Let’s kickstart this post by quoting the renowned golfer, Jack Nicklaus.
“You can still hit a reasonable shot with a mediocre swing, as long as you have set up perfectly.”
The importance of a proper golf stance is one of those things that amateur golfers do not give enough credit to.
Is it likely to get good results or expect an impact position despite having an incorrect stance? Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely.
To help you get that proper golf stance, we have listed some factors that you can work on to achieve the perfect stance for you. You will be surprised to see the difference it makes to your game. Keep reading to learn how you can take your golf game a notch higher!
The Proper Golf Stance – Setting Up For Success
1. Pay Attention the Width of Your Stance
The driving range is where you will see several golfers with several different abilities and varying stance widths. The most fundamental and precise way to see if your feet are accurately placed is making sure if they are shoulder-width apart. This is how your stance should be if you are using a middle iron.
For longer clubs, you can use woods or drivers. If you are using short irons or wedges, you can narrow your stance by one or two inches. When you are chipping or pitching, you will not generally require a wide stance.
Stability and rotational ability are two important aspects of stance width. When you position your feet shoulder-width apart, you will gain an equal balance between stability and rotational ability.
You are likely to have more balance if you spread your feet farther apart than shoulder-width. But the problem with is you will find difficulty in rotation and weight transfer.
If your feet are closer than shoulder width, you will make swift and precise turns. Once you start to approach the driver, you will require a wider base for support. Here, it is alright if you widen your stance.
We find many golfers whose shoes touch when they are taking some wedge shots around the green. It is advised to have some flexibility by increasing the width of your feet while positioning your golf stance is essential.
Having an improper golf stance can affect your game quite negatively. Also, keep in mind that the hips determine the proper width rather than your shoulders. This will help you adjust yourself as required to achieve the perfect golf stance.
2. Check Your Posture
Having a good posture is one of the critical aspects of playing with the right golf stance. It also positively impacts your balance and swing plane. So, for those with drooping backs and overly flexed knees, your posture is what you should be paying attention to.
The most crucial thing to remember about having good posture is to check if you have the correct spine angle and if your arms are hanging freely to the side. Various golfers have different visuals about what a good golf posture should look like. Nevertheless, the best way to perfect your posture is by standing tall and holding the golf club right ahead of you.
Bend forwards at your hips ( similar to sitting in a chair). Make sure you perform this action just using your hips and not bending at the waist. You are in a proper stance if your buttocks slightly push out. Allow your hands to casually hang to your side such that you are not able to reach the golf ball. This way, you will not be at this risk of hitting your leg while you are about to take a swing. Here, you must have a neutral spine angle and position yourself accordingly to take a golf swing.
We mentioned the aspect of flexibility above when we were discussing the stance width. Now, talking about posture, try not to change it. Fix yourself in an effective position and keep it constant throughout the entirety of your game and with every club.
Another tip: make sure these three parts are in the same line:
- Centre of the upper spine
- Balls of feet
When you do this, make sure that your back knee is marginally turned inside, pointing at the target. Another great way to make the shot more powerful is by turning your shoulders during the backswing. A straight spin will result in longer drives and higher consistency when you make shots.
3. Take Note of Ball Position
The position of the ball in having a proper golf stance is not as simple of a concept as you would anticipate. The golf swing and the club you are using both play an essential role in deciding the position of the ball.
Commonly, if you are using a wedge, the middle of the stance is where you should play the ball. Once you move on to drivers, you can position the ball more on your front foot. When you hit with a driver, use the space inwards of your front foot to position it.
While using irons or wedges to hit your golf shot, a descending blow must occur. This blow is what enables the golf ball to fly accurately and spin on the short irons. You will want to hit your golf ball slightly higher on the upswing when you are using a driver. Therefore, positioning the ball towards your front foot makes complete sense.
Many people have a misconception that during wedge shots, golfers position the ball off the back foot. However, since the stance for wedge shot is a lot less wide, the ball looks like it is in higher proximity to the back foot while still being close to the middle of the stance.
Coming back to your arms, you need to make sure they are comfortably hanging and not reaching too far out. Keeping your arms overly close to your body is also a mistake you need to avoid. Just ensure that you are neither too far nor too close to the golf ball.
The ball position changes as you change the club because the length of each club is different. Here is a summary of how the ball position varies with changing clubs:
- If you are using short irons, the position of the ball is in the middle of the stance
- If you are using a driver, position the ball slightly inwards to your front foot
- If you are using longer clubs, place the ball half an inch in the direction of the front foot
4. Balance Is Critical
Another vital aspect of achieving a proper golf stance is by making sure you have distributed your body weight properly. Putting your weight either on your front foot or back can significantly differ when you are about to initiate your golf swing. Distributing weight on your heels or the ball of your feet will make you see a substantial difference as well. Having an outstanding balance will also give you a noticeable edge during your backswings.
When you are about to start swinging, you generally always need to make sure that your weight should lie in the center of your foot. This way, the weight in the center will enable your stance to stay controlled. It will also significantly reduce leaning both forwards and backward once you are in your impact position. Be sure to distribute your weight equally among all heels and toes.
Just as you are about to hit the golf ball, it is alright to put a little more weight on your right leg if you happen to be right-handed. Doing this will facilitate weight transfer in the beginning just when the swinging starts. You can more powerful shots if you slightly shift your balance as required. However, not all players are required to do this. Many other golfers find swinging the club a lot easier once the weight is precisely centered.
If you are using shorter clubs or irons, put your weight in favor of the foot on the side of the target. For example, right-handers will spread more weight on the left foot. In the case of middle iron shots, the weight should be evenly divided between both feet. For those of you that are using long clubs, add a little more weight to your back foot. It will be the right foot for right-handed golfers.
5. Adjust Your Alignment
Once you have positioned your body correctly and have perfected your golf posture, you now need to line up correctly. Golf professionals say that if you have not started your line up precisely, you shouldn’t even bother swinging your golf club. You cannot expect to swing and pray with improper alignment and go too far in this game.
The tricky part about alignment in golf is the fact that you will be standing parallel to the target while you are swinging. Positioning yourself along the line while ensuring that you are lined up correctly can get a little overwhelming for some golfers.
One remarkable way to check whether you lined up correctly is to pick a target line while standing behind a golf ball. Track this line back to your ball and pick a spot a couple of feet away on the same line as well. Try to choose a spot around three feet away because it will be a lot less dispiriting than hitting a shot that is about a hundred yards ago.
Now that you have set a target line, you now need to make sure that your feet, hips and shoulders are square to that target line. You also need to make sure that your clubface is square as well.
You can use this target line to aim left, right, or anywhere around if you feel like you need to. You just need to keep in mind is that all parts have been set to aim in the same direction. If you are unable to follow these instructions, your golf swing will not make a full-fledged shot.
6. Variation of Golf Stance with Wedges, Irons, Drivers, and Putters
Honestly, golf would have been more straightforward if you were not required to change your stance when you switch from golf driver to an iron. Where golf gets slightly complicated is when you need to alter your stance according to the golf club you are using.
You will see a noticeable difference in stance once you switch form short irons to long irons. Taking your time and working on these changes will improve your overall golf game with satisfying shots.
Following are some ideas you can keep in mind while changing clubs:
- Make sure your posture remains constant while changing from clubs
- Longer the golf club, the wider the stance (maximum with driver)
- For drivers, woods, and hybrids, the ball position will move towards your front foot
- Remember that regardless of what club you have in your hand, your alignment and alignment regime should stay constant.
- Putting stances are rather unconventional when compared to other golf clubs
- You can practice on the driving range by changing clubs and modifying your stance. This is an excellent way to become seasoned to your individual style of setup or stance.
7. Golf Stance Varies with Height
When we discuss golf, there are no fixed height criteria. Different golfers have different heights, and this variation may result in an alteration of the stance.
One of the main differences you will be able to spot is the change in the spine angle. However, you will hardly be able to see a significant difference if the equipment is fitted correctly.
If you are a tall player, we recommend using long clubs. Short clubs will negatively impact your posture if you are on the taller side. Nevertheless, as long as the equipment has been fixed precisely, you will not have to worry about the height factor much.
Common Mistakes Made in Golf Stance
Errors in golf stance is a common mistake among both beginners and seasoned golfers.
Here are some pointers based on the most common mistakes golfers make:
- Do not bend your knees more than required
- Make sure to readjust your stance width while changing clubs
- The position of the ball should not be too behind in the stance
- Do not give too much weight to your alignment
- The position of the ball should not be too behind in the stance
- Check that your weight has evenly been distributed while swinging
- Make sure you do not affect your spine angle by keeping your head down
- You need to let the weight transfer during initiation of the swing
If you find yourself straining in any of the above areas, read further for some exercises and drills you can try.
Drills, Exercises, and Practice Ideas to Achieve a Proper Golf Stance
Unlike the golf stance, many golfers will agree when we say hitting long drives is rather fun to practice. It is certainly not the most thrilling part of your golf session, but working on your golf stance definitely deserves your time.
There are a number of techniques you can try to improve your golf stance. One of the best ways that we suggest trying is to use a mirror or to record yourself. This way, you can observe exactly what you look like when you hold and Grip your golf club. Once you pay attention to how your feet are placed, where your hands are on the club, and how you stand, you can adjust your position accordingly. It will significantly help you to better your stance while getting some visual assistance.
Another great way to help yourself learn more about proper angles and weight distribution is to watch how golf professionals play. If you are already a golf enthusiast and enjoy watching golf, you probably see many professional golfers play on television. You need to do is pay attention to the posture and position to help you understand how to get it right.
We genuinely hope you have found this article resourceful to make significant differences to your golf stance. With the right information and visuals in your head about how a proper golf stance looks like, you will soon have a great golf stance.
A proper golf stance is something you will master through practice. Much like the golf grip, this is something that can come and go and you have to make a conscious effort to improve your stance. The correct stance will give you enough power to make a solid shot and control the direction of your shots. In the initial stages, it may take some time, but you will surely understand its importance once you start observing noticeable improvement in your game.
All you have to do is put in some work and give it some time. You will be swinging the golf club in your best gold stance soon enough! Please visit us again in the near future for additional updates, tips and reviews.