How to Set the Ball for Straight Drives
Where you position it in your stance helps determine accuracy
By Brad Redding
Top 100 Teacher
This story is for you if...
• You rarely hit a dead-straight drive • You never think about where you tee the ball in your stance
CHECK THIS! Select a target and take your address position with a teed ball and your driver. Have a friend lay an iron on the ground with the head against your left heel and the grip out toward your target line. Then have him lay a second iron parallel to your target line along the front of your toes. This second club will rest on top of the first one.
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WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR If the teed ball is to the right of the first shaft and/or the second shaft points to the right of your target, that ball is too far back in your stance. This simple mistake places your hands too far in front of the ball, closes your left shoulder and forces you to lean your upper body too far to the right. The result is a low inside takeaway and a very shallow downswing with the club swinging inside-to-out the hallmark swing traits of a push or a hook.
If the teed ball is to the left of the first shaft and/or the second shaft points to the left of your target, the ball is too far forward in your stance. Notice how the forward ball position pulls your left shoulder open to the target line, sets your hands too far behind the ball and causes your upper body to lean to the left. From here, you'll naturally take the club away outside of the target line and swing down steeply from the top, and you'll miss your target waaaaaay right.
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To position the ball properly in your stance and hit straight drives... Make certain the first shaft points directly at the teed ball and the second shaft is parallel left of your target line. The ball will be off your left heel. This position automatically squares your shoulders to the target line, positions your head behind the ball and tilts your upper body the correct amount to the right. You'll know you're correct if a line extending from the shaft of your driver bisects your left ear.