How Far to Stand from the Golf Ball

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An aspect of the general golf swing setup that isn’t spoken about enough is how far to stand from the golf ball. 

Since no two clubs in your bag will be exactly the same length, it makes sense that the distance you should stand from the ball will vary depending on which club you’re using.

Our breakdown will show you how we find our perfect distance to stand from the ball, as well as the side effects from standing too close or too far away!

How Far to Stand from the Golf Ball Explained

Knowing the distance we stand from the ball should change leads many amateurs to manipulate their golf stance to unnecessary positions. To settle this once a for all, here’s how we find the perfect distance to stand from the ball with every single one of our golf clubs. Side note, standing the correct distance from the ball is one thing, but making sure you’ve established the correct golf ball position for each club is just as important.

Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Distance From the Ball

Following this quick and easy golf setup drill will help you determine the optimal distance to stand from the golf ball:

Step 1: Take your standard golf stance and extend your club out from your body until it’s parallel with the ground. 

Step 2: Hinge forward at the waist until your club reaches the ground. 

Step 3: Shimmy forward until your clubface is in-line with the golf ball. 

Helpful Tip: If you film your swing from the “down-the-line” perspective (as we’ve demonstrated above with the help of our GPOD golf swing filming aid) you should see your hands directly below, or just slightly in front of your shoulders.

Side Effects of Having the Wrong Distance from the Golf Ball

Standing too close to the ball can cause heel-biased contact (or complete hosel shanks) while also limiting your ability to generate power. 

Standing too far from the ball can cause excess knee flex and inconsistency of contact since you’re extending your arms so far forward. 


Shorter bump and run or chip/pitch shots should use a closer-to-the-ball stance to help encourage the club head to move more “straight back and straight through” your swing plane, rather than inside. Note that with the wedge, you should still see the hands hanging from your shoulders as you address the golf ball. By following the golf setup drill above with a wedge you’ll notice that you stand closer to the ball naturally and that’s because the wedge is shorter.

An inside takeaway with wedge shots causes inconsistency and jerky-movement, hence why many golfers struggle with simple shots around the greens!


We prefer to have our eyes directly over the golf ball when putting to naturally bring the ball to a comfortable distance away from our body. 

If you were looking for a specific measurement, roughly 1.5 putter head lengths away from your feet is the ideal length to stand from the golf ball when putting.


As we discussed earlier, you generally want your hands just below or slightly in front of your shoulders when finding your distance to stand from the ball with other clubs. 

Since your driver is the longest club in your bag by-far, you can afford to stretch and extend your arms more than normal (with your hands are past the tips of your toes) when creating your stance. 

Extending your arms greater than you normally would for other clubs helps keep your driver swing powerful and not cramped.

When we struggle with height or distance off the tee, often we have the ball too close to our body when creating our driver stance!

Summary of How Far to Stand From the Golf Ball

Determining the correct distance to stand from the golf ball is often overlooked but crucial for a consistent swing. To find the perfect distance, follow these steps: extend your club parallel to the ground, hinge forward at the waist until your club reaches the ground, and shimmy forward until your clubface aligns with the ball. This ensures your hands are just below or slightly in front of your shoulders, as seen from a down-the-line perspective. Standing too close can lead to heel-biased contact and power limitations, while standing too far results in inconsistent contact due to excessive arm extension. The ideal distance varies with different clubs, naturally closer for wedges and a bit farther for the driver.

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ScramblingTom is a writer for Golf Leap and has been playing golf competitively for the last 13 years. He loves to dive deep into different subjects within the game to further his knowledge and help others along the way. Currently, he is hovering around Scratch.

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