The Proper Golf Driver Stance Explained

If you’ve ever watched the pros play on the TV, you might have thought to yourself “that golf driver stance looks a lot different to mine”.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!

There’s technically no such thing as a ‘proper golf driver stance’ as everyone’s stance will be slightly different as everyone’s body is different.

The perfect stance will be unique to you and work perfectly for you, rather than copying someone else’s which might not work for you.

That being said, there are definitely some things that are universally useful and important to bear in mind when setting up with your driver.

In this article we’ll go over everything that you can do to optimise your golf driver stance and make sure that you are setting yourself up for success.

As always though, feel free to slightly tweak these tips if they don’t work for you, practicing as much as possible is the best way to find out which works the best!

proper driver stance. A golf driver held up in front of the sky.

Proper Golf Driver Stance Explained.

1. Foot Position

The first thing you must do when setting up in front of the ball with your driver is get your feet in position.

When setting up with an iron, you would normally position your feet around a shoulder width apart.

With a driver, or any wood, you should set your feet up slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

This is to help you get underneath the ball as your driver and woods have less loft on the clubface, which can make it harder to get the ball into the air.

You’ll also likely be using a tee with your driver which is also important in getting the ball off into the air.

Another thing to bear in mind when setting up your feet for your golf driver stance is where your ball is positioned.

Ideally, you want the ball just inside of your lead foot, this will ensure that you hit up on the ball.

However, you can position it slightly further back if that feels for natural, however what you don’t want to do is position it in the middle of your stance as you would with an iron.

A golfer set up in front of a ball with a driver.

2. Hips and Knees

What you do with your hips and knees in your golf driver stance is mostly up to you.

It’s arguably the part of your stance that you can make the most easily unique to you as it’s dependant on your height and size.

However, while some golfers like to have truly unique swings, there are some things you need to bear in mind.

Firstly, you want your knees flexed, not bent.

Your knees need to be able to move throughout your swing as you shift your weight through your legs.

While some golfer like to take either a fully upright position, or a more squat position, the best place to be is somewhere in the middle.

Similarly, with your hips, you want your hips to hinge rather than bending over.

A common way of thinking about this is as if you’re getting your hips out of the way of your swing.

This just means that you’re giving yourself enough room to make your full swing without having tp push your hips out of the way midway through your swing sequence.

A driver in a golf bag in front of a fairway by the coast.

3. Arms

Not having your arms in the right position before you begin your backswing is an incredibly common mistake that many golfers make without ever paying attention to it.

Some golfers have a tendency to hold a lot of tension in their swing, and this can start with the arms during setup.

The best way to make sure that you don’t start in a tense position is to let your arms hang down once you have set up in front of the ball.

This can also help you with your position in relation to the ball.

The butt of your club shaft, or the end of the grip, should rest around 6-inches away from your belt buckle, or however low your arms hang.

Once in this position, really let your arms relax and hang loose. Now that you’re relaxed, you can take your swing.

If you know that you hold a lot of tension in your swing, or maybe you’re just feeling the golf nerves, try a waggle or two before you swing, this can also help you get your arms in the proper golf driver stance.

4. Spine Angle

When setting up with the proper golf driver stance, you need to make sure your spine angle is correct.

You want to get it right before you start your swing as you’ll need to maintain your spine angle throughout your swing.

Deviation, or a weak and overly mobile spine in a swing, can affect your swing plane and send it off course, which can be the cause of a number of swing errors like shanks or topping the ball.

That being said, maintaining a straight spine angle throughout your swing can be pretty tricky for some golfers as it requires a strong core.

If that refers to you, then try focusing on keeping your head in the same position, rather than focusing on your spine, and you might find that it helps you keep your posture.

Other than that, we would recommend practice! Nothing will build the muscles needed to play great golf more than playing golf!

A golf driver next to three balls at a driving range.

5. Shoulders

While some might lump this next step in getting the proper golf driver stance set up, we think it’s important to separate your shoulders from your spine as it clarifies that while the two are similar, both need to be set up correctly and in their own way.

If you’ve ever slouched in your seat or hunched over a laptop, you’ll have been told to do this: pull your shoulders back.

Pulling your shoulders back as you set up for your swing is not only going to help you maintain a strong spine angle throughout your shot, but it will also help you rotate through the swing.

Pulling your shoulders back also puffs out your chest which can help you keep your arms connected to your torso throughout your swing.

A good way to check that you’ve got this right is the time tested glove trick.

Just stick a glove underneath your armpit and start making shots. If the glove stays put, you’re doing it right, but if it falls out, there’s still some work to do.

Chck out this video of Rory McIlroy’s swing for a great example of how it should look:

6. Alignment

Making sure you’re aiming for the right target sounds like one of the easier steps to achieving the proper golf driver stance, but it’s important to make sure you’ve got it right every time you step up to the tee.

You want to make sure that your lead side, the side of your body that is closest to the target, is parallel to where you’re aiming.

This is because, ideally, you’ll be hitting the ball straight once you make a good connection.

A golfer hits a ball with a driver.

However, this can be tricky to get right, and some golfers might naturally prefer a more open or closed position to account for their swing style, so let’s quickly go over what that means.

Square Position

  • Imagine a straight line coming out of your golf ball and leading to your target.
  • In a square position, you should be able to draw another straight line that connects the tips of your toes and that runs parallel to this line coming out of the ball.
  • If you make a good connection with the ball, it should land somewhere in between these two line.

open position

  • Imagine that same straight line coming out of the ball and along your toes.
  • Now angle your feet more towards the target. Not by much, and the toes on your rear foot should stay touching that line that runs parallel to the ball
  • An open position is useful for getting extra loft into a shot.

Closed Position

  • Take that same position that you took for an open position, except the other way around.
  • So in this case, your lead foot will be touching the parallel line that runs along the ball line.

. So, that’s our guide to the proper golf drivers stance. To get it right, you’ll need to be doing all of these things correctly and at the same time.

If you’re just starting out in the world of golf, don’t worry! Getting it all right takes a lot practice and tweaking to make sure you’ve got it all down!

Golf is about consistent improvement, and the only way to consistently improve is to consistently play!

If you’re ever unsure about your stance, film yourself taking a swing. You’ll be surprised how many things you can pick up on that need work, unless of course you’re Rory McIlroy.

Now you know the proper golf driver stance, learn how to become a golf coach and pass on your knowledge!

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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