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Stance refers to the position and width of a player's feet as they address a golf ball. For the majority of shots unless someone is intentionally trying to work the ball, a player's feet should run parallel to their target line. Also, for the majority of full swings a player's feet should equal the width of their shoulders. Occasionally with a driver a player will stand slightly wider with their feet. For short game shots and putting the stance is more narrow. Stance can affect the direction of the golf ball and the distance by affecting the player's ability to coil and shift weight throughout the swing.

Stance Tips

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  • Keep Your Weight Equal

    Check to make sure your weight is even between your feet. If you lean left like some people promote, you will have to get wristy and use your hands to add loft back on the face. If you lean to the right you are going to swing up on the ball too much. There is really no reason not to stand neutral with your weight.

  • Standing Open is a Preference, Not a Must

    For chipping you can stand square or slightly open with your feet. Standing open is a preference, not a must. In most cases it is not necessary and setting up square to a ball and contacting it in the center of the face is best. Setting up open has the benefit of shortening the backswing and forcing an outside in club path. This can help you hit a short cut shot, but can also result in a pull and inconsistent strikes.

  • When Chipping Feet Should be One Club Head Apart

    Stand with your feet only one club head apart for this shot. Turn your club head sideways and put it in between your heels to measure. A tiny stance can help you make a tiny stroke. Standing narrow will also help keep you centered over the ball which is important in creating a downward strike with short game shots. When your stance gets too wide it's easy to make too big of a swing and get caught on your back foot.

  • Use Your Heels to Line Up

    When aligning your feet focus on where your heels are aimed. If you have a flare to one or both toes, it makes aligning your toes difficult. What matters is that your heels are lined up parallel to each other and the target line. Often times golfers will have a significant flare with their front toe. This will make the toes align open to the target line and can throw off their alignment. It's best to put an alignment stick along your heels rather than along your toes if this is the case for you.

  • Widen Your Stance to Get Lower

    When faced with a ball below your feet widen your stance. This will help get you lower to the ground. Also, bend more at the waist. The number one problem with this lie is people don't get themselves low enough to start with and don't stay down throughout the shot. It's very easy to stand up on the backswing. Make an effort to get low and then keep your chest the same distance from the ball throughout the swing.

  • Set Up Square

    When putting, stand with your feet, knees and shoulders square to the target line. This is best for most players and for consistency. I think that square shoulders and forearms are a must, but if you prefer a slightly open stance with your feet that is ok. When your shoulders are open to the target line, your stroke will follow your shoulders and create a cut stroke.

  • Stand With Your Feet 2 Putter Heads Apart

    Your feet should be about two putter faces apart from one another when you set up to a putt. This is typically a natural stance for most players and just how they would stand if they were having a conversation with someone. Standing with your feet closer could make you feel unstable during the stroke and you might lose balance. When it's very windy out you can try a wider stance for more stability.

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