Where Do You Line Up The Golf Ball?

Tell us where you line ’em up

Ordinarily the majority of golfers will align the club head behind the ball at address with it centered in the score line area on irons and wedges and on woods and hybrids at the alignment aid on the crown. After all, that is why golf club manufacturers go through all of that trouble adding these features.

This is how I address the ball and generally don’t have problems returning the club at impact in the center of the face. However, I have played with golfers that will line the ball up at either the toe or way inside toward the heel of the club.

I usually try to avoid looking at a player that does line it up differently than I do because mentally it messes with my mojo the next time I go to align the club. Now I am not just talking about bad golfers either, but good golfers doing this too.

I played with one played that I swear the ball was teed up beyond the toe. But whatever he did during the swing he managed to hit the ball in the center of the face and land the ball in the fairway. It just proves there is not one perfect set up.

Do you line up the club elsewhere other than the center of the face? If you do what happens when you line up the ball “conventionally”? Do you hook it? Slice? Need a GPS to find which fairway (or state) your ball landed?

Let’s hear from you…

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  1. Tim B. says:


    It’s funny you bring this up. I have had many comments on my conventional swing and alignment with most clubs except the driver. I, like many others, had a problem in making good contact with the oversize drivers. I tried most everything until one day on the range I made a couple of changes I had never tried. The first was dropping my RH foot back to “give me room to bring the club from the inside”. This immediately helped by straightening out my ball flight. The second was teeing the ball up right on the outside corner of the toe. This makes me come from the inside to “reach” the ball resulting in a straight or slight draw flight. After swinging this way for a year with greatly improved results from the driver I am sticking with it.

    In a time when many are going to “shorter” drivers or “thrivers” I have found the 46″ or 46.5″ driver to suit my unconventional set-up very well. I am hitting the longest/straightest drives of my 10 years playing golf. It is all about what works for you!

    Thanks for all you and Hireko does for the industry!

    Tim B.

  2. There are a couple of patents based on this observation. They were granted to John Ford in 2002 and 2004 (patents number 6,471,599 and 6,729,967 respectively). They involve an array of dots on the topline, and a process using impact tape to determine which dot to fill with paint. Once you go through the process, you will align the ball with the paint-filled dot, and that will improve your chances of center impact on the clubface.

  3. Joe Fiorentino says:

    I just attended a golf school that preached lining up and hitting just inside the vertical centerline towards the heel. The argument has that the optical center is 1.5″ from the inside heel based on a 3″ long iron face however the true center of precussion is 2″ from the outside of the heel as the total length of the face of the club is 4″ measuring from the outside face the iron to the outside of the hosel. This brings the center of precussion closer to the hosel. This is also true for woods. I have tried it and it works! Also measured was my ball speed relative to club head speed. Stated was ball speed should be 25 MPH above club speed. When hitting in the optical center I was only 10 MPH over but improved to 35 MPH closer to the heel. Of course this took courage as I was at first afraid of shanking the ball.

    Your comments please.


  4. George M says:

    Through advice from a family member, i was able to correct a bad slice by lining the ball up two or three inches beyond the toe. This makes me “go out” and hit the ball, correcting an inside out swing. This method has vastly improved my driving. I rarely miss a fairway. I get alot of apologies from people who were talking while i was hitting. They always think i am going to take some practice swings because i was not lined up.

  5. Al says:

    I generally set up with the ball centered on the face of the club, but make very small adjustments if needing a cut or a draw ball flight. I hit a Titleist 909D3 driver & set up just inside of center for a cut & just outside of center for a draw. No changes in swing plane.

  6. kyle says:

    Some reptile company claim 9 sweet spots for our bad aim. Anyways I always tee up off center toe end (opposite the heel alignment picture). Like George I will reach for the ball and all is lined up. Now add in tee height and you would wonder where that club goes to even make contact.

    Honestly, I wonder if club length creates these alignments and swings. I have played 45″ ever since steel wasn’t in my drivers and hated the open club face ever since. I feared clunking off the ground so I was lifting the club or taking a really flat angle to make my swings. I finally measured my wrist to floor which is 30.5 So, I chopped the drivers to 43.5-44 put on the tape and practiced to break the fearful habit.

  7. Johnstake says:

    Does this help with an over the top golf swing? I cannot get out of that funk regardless how many buckets I hit

  8. Jeff Summitt says:


    How far away you stand away from the ball can change your swing plane, but there are many other factors than can contribute to the over-the-top swing. One is stance. Instead of hitting bucket after bucket and ingraining bad habits, talk to your local golf professional. They can get you literally on the right track. If not, it could be your equipment not suited to you such as a length that is too long, club overall too light or need for backweighting.

  9. James Havidic says:

    George Knudson recommended lining up the ball near the toe end of the club to allow for the natural extension of the arms created by the force of the swing. Makes sense to me!

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