Step by Step Guide to a Proper Golf Stance

Addressing the golf ball is much more critical than the amateur golfer likes to admit. If your stance is not correct, how can you expect the impact position or the results to be correct?

The proper golf stance takes a bit of time to learn, and you will be much better off if you understand the essential elements to a great golf stance.

We have put together our best facts and information on how to take the correct golf stance.

1. Width Of Feet

If you take a look at a driving range, you will quickly see that there are golfers of all different abilities standing with their feet at many different widths.

golf address stance
There are several different widths based on the shot type you are hitting

The most common and accurate description of how far apart the feet must be is shoulder-width apart.

When your feet are shoulder-width apart, your body will have the proper mix of rotational ability and balance.

These two factors are most significantly affected by how wide your golf stance is.

When your feet are more than shoulder width apart, you will have a lot more balance, but it is difficult to rotate and transfer weight properly.

When your feet are less than shoulder width, then you can make a very fast and efficient turn.

As you move towards your driver, you are going to want a broader base of support, and it is fine for your stance to get wider. For the irons, shoulder width should be the proper distance.

Many people will have their feet almost touching when they are hitting certain wedge shots around the green.

Having some flexibility in the width of your feet while taking your golf stance is quite important.

2. Posture

Having great posture can lead to other positives in your golf swing like swing plane and balance. Many golfers tend to have too much knee flex or a slouch in their back.

The most important thing about posture is to ensure you have the proper spine angle and that your arms can hang freely.

golf setup posture
The proper golf posture will make sure that you are balanced and square

Golf professionals all have different ways of describing the exact way that you should look and feel when it comes to posture. The best way to get yourself into the proper posture is to stand tall, holding the golf club out in front of you.

Bend at the waist as if you were able to sit down in a chair. Let your arms hang down naturally so that you are not reaching for the golf ball and so that you will not hit your leg on the takeaway of your swing.

At this point, your spine angle should be neutral, and you should be in the right position to take a golf swing.

When we talked about stance width, we mentioned the ability to be flexible. When it comes to posture, you don’t want to change. Get a great position and then keep it throughout your entire golf game and with each club.

3. Ball Position

The ball position is not as simple as we wish it was for the proper golf stance. The ball’s position is going to vary depending on your golf swing and the club you have in your hand.

golf ball position
The ball moves towards the front foot as clubs change

Generally speaking, with a wedge in your hand, you will play the ball right in the middle of your stance.

As you move towards the driver, you will position the ball more towards your front foot. When hitting with a driver, the ball should be on the inside of your front foot when it is teed and ready to hit.

When you hit a golf shot with an iron or a wedge, you need for there to be a descending blow. This is what causes the ball to launch correctly on the short irons and to spin as it should.

With the driver, you want to hit the golf ball more on the upswing, and that is why it makes sense to position it towards that front foot.

Some people think that golfers put the ball off the back foot for a wedge shot. This is really not the case. The stance for a wedge shot is much more narrow, and the ball may appear closer to the back foot, but it should still be close to the middle of the stance.

4. Balance and Weight Distribution

An essential part of a proper golf stance is making sure that your body weight is distributed correctly. There is a large difference between having your weight on the back foot or front foot when you start your swing.

There is also a large difference between having your weight on the balls or the heels of your feet.

balance and weight distribution
If your balance is off from the start your swing path will, in turn, be off

Generally speaking, when you start your swing, you will want the weight to rest in the center of your foot.

Having the weight in the center will help your stance to stay more in control, and it will cause a lot less leaning forwards and backward as you get into the impact position.

When you set up to hit a golf ball, it is ok to have just a little more weight on the right leg (for right-handers). This will help with the initial weight transfer that needs to occur when the swing begins.

Not all players need to do this; some will be much better off if their body weight is perfectly centered at the start of the swing.

5. Alignment

Now that you have your body in the proper place and you have perfect golf posture, it is important to start lining up the correct way.

golf stance alignements
Open, Closed and Square stances are essential to learn

Professional golfers will tell you that if you are not lined up, there is really no reason for you even to swing the golf club. Swinging and hoping is not going to get you very far in this game.

The part about golf alignment that makes it tricky is that you are standing parallel to your target when you swing. Looking down the line and making sure you are lined up can be quite tricky for some golfers.

One of the best ways to make sure you are lined up correctly is to stand behind the golf ball and pick a target line. Follow this line all the way back to the ball and choose a spot just a few feet away that is also on this line. This spot just a few feet away will be your new aiming spot.

Aiming to something three feet away is much less daunting than aiming at something three hundred yards away. Once you have this target line, make sure that your feet, shoulders, and hips are square to the line and that your clubface is also square.

You can aim, left, and right of a target whenever you feel the need, but you must make sure that all parts are aimed in the same direction. If you want to aim left, your shoulders, feet, and hips must aim left.

If you do not do this, you will cause some very ugly golf swings to occur.

How Does Stance Change from Driver, Irons, Wedges, Putters

Golf would be a much simpler game if the stance could stay the same when using a golf driver and using a wedge.

proper stance different golf clubs
As the golfer changes clubs the stance changes slightly

Unfortunately, this is just not the case. As you change from your short irons to your long irons, you will see differences in the stance. Working on adjusting to the differences between each club takes some time and patience.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you change clubs.

Your posture should remain the same from one club to the next
The stance gets wider with the longer golf clubs (widest with the driver)
The ball position is mostly in the middle of the stance, but as you move to hybrids, woods, and drivers, it will move towards your front foot.
Alignment and your alignment routine should stay the same regardless of the club that you have in your hand
Stances for putting can be more unconventional than they are with other clubs

Practicing on the driving range by switching from one club to the next and adjusting your stance is a great way to get used to what each individual stance and setup will feel like.

How Golf Stance Changes With Players Height

Golfers come in all shapes and sizes, and when you look at a shorter player compared to a taller player, you may say that their stance looks different.

The only difference that you may see is the spine angle, and truthfully is the equipment is fitted correctly; there should hardly be a difference.

Taller players that are using clubs that are too short for them will have a poor posture. Those with properly fitted equipment will have perfect posture. The stance should not be affected all that much with the height of a golfer.

Common Errors Seen In Golf Stance

Unfortunately, both beginners and professionals make lots of errors when it comes to the golf stance.

Here are a few of the most common.

Bending the knees too much
Not adjusting the stance width when changing clubs
Overcompensating when it comes to alignment
Keeping the ball position too far back in the stance
Not making sure weight is evenly distributed before swinging
Keeping head faced down at the ground causing a poor spine angle
Not letting weight transfer as the swing begins

If you are experiencing any of these issues in your golf swing, there are many drills and practice routines that can help you get the proper golf stance back in place.

Drills and Practice Tips For Proper Golf Stance

Hitting long drives is fun to practice; not too many golfers will say that the golf stance is just as fun to practice. Although it is not the most glorious part of the golf game, the stance in golf certainly deserves your attention.

There are lots of ways to work on the golf stance, but the best possible way is to see what you look like. You can use a mirror on a driving range, or you can have a friend take some pictures or a video of your swing.

When you observe how you are standing and where each foot is, and how the club hangs from your hands, this is when you can make the real adjustments to your swing. It is hard to see what you are doing and how your stance is without this visual support.

Watching great players will also help you learn how to distribute your body weight and the proper angles in a golf stance. If you enjoy watching golf on television, the professionals are great role models for the perfect golf stance.


Did our layout of the proper golf stance help you feel like this is something you can master?

It takes a bit of time and dedication to make sure that you have everything perfect before taking a golf swing.

Luckily with the right visuals in your head and the proper information, every golfer has an equal chance at obtaining a perfect golf stance.

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