The chances of making a good swing increase significantly if you take extra care to make sure that things are spot-on at set-up, with ball position one of the key ingredients of a good set-up. Here’s how to find the perfect ball position with every club from short iron through to long irons, and the driver. It’s very much about sternum position and how that relates to swing arc.

First, the 9-iron. Start your set-up with your feet together so your sternum is directly over the ball. Take a little step with your left foot and the same length step right with your right. Ball position remains below your sternum in the middle of the stance, and with a successful swing, the club will bottom out just after the ball and you’ll take a little divot.

The mid-iron is longer and will therefore bottom out differently, so you  need to change your set-up very slightly. Starting with your feet together again, take that same little step to the left but a slightly bigger step to the right. Your sternum is now slightly behind the ball, but because the club is longer it will still bottom out just after the ball.

With the 4-iron, guess what? It’s the same step left again, but a slightly bigger step right to allow the longer club to still bottom out correctly.

Check out the ball position adjustments you’ll have to make from fairway bunkers if you need to get the ball up quickly

1 Same step left
The step left from the feet together position remains constant with your irons. It is the step to the right that gets progressively bigger with the longer irons.

2 Long iron stability
That bigger right step with the long irons also gives you a wider stance, which you need for added stability as you’re going to be creating more clubhead speed.

How to set up to play a hybrid

3 Driver variation
You want to be hitting up with the driver, so you need the sternum further behind the ball. So just a very tiny step – almost just a fanning out really – with the left foot then a nice big step with the right.