Golf Tips And Lessons

How to Correct Your Golf Stance

The importance of your golf stance cannot be overstated. But don't take my word for it. Read what Jack Nicklaus said about the golf stance:

"If you setup correctly, there's a good chance you'll hit a reasonable shot, even if you make a mediocre swing. If you setup the ball poorly, you'll hit a lousy shot even if you make the greatest swing in the world." Jack Nicklaus

Your golf stance falls under the heading of "Golf Fundamentals". If your stance is off, everything else will be off as a consequence.

Just to be clear: some players use the word stance, while others use the word address or set-up. For our purposes, all of those mean the same, and we may use them interchangeably in our newsletters just to keep things fresh.

A good golf stance accomplishes three things:

1. Improve your balance during the swing because your feet and your posture are correctly positioned.

2. Create your ability to generate power as you make contact with the ball.

3. Enhance your ability to coil and uncoil from address to follow-through.

So, how do you correct any mistakes in your stance? Here is what you need to do for a good, solid golf stance.

As you address the ball, your feet, knees, hips, forearms, and shoulders must be parallel to the target line. The width between your feet should be correct for the type of shot you are playing. Shoulder width for mid-irons; 2 inches narrower for short irons; 2 inches farther for long irons and woods.

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Your target-side foot must be somewhat flared (from 20 to 40 degrees) toward your target. This allows you to rotate during the downswing. Your other foot should be square to the target.

Where the ball is, in relation to your feet, is important but can vary a great deal, depending on the type of shot you have and the terrain you are on at the time. The following applies to an average flat lie.

For most players, position the ball in the middle of your stance for your short irons and wedges.

Middle irons should have the ball just slightly more toward the target (just slightly left of your center if you are right handed). Fairway woods and long irons should have a ball placement that is about two balls distance left of center (for right handed players).

For the driver, a distance equal to about three golf balls forward (again, left of center for right handed golfers) is best.

Weight Distribution: This is an important element of your stance. Avoid the tendency to put your weight on your heels or toes. Instead, keep your weight on the balls of each foot. Try to keep your weight at 60 percent on your left foot for short iron shots. Mid-iron shots at about 50/50; long irons and woods at about 60 percent on the right foot (right handed golfers).

As you set up, keep your knees flexed ever so slightly and keep them right over the balls of your feet. Your hands will hang a bit forward of your midline. When positioned correctly, your shoulders and arms will form a triangle with your elbows pointing toward your hips.

One of the best and most time-efficient ways to perfect your stance is to work with a local golf pro. He or she can watch as you take your stance for the various clubs and point out what needs to be adjusted. This is far better than going through the trial-and-error method.

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