Golf Ball Positions for each Club

By Ben Jarratt •  Updated: 07/14/23 •  6 min read

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. If you buy anything through these links I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Golf is a game of precision, and the position of the ball relative to the clubhead at impact has a huge effect on its trajectory and distance. The fact is the “sweet spot” on most of today’s clubs where you can find consistent and accurate contact time after time is very small. This article centers on golf ball positions for each club.

What Are the Correct Golf Ball Positions for Each Club?

The distance a golf shot can travel may be determined by the positioning of the golf balls on their respective clubs. If you are playing in a competition, it is quite important that you know how to properly align your club with the different balls when using them for each swing.

#1 The driver ball position

You have to place this at the very center of the crown (top) of your driver’s head. This allows you to hit further because you have more clubface contact time upon impact, which will provide less “hooking” effect or “slice” effect. The driver is the most powerful of all the clubs, which makes shorter swings more beneficial than longer ones.

The driver is a large wood, metal, or fiberglass stick with a long shaft that is pushed by the golfer. It has a long narrow head and one rounded end called the “sweet spot.” The “realistic” driver can be up to 45 inches in length, and it is swung from the tee box, thus providing great distances.

The driver is considered to be the most influential club in golf because the most powerful part of this club’s swing enables an impact that will launch the ball off at great distances with less effort than any of the other clubs. 

The driver’s sweet spot on the face of its head will hit just under that ball to give it an edge during the impact.

Selecting your driver

The first thing golfers should look for in a driver is the size and shape, then the number of clubs per bag allowed by your Golf Club Rental. Bags allow between 1-5 clubs, and the most common are 3-4 depending on the rules of the course. The other important factor to consider is shafts.

These include graphite, steel, titanium, and stainless steel. They all have their pros and cons so you will need to consider your swing characteristics, personal preferences, and the price range you are willing to pay when making this decision.

#2 The 3-iron ball position

The second on the list of golf ball positions for each club is the 3-iron ball position.

This is slightly off-center, directly in line with the shaft, and an inch away from its leading edge. The “sweet spot” for a 3-iron is about 2 inches behind the center of this ball.

The club itself resembles a driver but it has one notable exception; it’s shorter and smaller to make the distance that you hit more accurate. 

This club is used between 200 and 250 yards away from the tee box, which is one reason why it’s shorter than a driver. The contact time for this ball is higher, but because of its smaller size, it has lower velocity thus making it not as far-reaching as other clubs in your bag.

#3 The 7-iron ball position

This is positioned 2 and 1/2 inches behind the club’s leading edge. Just like the 3-iron, this ball should be slightly off-center and also in line with its shaft. The “sweet spot” for a 7-iron is just under that red ball. Again, this is because of its smaller size when compared to other clubs. The 7-iron is meant to travel between 150 and 200 yards on average.

#4 The wedge ball position

This is placed just off-center, directly in front of the club’s leading edge. This red ball is located 1 inch behind that spot for its sweet spot to be effective with the added contact time needed to improve shots at this distance. 

The “poundage” of the wedge is most likely less than that of the driver and the 7-iron because of its shorter size, which in turn makes it easier for beginners to control shots at a shorter distance.

The wedge

This club is used for courses with tight crowded fairways, therefore shots can’t be too long, just accurate. The wedge has an even smaller head and shorter shaft than 6 and 7 irons which makes it less powerful and more precise to use on tight fairways with roughs or bunkers lining the course’s borders.

#5 Ball positions from the most common club used:

The 5-iron is positioned off-center, but all the way to the back of its leading edge. It is slightly tilted towards the ground at a 2-inch distance from underneath it. 

The 5-iron is shorter than other clubs in your bag due to its use for distances less than 100 yards away from where you are standing, thus making this ball position easier to achieve and maintain for beginners. Aim for its red spot.

#6 The putter ball position

For a putt to go straight, the sweet spot and clubhead must be perfectly in line with each other. Your golf ball should not be directly behind the hole but slightly off-center of it.  

The contact time needed to make this shot is longer than others. Therefore a longer time between impact and the golf ball’s flight is needed. Therefore you are aiming for that golf red spot directly under your clubhead.

#7 Hole positions

The last on the list of golf ball positions for each club is the hold position. Of course, not all of the holes on a golf course are perfectly flat and circular. 

Some are oval or elongated, but one thing that is always there is a flag post marking the hole’s location from where you stand to take your shot. 

If it’s too far for a putt, then go back and practice some more! Remember that different courses have various designs, so what we’ve explained here is just an overview of the most common types of ball positions you will encounter. 

Make sure you study each club’s specifications carefully before making any purchase!

Does Ball Position Depend on the Loft of the Club?

The loft of the club affects how high a ball travels through the air. 

Generally speaking, lower-lofted clubs move the ball more horizontally. Higher lofts cause the ball to rise more in flight and generally fly farther before landing. 

The golf ball position for each club is usually set so that the sweet spot of the club is directly below the ball. This will optimize contact time for that particular shot, maximizing distance and accuracy. 

If trying to reduce or even increase height on your shot, you may have tried adjusting this position slightly higher or lower depending on your needs and preferences.

Keep Reading