot. Placing the ball forward in the stance allows for an upward angle of attack, increasing launch height and reducing spin.

Golf balls placed further back in the stance will generally decrease distance but add more control to the shot.

What Is Foot Placement in Golf?

The position of your feet is where they are placed during your setup before you take the club back. When referring to foot position, we consider the width (how far apart your feet are) and also the angle of your feet (i.e., lead toe pointed towards the target).

The Impact of Foot Position On Distance In Golf

Foot position influences distance capabilities in a few different ways.

The width of the stance will help improve balance and the ability to generate speed and transfer energy through impact.

In addition, the rotation of the front foot will impact hip rotation, follow-through, and overall clubhead speed.

Proper Ball Position for Each Golf Club

To find the perfect ball placement, you have to adjust based on the club you have in your hand.

Using golf alignment sticks to determine where the center of your stance is will help as you practice.

Depending on your swing mechanics, you may find that a 7-iron played just half a ball forward of center is a good position for your game.

ClubBall Position
DriverOff left heel
Fairway WoodsSlightly forward from center
HybridSlightly forward from center
Long IronsJust forward of center
Mid IronsCenter of stance
Short IronsCenter of stance
PutterCenter or just forward of center

Easy Tips To Get More Distance With Proper Foot and Ball Placement

Now that you have the basics of ball placement and foot placement in golf. Here are the tips to get more distance by slightly tweaking your golf stance and ball position.

1. Open the Front Foot For Better Hip Rotation

If you really want to crank out a drive or get a few extra yards of distance on a big fairway wood approach to the green, try opening your front foot a quarter turn.

When your front foot (lead foot or left foot for right-handed players) is slightly turned toward the target, it is easy to rotate the hips through impact. The extra rotation and speed increases the total distance.

If you exaggerate this move, it could impact alignment and ball flight. Only a slight turn of the foot is necessary.

2. Play The Ball Up With The Driver

With a driver in your hand, play the ball off the left heel. Golfers playing a driver shot from the center of the stance will struggle not only with distance but with accuracy.

To get maximum power and yardage from a driver, you want to hit it as part of your upswing, increasing launch and decreasing overall spin.

Experiment with how far forward your driver’s ball position needs to be, but most find the left heel to be the perfect spot.

Close up of a golfer teeing up, blurred out foot placement in the background

3. Keep The Irons In The Middle

Most of your iron shots will be played from the center of your stance. If you start pushing the irons too far back in the stance, you will have difficulty getting a higher trajectory and maximizing total distance.

Some short game shots and half swing shots can benefit from a golf ball position further back in the stance.

4. Square The Back Foot

For a right-handed golfer, it’s a good idea to keep the right foot square (left foot for a left-handed player) on the backswing. With the right foot square, more torque and energy are created in the hip, which can be stored and released through the golf shot.

Any golfers with rotation and flexibility issues can open the back toe a bit, but it could cost a few yards of additional carry.

5. Stand A Little Wider For Power Shots

If you really want to go after a golf shot, a wider stance will give you more stability and power.

The key is to find that perfect balance of width and rotation. Feet that are too wide can make rotation difficult. Try going slightly wider than shoulder width to start. Adjust your ball position and see if this stance width increases the distance of your drives.

6. Keep Feet Parallel To Each Other

Having your feet on the same line will increase the distance as it will be easier to square the clubface through impact. If your left or right foot is dropped back or pushed forward, finding the proper swing plane and path is hard.

Use a golf alignment stick when you set up to ensure your feet are parallel to your target line and on the same plane.

7. Make Only Slight Adjustments

Finally, when changing ball position and foot position in your golf game, it’s important to remember to only make slight adjustments. Test these adjustments at the driving range and ensure you are still making clean contact with the ball.

If you notice you are hitting shots thin or fat, chances are the ball position is no longer optimized for your swing path.

Wrapping Up Ball and Foot Placement

It’s natural to want more distance in your golf game. Wouldn’t it be worth it if you can gain 5, 10, or even 15 yards by making some simple adjustments to your golf ball placement and foot position? Follow these steps, and once you have optimized your ball and foot placement, work getting more distance with strength, timing, and other distance-producing swing changes.

You might also like...