Golf: Address - Line Up the Ball Off the Heel of the Club
The ball lined up at the center of the club.
The ball lined up at the center of the club.

Golf: Address - Line Up the Ball Off the Heel of the Club

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

In the pre-shot routine, it seems logical to line up the ball with the center of the club. After all, the center is the portion of the club you want the ball to contact (it's often called the “sweet spot”).

The ball lined up at the heel of the club
The ball lined up at the heel of the club
However, lining up with the center of the club may create a tendency to hit the ball off the toe of the club. In fact, it may be better to teach your students to address the ball off the heel of the club. Here's why.

Why Line Up On the Heel of the Club
In fact, the club's position at address is different from the position it assumes during the swing. During the swing, the shoulder and hip rotate counter-clockwise, which pulls the club slightly towards the body. This means that lining up the ball with the center of the club may result in contact on the toe of the club during the swing.

To compensate, line up off the heel.

Other Advantages
There are other advantages in using this pre-shot alignment. Students who address the ball in the center of the club tend to stand too far away and place excess weight on their toes. This produces a flat swing path.

By addressing the ball off the heel, your students stand closer to the ball in a more upright position, with their weight better distributed on their feet and with their arms in a more relaxed position.

If they miss, it will be towards the heel of the club, which produces a stronger shot than a miss towards the toe of the club.

Examples
Many professionals address the ball off the heel of their club, including Tom Kite, Seve Ballesteros, John Daly, Corey Pavin, Fuzzy Zoeller and Bernhard Langer.

References: 
1. 100 Golf Lessons That I Learned in My Journey From 14 Handicapper to Professional Golfer, Kindle Edition, Amazon Digital Services, 2011.
2. Phil Ritson (Teaching Editor), “Heel it!” Golf, May 1992.


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