Benefits Of Standing Closer To The Golf Ball – How Close To Stand At Address

One of the funniest off the cuff lines I’ve heard on a golf course was, “My problem is I’m standing too close to the ball…after I’ve hit it”.

This had me laughing for some time, especially because the guy who said it had just topped on from the tee. It does raise an important point though, are we setting up properly at address?

Think about it, this is the part of the golf swing that you have the most control over and it can be a very straight foraward to some of the most common swing issues.

How close you stand to the golf ball will have a major impact on your performance. The better foundation you lay with your distance, the better you can become. Stand to clos or far away will lead to hooks, slices and topping of the ball. Finding the correct distance is crucial to your golfing success.

Today, I want to discuss this important part of set-up and discuss something that is so fundamentally important. Have you ever considered it? Is now the time with a whole winter of practice ahead of you? Let’s explore.

The Importance Of Set-Up

The golf swing is a highly dynamic and athletic movement but one of the main differences between golf and other sports is that you play from a standing start. It’s not like playing football where you kick a ball that is rolling, it is a stationary start.

Here are the guys from Me and My Golf to give you a quick run-through:

I remember a time when I was hit by the dreaded shanks. I went to my coach, worried that something was seriously wrong with my swing, I was simply standing too far away at address. Getting this wrong can be catastrophic to your golf.

How Do I Know If I’m Standing Too Far Away From The Ball?

If you’ve been playing golf for a long time then you will probably just feel that something isn’t right. However, if you are new then you need some checks you can run through to make sure you’re set-up as you should be.

One of the most obvious signs is how your arms are hanging at address, take the club away and your hands should be hanging naturally. Another thing to consider is where on the clubface you are striking the ball. Too much to the toe and you could be too far away, too much to the heel and you could be too close.

What Is The Correct Distance To Stand From The Ball?

Well this depends what club you’re using, obviously you’ll stand further from a driver than a wedge. However, with every club, it is important your hands hang naturally as mentioned above and shown in the picture of Joost Luiten below.

The other key things to think about is that you have just a flex in your knees, as you can see on Joost above and that your weight is on the balls of your feet.

What you can see here, now that Joost is at address is that his feet look well planted. His weight is well distributed across his feet and if someone were to push him from the front, or the back, he probably wouldn’t fall over. He is in a strong and athletic but natural position ready to fire.

What Are The Benefits Of Standing Closer To The Ball?

Here, I am obviously not talking about being too close as that can be equally detrimental to your game. However, many golfers out there do stand too far away and it is killing their swings

  1. You Allow Your Body To Be A Greater Part Of Your Swing

When you stand too far away from the ball, one of the major effects is that your arms have to swing at the ball more. You need to reach out to the ball to make contact and so you can’t use your body to generate power properly. This will result in a significant loss of distance.

In fact, to make up for that lost distance you may even start swinging harder. This is a slippery slope and your consistency will probably be the next thing to go. Don’t ruin your swing before it has even started.

  1. Your Balance Will Be Improved

If you watch the top golfers in the world, one thing to look for is their balance during the swing. They very rarely “fall off” a shot because they have swung it too hard or because they have a set-up flaw.

If you are standing too far away from the ball then this probably isn’t something you can say you have.

Related to point number one, standing too far away means that we have to reach for the ball but it also means that your weight is probably on your toes. This is going to mean that you don’t have a strong foundation and so you will lose balance.

  1. Casting

Casting is an issue that many golfers can suffer from and it isn’t caused purely because of standing too far from the ball. When your body isn’t working efficiently, you can fall into the trap of “throwing your hands early” much like casting a fishing line.

This causes you to hit many fat shots as you stop presenting the club properly. It can be a huge flaw in a golf swing. Standing the correct distance away can help you out of this bad habit.

  1. Swinging Too Flat

The further you stand from the ball, the more flat your swing will become. This is logical as you will have started your swing with your hands will be reaching or your body will be overly bent over. This means that the club can only go around your body in a flatter way.

Now a flat swing isn’t necessarily an issue, think Matt Kuchar or Rickie Fowler, but if it’s caused by poor fundamentals then it can be a problem. One thing that a flat swing can cause is a lot of misses to the left as your impact position will favour a hook spin.

  1. Coming “Over The Top”

This is a real issue as it can cause wild misses on both the left and right side. I’m talking wild slices and ripping snap hooks, I should know because I suffered from this for over a year. It was horrible.

As an extension of points three and four, standing too far away can cause you to be too flat on the backswing then cast over the top on the downswing to try and fix this. It results in a very inconsistent presentation of the club to the ball which gives the horribly inconsistent shots.

Disadvantages Of Standing Too Close To The Ball

While standing too far away is a problem we commonly see in high handicappers, standing a fraction too close to the ball close to the ball can be just as detrimental to your game. We even find that some people will be standing too close with their driver and too far away with their irons.

Standing too close can cause a few issues in your swing and the first one is that your body is just too close and gets in the way during impact. This can cause you to slice the ball more often, this can also be caused because your swing will be more upright than it should be.

You will also probably have your weight more on your heels than it should be which can cause reduced consistency at impact. These issues, and those above caused by being too far away, illustrate the importance of getting your address position right every time.

What Are The Benefits Of Standing Further Away From The Ball?

Your distance from the ball is something that feels horrible to change. However, if you have been doing it wrong, you will quickly start to see improvements in your ball striking and the feel of your swing.

  1. You Allow Your Body To Be A Greater Part Of Your Swing

Much as standing too far away from the ball will reduce your body’s ability to be a part of your swing, standing too close can have a similar effect. When you are too close, your body can get in the way of your swing and your hands have to “dig out” the shot.

When you stand further away, you allow your hands to follow a more natural path through the ball with less restriction. You will also give your body a chance to actually swing through the ball. Get a coach to have a look and help you find that sweet spot of where to stand.

  1. Your Balance Will Be Improved

If you are standing too close to the ball then you will have to keep your weight on your heels too much. Having your weight on heels results in you not being able to fire your lower body efficiently, think about trying to jump from your heels, you can’t get very high.

When you step back slightly from the ball, you get yourself into a more athletic position. You will have a more solid foundation to attack the ball from and your lower half will be working efficiently. Get this right and quickly watch that ball fly better.

  1. Swinging With A Better Plane

Swing plane is something that we have heard about many times, no less so now that Bryson DeChambeau has reinvented the single plane swing. When you are standing too close to the ball, you will swing with a plane that is too upright. This can tend to cause more of a slice or even shanks.

Getting the club on a good plane will help you start striking the ball much more nicely. You will hit the ball straighter and further with less effort. This is the beauty of getting your set-up right, your golf will improve quickly.


Disadvantages Of Standing Too Far Away From The Ball

The main disadvantages that standing too far from the ball will cause are reduced swing efficiency and poor balance. This will all lead to inconsistencies in your swing and that will make playing more difficult. Put simply, golf is about consistency, the more you can replicate something the better you become.

As I’ve already said in this article, your position at address is something that you can have control of. This is the point in your swing that acts as your launchpad, use it to your advantage and get it right.

Does Standing Too Far Away Cause A Slice

It certainly can. As you come in to impact your hands will have to be reaching for the ball this can lead to an inconsistent swing path to impact. This can result in the chances of both slices and hooks depending on the path of the club.

Slices are often caused by club path but this isn’t the only reason for that shot shape. An open club face can be more of contributing factor to a slice. That being said, standing the correct distance from the ball can be a quick remedy and can certainly help reduce slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What If My Hands Are Too Far From My Body At Impact?

Your hands being too far from your body at impact may cause club path issues as you get to impact. You will probably have an out to in path which can be a big contributor to a slice spin depending on club face position during the strike.

Can Changing Stance Fix A Slice Or A Hook?

It can but it depends on the cause of the slice or the hook, this is where a pro can help you.

That being said, if you are suffering from these misses and have a fault in your stance, fixing that fault should help reduce the problem somewhat.

Always pay attention to the fundamentals of the swing.

Other Swing Problems You Should Fix

The number of issues you could have with your swing are almost infinite so let’s look at it another way. The most important thing you can do to improve your golf swing is to get your fundamentals right.

By this I am referring to the grip, the posture, your alignment and, the reason we are here, the stance.


Tips For The Perfect Golf Swing

It doesn’t exist so don’t chase it. On the PGA Tour these days we have Rory with his beautiful swing, we have Matt Wolff and we have Bryson DeChambeau.

They all swing it very differently and it works for them but I assure you, they have their fundamentals and they work on them tirelessly.


Should I Get A Golf Lesson?

Yes. Find yourself a coach that you get on well with and work with him/her to improve your game. Investing in a good coach will take your game further than that shiny new club you were thinking about.



Getting your stance right every time you set up to a ball is something that we should all be mindful of. Not paying attention to this is the golfing equivalent of building a house without consider the foundations.

Work with a golf pro to make sure that you have this right and that you learn the things to look for to know if you have a problem.

The golf swing is a complicated action but we can all simplify this by getting the fundamentals correct. Build something that is reproducible and you will start to build a new consistency in your game that you have never had before.