PGA Championship 2024: It’s a common golf swing mistake—a top player explains why

PGA Championship 2024: It’s a common golf swing mistake—a top player explains why

LOUISVILLE— Top golfers make mistakes, too. Bad habits creep in, and pretty soon, the shots start going sideways.

That’s why, ahead of the final practice round at the 2024 PGA Championship, two top players in the field were singing the same tune.

Most of my work that I do is fundamentals. Normally if something is off, it’s because of something in my setup, my grip or my ball position or something like that. All players are going to have different tendencies they are always working with, and it’s the same way for me.”

Defending champion Brooks Koepka agrees, explaining what he did after his disappointing T-45 finish at the 2024 Masters:

“It was long hours on the range. I got with everybody and really tried to go back to the fundamentals, that was the important thing.”

Top coaches on tour say that one of the most common bad habits they see creep into players’ golf swings concerns their ball position.

But top golfers often have a tendency to let their ball position sip too far back in their stance. Especially when it’s windy, as Koepka explained on Wednesday:

“It’s kind of funny, it’s been windy at Jupiter at Grove. Feels like it’s blowing 20 miles an hour every time we hit balls. So my ball position got back. Back with everything. All the way through the bag, even with the putter. So I wasn’t able to see the start lines. I like to see it start a little bit left of the target and then kind of fade back, and it was kind of starting on target or a little bit right, and I had the both-way miss, which isn’t good. But just to go back to fundamentals, so that was it.”

When the ball position drifts back, it can help give players the feeling of compressing the ball, and also can tend to help the ball fly lower. But as Brooks alludes to, it can also create problems.

“Every inch the ball position drifts back, it shifts the swing path out to the right,” Golf Digest No.1-ranked teacher Mark Blackburn explains. “It changes the golfers’ impact conditions…they may start missing to the right and not know why.”

As Butch Harmon explains here, golfers’ ball position should be in the middle of their stance for most wedges and short irons, then progressively moving up in the stance until it’s off their left heel with their driver.

So keep a close eye on it. Letting your ball position drift too far back is an easy mistake to make, but a quick one to fix. And with a bit of discipline, a simple one to prevent in the first place

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