Proper Golf Stance Explained – 3 Tips To Get It Right

Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been playing the sport for years, it’s always important to make sure you have the proper golf stance at setup.

Having the proper golf stance can change your game immediately. Incorrect stance is the cause of so many swing errors and classic mistakes that you should always make sure you’re standing correctly at address.

You might think you have it perfect, or whatever you’re doing is working for you so why change it?

You might not have to completely reassess your golf stance, but paying attention to where yours differs from the norm is important in assessing where your problem areas lie.

An incorrect stance can affect your swing plane, it can leave you off balance in your swing, and it can really start to cause you to rack up some high numbers on your scorecard.

But don’t worry! Getting your stance right can be much more simple than it seems, and it’s something you can practice anywhere!

So, keep reading as we get into the 3 ways you can reassess your golf stance and make sure you’re setting yourself up to play as well as you can!

Lets get started!

A closeup of proper golf stance, a driver hits a golf ball.

Proper Golf Stance

1. Foot Position

Your foot position in your golf stance is something that so many golfers think they have perfect without ever really paying attention to it.

The chances are, your foot position is probably okay for the most part, but I bet you’ve never considered whether your feet should be pointing in the same direction or not!

Foot Direction

Many beginners play all of their shots with a perfectly parallel foot position, with both feet pointing straight out from the body in the same direction, drawing two straight lines either side of the golf ball.

If you want the best golf stance you can manage, you actually want your front foot to be in a slightly more open position, pointing slightly out toward your target.

This will help you aim more directly at your target, and help with your foot pivot as you complete your swing follow-through and takeaway.

You still want your back foot to remain parallel though. Imagine that straight line shooting out of the top of your foot.

A golfer in position about to start his downswing.

Foot Width

Most beginners will intuitively spread their feet around a shoulder width apart when setting up to take a shot.

While this is correct, there is a bit more nuance to the width of your feet in the golf stance.

You want your feet around shoulder width apart for most shots, but when using your driver or other woods, you actually want your feet slightly wider apart.

This is to help you generate more power and hit up on the ball to hit long and straight drives.

Similarly when using wedges, you actually want your feet to be slightly closer together than your normal foot position.

This is to give you more control over your swing and to help you balance the power of your shot more accurately.

Our Tip

If you struggle with getting your foot position consistently correct, or you’re not sure if you’re getting it right, try this.

  • Stand up straight with your feet roughly shoulder width apart and your club horizontal in both hands.
  • Pull your club up so that you have both hands at shoulder height and facing out away from your body.
  • You want your hands to be in line with their respective shoulders, this will help you with you position as holding on to the club will keep your hands at that distance apart.
  • Now, let your arms drop down and bend over like you’re reaching for the ground, but try and keep your legs as straight as you can, a bit of knee flexion isn’t the end of the world.
  • You can now position your feet so that the inside of each foot touches your hands.
A golfer watches his shot in the distance.

2. Posture

It’s quite common for golfers to struggle with their posture in the golf stance because there are so many things to get right.

But don’t worry, we’re here to make it as simple as possible!

knee flexion

Knee flexion in the golf stance is something that a lot of golfers get wrong because they use too much.

Yes, you want flexion in your knees, but you don’t want to crouch down!

Your knee flexion should only be enough to cushion your knees and to give yourself some space to move while taking your shot.

If your knees are locked out, you won’t be able to transfer any weight through your swing, which is essential for hitting powerful and great shots.

By bending your knees, you should only create around a 160-170 degree angle with your knees, a 180 degree angle with your knees being a straight line.

A golfer mid-downswing.


Getting your hips in the right position for a proper golf stance is something that most golfers get close to without realising what they’re doing.

While you want to get your hips out of the way of your swing, you don’t want to bend at the waist.

Some will call it the waist hinge as this suggests that you’re keeping your spine straight and, while this is important, there’s more to it than that.

When making sure you have your waist hinge correct, you should also make sure that you’re pushing out slightly with your backside.

This is going to give you more room to complete your full swing.

Spine Angle

Maintaining your spine angle is so important for your golf stance and your swing and yet so many golfers struggle with it.

Keeping your spine straight with your shoulders back throughout your swing can help you hit consistent and straight shots.

A good way to check if your spine angle is consistent and straight is to take a video of your swing when practicing.

If you can see that the top of your spine, or the area between your shoulder blades, is in line with your knees and the balls of your feet, you have the correct spine angle. The most difficult part of getting your spine angle correct is maintain it throughout your swing.

If you ever want to make it to the PGA and play the with best of the best, this is something you will have to master, no ifs or buts!

A golfer holds position after his swing takeaway.

Our Tip

If you struggle with getting your posture correct in your golf stance, here’s something you can try.

  • Place a ball in front of you and get into position in front of it.
  • Stand up straight, with your feet in position, grip your club as you normally would when taking a shot, pin your shoulders back, and stick out your chest.
  • Hold your club out straight in line with your bellybutton.
  • Now, lean down with your club aiming for the back of the golf ball, as if you were about to take a shot.
  • While leaning down, remember to flex your knees slightly and maintain the position you have been holding with your torso.
  • If you’ve done everything correctly, you should now be in the correct position have the proper golf stance!

This may take a few times to get right so, just like when practicing, we’d recommend filming yourself getting into the position to make sure you’re getting every point correct.

3. Ball Position

While some may argue that your ball position isn’t part of the your golf stance, getting your ball position right determines whether or not your golf stance will be correct in the first place, regardless of whether you get everything else correct.

If your ball is positioned too far forward in your stance, you’re likely to either top the ball or hit a thin shot, or if it’s too close to you you risk whiffing the ball.

Correct ball position is therefore essential for hitting a good shot!

  • For irons, you want the ball in the center of your position.
  • For drivers or woods, you want the ball slightly forward in your position.

Getting your ball position right is all about making sure your swing plane is correct and you’re not setting yourself up to fail.

A golfer in position to take a shot.

our Tip

If you struggle with getting your ball position right, try this!

  • When practicing off of the course, get into the correct golf stance.
  • Let your arms hang loose from your body and in the center of your position.
  • Note where the club head sits on the grass when out straight. This is where your ball should be positioned!

So, that’s our guide to the correct golf stance!

Hopefully this has either helped you learn the correct golf stance, or helped you correct some mistakes you may have been making with your stance.

While we’ve gone over the correct golf stance, there is still some wiggle room for what suits you.

If you feel more comfortable in a slightly different position, by all means go ahead! Just don’t let your position get in the way of playing great golf, don’t set yourself up for failure!

Keep reading and learning how to Measure your golf club length and make sure you’re playing with the right clubs!

Photo of author
Adam is a writer and lifelong golfer who probably spends more time talking about golf than he does playing it nowadays!

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