How far should you stand in relation to the ball? And where should your hand position be at setup? are some of the more common questions I get asked, which is great, because it is a very important part of the setup that I make sure all my students understand.
Simply put, there is no set distance, because your golf clubs have different lengths and lie angles. There are no absolutes on the distance golfers hold the club in relation to the ball, because of the limitless variances on players’ heights, weights, length of arms, size of hands, ages, spine tilts, etc. Common instruction dictates that the club should be held one hand-width from the body and although that is a good basic thought, if you watch all of the great players, you will notice that the distance varies. But one fundamental holds true: if your hands are too far away from the body, your weight moves too much onto the toes of your feet. This also disconnects the lead arm from the shoulder. The lead-arm connection is vital. Too much distance leads to bad shots.
Recommendations for hand positions:
Wedges: Keep your hands close to your body to promote a more vertical swing and better accuracy.
Driver: Keep your hands about six to eight inches away from your body to accommodate its length and flatter swing plane, and so you can hit the ball on the upswing.
It is important to note that a good position needs to be matched up with the right ball position: For shorter irons, play the ball roughly centered between your feet, with a small forward shaft lean. For a driver, however, play the ball in line with the heel of the lead foot (no forward shaft lean).
Ask yourself – does your hand position promote contact on the center of the face? If they don’t, it’s time to make adjustments.
Have fun, Matt Truong