The initial setup of your golf swing is easily one of the most critical components of the perfect swing and a winning game. Not only does your golf stance affect the way you play, but it can also lead to pain and injury if you don’t have a proper one. With the help of this article, you can learn to perfect your stance to improve your game.
Why is the Right Stance So Important?
The most obvious reason to improve your position in golf is that it can improve your shot. You can have a great golf swing, but without the proper golf stance, your swing won’t make much of a difference. A good stance will place your body in the best position possible to improve your focus, aim, and your swing.
In fact, most professionals take extra care during the setup process, spending more time setting the ball and their stance than they do taking a swing. The right setup will give you more power through your shot because it can keep you balanced and put you in the best position to use your force efficiently.
Just as important as improving your game, though, is that the right stance can keep you from getting injured. A good golf stance gives you excellent posture to prevent rounded shoulders and back or neck pain. It can also reduce the need for your lower body to move as much, preventing damage to your hip joints.
How to Have the Right Golf Stance Throughout Your Game
Fortunately, once you understand how to get the right stance for golfing, it will become second-nature. A proper stance might feel awkward at first, but you’ll feel a difference in the toll your swing takes on your body, as well as the improved power and aim you’ll feel when you swing.
Find the Right Width of Your Stance
Your golf stance width refers to the distance between your feet on the green. This exact measurement will differ for everyone, depending on the length of your legs, your height, and other body-related factors.
The best way to determine the best width for your stance is to pay attention to your hip joints. Stand with your ankles hip distance apart. Then, place two golf balls side-by-side at the tip of your toes. Move your feet on each side so that the insides of your ankles are lined up with the balls. Your stance should be a hip distance apart, plus the width of two golf balls.
A narrow stance won’t give you the power you need in your swing. A stance that’s too wide can prevent you from shifting your weight for power and balance as you swing.
Focus on Knee Flex
The flex of your knees contributes to your overall balance and mobility when you swing. The amount your knees bend will vary from person to person because much of it has to do with your comfort.
But, the best balance usually comes from bending your knees so that they’re directly over the balls of your feet, which places most of your weight in the center of your feet. This gives you balance that allows you to remain steady as you rotate to swing.
Angle Your Feet
Your feet angle also contributes to the way your body balances as you swing the club. Personal preference will dictate which of two options you choose for the angle of your feet in a proper stance for golf. Stand with your body facing the target line with the proper width apart. Keep both feet facing the target line without angling them.
You can choose to keep both feet pointed toward the target line, or you can allow your front foot to turn outward slightly, pointing toward the target.
Proper Arm and Hand Placement
Your arm position will vary between clubs. The position of your arms in your golf stance for a driver, for example, will be slightly different than that for a wedge. But, your hand placement will remain the same to give you a good grip on your club.
Hold the club where the grip meets the shaft with your right hand, and then grab the rest of the grip with your left, keeping your fingers on the underside of the grip. Your thumb should be on the top of the grip, pressing firmly. Then, slide your right hand down, allowing your fingers to wrap gently around the top of your left hand and keeping your right thumb also at the top of the grip.
Once you get yourself into the right position, you should feel your weight mostly in the center of your feet, but closer to the balls of your feet than the heels. When you swing shorter clubs, you should distribute more weight onto the foot closest to your target, while longer clubs require more weight on your back foot for a mighty swing. When you use a middle iron, keep your weight distributed evenly on both feet.
Get a Good Posture
Posture is key to preventing injuries and improving your overall stance and swing. It’s tempting to slouch forward as you get ready to aim and swing, but doing so can be detrimental to your spine, shoulders, neck, and hips.
Instead, keep your spine straight and bend slightly at your hips. Your back knee should bend slightly in toward the target as you swing, and your head should tip slightly, the same was that your spine does. This position will also give you more power as you swing by balancing your body weight correctly.
Proper Ball Placement
An essential part of keeping your posture is placing the ball in the optimal position. If they’re too far away from your feet, you’ll bend over more than necessary. The position of the ball will vary according to the club you’re using, but should never be closer to your back foot than front foot. As for ball distance, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re straining to reach it, or that it’s too close that you must stand upright.
Changing Up Your Golf Stance
Once you feel comfortable using a proper stance, typically known as a square stance, you might want to try experimenting with an open golf stance. This stance can be helpful at times when your position to the target doesn’t allow you to have a straight shot to the hole. An open stance lets you put more of an angle on your shot for slices. You can do this by pointing your feet to the left of the target, or to the right if you’re left-handed, which will promote an outside-in spin on the ball.
Conclusion: Perfecting Your Golf Stance to Improve Your Game
The perfect stance in golf will vary slightly according to your body, but it creates a position that aids your posture, power, and balance in the game. By becoming familiar with good posture and stance for golf, you’ll not only improve your swing, but you can also prevent serious short-term or long-term injuries that can affect your game. Your stance should feel more comfortable over time, becoming second-nature to you as you set it up before a shot. Once you have a command of your stance and posture, you can experiment with other golf stances to perfect your game.