Proper Golf Stance Width – Complete Guide

You may feel that golf setup is a tiresome routine to go through, but proper setup is necessary to make movement easy in the golf swing.

One of the reasons behind a faulty golf swing is improper setup. In fact, proper golf setup is something that, with practice, can guarantee 100% success in the golf swing.

There are many conflicting instructions about the proper stance width of the golf swing. Most of these instructions are in fact misleading if not harmful to your golf swing performance.

Let’s underline an instance of this: if your body joints aren’t aligned properly before swinging, this can lead to strain and or injure your back, left knee, hip, and joints.

Those injuries are easily avoided; all you need to do is to use your body properly and employ a correct stance width.

How Wide Should a Golf Stance Be?

Most golf swing professionals claim that the stance must be shoulder-width, or sometimes wider.

When you think about the aforementioned statement, the first 2 questions that come to your mind are as follows:

  1. What does my shoulders width have to do with perfect stance width?
  2. Will my legs be attached to my shoulders?

Surely not! This statement means that if you drew a straight line from your feet up to your shoulders, your feet would be in line with your shoulders by being spread apart enough to achieve this.

Important Factors of Golf Stance Width

The most important determining factor of a golf stance width is your hip joints’ position. In fact, the limbs that shape your stance width are fastened to your body at the joints of your hip.

Your stance should provide proper stability. If it is narrow, then it will be difficult for your body to have a stable foundation as you rotate your body.

Moreover, it’s necessary for your stance to pave the way for a proper series of movement, the correct use of your muscles, and your body’s proper position.

So what is the ideal golf stance width?

The Ideal Golf Stance Width

In fact, the ideal golf swing stance width is when the center of both ankles is the width of two golf balls or even wider than the joints of the hip. This is the ideal stance width that can prevent any head movement from taking place during the golf swing.

It’s worth mentioning that the ideal stance width still allows a weight transfer to take place; giving you a wide foundation that can enable you to transfer your weight without the need to force the upper side of your body to shift.

In this case, your body will be able to shift its weight correctly in the backswing and then back in the downswing. This will allow you to align your joints and pivot around the left side of your hip through impact.

It should be noted that we’re referring specifically to the hip joint, not its flesh. The joint is very close to the body’s midline; it’s located about 2 fingers inside the hip bone’s crest.

You cannot change your stance width on a basis of the club’s length. The movement pattern that is required for all swing shots is the same.

When it comes to the shots such as the driver and sand-play, the stance width should be adjusted.

In the world of golf swing, there are many concepts that you should be aware of. Let’s discuss them.

The Speed of the Club Head     

In order to hit the golf ball a very long way, you should make the club head move as fast as it can through impact.

Generating club head speed doesn’t need the same kind of movement as throwing a punch at somebody wherein you need to use your muscle power.

Imagine yourself setting a small ball on a string’s end which is attached to a pencil’s end while holding the other end.

If you want the ball to swing very fast, all you need to do is to let your fingers make a small, rotational movement, pulling against the ball’s weight.

You can utilize centripetal power to speed the ball up and therefore pull it toward the center.

Although this golf swing’s analogy is simple, it’s considered great. And although the golf club is not a string, it acts as a string once the ball begins to rotate rapidly.

In baseball, the ball moves towards the player at 100mph and its weight is accordingly large. So, in order to hit the baseball out of the yard, you are supposed to hit it very hard. This in fact requires a wider stance.

In golf game, the ball doesn’t move, and its weight is a few ounces. In order to hit a golf ball, you should hit it with a fast-moving club head; forcing your own weight behind the shot will not be helpful.

The best method to accelerate the club speed isn’t by pushing it. It’s instead creating a whipping affect where the club snaps into the ball at impact.

In order to do so, you need to impart angular momentum and pull against the club’s weight through impact, exactly as done with the ball attached to the string; by using centripetal force to speed up the club head, allowing it to pull towards your rotation center.

It’s exactly like the ball attached to the string; it’s a centered rotation motion which intrigues the maximum club head speed.

There is another amazing golf swing analogy: cracking a whip.

That is, you can make the whip tip breach the sound barrier in proper timing. Pushing will only hinder the timing and decelerate the whip to the point wherein you won’t be able to crack it.

The whip can crack since you impart angular momentum that’s transferred along the whip’s length in a decreasing circle.

Just like the case with cracking a whip, the golf swing is foremost about transferring the momentum through a kinetic chain, enabling the club head to crack through impact.

It should be noted that producing the proper club head speed in the proper spot is all about proper timing.

Impact Alignment

In order to hit the golf ball powerfully, you need to swing the club head with maximum speed through impact, meaning that you have to rotate speedily and be centered.

The best method to do so is to rotate around your own left hip with your weight on its left side and joints adjusted through impact.

The hip is for rotation, and the major muscles in your legs and core are specialized in empowering and stabilizing a rotation centered on your hip.

Think of the backswing as your upper body coiling and twisting around your lower body and left hip. The uncoil is what creates fast momentum.

Weight Shift

Weight shift is deep-rooted in all sportive throwing movements. It generates initial momentum that is speedily transferred into angular momentum.

This will enable you to push onto the ground to empower the major muscles of your legs.

All of the aforementioned are a must to get the maximum club head pace.

Your lower body’s movements are important at the beginning of the downswing to pave the way for a correct weight shift.

Yet, your head should be in the center, so that your swing’s bottom is maintained consistent and therefore you hit the ball consistently.

It’s worth mentioning that an ideal ball-striking becomes harder in cases where your head moves off the golf ball. To much lateral sway of your head can get you off-center and screw up contact.

Also, proper stance width is considered a must in order for you to transfer your weight properly without the need to force the upper side of your body to shift sideways.

The Issues of a Wide Stance

A wide stance is undoubtedly good to brace your body against any sidelong force over your body or to prepare yourself for diving in either direction.

To your surprise, neither of them is fruitful in the golf swing. All you need is to be stable and centered.

In spite of arm and golf club’s momentum generating a great deal of centrifugal force, the golf swing is mainly a rotational motion.

The body’s action that pulls against the golf club is sufficient for balancing the forces and keeping you centered without the need for a wide stance.

Sliding

What does a wide stance mean? It means that you will need a lateral movement, so that you can obtain optimal joint adjustment through impact in order to shift over the left side.

This will in fact make the weight shift even harder, creating a destabilized slide to the left.

This slide is actually the main reason of a slice, and it therefore weakens your swing power. A slide is also unsafe because it creates a great deal of stress on the left knee, the left hip, and the lower back.

Timing

The wider the stance is, the more the shift to the left is needed. Also, the more time it needs, the more difficult it will be to synchronize with the rest parts of your body.

In your mission to shift speedily, you’ll push your body’s right side off, leading the right side of your hip to drive towards the ball, which will in turn injure your spine.

This will push the joint of your left hip in front of your left ankle through impact.

That actually places a great deal of stress on your joint’s left hip; that’s why it isn’t safe or healthy. This movement has caused a lot of golf players to suffer from hip issues.

It’s worth saying that lateral movement surprisingly doesn’t increase club head pace.

In order to swing the club head at 100mph, you need a centered and rotational movement. You also have to sway your body very fast towards your target.

Getting Stuck on Right Side

A wide stance grants you the feeling of powerfulness and stability. Yet, one of the main issues that most golf players face is that they don’t get back to the left side correctly in the downswing.

Instead, they get stuck on the right side.

Getting your weight shifted to your body’s left side and braced on its left hip is in fact important when it comes to the effectiveness of the golf club’s swing.

If your weight doesn’t get back to the left correctly, you won’t be able to rotate your body and use it fruitfully.

Your hips in this case will be stuck to the ground, causing you to utilize the upper side of your body for the sake of swinging the club of the legs and core’s main muscles.

Moving off the Ball

When back swinging, a wide stance means moving your head off the ball to transfer your weight. That movement is considered unimportant because it adds more timing problems.

A lateral movement of your body’s upper side impacts on your balance and ability to hit the ball.

In case your head is enforced to move that way when on the back swing, your swing arc’s bottom will move according to it. That will lead to a loss of speed and make it difficult for the swing arc’s bottom to remain consistent.

Reverse Pivot

In case you do not stir your head off the ball, a wide stance means that you won’t be able to move your weight correctly when on the backswing. This will make you lose power and spoil an ideal reverse pivot.

Balance

You should achieve the follow-through in a stable status over your left leg.

An unstable end is a key sign that you have mistimed the swing and needed to introduce a number of compensations in your mission to get your swing on track again.

In case you’re not balanced enough, you cannot be consistent. And in case you’re a professional athlete, you can get away with it but not every time.

The Issues of a Narrow Stance

Compared to a too wide stance, a too narrow stance is much more preferred. As you may know, you will lose power, but a narrow stance will not have the same ruinous consequences on your timing as a wide stance.

A narrow stance will hinder a powerful weight shift, decrease your muscles stretch, and reduce the amount of power you can deliver.

A narrow stance is less balanced, making you slow down your swing and maintain your balance into your follow-through.

The essential sign of a narrow stance is when the right foot remains flat onto the ground when at impact. Your foot has to be on the ground, yet rolled in on the down surface of the foot at impact, indicating a correct weight shift.

Golf Practice Routines & Drills to Follow

Before you go check out these practice plans to follow with proven drills and routines to improve your short game and golf swing.

We recommend you start with the break 90 plan to get the basics and upgrade later to the harder plans (break 80, break 70) or try the short game plan with chipping and putting challenge levels to pass.

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