Where to Play the Ball

Photo: Angus Murray

This story is for you if...

• Your most common error is a classic "over the top" move.
• You hit high, weak drives to the right.
• You sometimes feel like you're falling backward during your swing.

The Problem

Studies show that nine out of 10 players set up on the tee box with the ball too far back in their stance. If the ball is even one inch too far back in your stance, your drive will fly 15 to 20 yards right of your target. This means you need to make power-draining compensations in your swing to hit it straight, including coming "over the top" or "casting" from the top — that is, uncocking your wrists too early — and falling backward in your swing to stay behind the ball. These are serious power drains.

The Solution

Play the ball off your front heel when hitting driver, with the insides of your feet spread to shoulder width. This positions the ball opposite the tip of your front shoulder, and negates the feeling that you have to swing over the top to make contact. To really make sure you bust it long and straight, tilt your spine away from the target so that your left ear lines up with the zipper of your pants. For irons, narrow your back foot a half-inch per club. All you change is stance width. Everything else stays the same.

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