Have you ever had a golf fundamentalist criticise your posture at the tee for not being the ‘correct golf stance’?
Many golfers have been called out by coaches for deviating from the norm, and some for good reason, but as always, it’s about what works for you.
So before we even get into this article let’s answer the question in brief.
Is there such a thing as a ‘correct golf stance’? Well…
It’s not such an easy question to answer as it turns out. It’s a ‘yes and no’ answer.
No, there is no ‘perfect’ stance that stands above all the rest, as every body is different and therefore everyone’s golf swing will be different.
However, there are definitely ‘better’ or ‘more successful’ techniques and stances that are more widely used to play well.
So, with that in mind, let’s go over what might constitute a ‘correct golf stance’ and how it compares to yours!
Let’s get started!
Correct Golf Stance Explained
What is your golf stance?
First, let’s go over what we mean by ‘golf stance’ before we get into ‘correct golf stance’.
Your golf stance is the posture that you set up in to make a shot.
It’s how you stand in front of the ball with your club before you start your backswing.
It’s important to get your stance right before you start your shot as a poor stance can upset your swing balance, your swing plane, or can just cause you to hit a bad shot.
It can also refer to your position at the peak of your backswing, the point of contact with the ball, and your final position in the takeaway.
To have the best golf stance you possibly can, you need to work on your stance in all of these positions.
As always, that takes a lot of practice, but luckily this is the kind of practice you can do from home!
Just use your phone or anything with a camera and take a video of your swing pausing at every important position and try and get a clip from every angle, you’ll notice a lot about your swing this way that you might never know otherwise!
What is the Correct golf stance?
As we touched on earlier, there is technically no such thing as a correct golf stance or correct golf posture.
However, there are definitely aspects of a great stance you can implement into your own swing if you’re looking to improve.
Call them ‘golden rules’ if you will, they’re things that should work for everyone and will help everyone get closer to the correct golf stance if used correctly.
So, let’s get into some of these ‘golden rules’ and how you can implement them into your swing!
1. foot position
For the most part, you want your feet to be no more than shoulders width apart.
This will give you the most consistent strikes and give you the strongest foundation for your swing.
While a more narrow or more wide foot position can be useful for some shots, like putting or driving, most shots will require a foot position no more than a shoulder width apart.
If you want to check this and make sure your foot position is perfect, you can try this technique to get you in position:
- Hold your club across your chest with you palms facing out. With your elbows bent, touch both hands to their correlating shoulders.
- Now, bend over with your hands in the same position on the club, and reach down.
- Align your feet with your hands on the ground.
Use this technique and align your feet properly every time!
2. Spine Angle
The spine angle in the swing is often something that beginners overcompensate for.
Ideally, your spine angle will be straight, not hunched over or flexed back in a curve.
Think of your swing as a rotation around a fixed pole. That fixed pole should be your spine.
This is why some golfers find it difficult to maintain their spine angle throughout the swing, it requires some core strength to keep that spine angle throughout the entire swing.
This is also something you want to make sure you get right before you start your swing, as the better your spine angle is during your setup, the better it will remain throughout your swing.
Poor posture at set up also contributes to poor strength throughout the swing, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
Just like the rest of your swing, correct golf stance centers around a good and strong spine angle.
Spine angle is one of the aspects of a correct golf stance that you may be able to self-diagnose, however we do have a technique you can use you ensure that your spine angle is correct as you set up:
- Stand up straight with your hands at either ends of your club.
- Hold your club vertically on to your body, with your hand at the bottom holding the club on your waist. This should also mean that your hand at the top of the club is holding it to your face, most likely around your nose.
- Bend over from your hips and get into your swing position while holding the club in the same position, make sure your feet are positioned correctly or you may overbalance.
If done correctly, this technique should keep your spine straight. Rather than using this to get into position every time you are about to take a shot, use it to learn how a straight spine feels so you are more aware of the feeling for the future.
While there’s a lot of discussion about weight distribution and how to use your legs to generate more power in your swing, is there a correct or perfect way to use your legs?
Short answer, no. Just like there’s no ‘correct golf stance’ there’s no correct way to use your legs in the swing.
However, there are a few things you can do with your legs at setup that can optimise your swing.
Firstly, bend your knees.
This isn’t a full squat, but more of a flex of your knees. If you’re stood with your knees totally rigid, you won’t be able to use your legs at all in your swing.
Bending slightly also makes it easier to hinge at your hips.
You want your knees flexed and hips hinged enough so that your head is directly above your feet. It sounds gross but, you want to be positioned so that if you spat, it would land directly between your feet.
Second, get your weight distribution right.
As you set up you want your weight to be distributed equally throughout both legs. ‘
While this will change, it’s important to get this right as you set up. Try stepping up and down with both feet to get a feel for it.
As you begin the backswing, you want to begin loading your weight onto your rear leg. A great example of this in action is with Rory McIlroy.
As you start your downswing, you almost want to push down through your swing as your shift your weight onto your lead leg, where it will stay through your swing and your follow-through.
4. Ball Position
It might not seem like it, but your ball position in relation to where you are stood is an incredibly important part of a correct golf stance.
Most likely, you want the ball in the center of your position. If you’re using a driver, you want your ball positioned forward in your stance, inline with the inside of your front foot.
What is also important is how far away you are standing from the ball. Here’s a quick technique you can use to get it right.
- Stand in front of the ball with the club you are going to use to make your shot.
- Line up the clubhead behind the ball as if you were about to make a shot.
- Now, with the clubhead in the same position, lie your club on the ground without the clubhead coming off of the ground.
- Crouch down, grip the club properly, stand up, and get in position with the clubhead still in the same spot.
This works because you want to be a club-length away from the ball so that you can hit the ball with the sweet spot of the club.
So, that’s our guide to the correct golf stance. While there’s no perfectly ‘correct’ stance, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure that you’ve set yourself up for success.
There are definitely plenty of more tips and facets to a ‘correct golf stance’ that we haven’t covered, but these are the fundamentals that you must get right if you’re shooting for the stars.
If you follow these steps, your stance will definitely improve in no time, but as always, it’s important to practice before you take these tips out onto the course.