Golf is a sport that requires extremely high levels of skill, talent, and accuracy to be successful. As well as investing in the right equipment it is crucial that any golfer invests time into mastering essential golf techniques.
Arguably the most important technique you need to master is your stance. Key to good golfing performance, how a golfer takes stance before swinging can massively impact where the ball ends up.
A major issue some golfers face is standing too close to the ball. Standing too close whilst taking stance results in inconsistent shots, inaccuracy, fouls, and overall poor performance. Therefore, it’s super essential to learn the correct stance to unlock your full potential.
To give you a better understanding of how standing too close to the ball can impact your performance, in this blog, we will take you through the 6 most common things that occur when standing too close to the golf ball.
We’ll also give you some advice regarding what the perfect stance position looks like.
Let’s begin, shall we!
What Can You Expect If You Stand Too Close To The Golf Ball?
Where and how you stand when addressing the golf ball is absolutely vital when it comes to playing a decent round of golf. Your posture or stance determines how successful you are in hitting the ball.
The perfect stance will help us accurately hit the golf ball, improving our overall performance, bringing our score down, but what can we expect if we stand too close to the ball.
Standing far too close to the ball creates an incorrect posture. A result of this is inconsistent shots and very poor accuracy. Depending on the golfer’s posture, this could lead to shank shots or slices.
Considered to be one of if not the most common stance mistake golfers make, this posture causes a range of problems, but the most common one is inconsistency.
Like us, you may already know that inconsistent swings are the bane of most golfer’s lives, as we have no way of telling exactly where our shot will end up.
If you experience this quite regularly, you too could be standing too close to the ball.
As well as inconsistency in your shots, shanks, and slices, if you do stand too close to the ball you can also expect to see a dramatic loss in speed, a change in swing path, or low hooks.
Whilst standing too close is a big concern, there isn’t anything to worry about. This is just the result of inexperience or unreliable coaching, and it can be rectified.
It is important to rectify the issue quickly so that you don’t develop muscle memory of the incorrect stance. Trying to get out of a bad habit can be difficult.
To help you rectify this issue, further down this article we will talk you through the correct stance you should take when approaching any shot, but first, let’s take a look at the 6 things that can happen if you stand too close.
6 Common Things That Happen If You Stand Too Close To The Golf Ball
There are six main things that can occur if we stand too close to the golf ball. Whilst some things are less common than others any golfer who stands too close can expect to see at least one of the following things.
Here are the six things that can happen:
- Slices – Slicing the ball is one of if not the most common problems associated with standing too close to the ball.
- Shanks – Shanking is probably the wildest and most unpredictable shot you can hit in golf, making it the shot you most want to avoid.
- Inaccuracy – By standing incorrectly at the ball your shots will be a lot less accurate.
- Inconsistency – You could notice a big increase in the inconsistency of your shots by standing too close to the ball. This is probably the one thing that annoys golfers the most.
- Slow Swings – If you stand too close to the golf ball your swing could suffer. Depending on the type of club you’re using, swing speed could drop significantly.
- Poor Posture – Having an incorrect posture can bring a whole host of concerns.
Slicing The Ball
Slicing the ball can happen as a result of standing too close or too far away from the ball. For those that don’t know a slice occurs when the ball curves away from the golfer’s dominant hand.
For right-handed players, this would be a curve to the right. Left-handed golfers would see their ball curve right.
By standing too close to the ball you create a posture perfect for the slice to occur. This posture will result in inconsistent swings and inaccuracy when it comes to approaching the green.
The slice will occur when the swing results in the club striking the ball with its clubface open.
Another reason this might happen is when your body gets in the way. Standing too close to the ball causes your swing to change to account for where your body is.
This can result in you awkwardly swinging and slicing the shot or simply catching yourself on the way down.
Though there are a number of issues created from standing too close, slicing the ball is by far the worst.
Shanking Your Shot
The other biggest issue created by standing too close to your golf ball is the increased chance of shanking the ball. I’m sure we can all agree that shank shots produce some of the ugliest shots we’ll ever see or hit.
While common if you stand too far away from the ball too, they are most likely the result of standing too close to the ball.
The main reason we see a shank shot as a result of standing too close to the ball is because on impact the club face isn’t square.
When you make the impact isn’t relevant, as long as the club face is open upon impact, the ball will end up veering off left or right depending on which hand you play with.
Slow swings will dramatically impact your golfing performance when it comes to getting power and distance into your shots.
By standing too close to the ball, your swing path won’t be as clean. This creates a more awkward swing that moves slower than your body simply won’t allow you the space to move in the desired way.
By hitting shots with less power, you will not be able to hit those bigger shots off the tee as well and may even struggle to get enough distance from the fairway to the green. It is worth noting that the club you choose will also impact how slow your swing is when you are too close to the ball.
In regard to inconsistency, standing too close to the golf ball will give you nightmares. There are not many things worse than playing a round of golf where every one of your shots is different.
Linked to a poor swing path created by standing too close to the ball, inconsistency occurs as a result of your golf club’s angle upon impact with the ball.
Golf clubs are designed to lie at a specific angle, so if this lie isn’t correct when you swing the club you can expect the ball to be hit with inconsistency on almost every shot. The only way you can prevent this from happening is by correctly adjusting your stance.
Inaccuracy And Poor Posture
Inaccuracy and poor posture are two other things we can expect to see as a result of standing too close to the golf ball. Inaccuracy can be seen in wild shanked shots, slices, or a result of slow swings.
A poor posture is the result of your body not being able to adjust itself correctly to the shot because it doesn’t have enough room to move.
Aside from poor performance, poor posture can also have a negative impact on your health. By constantly standing with a poor posture more pressure can be put on your back. If left unchanged golfers may in the long run experience back pain.
What Happens If You Stand Too Far Away From The Ball?
Standing too close to the ball isn’t the only issue that can negatively affect your performance when it comes to your stance. Standing too far away from the ball can also cause some problems.
Generally, the concerns you encounter from standing too close to the golf ball can also occur when you stand too far away. Standing too far away can result in slicing and shanks. Other issues you could encounter include speed loss, loss of balance, altering swing paths, and hooks.
Standing way too far away from the ball is most common in beginners who haven’t started to master their stance yet.
Beginners who stand too far away from the ball are very likely to slice the ball which will result in a lot more inaccurate, and very wild shots. Hitting the ball at all when standing too far away is hard enough.
How Close Golfers Should Stand To The Ball
Finding the perfect stance takes time but once you’ve mastered it your golfing ability will come on leaps and bounds.
How close a golfer stands to the ball depends on a number of factors. These include the height of the golfer and the types of clubs they are using. The ideal distance from the ball starts with the proper posture before then moving your body’s alignment with the golf ball.
Standing the right distance away will improve your swing, giving you a more accurate, powerful performance that should reduce your overall scores around the course.
The best way to learn how to stand near the ball is by taking into consideration your own attributes such as arm length, height, and preferred clubs. Once you understand these factors you can start to follow the guide below.
The following steps will help you determine the ideal distance from the ball in relation to your game.
- Face The Ball – Before doing anything else make sure you’re facing the ball. Don’t attempt to gauge the perfect distance by guessing with your eyes. At this step, it is okay to be too far away from the ball.
- Stand upright – To start standing the correct distance away from the ball you now need to stand up straight with your club of choice in your hands.
- Keep feet shoulder-width apart – Make sure you keep your feet shoulder-width apart while still standing perfectly up straight. This will start to correct your stance.
- Ensure you have straight arms – The next thing you need to do is straighten your arms. Put them out in front of you while still holding the club. You should put your arms out straight at approximately shoulder height.
- Lower the arms and angle your wrists – Once you’ve done that, start to slowly lower your arms (keep them straight) until they reach your chest. You should allow the club to tilt downward. This can be done by lowering the angle of your wrists so that they form a straight line with your forearms.
- Bend your hips – By now, your wrists and arms should be in the appropriate position. Now you need to align the rest of your body. You must bend your hips without causing your knees and back to bend too. Keep bending until you can directly see the ball. This will angle your club closer to the ground.
- Loosen your knees – The second to last step is to loosen your knees. In this step, you need to shift your weight forward slightly. You may still be too close or too far away from the ball, but you will now be a lot closer to the optimum posture.
- Bring it in – The final thing you will want to do is bring it all in. To do this, shuffle your feet further or closer to the ball. What you do will depend on where you ended up after the step above. Using your club will help you determine how far from the ball you should be. Your golf ball should be lining up with the club, rather than the club lining up with your ball.
If you follow these steps, it should be relatively easy for you to determine the perfect stance in terms of distance away from the ball. The distance by which you have to stand from the ball will always depend on your stance and the club you choose to use.
If there is only one thing you remember, always make sure the golf ball aligns with you, rather than your stance aligning with the golf ball.
How Can The Right Stance Improve Our Game?
By using a correct stance when addressing the ball we immediately reduce the chances of any recurring inconsistencies. Not only will your body thank you for not standing so awkwardly anymore, but you have a much lower chance of hitting slices, shanks, and hooks.
By standing the right distance away from the ball and depending on which club you use, you can expect to see a vast improvement in a number of areas.
For starters, the speed and accuracy with which you hit the ball will improve. Instead of struggling to get that ball up the fairway and onto the green, you will have a much better success rate of hitting the ball further and accurately finding the perfect lie on the green.
You will also see a great improvement in your golfing consistency. This won’t only improve your overall golfing performance, but will also lead to you having much more confidence and more importantly a lot more fun on the course.
Having a stance that leaves you too close to the golf ball is one of the biggest and most common issues encountered by new and inexperienced golfers.
As a result of this issue, many players experience problems when it comes to accuracy, consistency, swing speed, slices, and even more annoyingly shanks. This leads to overall poor performance and frustration.
Learning to approach the ball with the correct stance is a simple, yet effective solution to this issue.
By simply taking your time to master the correct technique and distance from the ball, you will see major improvements in your swing power, accuracy, and consistency. These will boost your overall performance and make golf a lot more enjoyable for you.