Golf is a very technical sport, and even the slightest change in grip or stance can make a world of difference in the result of your swing. From only the smallest adjustments, your distance from the ball can change from standing too far away or too close to the golf ball, but how do you find that perfect sweet spot while at address?

While at address, a golfer should stand so the butt of the club points at the belt buckle and sits about 6 inches away from the golfer’s thighs. However, distance varies on the golfer’s body, posture, and equipment. The type of club used affects how far away the golfer should stand.

Keep reading to learn everything necessary about your golf stance and how to correctly distance yourself from the ball.

How to Make Sure You are at the Proper length

Setting yourself up at the proper distance from the golf ball is something that’s easy to overlook, but it truly makes the biggest difference in your game. Standing in the wrong spot can make golfing way harder than it should be, so it’s important to get it right.

image of proper distance from golf ball - AEC Info

To ensure you are at the proper distance, get yourself set up in your position and drop your trail hand off the club. Pay attention to your hand, and if it swings away from the grip and toward your body, you are standing too far away from the golf ball. On the other hand, if it moves away from you, this means you’re too close. Your hand should hang level with the grip after you let go, this means you’re in the perfect space.

How close you stand to the ball depends on:

  • Your body
  • Your posture
  • Your equipment

The type of club you’re using will make the distance of your stance vary. When it comes to a driver, these tend to be longer clubs, so your stance needs to accommodate this length. If you stand too far away from the golf ball while using a driver, it puts your shoulders in a bad position and will probably result in a slice versus a full straight drive. If you slightly step in a little closer, you’ll find yourself getting a cleaner swing with more distance.

Irons have slightly shorter shaft measurements. You could line it up with the logo on the club, bringing your stance slightly inward and narrow, making your ball centered to your body. The butt of the grip should also be roughly 6 inches away from your body.

What Happens if You Stand Too Far Away?

Standing too far away can mean even the slightest adjustment. For example, this could look like standing just the length of two golf balls further than you were before. This will slightly tilt your hips, which makes your stance more about your toes. However, there are some strategic benefits that come from a distance stance as well.

image of golfer standing too far away from golf ball - AEC Info

Disadvantages of Standing Too Far Away:

  • You have a hunched-over posture at address, slumped shoulders, and have to awkward reach out.
  • You have to change your posture as the swing happens.
  • Tilting your body forward too far, it’s very difficult to hit the ball cleanly resulting in fat and thin shots.
  • Having to reach your arms to hit the ball causes you to overextend your arms, resulting in a loss of control.
  • It limits the ability to properly rotate the swing.
  • Can cause you to run your club too close to the ground, causing a flatter swing.
  • It limits power and accuracy.
  • Standing with your knees straight will result in you having to reach, which will throw off your balance.

Benefits of Standing Closer to Golf Ball:

  • You can give yourself a flatter swing plane, which is especially helpful while using a driver.
  • You can get more distance from the impact of hitting the ball.
  • As long as you don’t have to stretch, you can swing with proper balance.
  • Being at a stance that’s a little further from the ball will allow you the room to properly rotate during your swing.
  • Stop hitting fat and thin shots
  • Slicing the ball is easier with a distance stance.

What Happens if You Stand Too Close?

Standing too close can also be detrimental if you’re positioned only two golf ball lengths toward the ball. This stance has its pros and cons, but it helps you have better posture and place more of your stance into your heels.

Common Disadvantages of Standing Too Close:

  • You feel crowded or stuck.
  • Your hand will be too close to the body at the beginning of the swing.
  • It forces you to stand too upright.
  • When you lift the club too high, it results in a steep-angled approach and a slice.
  • It’s hard to produce good results.
  • It’s a bigger problem than standing too far away.

Advantages of Standing Too Close:

  • Can create a more accurate strike if you can have an upright swing that pushes the ball closer to the hole.
  • You can swing faster and stronger.
  • Allows you to Shallow you golf swing
  • Enables you to have more control over your swing and force.
  • Helps you control your body better and limits unnecessary stress on your lower body.

Can standing too close to the ball cause a hook?

The answer is yes. A closer stance can cause low hooks, along with loss of speed, balance, or creating slices. If you are struggling with slicing, be sure to see our post on Why Do I Slice My Driver But Not My Irons – Golf instruction – AEC Info

Is it better to stand too close or too far from the golf ball?

One is not better than the other because they both come with their pros and cons. When answering this question, the answer varies depending on what club you are using and what you are trying to accomplish. Standing too far away can result in a more Inside out golf swing and give your lower body more stress. A close stance can also result in a loss in distance, speed, and balance.

Overall, while at address, you should adjust your stance based on the club that you are using and how far you want the golf ball to go. It may take time to learn how close or far away from the golf ball you should stand.