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Proper Golf Swing Begins with Ball Placement

A proper golf swing relies on proper ball placement. Donít think about ball position in relation to the position of your feet. Thatís a very inaccurate method of measurement due to individual variations in posture and stance width.

Instead you should think about ball position in relation to your front shoulder. We can judge ball position this way because our address position and impact positions are the same.

Variations in your stance width and variation in your spine tilt can change the ball position and make obtaining that proper golf swing almost impossible.

The lean of the shaft tells you where the ball is relative to your front shoulder. If the shaft is straight up (not leaning towards the target and not leaning away from the target) then the ball is directly opposite the front shoulder. In this position the ball would be struck at the bottom of the swing arc.

In the proper golf swing, at impact your front shoulder is the axis of your swing arc. With the shaft straight up, the bottom of your arc would be opposite your front shoulder. Thatís a good position for a standard sized driver or maybe a 3 wood depending on the lie.

With fairway woods and long irons the ball should be addressed so there is a little lean forward of the shaft. That means the ball will be struck with a slightly descending blow. Thatís what we want with long irons and fairway woods.

With short irons there should be quite a bit of shaft lean. That means you are striking the ball with a very descending blow.

If you are using one of the new big headed drivers and long tees, you are going to want to hit the ball slightly on the upswing. That means the shaft will actually be leaning back (away from the target) just a bit at address and impact.

Wwhen chipping there should be a good bit of shaft lean toward the target because your definitely want to contact your chips with a descending blow.

Even though Iím not giving your shaft lean in degrees I think you will find it very easy to find your correct ball position for any shot relative to your front shoulder with just a few minutes of experimentation.

Youíll go crazy and never agree on any ball position if you try to judge ball position in relation to your feet. Judge your ball position relative to your front shoulder and youíll find a lot more success and consistency.

Judging ball position relative to your front shoulder does seem a little strange a first because itís a different way of doing things but I think youíll see the logic and precision of it very quickly. Good ball striking is all about where in the swing arc your strike the ball and the swing arc is controlled by your front shoulder.

It's important not to go nuts about ball position. On most shots itís not that critical. If you have a little to much shaft learn or a little less than you should the only difference you're likely to notice is a difference in trajectory.

You can see a proper golf swing relies on ball position but it's not the only factor.

Having some shaft lean toward the target and having a descending blow is generally a good thing because it makes striking the ball a bit easier and more consistent. For example, moving the ball up for a high wedge shot can give you a nice high shot but it also increases the possibility of a bladed wedge winding up with a skulled shot across the green.

This is all based on the Proper Golf Swing, which is based on the premise that the simpler the swing, the better golf you will play.

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