If you’re like many weekend golfers, you probably pay little attention to your proper golf stance. If you’re like many golfers, you get into your stance quickly, pick a target out, and then swing away. Whiles this approach works, it won’t help you go low.
Savvy golfers, on the other hand, know that having a good golf stance is critical to good shot making. Your stance is your swing’s foundation, providing balance and support for your swing and storing the energy needed to hit it long and straight.
Professional golfers know that a solid stance generates powerful, accurate swings, so they pay close attention to their stances. Many use key checkpoints to verify that they’re golf stance is correct and they’re in good position to hit the ball.
If you’re serious about breaking 80 consistently, you need a stance that works for you. Use the checkpoints below to make sure your stance supports power accuracy and consistency.
One Type Doesn’t Fit All
By the term “proper golf stance,” we’re referring to your full setup position at address. Keep in mind that with stances one type doesn’t fit all. Nor does the same stance work for all shots. You may need to change your stance depending on the shot.
Golf stances can be narrow, normal, or wide. Each version has its pros and cons. A wide stance, one that exceeds shoulder-width length, keeps your hips level and balanced throughout your swings. Plus, it generates a lower center of gravity than your normal stance, producing a shorter quicker swing. That boosts accuracy and consistency.
A wide stance, however, has its downsides. It encourages a poor angle of attack on your downswing, short-circuiting power. A powerless swing does little to help you break 80. The trick is to find a proper golf stance that works for the shot you’re making.
Different Golf Stances for Different Shots
Not every shot calls for the same stance. Using a wider stance than normal on windy days, for example, increases stability, resulting in a better shot. Below are seven key points to check at the address to make sure your stance is correct.
1. Correct Golf Stance Alignment
It’s critical you align yourself properly to hit accurate shots. But some golfers alter their alignment to compensate for a swing fault. Others are just careless about alignment. Align yourself parallel left of the target on most shots if you swing right-handed. Check your alignment periodically to make sure bad habits don’t creep in.
2. Golf Stance Accurate Width
A normal stance has your heels lined up underneath your shoulders. If your heels are too close together, your stance is too narrow. That hampers power and accuracy. If your heels are lined up way outside your shoulders, on the other hand, you’ll find it hard to shift your weight. That encourages mis-hits and weak shots.
3. Golf Stance Correct distance to the ball
Standing too close or too far from the ball also encourages mis-hits. Standing too close can cause you to hit the ball off the club’s heel or hosel. Standing too far from the ball can cause you to hit the ball of the toe. Keep in mind that the distance to the ball changes as you change clubs. How do you find the right distance for each shot? See below:
That’s simple. Take your chosen club and match it up with your front thigh. Make sure the handle is about an inch above the knee cap and in line with your belt buckle. The club’s butt end should be about a fist or two away from your belt buckle. Move your feet closer together or farther away to match this position.
4. Ball position for Good Golf Stance
Many experts suggest you change ball position depending on the club your using and/or the swing your making. Position the ball in the middle of your stance, for example, when hitting middle iron shots, but slightly forward when hitting long irons and woods.
If that approach isn’t right for you to try using a stance where the ball is always slightly center of forward like Jack Nicklaus did. He used one ball position for all his shots. This approach has its merits. Try both approaches and use the one that works best for you.
5. The position of hands – Best Golf Stance
Having the correct hand position is imperative. Misplacing your hands contributes to poor ball striking. Having your hands too far back encourages scooping. Having your hands too far forward promotes inconsistency. To find the right position for your hands, point the butt end of your club at your front or left hip. That way your hands will always be in the right position.
6. Proper Golf Stance Posture
Your golf swing is pretty much a turning motion around a single column—your spine. In other words, every swing needs to revolve around the spine angle established at address. The better you do this, the better your swing. Also, the more accurate your shot.
To find the right spine angle for you, stand up straight up at address, point the club out in front of you and perpendicular to your swing, then lean forward until the club touches the ground. That’s your correct spine angle
7. Proper Golf Stance Grip
Your grip controls critical elements of your swing—how fast the club is traveling through the swing, what direction the club is going in, and the position of the club at impact. Gripping the club incorrectly robs you of power, accuracy, and consistency.
Many golfers use a neutral grip. Other use strong or weak grips depending on how strong their hands are. Some golfers use and interlocking grip. Others use an overlapping grip. Then there are those that use a baseball grip. Find a grip that works for you and check to see that you use it all the time.
Use these seven checkpoints to assume the right golf stance at address—one that generates power, consistency, and accuracy. Developing a swing that does that will help you cut strokes from both your golf score and your handicap, and break 80.
Change Your Golf Stance to Draws and Fades
Many golf teachers recommend hitting a draw off the tee. That makes sense in a lot of situations. Draws tend to roll after hitting the grown, generating extra yards from the tee box. If you want to maximize distance on your drive, hit a draw.
Other golf teachers recommend hitting a power fade off the tee. That worked for Jack Nicklaus. Fades tend to stop after hitting the ground, providing maximum accuracy from the tee box. If you want to maximize accuracy on your drives, hit a fade.
Savvy golfers learn to hit both. That way they can use either on demand. Changing your proper golf stance can help you hit both types of shots when the situation calls for it. Below are the keys to hitting both shots:
Alter your golf stance to hit a draw
Two proven methods for hitting a draw exist. Many consider the approach below the easier of the two methods. The key move here is “closing” your stance.
- Close your stance by positioning your body so your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders all point slightly to the right of your target line if you’re right-handed.
- Point your clubface directly at the target. This adjustment helps put the right spin on the ball so it can fly right to left.
- Swing your club along your stance line or slightly inside your swing path. Try to make a smooth swing through impact.
Alter your golf stance to hit a fade
More and more golfers are hitting a fade off the tee. Jack Nicklaus, for example, hit a power fade off the tee to great advantages. The key move here is “opening” your stance:
- Open your golf stance by positioning your body so your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders all point slightly to the right of your target line if you’re right-handed.
- Point your clubface directly at your target, as you did above. This adjustment helps put the right spin on the ball for it to fly left to right.
- Swing your club along your stance line. Try to make a smooth swing through impact, just like you did when hitting a draw.
Practice these shots next time you go to the range. Learning to hit a draw and a fade on-demand can help you cut strokes off your scores.
Adopt This Proper Golf Stance to Drain More Putts
Adopting the right putting stance is just as critical as adopting the right stance for your full swing. If you’re tense and stiff in your putting stance or your stance is misaligned, you’ll probably miss the putt.
The drill below shows you how to adopt a putting stance that will help you drain more putts no matter how tough they are:
Correct Putting Stance Drill
Find a straight putt on the practice green. Now drop back about four feet from the hole and place an alignment stick on the ground parallel to your target line. Now take your putting stance. Make sure your feet are parallel to the alignment stick and your hands, arms, and shoulders are loose.
Now bend over the putt. Keep bending over until your neck is parallel to the ground. Next put your hands together underneath your chest as if you were going to use them to putt. Then, take your arms back as if you were putting then and swing them forward. Make sure you keep your neck parallel to the round as do this.
That adjustment enables you to swing your arms under your chest and create a pendulum-like swing using just your shoulders. Practice this pre-shot routine several times without a ball. Then drop a ball down and putt it to the hole using this method. Repeat this sequence until your comfortable putting this way.
Keep practicing this until adopting the right stance is second nature to you. Use it on the next round you play and see how it works. Play a few rounds like this so you can get used to the approach. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself draining more putts from every distance.