How to Have a Proper Stance

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Railroad track positioning of ball
The stance in golf is one of the important, fundamental parts of the golf swing. If you have incurred some swing faults, it might be caused by an improper setup or stance. The stance simply means the correct positioning of your feet in relation to the target line in the setup.
A good stance is important. If the feet are too far apart, your mobility will be restricted, inhibiting your body turn, resulting in a loss of power and direction. If your stance is too narrow and your feet are too close together, your balance will be impeded. The correct stance offers you a better chance of hitting a more solid, consistent golf shot.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy
Step 1
Place two clubs on the ground in line with your target. Imagining a railroad track, place one club just outside where your ball will be teed up. Place the second club just inside where your feet will be placed.
Step 2
Tee up your ball just inside the farthest golf club. With your feet close together, place your left foot so that the ball is directly opposite your left heel.
Step 3
Place your driver directly behind the ball. Keeping your left foot in place, take your right foot back so that your feet are slightly wider than shoulder width.
Step 4
Turn your left foot out slightly. The right foot should be parallel to the club face. The feet, hips and shoulders should be in line and square to the target.
Step 1
For the closed stance, aim your feet, hips and shoulders to the right of your target line. This promotes an inside-to-outside swing path, causing a draw (the ball goes to the left).
Step 2
For the open stance, aim your feet, hips and shoulders left of your target. This promotes an outside-to-inside swing path, causing a fade (the ball goes to the right).
Step 3
Use a preshot routine to determine if your shot requires a square, closed or open stance. Stand behind the ball while looking out toward your target.
Step 4
Pick out your ultimate target (where you want the ball to end), as well as an intermediate target (a spot part-way between where your ball is and where you want the ball to end), and envision your line of flight.
Step 5
Set up to the ball, internalize the shot, check out the target and swing.

Tips & Warnings

Ball position is very important in creating a solid, consistent golf shot. If the ball is played too far forward in your stance, it tends to open the shoulders, encouraging an outside-to-inside swing, causing a slice, or the ball to go to the right. If the ball is placed too far back in your stance, it makes it difficult to get the club face closed at impact and causes an exaggerated inside-to-outside swing path resulting in a push shot (the ball finishes severely off to the right). To ensure a proper stance, check that your right shoulder is lower than your left, your shoulders are square to the line of flight, your shoulder width and the distance between your heels are about the same, and for the driver, make sure the ball is placed opposite your left heel.
Ball position is very important in creating a solid, consistent golf shot. If the ball is played too far forward in your stance, it tends to open the shoulders, encouraging an outside-to-inside swing, causing a slice, or the ball to go to the right. If the ball is placed too far back in your stance, it makes it difficult to get the club face closed at impact and causes an exaggerated inside-to-outside swing path resulting in a push shot (the ball finishes severely off to the right).
To ensure a proper stance, check that your right shoulder is lower than your left, your shoulders are square to the line of flight, your shoulder width and the distance between your heels are about the same, and for the driver, make sure the ball is placed opposite your left heel.
Your stance will change as you move from your driver to the rest of the clubs in your bag. The driver, being the largest club, requires the widest stance. For the long irons, your feet should be 1 inch closer together than your driver, with the ball 1 inch further away from your left heel. For mid irons, your feet should be 2 inches closer together, with the ball 2 inches further away from your left heel. For the short irons, you should have a narrow stance, with your feet 3 inches closer together and the ball 3 inches further away from your left heel.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.

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