The simple answer
Stand as close to the ball as possible and still manage to hit it.
Here are some things I’ve learned:
- Most everyone stands too far from the golf ball.
- If you stand too far from the golf ball, you’ll be leaning over, reaching for the ball.
- If you stand too far from the golf ball, your head will be down on your chest like a droopy cantaloupe.
- If you stand too far from the golf ball, your spine will be curved in an ugly arc like a crescent moon about to fall out of the sky.
- If you stand too far from the golf ball, you’ll often top it.
- If you stand too far from the golf ball, you’ll tend to swing around your body and hit the ball into someone’s back yard or in the middle of the lake.
- If you stand too far from the golf ball, you’ll tend to be the worst golfer in your group and be a sucker for all the latest fads in golf equipment.
Let me explain:
Yep, everyone stands too far from the golf ball. When you stand too far from the golf ball you’ll have to adjust by bending your head and neck over and down more than you should. You’ll bend over and have to reach for the ball. When you bend the upper part of your spine over too much, your cantaloupe will be drooping down onto your chest, your spine will be bent almost double and you’ll feel more like a hockey goalie in full pads with a broken hockey stick rather than a cool-as-a-cucumber golfer ready to make a free and easy swing.
If the golfer’s spine is arched over towards the golf ball with a droopy cantaloupe, the droopy cantaloupe will interfere with the shoulder turn during the swing. When a droopy cantaloupe gets in the way of the golfer’s shoulder turn, the golfer will sometimes top the ball and other times hit the ground six inches behind the ball.
Standing too far from the ball at address promotes a droopy cantaloupe, permanent curvature of the spine, hockey breath and is the main reason some golfers quit the game in frustration.
The golf swing should be more Ferris wheel than carousel. The golf swing should be up and down—not around. The golfer takes the club back away from the ball and up into the air and then back down and through the ball and then back up into the air after impact—not around in a circle like a horizontal helicopter blade. The golfer must stand close to the ball to be a Ferris wheel.
The golfer doesn’t take the club behind their back and around to hit the golf ball. The golf swing should be up and down like a Ferris wheel, not around like a carousel at the amusement park.
Folks that come to me for lessons always want to stand too far from the golf ball. I don’t know why. I think perhaps it’s because they are unsure of their ability to turn their body as they strike the golf ball. Perhaps they feel like they have more control when they stand too far away from the ball. Perhaps instead of looking at the golf ball they want to smell it. Perhaps they have a mysterious fear of contracting a dread disease if they stand too close. Maybe they’re afraid the golf ball will explode when they hit it.
Ok, what are the positives? How should the golfer stand at address?
Try this on the practice range. Stand as close to the ball as you can and still manage to hit it. Address the ball with your head and neck as high as you can get them and still see the ball. Stand as close to the ball as you can and still manage to strike the golf ball. You do realize that with your head, neck and upper body in this up-position you can’t be wearing reading glasses, bifocals or progressives and still see the golf ball? You know that, don’t you?
Go to the range and experiment with this. Take your eight iron and put the ball up on a short tee to make it easy. Crowd the ball and see how close you can stand and still hit it. If you stand close, it will force you to raise you head and straighten your spine. Standing close to the ball will force your trunk and hips to turn out the way of the impact position. You’ll discover when you stand closer you’ll have to push your watermelon BACK out of the way of your hands coming in front of your belt buckle and through the impact zone. Remember: Ferris wheel–not carousel.
Standing closer will force the golfer to get their head up above the shoulder turn.
Proper golf posture, starting from the bottom is, bent knees, flexed hips, straight spine and head up above the shoulders. In this posture the straight spine will be tilted towards the golf ball allowing the arms to hang almost straight down from the shoulder joints.
Standing closer will help you hit the ball straighter, it will reduce your taxes, help bald men grow hair and give your complexion a more youthful look.
Of course, I suppose most people would stand closer if they weren’t afraid of exploding golf balls.
Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,
ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee. My Momma would be proud of me. My book, Golf for Beginners won the silver medal in the FAPA literary competition and the bronze medal in the elit competition.
pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.
ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.
Copyright 2019 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.
Well, I’ve finally done it. My historical novel about the Cherokee deportation, A White Killing Frost, is on the shelf ready for you to check out in the Lady Lake Library and the Sumter County Library in Wildwood. It’s also available in almost every public library system in both Georgia and Florida. How good is that? Also, you can buy it directly from me off my tailgate for a discount price and you won’t have to pay shipping. I suppose I am a late bloomer, as my mom suggested long ago. How good is that? The book is also available on Amazon both digitally and hard copy. The digital book is only $2.99.Click Here. I have a new book just published, The Bow Window. Click Here.