Proper Golf Ball Position

The answer to whether the ball position should be a constant or moved from club to club.

  • No matter what you swing, the bottom of the swing arc (and divot) is always below the left shoulder
  • For maximum consistency the ball should be placed off the left ear for ball-first contact with every club in the bag
  • For a consistent swing with the driver, use this same ball position
  • To bomb your driver, place the ball off the inside of the left foot then close your stance to compensate
  • Use the left ear ball position for irons - placing it too far back leads to chunks, blocks & hooks

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Jim
I've just tried doing some measurements and put marking on an alignment stick...my head width is smaller than average, 16-18cm, so ball should be ~9cm left of midline? Hi Craig et al, My pelvis is small, so hip socket ~12cm from midline (hard to measure accurately), but femoral neck is angulated, and greater trochanter of femur much more lateral, so which counts, socket or the main bone line itself? My axilla ~19cm from midline, so outside of feet line up close to outside of my shoulders? Does this make sense? What are your measurements? Having yours to compare may be helpful?
October 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. You aren't using midline as the starting point. You would be measuring away from the lead shoulder socket for ball position. You are measuring the hip socket for the stance width. The stance being outside shoulders would be of consequence of pelvis width. Yours doesn't sound off base. I haven't measured mine because the numbers are genetic dependent. Will vary from student to student. Don't over think this one. The ball position is just inside the lead shoulder socket. Logo/lead ear. Stance 2 inches outside NJA. Roughly around 2 inches outside the first belt loops on normal mens pants. If you have picture of your setup. You can post it here and I would be happy to look.
October 12, 2020
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Jim
Ears differ, is side of head what you mean?
October 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. The lead ear, or logo of the shirt. The goal is to have the ball position just inside the lead shoulder socket which will be the bottom of the swing arc.
October 11, 2020
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Jim
For ball off left ear...is it back of ball lining up with outer ear or middle of ball? Does it matter?
October 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Back of the ball.
October 11, 2020
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Kyaw Thet
Hi Craig, Does setting the ball too far front cause the ball to go to left when doing 9 to 3 drill?
August 26, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyaw. Actually it is preferred lead arm only to move it more in front. I would check that you are adding some shoulders and the release isn't too hand active.
August 26, 2020
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Richard
Hi. Do i understand it right that no matter what club i'm hitting Driver through to wedge that my ball position and stance width should stay the same? thanks Rich
July 20, 2020
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Michael (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Richard, that is correct with all full shots. There are a couple of changes you can make with the driver if you watch the "Driver setup adjustments" video. When you come down to less than full shots the "How to hit a wedge shot" video is worth watching.
July 21, 2020
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Charles
I have a different question about ball position. Depending on club length, do I vary how close/far I stand from the ball or vary how much I hinge at the waist?
May 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. You will vary hinge from the hips.
May 11, 2020
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Matt
Hi Craig were I live I can’t work on a full swing because of the space I have but I have been working on the 9 to 3 drill and the 5 min to a perfect swing is there another drill that I could do till this goofy weather breaks ?
February 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matt. Not really. I would work on mastering the movements in the DEAD Drills. You can do most of those without a club/hitting a ball. But, if you own the 9 to 3 Drill. Golf will be much easier.
February 13, 2020
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Byron
Is the ball position off your left ear before or after axis tilt? Or when axis tilt is incorporated into the set up position your head does not move and therefore the ball position should not change.
September 18, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Byron. It shouldn't make much difference, or you are adding too much tilt. Adding ball position and then performing slight bump/tilt is fine.
September 18, 2019
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Byron
Craig; As a side note, I am participating in the Boot Camp and have signed up for unlimited reviews with you. I will submit something in the next few days. I appreciate your comments and input during the live sessions.
September 18, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Byron. Awesome. Looking forward to helping you! Thanks for the compliments.
September 18, 2019
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Kevin
This change has really helped me start to bomb the driver and fairway woods which is great! Although, I still don’t have the ball up as much as my swing review has suggested. I am struggling with my mid and short irons though - I seem to be catching them low on the face / flip release...I’ve also found the forward position difficult out of the rough. It may be a weight shift issue on the downswing but it’s odd I’m hitting the driver so well
June 2, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Sounds like a weight shift issue and not getting stacked into impact with proper lean. Take a look at the Taking a Divot Video and Moving the Fulcrum. First fix the stock shot of hitting it thin.
June 3, 2019
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Mohnishkumar
Should I keep the normal ball position with the hybrid and 3 wood. One more thing;should I change the ball position while hitting the 3 wood off the ground and off the tee.
May 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Monhishkumar. Ball position should remain the same. However, with the 3 Wood off the tee. Some players like to hit it more like a driver to create a higher launch. Therefore, you could move it up a little in the stance. For on the ground tips take a look at Hit Your Fairway Woods Solid Video.
May 11, 2019
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Jerry
So each club being a different length doesn't effect the swing at all? Same distance from ball, same stance and same position for the ball? Wouldn't the club length (4 Iron vs a 7 Iron) change the bottom of your swing some?
March 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jerry. Distance from the ball and position shouldn't change. The hinge from the hips will vary slightly. The longer the club the higher the posture. But, the bottom of the swing arc is determined by your lead shoulder socket. Just because the club length changed the body didn't grow between shots. The club should always bottom out below the lead shoulder. Now, the driver is a specialty club with different goals at impact (Positive Angle of Attack Strike vs Negative). Therefore, there is some allowance with that club (Proper Tee Height Video). But, the dynamics we are looking for at impact don't very that much between iron to iron. Take a look at Moving the Fulcrum, Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 2 of 6, and 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release for details about the bottoming out of the club and how the club releasing will keep the path nice and shallow.
March 22, 2019
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Paul
This makes a lot of sense to me as I am always guessing where to set up the ball. Chuck says to always swing up on the ball with a driver in this video but I just go an email that says to hit down on the ball with a driver? So what should I believe?
March 6, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. There are different ways to hit the driver. You can hit down, or up on the ball. Depends on what kind of dynamics/characteristics you are looking for in your ball flight. Take a look at Proper Tee Height Video.
March 6, 2019
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Brandi
I have irons that are all one length and its suggested that the ball stay located in the center for all irons. Does this matter? Should I still move the ball forward off my left ear? Thanks.
January 24, 2019
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Dean
It does matter and it should be moved forward. Chuck breaks it all down with the "Surprising Facts About Ball Position & Its Effects" video. Ball needs to be slightly behind the bottom of the swing arc and that's not in the middle of your stance.
January 24, 2019
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richard
I HIT my 3 iron low, I SHIFTED my weight. what are the primary causes I KNOW the arms have something to do with it rich
September 23, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. You might be sliding ahead of the shot inhibiting proper release. Work on consistent bottoming out and letting the club release while not getting ahead. Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 2, and 3 of 6 Video.
September 24, 2018
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Erik
Just started my membership and am getting through the videos. Can you answer, definitively, regarding hybrid club ball position? From these videos, it seems that I should play the ball in the same place for all clubs, but wanted to make sure this didn't fall into a "specialty" club like the driver.
September 19, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Erik. The hybrid will be played in the normal positioning.
September 19, 2018
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Mark
Should clubs be fitted based on the golfers height? I’m 5’9 and have standard length clubs. Ball position would be affected by height since the grip covers the end of the club? Thanks
August 11, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Should be fitted based on arm length and height. Ball position should still be based off of the bottom of your swing arc (lead shoulder) regardless of the club.
August 11, 2018
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Wayne
My golf swing does not bottom out below my left (lead) shoulder. My swing bottoms out considerably farther back in my stance than that (just behind the center of my stance). I have tried and tried to get my swing to bottom out where you say it will, and it won't. Any suggestions? Thanks
August 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Wayne. Take a look at the Taking a Divot Video.
August 4, 2018
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Wayne
Thanks Craig :0)
August 5, 2018
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Kenny
With ball position at the left ear, why wouldn't I want to widen my right foot slightly as clubs get longer? Wouldn't that give me more stability as I make faster swings with the longer clubs?
May 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ken. Because the length of club doesn't dictate stance width. You base it off your anatomy. The wider you go the harder it will be to shift weight properly. With the driver you may widen the stance, but unnecessary solely because you jump from an 8 iron to 5 iron.
May 20, 2018
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Ian
Hi where should the eyes focus Some people say pick a dimple on the ball but I seem to have more centred strikes if I look an inch to the far side of the ball. I think it helps me extend my arms through the ball.
May 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. Most players focus on the ball. My only concern is if you focus too far in front of the ball. You will tend to let the eyes wander during the release. Where the eyes go the head goes. Where the head goes the body goes. And, we have to keep in check we don't spin the shoulders through impact.
May 16, 2018
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Hector
Ball position is to the left ear or logo shirt before or after axis tilt and hip bump ?? For some reason I'm hooking the ball !! Any help
April 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. Before tilt is fine. You shouldn't be adding so much that it has an effect. Sounds like you are flipping the hands with lack of weight transfer to your lead side.
April 30, 2018
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Jim
When I take ball position to the golf course I feel like I'll want/need to position the ball in relation to my feet rather than my ear. When I measure the ball position relative to my setup (as best I can based on the earlier videos) it is an inch or two ahead of the middle of my stance. This seems to be consistent with the picture at the beginning of this video. However in the "Problems Caused by Poor Ball Position" video around 2:23 when Chuck demonstrates proper ball position it looks like it is in the middle of his stance. I expect that there will be some variance based on each individual's body type (correct?), but is "middle or a bit ahead" in the right territory for the normal ball position? Thanks in advance.
February 6, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. It will look like it is slightly ahead of middle relative to the stance. However, the key is the placement and the shoulder joint. You want to make sure it is off the lead ear/logo of shirt to make sure it is slightly behind the lead shoulder socket. This allows the proper AOA and lean to occur at the strike.
February 6, 2018
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Jim
Thanks Craig. I've always played my irons from the middle of my stance so I'm glad it shouldn't be too big a change. The videos are great in telling me why the ball position should be as you've described.
February 6, 2018
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shay
Hi, I am hitting my irons with a high ball flight and losing at least one club distance. Contact is good. The shaft lean is toward the target at address. Any suggestion?
July 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shay. Sounds like you are creating too much spin. Also, we want the shaft leaning at impact to help get proper launch angle. Take a look at the Knuckles Down Video to try and de-loft the club a little bit.
July 24, 2017
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Tim
If I understand correctly then your head at address is behind the ball not over it. With a driver its even further behind the ball because the ball is more forward in your stance???
July 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tim. Yes, the head will be slightly further behind the ball with a driver. Take a look at Proper Tee Height Video for proper adjustments.
July 8, 2017
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Tyler (Certified RST Instructor)
So when you consider that each clubs shaft is the same exact flex, a longer shaft should theoretically be more flexible(especially being swung at 100+ mph) because of the leverage of longer shaft than a shorter shaft, right? If so, should this have any real effect on where the ball should be positioned?
June 22, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Tyler, ball position should remain constant when working on a stock shot. There are minor changes to ball position and stance width that should take place when swinging a driver to take proper advantage of high launch, low ball spin conditions, that modern day technology is setup up for. Kick points on shafts will vary based on the length of the shaft and a good club fitter will make sure all your clubs will perform perfectly at the bottom of the swing arc like they are supposed to without having to change your fundamentals.
June 23, 2017
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Wayne
This video absolutely makes perfect sense. Is there any way on the course or on the practice tee to prove that my ball position is good? I find that I'm not really sure most of the time if my ball position is right or not. Could a mirror be used?
June 2, 2017
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Micah (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Wayne, The best way to hone in a solid ball position is to, yes, use a mirror during practice sessions. Also using two alignment sticks or club shafts (one aimed down the target line and one aimed laterally between the logo of shirt and ball) to reference feedback for proper position. Getting in repetitions as much as possible during practice will make ball position almost subconscious on the course
June 4, 2017
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Yuefeng
Hello, I wonder whether the concept of "one swing for all clubs" will need some adjustment for different swing weight. With shorter clubs/wedges, as the swing weight increases, should the swing feel somewhat different from long-mid irons to achieve consistent ball strike? i.e. tempo, swing path, etc.? Thanks.
May 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. The swing stays the same for all clubs. Even with a little change in weight and length. You have your driver which does require setup adjustments and your wedges (depending on the type of shot) will require setup & weight shift changes. But, the overall feel and movement of the swing will stay the same.
May 22, 2017
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Edwin
Hi, I have 50, 54 and 58degree Titleist wedges. Should I not be considering these as "Specialist" clubs and play these a bit further back in position, i.e. maybe at my right ear (rather than the standard "left ear" position)?
April 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edwin. For a full stock wedge shot there really isn't a reason to change ball position. With lower flight wedges, pitching and chipping you will need to make some setup adjustments. But, placing the ball further back for standard is not required.
April 21, 2017
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Edwin
OK thanks for the quick response Craig.
April 21, 2017
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Jason
I have noticed on face on video, without a ball, that my left ear/ or left shirt logo, as the marker of the bottom of my swing arc, moves forward from what it was at address. If this is going to be the way I do it, rather than fixing my why I slide forward, is it fine just to move the ball forward to accommodate this difference found at impact?
March 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. The issue is for all players the lead shoulder joint will always be the bottom of your swing arc. I would rather tackle the issue of why you slide. Have you uploaded a swing for review yet?
March 21, 2017
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Robert
Craig. could you point me in the right direction. What is the proper way to address the ball with your irons? Should it be more closed, open or according to the bounce of the club? I hope my question makes sense, I have been told on different occasions that I should close my club face more (which de-lofts the club) then to open the face . Now I'm talking about normal iron shots, say an 8 iron for 130 yard shot.
March 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Preferably setting the club square to the intended target path. However, if anything most of the time with the way bounce and the sole of clubs are designed today. It might lay a touch open which will allow you to be aggressive in the release.
March 21, 2017
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John
Craig, I don't understand. What I think I understand is that the ball is in the same position with every club (other than the driver), but what I think is referenced is the position relative to the left armpit or golf shirt logo. BUT each club is about a 1/2 inch shorter than the next as you go through the set, therefore it seems to me that the player will have to either bend more from the hips or play the ball nearer to himself to accommodate for the different lengths of the club. Wouldn't more hinge affect your balance and risk getting out on the balls of your feet?
January 30, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The ball position will be determined by the logo or lead ear. With the driver, a little further forward if you are looking for a different type launch or shot type (Proper Tee Height Video). You will need to add a hair more hinge from the hips. More hinge will change the spine angle slightly. But, you shouldn't move so much that it affects your balance. If you start putting the ball closer to the body. The upper half would actually have the tendency to get overly top heavy. Just make sure you are the proper distance with the added hinge (How Far to Stand from the Ball Video).
January 30, 2017
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Adam
So to confirm here, the main adjustment for shaft length should really come from hinging of the hips. Is this the right way to think about the variance between, say, a full wedge and a 4-iron?
December 5, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adam. Correct.
December 6, 2018
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Adam
Thanks Craig
December 6, 2018
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John
I assume that with the shorter clubs, the ball is closer to the feet, right?
January 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. You don't want to setup too close to the ball for fear of getting stuck. You might need to add a little more hip hinge. Are you referring to shorter stock shots or short game?
January 30, 2017
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Tram
How to address the driver head vis a vis the ball at set up? The pb is for the driver, the ball is place on tee rather on the ground for the other clubs. When we ground the driver at start of takeaway, the plane of the club is different with the plane of the driver in the downswing. So in many times, without awareness of compensation, I hit the driver top or pop up the ball. I saw some professionals they hover the club or ground the club but lift the club in front of the ball before starting the takeaway. Sometime, local teacher suggests to place the club head 2 inches behind the ball that the driver will catch the ball in the upswing. I do not find any recommendation in RST golf. What do u suggest the address of the driver head at the start of the swing that we can get a solid impact without any compensation awareness? Thank u very much.
January 2, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tram. You may hover the club. However, some players will need to check they do not get too handsy to start the backswing. Others, can simple sole the club behind the ball. But, make sure when they sole it the face is still square with the intended target line versus rolling or settling open.
January 3, 2017
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Tram
Thank u very much for the reply. Personally, I prefer sole the driver clubbed. When I read the clip of Chuck on the driver set up, he said the professional has 2 options for teeing the driver. For consistency, they tee the ball at the left ear like do Tiger Woods. But the need to bomb driver, theytee 6 inches forward and tee high so when keep the same swing the driver catches the ball during the upswing.My questions are÷ 1-My understanding is correct? 2-If it is, do we sole the driver at the left ear, but tee the ball farther forward about 6 inches( middle of left toe). If my understanding is correct, what is the heigh of the tee to get a good impact during swing. Craig thank u and need ur help because I struggle with the driver swing everytime. I hope RST golf can make my game better. Thank u.
January 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tram. No problem for the reply. 1) Your understanding is correct. 2) Yes, you would sole at original address (lead ear) and tee the ball forward to lead toe or middle of the lead foot. We have a video on tee height we may be re-releasing soon. Most players tee the ball around 3/4 of a way up the face. Leaving the bottom 1/4 of the ball covering the top of the face. My pleasure to help. Please feel free to send in a swing review if you would like myself or one of our trained instructors for guidance.
January 12, 2017
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Joe
This video talks about how the ball position should be aligned with two locations (side of the head and shirt logo) but it does this without showing a real impact position. In the video you can see that the side of the head and shirt logo are aligned when standing face on, but once you add in your axis tilt they would be in different positions, wouldn't they? Or is he intending to say that the bottom of the swing arc will be at the shirt logo so the ball position should be aligned with the left side of the head?
December 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joe. The bottom of the swing arc will be directly below the lead shoulder joint. You shouldn't be adding so much tilt that there is too much of a discrepancy. Chuck as you can see in the image above already has his tilt when drawing or making the reference to the ball position. Common Golf Setup Faults and Fixes Video will help.
December 28, 2016
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Yuefeng
It makes perfect sense that the bottom of swing for every club should be the same place under lead arm shoulder socket. However, is there merit to move the ball back and forth a bit (perhaps about the width of a ball) depending on the length of the club and the purpose of the swing? Meaning for long irons and wood, we may want to hit with less downward angle and more flat/sweeping motion so the ball can be placed a bit forward and closer to bottom of swing; whereas for shorter clubs like a wedge, we want to hit down more aggressively on the ball so we may move ball backward a bit at center of stance/feet. Please kindly clarify. Thank you.
December 12, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Moving the ball to change the woods launch conditions is fine. I wouldn't want you playing around too much with stock shots and all other clubs. But, in theory you are correct. Sometimes you might have to do it for specialty shot reasons or circumstances.
December 13, 2016
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Michael
With all the emphasis on a consistent setup, wouldn't the single length clubs (as played by Bryson DeChambeau) be an obvious choice for RST?
December 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. One could make the argument for that type of scenario. I know we will have future or further comments about Bryson as he continues his success. I'm sure Chuck will tackle the topic.
December 12, 2016
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Brian
if you hit a 3 wood off the tee, do you want to catch that on the upswing like you would the driver?
December 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brain. All depends on what you are trying to do. Stock 3wd doesn't need to be changed. If you are trying to go for max distance and carry. Move the ball closer to a driver positioning.
December 5, 2016
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Randall
I didn't know where else to ask this question because there wasn't any information about what I'm going to ask. How should the golf club lay/sit at address? Should it be sitting on the bounce so that it "looks" almost "slightly" open or is it okay to have it sitting up a little bit but of course not having it turned where it would be considered shut/open at address. This is of course for a right-handed swing. If so, should it be this way for all of the clubs even driver except maybe the wedges would not because you do want a little bit of shaft lean. Please advise on all of the clubs and if you can explain why. Thanks so much!!! -Randall
November 26, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Randall. It is okay to have it sit up a little bit. Some clubs if you lay them on the bounce too much will have the tendency to really open at setup. Causing you to have to really rotate the face back to square. Also, the toe will be slightly up and not completely flat on the ground. The driver will be the same way. With wedge shots that do not require an open face you are still looking for the club face to be square to the target line. If laying back too much. The face will really open like a bunker shot.
November 29, 2016
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Willie
When I was younger and earning my keep racing bicycles I managed to break my left collarbone rather severely; as a result the distance from my sternum to my left shoulder is 1.5" less than the distance to the right shoulder. How will this affect ball position and follow through?
November 6, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Willie. I answered in your other post.
November 7, 2016
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Willie
Other post?
November 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes. Under the Golf Posture Video.
November 7, 2016
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Yuefeng
Hello, at the tee off, if I tee up the ball for irons and woods, do I need to put the ball position forward like the driver and also hit upward? Thanks.
September 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Irons and woods even when teed up. Should be placed in the stock position. The only time you want to move it forward would be to catch more on the up or through swing.
September 22, 2016
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig for clarification. If I use the stock position and still hit downward on the ball as in normal RST swing, then I'm always curious what benefit does the tee-up bring vs simply hitting the ball off the ground? Do I get extra distance or consistency for tee-up? Thank you.
September 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. You get cleaner contact and a little bit more ball speed.
September 22, 2016
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David
Craig, isn't there a benefit to compressing the ball between the club face and the ground? And wouldn't you loser that compression if the ball is on a tee?
March 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Not really. Because hitting down on the ball more doesn't necessarily mean you will have more compression. Compression will be set more by having a smaller difference in spin loft.
March 23, 2017
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David
Hi Craig. Thanks for the response. Maybe I just do not understand compression. I thought that it was the result of a somewhat downward blow into the ball, compressing the ball against the turf. Would you explain?
March 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Hitting down on the ball may lead to better compression, but it doesn't guarantee it. The difference between where the face points at impact and where the club head travels at impact (spin loft) will be a better indicator of proper compression.
March 23, 2017
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Torsten
Hello... became a member a few days ago and just looking around. So if a may comment on this topic of compressing the ball to the ground... that will not happen... even with a downward stroke and still having a "positiv loft left" on the blade - the ball ALWAYS start upward when hit. 100 % compression is when you hit the ball "flat on" with no degres loft at all - as with a putter. As I come to understand the definition. So god compression leds to low spin and vice versa. //Torsten
July 3, 2018
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Michael
I've been playing golf since I was a sophomore in college. I've gotten down to a 4 handicap because of a good short game. I've taken all kinds of golf lessons but lately I've gone from an 8 handicap to a 14. I was about to give the game up. I've just finished the foundation series and everything makes sense to me, especially since you reorganized your videos. Once I got the concept and the feeling, things are falling into place. I'm at an 11 handicap right now playing the senior tees. I used to hit the ball a lot further so I excited to start playing with what I've learned and continue to refine with the drills. Thanks!
September 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Thanks for the post. Happy to hear you are on the road to recovery. It does take some time and re-training motor patterns can be arduous. You will get there. Glad you like the re-organization. We are continuing to improve it.
September 10, 2016
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Frank
Can you please expand upon these two points? 1. For a consistent swing with the driver, use this same ball position. 2. To bomb your driver, place the ball off the inside of the left foot then close your stance to compensate
September 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. Yes, to all points. For a stock and consistent drive. No need to get crazy with the ball position. For max launch, you can play around with tee height, ball and axis tilt. Take a look at the Proper Tee Height Video.
September 4, 2016
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Frank
I wish I had seen this video back in 1991 when I picked up my first golf club! Everyone else is teaching several different positions for the ball based upon club selection. But, this video completely debunks that silly myth. This is likely one of the reasons why I've never been able to take a proper divot! I was never able to develop a consistent swing arc using my body's normal mechanics. I had been attempting to change my arc every time based upon different ball positions with different clubs. Great video!
September 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. Thanks for the positive feedback!
September 4, 2016
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Eric
Question: Ball position is more forward for driver (specialty club). How about three wood on (a) teed up on tee box (as a substitute for driver), or (b) off the fairway (without a tee)? Thanks
August 13, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. 3 Woods don't need to be any different than the stock iron because you are still hitting down on the ball. If you are trying to have lots of carry off the tee. You may move it a touch forward. But, fairway should be stock.
August 15, 2016
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Ian
Is the ball opposite left ear for a standard wedge shot? I have perhaps wrongly assumed the ball should be just back of centre. Ian
August 5, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. For all stock shots the ball will be off the lead ear or logo of golf shirt.
August 5, 2016
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bnanna50@hotmail.com
Confused here. On the penetrating wedge video chuck states, I think, that to maximize distance of wedges your shirt buttons need to be in front of ball. When I place ball forward, off left ear,I get way too much height with my wedge. What do you consider stock shots?
October 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bnanna50. Stock shots are standard full shots. You are not concentrating on trying to get a specific trajectory or movement of the ball. It sounds like you might not have enough shaft lean at impact. Make sure you aren't adding a flip at the bottom.
October 15, 2016
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bnanna50@hotmail.com
Ok, I need to ask differently. I watched the penetrating wedge video by chuck. On that video he states that most amateurs hit their wedges too high. That's me. He also,states that in the set up he ball should be back in the stance, behind shirt buttons, not off left ear. I was trying to hit all my clubs off left ear and found my wedges flying too high. Then I saw this video. I think it is confusing for you to state that left ear is for all the clubs in bag and then go into detail about this NOT being the case to hit good wedge shots which is a standard approach shot (100 yards or so) for most of us. In the ball position video my not th exception of the driver. Maybe wedges should also be noted?
October 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bnanna50. I apologize for the confusion. Most of us that use the RST System do play the PW and SW off of the lead ear for a full shot. You should still be able to strike it well. But, I can understand the Penetrating Wedge Shot being a more controllable hit for you. The driver may be played at a different position depending on desired flight. Take a look at the Proper Tee Height Video.
October 16, 2016
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steven
Hover club or sole it before takeaway?
August 2, 2016
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steven
Thanks for that, Craig. I have been experimenting and find myself in the sole camp.
August 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. Personal preference. The only issue with hovering is some players will hover by adding tension. Causing a little jerk of the hands back. If you monitor that you can hover. I have done both techniques. When switching to RST I found soling the club helped with tension.
August 3, 2016
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William
In the selection of swings to the right in the Self Analysis section the golfer hitting a 7 Iron FO has the ball positioned to the right of his center which is contrary to what Chuck is saying here. What am I missing in what Chuck says and what is being demonstrated?
July 23, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. That is more of an optical allusion with the camera angle. All stock shots will be placed off of the lead ear and/or logo of the shirt.
July 23, 2016
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William
Is the width of your stance also the same for the wedge, 4 iron and driver?
July 23, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. The driver may be a touch wider (Proper Tee Height Video). But, yes the stance will be the same for stock shots with irons and hybrids.
July 23, 2016
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David
Craig, and what about for fairway woods? Is the stance the same as for irons and hybrids (and wedges, for that matter)?
March 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Yes. Simply put. Your body didn't grow simply because you changed clubs. You still have the same distance to shift your weight and the bottom of the swing arc will still be underneath the lead shoulder joint. You can make some adjustments with woods depending on preferred launch angle. But, for standard or stock shots. No reason to change.
March 23, 2017
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Ian
working on set up, grip ball position. how should the club through the bag sit behind ball. ie tilt/ sat on soul/leading edge and how will this affect the loft of the club.
July 19, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. The club should be roughly vertical at setup (Common Golf Setup Faults and Fixes and Grip Checkpoint Tips). Take a look at the Proper Tee Height Video to see setup adjustments with driver. Pretty much the same for all stock shots, but the driver. The club won't be perfectly flat on the ground at setup. It will reach that position at impact. With the club vertical it will rest a little more on the sole, than the leading edge.
July 19, 2016
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Ian
thank you
July 20, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
You want the clubface to sole on the ground, with your hands and arms hanging freely and the club face as close to square as possible. You can check this by getting the bottom grove perpendicular to your foot line. In this position, the toe of the club may be slightly off the ground as the shaft will droop in your downswing causing the club to sole flat into the hitting area.
July 19, 2016
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Ian
thank you
July 20, 2016
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jason
Have you considered making much shorter companion videos to the full length segments? For example, ive watched this video and understand the importance of the ball position and the theory behind it but if I want to refer back to it, I don't need to watch a 6:33 video just to get the main point of "ball position at your left ear but a bit further forward for driver."
July 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. It is tough sometimes to find the happy medium when filming. Some members/students want to hear all the bells and whistles. Others, only want the meat of the video. If you look above you will see a tab called Video Practice Points. If you click the tab you will see a quick reference of exactly what you want to achieve without having to watch the video over again.
July 7, 2016
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Jeremy
Prior advice that I've received suggested that the club shaft should form a relatively straight line with my lead arm at address. That meant that the hands would be in front of the ball with forward shaft lean. However RST comments below encouraged hands in line with the ball and vertical shaft at address. So I shouldn't be striving for the straight line between lead arm and club shaft?
June 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeremy. Correct. You don't want to create a perfect straight line between the lead arm and the club at address.
June 11, 2016
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john
Craig said that the butt end of the grip should be over the tows at address. I've tried it but it seems like the only way I can have the end pointing at my belt buckle is to have the end of the grip more over the middle of my feet.
April 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. You might have gone a little too far out. I was trying to pinpoint a certain place for you to reference in your swing. Take a look at the Dustin Johnson Setup For Consistency Video and see if you can get you lines to match up like his. What I am looking for is a straight line from the shoulder joint through the elbow joint in the DTL view.
April 21, 2016
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Rob
Beginner club selection question: If attempting to take a stock RST shot with the driver, would adding a higher lofted driver (say 12.5 instead of 10.5) help to "bomb" the driver a little better and make up for the attack angle? I am so new to RST that I plan to make a completely stock swing every time until I get consistent enough to begin making club-specific tweaks.
April 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rob. It may help a little, but 12.5 is pretty high for a driver. I wouldn't play around too much with those in the beginning and work on the issue causing the Angle of Attack.
April 20, 2016
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Mark
As mentioned moving the ball forward for a driver, in the setup is he talking about closing the stance so the right foot is behind the left?
April 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Yes, just a slight closure of the stance. You don't have to perform the move unless trying to get maximum. Play around with ball and tee height. Take a look at the Proper Tee Height Video.
April 9, 2016
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Sam
Could you please tell me if the ball is positioned off lead ear before or after axis tilt, seems this would make a bit of difference as the head moves with the tilt. (It was mentioned in comments below, but was confusing as there were a few different answers.) Thanks!
April 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stan. Ball position will be placed before axis tilt. The change is so slight there wouldn't be that much of a difference. However, to ensure it is correct add the tilt on the latter portion. Yes, I see where you are referring to in the comments. I am going to correct that right now. Thanks for pointing it out.
April 4, 2016
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David
Craig, I thought that with a proper axis tilt move, that the hips and legs move toward the target, the shoulders tilt, but the head stays in the same vertical line (face-on) as before performing the axis tilt. And so the left ear position (vertically) will be the same before and after the axis tilt move at address. Is this correct?
March 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. This topic has been discussed in clinics. The move (axis tilt/bump) is so minor it won't make that much of a difference when placing the ball. Take a look at Common Golf Setup Faults and Fixes. However, when the spine starts to lean away the head will tend to match more of the spine versus trying to force a cock back perfectly vertical. This position some people play around with due to eye dominance. But, you don't want to try to cock it back where the neck would look kinked.
March 23, 2017
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Yuefeng
I have three questions. 1) How about the distance between the two feet? Is it getting wider as the club gets longer while still maintaining the same ball position off the left ear? 2) I assume the relative distance (i.e. the ball distance to the left foot vs the to the right) shall remain constant as well? 3) How about axis tilt? do I get an increased axis tilt with a longer club or no? Thank you.
March 31, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. The distance between the feet (for stock shot) will not increase between clubs other than the driver. Axis will remain roughly the same until you reach the driver. With the wider base and forward ball position you will have more tilt. The ball distance will remain constant because it should stay underneath the logo or off the lead ear.
March 31, 2016
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig. Just to follow up on the distance between feet - I understand it can be the same across all the irons, but even for a fairway wood or a wedge (for a full swing), I still don't need to adjust the distance longer or shorter? Thanks.
April 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. For a stock full swing shot. The wedge and fairway wood don't need to be adjusted. Some players with the fairway wood for comfort will add about an inch outside neutral. But, from a technical stand point there doesn't need to be a big change.
April 2, 2016
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charles
Can't find the video about standing distance from ball. Looked everywhere?
March 13, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. Take a look at Proper Hinging from the Hips in this section. Distance from the ball is dictated by where the arms hang down neutral at address from the shoulder joints. Also, if you use the search bar. Type in Dustin Johnson - Setup for consistency. You can see how the arms should hang properly.
March 14, 2016
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Richard
Craig, My biggest miss is a hook and an occasional block here and there. This video makes so much sense because I play most of my irons at the center of my stance which results in a hook. I am looking forward to heading out to the range to try the ball position off my left ear.
February 23, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Ball position is an often over looked, but very pivotal part of RST (or for that fact any swing). It is one constant that we control and has many different effects on the ball flight.
February 23, 2016
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Robert
Craig, I don't know how to contact you so I'm am here doing this (sorry if I am wrong). You just reviewed my swing, and I have an important question and reason. I don't want to mention competitors name, but I have a problem because of them with my clubs. Please respond as to how I can explain this to you, and what I need or need not to do. Thanks son.
January 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. My email is craig@rotaryswing.com.
January 28, 2016
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Jason
is the ball position off of the left ear, before or after you do the axis tilt?
August 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. The ball will be placed correctly from the beginning in the standing erect position. The hip bump/tilt will negate or not require necessary movement from there on of the positioning.
August 10, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Jason- We want the ball position to be off the left ear after axis tilit, otherwise if we have the ball position off the left ear before axis tilt-the ball will be too far away from low point in the swing which is under the left arm shoulder and we want the ball just before the low point to ensure a slight downward angle of attack on the ball.
August 10, 2015
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William J
This reply seems to contradict the reply from Craig (certified RST Instructor) Which is it? Standing erect position or after axis tilt?
March 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. The reply didn't show up in my inbox due to Steven's post. This was discussed in the last clinic. The relative change in ball position when adding tilt is so minimal that it wouldn't change the dynamics much for impact. You can get the ball position before adding the tilt and still reach optimal impact dynamics.
April 4, 2016
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Simon
I understand that the ball should consistently be off my left ear (right-handed golfer), my problem seems to be consistently achieving this position. Any suggestions on how I can consistently achieve this ball position and how I can incorporate it into my pre-shot?
July 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Simon. It just takes practice and good awareness. It might be simpler for you to start with the stance fairly close together and start with ball off of lead ear. Then widen to 2 inches outside NJA without changing the ball.
July 26, 2015
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Martin
Where do the hands setup in relation to the ball? I've heard people say keep the hands slightly ahead of the ball at setup, some say over, some behind? What' the correct setup of the hands before the take away?
July 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. The hands and club should be vertical. Neither too ahead or behind. Where the arms would hang naturally or neutral at address.
July 8, 2015
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David
If I'm hearing correctly the last step in proper setup is the hip bump/axis tilt. When is the ball position established, before the tilt or does the tilt leave the ball correctly alined, or does the hip bump and tilt negate each other leaving the ball correctly placed from standing erect at the beginning?
June 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The ball will be placed correctly from the beginning in the standing erect position. The hips bump/tilt will negate or not require necessary movement from there on of the positioning.
June 26, 2015
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Craig
I've just joined a new club this year and it is a VERY hilly course and you almost never have a flat lie. I tend to be struggling playing off of these uneven lies hitting the shots that I want to hit. Should ball position change on uneven lies to help the ball come off the club straight?
June 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. Welcome to the site. Go to the Video Menu and Click Specialty Shots in the Bonus Series Category. Chris will describe some of the uneven lies you might experience.
June 12, 2015
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David
I understand the philosophy but I tend to hit a lot of fat shots. From 7 iron down, I would say 75% of my shots in the fairway are fat. I did move the ball up inline with my left ear with all irons and woods but I still hit the ball fat almost every time, its really getting frustrating but I just started with RST so hopefully it changes here real soon.
May 31, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. It is probably due to lack of shift and forward shaft lean. Take a look at the Taking a Divot Video in the Downswing Advanced Section.
June 1, 2015
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howard
Hey Doc Theres's a reference I believe to the proper proximity to the ball(too close or too far away) but I can't find the video where ball proximity is explained. Can you point me in the right direction or in fact quickly explain the best way to determine ball proximity please. And than you.
May 4, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Howard, there's a video called "Problems with poor ball position". If that's what you're referring to, you can use the search bar on the site and type those words in to find the video. It's also in the Latest videos section, but it's further down the list in that section so you would have to press the "show more" button on the list of videos to the right of the video player. R.J.
May 5, 2015
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Robert
Hey guys, maybe this is on a video but I can't seem to find it. How would you best describe how far to line up from the ball?
April 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Take a look at Proper Hinging from the Hips in this section. Distance from the ball is dictated by where the arms hang down neutral at address from the shoulder joints. Also, if you use the search bar. Type in Dustin Johnson and take a look at Dustin Johnson Setup for Consistency.
April 24, 2015
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Norman
Hi Guys, at setup will the butt end of the golf club be pointing slightly to the left of the belly button for a right handed player.
March 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Norman. The focus should be on keeping the club vertical. The hands not too forward pressed or behind the ball. For some (right handed) that might be right at the belly button or slightly ahead (left).
March 20, 2015
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Norman
Hi Guys, is it ok to setup with a slightly open club face. I find by doing so I get much more solid contact.
March 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Norman. The only issue with an open club face is that you will have to make up for that rotation in the backswing and release.
March 16, 2015
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Greg
Gordon replied but there was nothing in the reply.
February 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Check my comments below with Terry. The arms while hanging in proper Neutral Joint Alignment directly underneath the shoulder joints will determine distance from the ball. Hinging from the Hips Video and 5 Mins to the Perfect Setup in Setup Section.
February 26, 2015
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Greg
Is there a video on the site to help determine the correct distance to stand from the ball?
February 26, 2015
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Gordon
February 26, 2015
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Grant
Hello Clay, I have been in RST now for about 6 months. I am improving but am currently seeing a change as to where I'm striking the ball on the clubface. It seems off the center and more toward the heel with all irons. I just watched the video about poor ball position but nothing was mentioned about distance from the ball. I know I'm in the proper setup because I worked hard with RST's 5 minutes to perfect setup but I still have the mishits occurring. Any suggestions on the cause of this? Thanks, Grant.
February 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Grant. Check the post below for ball positioning. The distance is measured by the proper hanging of the arms at setup. As for the heel strikes. Without seeing your golf swing we could be guessing at a few different culprits. My 2 suggestions would be to upload your swing to one of our instructors. They would be happy to diagnose the issue. Also, you probably could be coming too far from the inside. Check your swing plane. Take a look at the Trace the Plane Line Video in the Advanced Downswing Section.
February 26, 2015
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Terry
Clay, this may not be a ball position question, but I haven't seen any video discussing the club distance from the body at address. Is it a natural distance based on the correct posture? I get the arms hanging but does that put the club the right distance from the body? thx Terry
February 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Terry. Yes, the arms while hanging underneath the shoulder joints properly and in good NJA create the correct distance.
February 25, 2015
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Caleb
What is RST's view on how much spine tilt to the right (for a right handed player) should there be since the right hand is lower on the club than the left? Also, does this spine tilt increase as the club gets longer?
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Caleb. Take a look at the Importance of Axis Tilt in the Advanced Setup Section. Take your club and run it straight down your sternum. Get the club pointing just to the inside of the lead knee. It should remain pretty consistent
January 17, 2015
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Don
The audio on your videos are breaking up.
November 18, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Try refreshing the page, let us know if problems persist. R.J.
November 18, 2014
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Gordon
This is a very confusing video. Every thing I hear and read says the modern driver is made to hit with a positive attack angle. All the modern trackman data shows the max distance is achieved by hitting the ball on the upswing (lowest spin rate and carry distance). How do you reconcile this with this video?
November 10, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Gordon, Excellent question! You're 100% absolutely correct. The video above is for a standard golf shot. Clay happens to be using a driver in the video and that's because he has exceptional club head speed. Now, however, many of the pros have such high swing speeds that they do need a little extra spin and many of the pros will prefer to still hit the ball on a negative angle of attack by about -1 degree because they have enough club head and ball speed to still get a lot of distance that they don't mind sacrificing a little distance for more accuracy and consistency, which is what you'll get when you hit the ball on a descending blow. However, if a pro is trying to carry something in the fairway, like a bunker with a wide landing surface, then they will make the necessary adjustment to hit with an ascending blow. And that driver setup adjustment can be found here: http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-advanced/setup/driver-setup-adjustments I hope this helps you out, R.J.
November 10, 2014
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Jacob
Is it ever appropriate or necessary for a player to address the ball off the toe of the club or towards the heel? I find I'm making inconsistent contact with the sweet spot. If I address it off the toe, sometimes I hit it great, but sometimes I'm still able to hit it off the heel (I probably just move towards the ball). When I setup with it addressed off the heel, I feel uncomfortable and on video I think I'm moving back off the ball. Any experience with this?
November 9, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jacob, The answer to your question is no. If you're having inconsistency problems and feel that you need to address the ball in the ways in which you described, then there are flaws in your swing that are causing these issues. I would highly suggest doing a swing review for the RST review team to analyze what the issue would be or give a very detailed description of what you see on video to me in the forums so that I can assist you further. You should always address the ball with the ball being directly in the middle of the club because that's where we want to hit it and if you have a perfect swing it will always return to where you addressed the club. So, let's put some work in together and get your swing fixed up through the videos on the site. R.J.
November 10, 2014
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craig
I'll get to my question quickly, I hope , but a little background first. I have been changing my 40-yr swing to the Rotary system now for the past five months. I still have very high playing goals and I feel I have a very good grasp on what is being presented to us (I should point out I am a Class A professional and plan to pursue RST certification when I turn my focus to instructing full time.) I have spent the last four weeks or so fighting a pull of about 10 to 15 yards, regardless of club selection. This is not due to an over-the-top move as my video submissions have shown. I recently had the opportunity to spend an hour or so with Mr. Bruce Devlin. He liked everything that I have done with my swing and after watching me hit a few shots (with the very predictable pull showing up right on cue) he made the suggestion of moving the ball back about 3/4s of the width of a ball. When Clay says "Off the left ear" that, to me, indicates that the back side of the ball should be even with the left ear. The position that Mr. Devlin put me in would have the "front" 1/4 of the ball past my left ear. My question is this. Was my original interpretation of Clay's video correct (back side of ball even with left ear?) Or was I incorrect in that assumption? (Perhaps ball position is "slightly" subjective?)
September 2, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. The ball placement should be off the left ear. Moving the ball back changed the orientation of the strike. The problem is it might just be a quick fix. There has to be a reason for the pull. You need to let your instructor know the issue you are facing. There is a cause and effect relationship in the golf swing. The pull is an effect of something getting a touch out of sequence in your move.
September 2, 2014
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craig
Appreciate the quick reply. So my initial thought of the back side of the ball being even with the left ear was correct then?
September 2, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. Yes. Your initial is on par.
September 2, 2014
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Albert
Where should the ball be positioned in the fairway bunker (assuming flat lie and there's sufficient lip to clear the shot). Traditionally I put the ball about 1 ball behind where I normally play the shot (when I varied the ball position depending on club). With this new practice of consistent ball position, I dig the foot in by about 1/4", grip down 1/4" to adjust for the height, and put the ball slightly towards the middle of the stance so I can catch the ball first, but it resulted in the ball hitting much lower and hitting bunker lip. Do I play fairway bunker still off the left ear?? Do you move it slightly back to make sure you catch the ball clean? Thanks.
August 29, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Albert, typically we would want to keep the ball position in the normal position. You may need to play around with the position just a bit but nothing drastic. It is key to keep the lower body as stable as possible and try to minimize any lateral shifting.
September 1, 2014
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Jeff
Where should your hands be relative to the ball. In front, lined up, behind?
August 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. At setup focus on the club being vertical. The hands will be roughly inline with the ball.
August 28, 2014
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Albert
I tried out the consistent ball position and I am definitely hitting the ball more consistent, however, there's 2 things that I am somewhat troubled with, I think 1 of them I can work it out with more practice, but the second one I am somewhat frustrated with it and I am not sure if it's getting more used to the RST swing or not. 1) Placing the ball consistently just by the left ear for me resulted in some pulled shots on 6 and 8 irons (I believe it's because my hip is too fast, resulting in hands closing the club face). Surprisingly, the 56 sand wedge is perfectly straight even though I used to play it in the middle of the stance. 2) The driver distance is meaningfully shorter, even when struck on the sweet spot (mid upper center of the face). And when I put it slightly closer towards my heel, I feel like I am hitting the ball with a closed face at impact even though the ball goes straight. Can you offer some suggestions on how I can get my driver distance back? The irons have been 10-15+ yards longer as part of my practice at bracing right glute/knee, slightly narrower stance and practicing the 5 min drill to perfect release, however, with the most recent driving range session, I started practicing the ball position by left ear, and I noticed the driver is 20-30 yards shorter. What can be causing this? Please help.
August 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The pull you are describing is probably due to the club working a little shut and over the top and impact. Make sure you are on plane with the Stop Coming Over the Top Video in the Downswing Section. Also, the Left Elbow Position at Impact in the Advanced Downswing section to check if you flipping it too much. That is a natural adjustment in the setup with the driver to make the launch angle better. Take a look at the Driver Launch Angle Video in the Bonus Series - Bomb Your Driver Section.
August 25, 2014
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Albert
Thank you for recommended videos. I took a look through the coming over the top and left elbow position at impact, and for the most part I think I am doing fine (I am actually a lefty playing right handed, so no right hand dominant issues), and the left elbow is pointing towards the target at impact. I do come over the top slightly (from overswing on the back swing), but I think as I continue to practice and get used to the one ball position for the irons, hybrid and 3 wood, I think I will hit them straighter with fewer pulls. With regards to the driver, I think it is a good suggestion to move it closer towards the left heel (along with a slighter wider stance, which will result in a ball placement that is further up on the release of the club. Once I can get the ball flight back to my old flight path, I think the distance will come back. Thank you for the video suggestions, now I have to hit the range and groove those swings!
August 26, 2014
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Eric
When I have my hands aligned with belt buckle / zipper for my driver it seems like club face is pointing left. Is something else off with my address to cause this?
August 22, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
If your ball position is correct and the club isn't leaning too far back. The only thing it could be is you grip is too strong.
August 22, 2014
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Eric
Where should the golf club shaft point during address? Sergio tends to keep it in line with zipper. I have seen others with it pressed further forward.
August 15, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Its relative to body shape. However, it will be around the upper zipper to belt buckle.
August 15, 2014
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Dan
This totally makes sense to me, if you want a good repeatable swing you have to have the same setup and ball position for every club. I just had my first practice session today with the Rotary Swing. Did a few of the drills and then started to take harder and harder swings and wow, what a difference. I still need more practice obviously, but when I did everything right I was getting at least another 10 - 20 yards with each iron, and 20 - 30 with my driver. Best of all they were all straighter. Tomorrow's practice session I will take my camera and record my swing for you guys to review. Can't wait to try this out on the course this weekend.
August 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Dan. Welcome the the club! Get that swing review in. We will make it even more efficient.
August 8, 2014
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Patrick
Hi, if you are setting up with your driver in the same position, should you be teeing the ball quite low so that it is at the sweetspot at address? Patrick
August 5, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patrick. You can. That tee placement will serve for a optimum stock shot. However, depending on the true sweet spot and your desired launch angle. You may play around with the tee height and ball position to maximize potential distance and better misses. Take a quick look at the Bomb Your Driver Series in the Bonus Section for more detail.
August 5, 2014
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Justin
Hi Chris, on an unrelated subject, (I cant find the video) but Chuck had suggested in one of the videos to place a second ball above the ball you are hitting and to keep your eyes/focus on the second ball during the full swing, which helps cover the ball and to keep your head down. I was fading/slicing my long irons and started using this drill and instantly made crisper, straighter shots. I assumed that I was standing up or lifting my head to quickly, which lead to weak shots and fade/slices. Do you recommend regularly practicing this drill? I find I swing all clubs much better now, if I focus on an area above my ball rather than focusing on the ball directly. I guess my question is, what do you recommend focusing on? Some instructors say to focus on the back of the ball, while others say to focus on the front of the ball, etc... So far, focusing on the ground a few inches above the ball works best for me. Hope this question makes sense. Thanks in advance.
July 16, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Justin. It sounds like the drill you have setup is working for you. The key is to keep the head steady until momentum starts to pull you around to a full follow through. I just look at the ball. I don't think that any particular section of the ball would make a big difference. Use whatever focus on the ball allows the head to remain steady and you have confidence with.
July 16, 2014
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David
When you are at address with the ball in the correct position where should your hands be in relation to your body - should they be in the centre of your body or a little off centre more in line with the ball? I used to have my hands positioned centrally and then a friend suggested I position them a little more forward which gets the shaft leaning forward a little bit - I tried this and I seem to make better contact because it reminds me to have forward shaft lean at impact - is that ok?
June 19, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. You want to stay away from too much forward shaft lean at address. The club should be vertical. Address an impact are two different positions. You don't want to create the same with both.
June 19, 2014
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Craig
Wow, this is really contrary to everything I've heard and my personal experience. I can't imagine trying to hit my 60 deg wedge from the center of my stance.
June 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
If you want to optimize speed and release. The ideal ball location is just behind the bottom of the swing arc. This was contrary to everything I heard as well.
June 16, 2014
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ERNESTO JOSE
hi. What about the distance between the ball and the front of my feet?. Sometimes I fell i am too close but when i go back and make that distance larger i start slicing.
June 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ernesto. Take a look at the Proper Hinging From the Hips Video in this section. Make sure your shoulder joint, elbow joint and base of your hands line up the the toes of your feet. Feel free to upload your swing to our online review system. One of our instructors will be glad to check your positions and make sure you get hitting it straight.
June 9, 2014
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Paul
Because I kept my ball to far back in my stance, is probably the reason I don't often get a good divot ?
June 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul, ball position is a key factor when wanting a nice consistent divot pattern. There could be other variables in your swing causing you not to take a good divot, but this is a great place to start.
June 9, 2014
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Scott
This really helped me out. I had the ball too far back in my stance and it was causing me not to have the right amount of axis tilt. Took some videos today and noticed how far back I had the ball. I made the adjustment of putting the ball off my left ear and all of a sudden my axis tilt looked and felt so much better. This website is awesome!
April 21, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Awesome to hear and glad you are enjoying the site. We look forward to helping you more along the way. Ct
April 22, 2014

Have you heard that you should move the ball forward or back in your golf setup based on what club you're using? What does science tell us about this piece of advice? Chuck Quinton tells you the science behind where the golf ball should be played in your setup.

One of my favorite questions that I get asked all the time is whether or not the golf ball position should change based on the club that you're swinging. It's a great question because again a lot of conflicting information out there about ball position. Unfortunately it's one of those things that if you get it wrong, the rest of your swing is going to have a tendency to fall apart. It's so important that the ball's in the right spot every time with every club.

                One of the common things that's taught is that the ball position should change based on the club that you have. I look at it well say why is that? Why would the ball position change? What is the ball position based on in your golf swing? Well, ball position is based on primarily your body set up and the physics of the golf swing. When we look at the physics, we know at this point you're starting to understand the rotary swing, this push versus pull concept, how critical it is to understanding the physics that are at work in the golf swing, and that it's primarily lead side dominant because that's the only pulling motion that you can create which keeps the club stable throughout the whole golf swing.   

                Because of that, because it's primarily lead side dominant, the ball position tends to be just behind the bottom of the swing arc which is going to tend to be pretty far up in the swing, close to the underneath the lead arm shoulder socket, so your left arm shoulder socket because that's the point of maximum extension from the club. When I'm swinging from this pivot point in my left shoulder. As the club keeps moving, you notice now the club's no longer hitting the ground. Now it's hit the ground, as it coming back, it's moving back.

                You can see if I was just swinging with my left arm, the bottom of my swing arc would be directly underneath my shoulder socket. The club's at maximum extension there, so if I set up with the ball here, and I have a proper rotary swing stance width here, the bottom of my swing arc would be right there. I'd want to set the ball just slightly behind it so I make sure that I catch the ball first before I hit the earth so that I don't hit it fat. So the ball position would be just behind this lead shoulder.

                Now, the reality is it's not just 100% lead arm dominant. Your right arm is also involved in the swing, of course, it's attached to the club. That's going to kind of balance these two out and move the bottom of your swing arc because the right arm's still attached to the club, it moves the bottom of the swing arc a little bit further back. Not a ton because it's still primarily lead side dominant, but it moves it back a little bit.

                Now this pendulum motion where the club's brushing the grass directly underneath my shoulder socket, it's now going to get moved back a little bit, and that's going to necessitate moving the ball back in my stance a little bit. Now that's how we end up with about the logo of your shirt or lead arm because the right arm's attached to it. Now, that's the physics that are involved, and the mechanics of your body that determine ball position. So based on very simple physics.

                Does that change when you pick up a four iron versus a pitching wedge? Well, did your body change? Did you position of your lead shoulder change? The pivot points that you've got in your swing, did any of those change? No, of course not. Just because you pick up a four iron doesn't mean you're going to all of a sudden use more right arm and move the bottom of the swing arc further back, so why would the ball position change?

                The ball position isn't based on preference or what you feel you want to do in your swing. It's based on mechanics. Just like a grandfather clock, the grandfather clock never misses the bottom of the swing arc right? Always going to be in the same spot. Same thing is true in your swing because you're not ... You're trying to kind of be like a grandfather clock and have some really simple pivot points in the swing which in this case is your shoulders. That doesn't change. The width of your shoulders doesn't change when you pick up a different club.

                The ball position is constant. It's always in the exact same spot. You don't want to try and learn different bottoms of the swing arc for each club. The golf swing's hard enough without you trying to learn 14 different golf swings. That's crazy. It's fixed. It's always the same up off your left ear. Now, that doesn't mean you can't change it based on some specialty shots if you want to hit one a little bit lower or change the path. When the club's approaching the ball, you can move the ball back to hit a draw or whatever. In general the bottom line is the rotary swing ball position always in the spot.

                Now, are there exceptions to this other than hitting a specialty shot? Yes, when you hit a specialty club. When you hit a driver, that is a specialty club. It is the only club in the bag that you want to hit a little bit on the upswing. Every other club in the bag's going to have a slightly descending blow about four degrees on average across the bag, but with the driver you want to try to be one, two, maybe even three degrees up. Because of that, no other club in the bag you do that with, it's a specialty club, so that can predicate a change that the ball position can now actually move forward a little bit because you want to not only hit it on the upswing, but you want to hit it higher on the face.

                So, the ball position's going to be teed up, right. Obviously you're going to use a tee with your driver. Then moving the ball up in your stance allows you to create a little bit more shallow angle of attack as the club is approaching the ball. That's the only exception. Otherwise, ball position, it's always in the same spot about where your left ear is. Draw a straight line. The ball should always be up there. It should never ever be behind that. That's the worst thing that you can do. When you start seeing, and I see this every single day. Guys are set up like this when they come to our golf academy and got a lot of forward shaft lean, I know we got all kinds of problems to start fixing because they're going to be very right side dominant. They're going to pick the club up. They're going to have this really narrow swing going back and this steep hacking motion coming over it.

                In order to get them to shallow out, the ball position being up in their stance, it feels like they can't even get the club back to the ball. It feels so far forward. You'll have to get used to that. It takes a little bit to get used to getting the club in the right spot, but all of a sudden all of these other great fundamentals of being able to release the club properly and transfer my weight. All these things start falling into place. So, ball position. It's always in the same spot. It's based on mechanics, and there's no way around that. So, get your ball off your left ear, and all of a sudden you'll start being able to shift your weight. You'll be able to release the club and start hitting the ball cleaner and more crisply than ever before as you keep working through these RST golf swing fundamentals.

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