Where your golf ball position should be while putting, according to a Top 100 Teacher

In today's Play Smart lesson, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy gives his advice on where to position your ball when you putt

In today's Play Smart lesson, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy gives his advice on where to position your ball when you putt.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

A poor putting stroke can absolutely crush a round of golf. Just when you start to drive it well off the tee, have stellar approach shots and feel a soft touch around the green, your three-putts can add up. It can be a tough scene, and it will ruin your scorecard.

While there are plenty of different grips to try and putting strokes to test out, one thing that may help is better understanding where the golf ball position should be when lining up for a putt. So we asked GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy for help.

How to determine where the golf ball position should be while putting

While it may seem simple, sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Whether that’s a little change in your swing, your stroke, or your setup, even a small shift can have a big impact on your results — and it’s not always positive. In Murphy’s experience, putting is an area where he sees this all the time, even without players noticing until the results get really bad.

Golf ball position in putting is one of those areas that can have a detrimental effect on your stroke.

In Murphy’s opinion, the correct ball position for putting is just a slight bit forward of center, erroring on the side of dead center. This allows for a player to strike the ball at the bottom of the arc to slightly on the upswing, giving them the possibility of the best roll.

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When Murphy sees a player with the golf ball position either too far forward or too far back in their stance, it can create a host of other problems in the setup and stroke.

Too far forward tends to open the shoulders, open the hips, change the aim more to the left and gets the player to move their bodies on the forward stroke, trying to move the bottom of their arc more forward.

Conversely, when a player has their ball position too far back, it typically closes their shoulders, closes their hips relative to the target, their aim goes more to the right, and they get too steep and narrow in the stroke.

For this reason, the golf ball position while putting should be in the middle of your stance. From there, take your grip and setup over the ball, seeing how it looks and feels.

If you’re comfortable, it means your ball position and setup are usually good. If it feels too far back or forward, then your ball position and alignment might be off — so you’ll need to do some work to adjust accordingly.

For those players who are struggling with consistency while putting, check your golf ball position. There’s a good chance that where it’s positioned even before hitting your shot is causing more problems than you think.

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