Why your ball position is hurting your golf swing, according to Lee Trevino

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Play the ball further back in your stance, Trevino says.

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What do you ask golf legend Lee Trevino, who doubles as potentially the best ball striker of all time, when the opportunity presents itself? With a seemingly infinite amount of golf wisdom at his disposal, I decided to keep it simple:

“What’s some advice for golfers who struggle to hit the ball solidly?”

For a moment I was worried the question was too broad, but The Merry Mex, speaking at the 2021 Berenberg Invitational, didn’t miss a beat.

“Your arms are only so long,” he says. “You have to understand that your arms are like the limbs attached to the trunk of a tree. My body is the trunk, and my arms are the limbs. They swing back and forth.”

The analogy is a useful one because it describes something lots of pros think about: The “radius” of their golf swing. Your arms are going to straighten as you swing, Trevino says, which means you need to monitor the literal space between yourself and the golf ball you’re trying to hit.

And in that regard, there’s nothing more important than your ball position.

Trevino says your ball position is (probably) too far forward

Let’s go back to Lee’s tree limb analogy. Your arms — the limbs — swing back and forth around the trunk of the tree. As your arms do this, there’s a point where they begin moving up and around your body, away from the golf ball. This is why, Trevino says, a common mistake occurs when golfers play the ball too far forward in their stance: Their arms begin coming up, which brings the club with them, which results in thin shots, whiffs, and other mis-hits.

Play the ball further back in your stance, Trevino says

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“They’re coming up before they’re hitting the golf ball,” Trevino says. “The ball is going low, it’s going left, and you’re catching the ball thin.”

It’s why Trevino tells golfers to play the ball more back in their stance than they think. It’ll help them make a compressed strike on the golf ball and send the ball straighter.

You can watch Trevino in his own words below.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.