You’ve got your game on, now how do you level up? It all starts with perfecting your golf stance.

Proper golf stance is important to anyone’s game. From beginner to professional, it’s crucial for the swing to be correct; allowing the ball to travel in the direction you intend it to go. As mentioned by Pete Styles from Free Online Golf tips, “A golf stance is made up of several elements –- the right width of stance, the right amount of knee flex, the angle of the feet and overall posture.”

Golf Stance Width

Training – Stance WidthRead full descriptions of all Tour Sticks drills online:

Posted by Tour Sticks- The World's #1 Golf Training Aid used by Tour Pros on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When measuring your golf stance you can use a club to help figure out how far apart your feet should go. Taking your club, first measure the width of your shoulders, making sure to pinch the club on either side. The inside of your feet should reflect this measurement. From these measurements, you create a pyramid base-basically your feet are just a little wider than your shoulders. This makes you a bit more stable for your swing.

Next, you want to make sure your feet are pointed correctly. If pointed too far out on either side, your ball will go in the wrong direction. Your rear foot has to be at a right angle to the target line so that the ball will be able to travel in the direction you want it to go. Whereas the front foot can be angled slightly outwards, as stated by Pete Styles of Free Online Golf Tips.

Your knees need to be flexed, but not bent completely. This will throw you off balance and weight is not distributed properly throughout your golf stance. You want a 50/50 shift in weight balance from toes to heels. Some say there is a “perfect golf stance” when lining up a shot. According to Golfloopy, “The biomechanically perfect stance width for the full golf swing is when the center of each ankle is the width of 2 golf balls wider than the hip joints.” This golf stance is the widest it can be in order to allow proper weight distribution. Such a wide stance is a constant for any full swing shot. Once you move on to different shot-chip shots, driver, sand-play, etc-your golf stance width will change. Watch this video to properly line up your golf stance.

Open Golf Stance

So, what is an open golf stance? Basically it is the position of your feet, hips and shoulders that shows where you want your ball to go. This is called your target line. Tom Stickney from Golf Tips mentions, “If moving the ball from left to right is your goal, then you should use a stance line that’s slightly open to your target line.” When aligning your stance open, your shoulders will swing across the ball. If you tend to overswing, then an open golf stance can be an effective to limit hip turn when swinging.

The rotation of your club is another factor in an open golf stance. The amount of rotation in the clubhead will determine the curve and trajectory of your shot. By opening the clubface you will have a higher arc and a left-to-right shot. Unfortunately, this makes for shorter shots. To get a better idea of an open gold stance, watch this video from by Todd Kolb, a PGA Professional. What is an Open Stance?

Golf Stance For Driver

Playing a hole properly starts with the fundamentals, as mentioned in the above video (starts at :24). Your golf stance needs proper feet placement, grip of the driver, clubface alignment, and adjustments whether a draw or fade is necessary. To someone who doesn’t play golf, these terms can be confusing and a mystery.

Ready — Foot Placement

Feet placement is the first step. When approaching the ball you want your feet shoulder width apart and weight distributed evenly. If you’re a right-hander, you want to use the heel of your left foot to align the shot with the ball. The opposite for left-handers, using the heel of your right foot. By practicing the golf stance, you can get a feel for how your feet should be placed. If it feels uncomfortable, move your ball a couple inches backward or forwards.

Set — Getting your grip just right

Next, you want to make sure the grip on the club is comfortable, yet not too tight. If the grip is too tight, you’re going to make the shot harder, but the ball won’t go as far. A hard grip will also mess up the accuracy of where you want the ball to go. David Green from GolfWeek explains,  “A relaxed grip lets the club turn over easily in your hands.” Having a proper grip allows you to make proper alignment. If you’re unsure about how to align your shot, place a club on the group next to the ball. This is called your target line. It allows you to see where you want the ball to go. If you’re still unsure, keep the club on the group, walk behind it and aim your shot.

Wait for it … Stance isn’t everything

You’re ready to drive the ball. Unfortunately, you notice the course doglegs to the left. What is that exactly? Basically, a dogleg is a golf course that tends to lean left. You’re going to want to widen your golf stance a bit wider than normal. For right-handers you are going to want to hit a bit to the right of your ball. The opposite is needed for left-handers.

And, GO — Time to drive the ball

Finally, your golf stance is perfect, and you notice the course doglegs. What to do? You’re going to want to fade your shot. When aligning for a fade, you should take your normal golf stance. Then, aim to the left of your target with your club and finally take a normal swing. Doing this should make the ball fade in the direction you want it to go. If you need to draw it, do the opposite. 

It’s important to make sure you have the proper golf stance to ensure you’re able to drive the ball where you want it to go. Make sure your golf stance has the proper pyramid base, don’t grip the club too hard and look for the proper open golf stance. Once you’ve practiced these stances, your game is sure to be better!

Featured image: CC by CC 0 – Public Domain, Markus Spiske, Pixabay

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