What Is The Best Foot Position In A Correct Stance At Address - Senior Golf Tip 1

The feet are a less considered component of the golf swing but are incredibly important in maintaining the balance and stability to support a swing that can be travelling up to 120 miles per hour.

The position of the feet at address in the golf swing need to be considered in two ways:

1. The width of the stance - the ideal width of the feet should be just outside of shoulder width apart. This position gives the golfer the ability to turn the hips and shoulders enough to create a powerful turn in the backswing but still keeps the balance for a controlled and consistent swing. Too narrow in the feet and the golfer can turn the hips and shoulders more but there will be a tendency to lose balance, too wide in the feet and the legs become very stable but the amount the golfer can turn is very limited. To get the correct width of stance, take a golf club and hold it across the shoulders. Measure the width of the shoulders by holding the club with the hands at the points where each shoulder rests on the club. Place the club on the floor still holding the club at these points and place the feet next to the hands to set them at shoulder width.

2. The feet need to point in the correct direction - at set up, the back foot should point straight forwards at 90 degrees to the line connecting the ball and the target. This provides resistance for the backswing turn as the shoulders and the hips turn back against the back foot. Resistance will be felt in a tightening of the muscles across the knee and hip which gives the golfer a good coil to create power. If this foot is turned out away from the body, it allows too much turn and not enough coil. If the foot is turned into the body there will be too much resistance and the golfer will be unable to turn enough in the backswing. The front foot should be positioned so that it is pointed slightly outwards towards the target, at approximately 1 o'clock in the set up position. This can be increased to 2 o'clock if there are flexibility or injury issues in the front knee or hip. The front foot is positioned here to allow the hips to turn fully in the forward swing, allowing the club and body to accelerate through the ball in a full turn and at maximum speed to face the target. The foot set in such a position reduces the pressure on the front knee and ankle in the finish position, particularly in those golfers who have injuries or strength issues in these areas.

Using the correct foot position at set up can increase the distance that the ball can be hit while maintaining stability through the golf shot.

What is the Best Foot Position in a Correct Stance at Address?

What is the Best Foot Position in a Correct Stance at Address?

There are several details which need to be considered as you prepare to hit any shot on the golf course. The address position you use is incredibly important as it is going to go a long way toward deciding how the club moves through the ball at the bottom of the swing. If you stand in a way which supports the rest of your swing properly, you will be on track for great results. However, if you position your feet – and the rest of your body – in a way which works against the natural tendencies of your swing, it will be hard to hit any of your shots toward the target. Take some time during an upcoming practice session to work on the positioning of your feet and your game will be better for the effort.

We need to get one point out of the way right off the top when talking about foot positioning in the golf swing – no, this is not the most exciting thing you can do at the course. No one is going to form lasting memories of golf based on how they worked on the details of their stance during a range session. This kind of practice can be downright boring, if we are being honest. However, despite the mundane nature of the work at hand, this is an important point to master if you have goals of improving your game over time. It is often the small details that make the biggest difference in golf, and this is certainly something that fits in the category of a small detail.

It also should be said that there is no one right way to stand over the ball which will apply to every golfer. Just take a look at the players on the PGA Tour – if you watch ten different players hit a tee shot, you are likely to see ten different stances. Sure, there are some similarities, but there are differences as well. You are going to want to combine the instruction provided in this article with your own personal preferences in order to create a stance which is both comfortable and effective.

One of the great things about investing your time in building a proper stance is the fact that this stance can be used throughout your bag from the short clubs on up to the driver. While your stance will naturally get wider as the clubs get longer, you don't need to change the basic positioning of your feet or the flex in your knees. As long as you create a stable, reliable stance to begin with, you should be able to use that same stance for all of the full swings you make on the course.

All of the content below is written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

How Your Feet Affect Your Swing

How Your Feet Affect Your Swing

Your feet are a long way from the golf club during the swing. Of course, your feet never actually touch the club, or the ball, so it might not seem like they would have much to do with hitting good shots. However, despite their distance from the action, your feet are quite important. The way your feet are positioned prior to the swing is going to dictate what your body can accomplish once the club goes in motion. Set your feet up nicely and your body will have an easier time completing the swinging action.

To give you a better understanding of how the positioning of your feet can affect the golf swing, please review the following points.

  • Right foot has an impact on your turn. As you rotate away from the ball in the backswing, the positioning of your right foot is going to have a lot to do with how far you can turn back. Should you decide to keep your right foot square to the target line, you might find that you feel resistance in the area of your right knee as you approach the top of the swing. However, if you were to turn that foot open at address, the resistance would be reduced and your swing would be longer. So, it makes sense to open that foot at address, right? Not so fast – doing so can actually cause other issues in the swing, meaning you have to weigh the pros and cons before finalizing your right foot position. We will talk about this topic more later in the article.
  • Left foot has an impact on the downswing. Just as the right foot will have a lot to do with how you turn back, the left foot will have a lot to say about how your downswing works. A square left foot is going to lead to a more rotational swing, while opening that foot to the left will cause you to slide a bit toward the target. Again here, there is no right or wrong answer on this point. Some players like to keep the left foot open, while others prefer it to be square. Only through experimentation and trial and error will you be able to settle on a position that allows you to play your best golf.
  • A wider stance will provide more balance. If you feel like you need to add balance to your swing, moving your feet slightly farther apart is a great choice. Even moving them out by just an inch or two can do wonders for how well you are able to control your weight during the swinging motion. Of course, if you move your feet too far out, you will start to feel restricted in terms of your turn through the ball. Everything is a compromise when it comes to the address position, and that is true of your stance width. Try to settle on a position which lets you make a great turn while staying nicely balanced at the same time.
  • A square stance leaves open the most options. Some golfers get into the habit of playing all of their shots from a closed or open stance to make up for some kind of mechanical mistake in the swing. You can certainly use that technique if you would like, but it is better to square up your stance and work on fixing whatever is wrong in your swing. Turning your stance to cover up for another problem is only going to lead to even more problems as the years go by. For most golfers, the best bet is to play from a perfectly square stance which will make it possible to hit a wide variety of shots. With your stance square, you can work on refining your technique to the point where you can hit the ball solidly without any address position 'tricks'. This plan is going to take more work in the short term, but it will be more productive for you in the long run.

As you can see, your feet do indeed have a big impact on your golf swing. The width of your stance, the orientation of your feet, and more can impact how the ball comes off of the club when all is said and done. If you have been overlooking the importance of this part of your game up until now, take this opportunity to iron out any stance issues once and for all. It shouldn't take too long to figure out exactly how you want to set your feet within the stance if you are willing to invest some range time on this topic. Once done, you can feel good about this part of your technique and you can move on to other things.

Start with a Standard Stance

We have already mentioned that there is some room in the golf swing for individual preference when it comes to the stance. That remains true, but for the purposes of improving your own address position, it is smart to start with a 'standard' stance. Once you learn how to create a textbook stance over the ball, you can then make any small adjustments which may be necessary to allow the stance to work for your needs.

As you prepare to make a standard stance over the golf ball, make sure the following points are in place.

  • Feet square to the line. This is the best place to start. Pick out a target line for the shot at hand, and then place your feet in a position which is square to that line. In other words, both feet should be the same distance back from the target line once the stance is set. As was mentioned above, this is going to leave you with the most possible options in terms of what kind of shots you will be able to hit. Playing from an open or closed stance is going to predispose you to a specific ball flight, where keeping your stance square will make it possible to do just about anything you want with the ball.
  • Feet parallel to each other. In addition to keeping your feet the same distance back from the target line, you also want to set them in a position that leaves them parallel to each other. This will give you good balance, and it will also help to keep your center of gravity under control as the swing develops. You may wind up making a slight adjustment to your feet later on, but start with them parallel to each other for now.
  • Weight in the center of your feet. This is a point that most golfers overlook. You might think to pay attention to how your feet are oriented, but you may not bother to consider where your weight is sitting on each foot. At address, you should make sure that your weight is perfectly balanced right in the middle of each foot, rather than being up on the toes or back on the heels. Leaning forward or back at address is going to make it hard to hold your balance during the swing, which is something you need to do. One of the best ways to make sure your weight is evenly distributed on your feet is to bounce your knees a couple of times prior to starting the swing. By moving up and down gently while in your stance, you can feel your weight distribution and adjust as needed to get centered.

This is the basic way to position your feet for a correct stance. As you would expect, there is nothing unusual listed here. You are going to set your feet parallel to the target line, you are going to set them parallel to each other, and you are going to keep your weight in the center of your feet. Once you get comfortable with this kind of stance, hit a few balls on the range to see what you think. It's okay if you don't love the way this feels – in the next section, we will talk about some possible adjustments.

Customize Your Stance

Customize Your Stance

For most golfers, the setup described above is going to be pretty close to the winning formula as far as the stance goes. However, all golfers are unique, and there may be a need to make some small adjustments in order to get the best possible results. You want to do your best to stick pretty close to the stance described above, but it is okay to tweak it slightly to make yourself more comfortable.

The best way to make adjustments to your stance is to respond to issues that you are noticing in your game. You don't want to make changes just for the purpose of changes – you want to adjust the stance only if it is going to make a noticeable improvement in the way you swing the club. This concept applies not only to the stance, but to any change you may be thinking about making in your game.

To get an idea of some of the changes you may wish to make to your stance, check out the list below.

  • Turn the right foot open for a bigger backswing. If you know that you struggle with flexibility in your game, turning your right foot open is a pretty easy choice. Turn your toes out just a few degrees and then hit a few balls as usual. It will suddenly be easier to turn away from the target, and you should feel like you have more power in your swing. This is a change which can help you hit the ball harder, and it can also help you to avoid wearing down by the end of a round. You won't have to work as hard for your turn, so you should have more energy at the end of the day. If you do make this change, it is important to note that you have to watch out for a slide away from the target on the backswing. Without as much resistance from your right knee, the right side of your body may tend to sway to the right as you go back. Don't let this happen. Focus on making a balanced turn and keep any hint of a slide far away from your swing.
  • Move the right foot back away from the target line. This is an adjustment which can be used by players who struggle with the slice. As was stated earlier, you do want to keep your stance in a square position if at all possible – but if you really need help with the slice, this adjustment can offer relief. You will now be playing from a closed stance, meaning the club will naturally trace an inside arc as it moves away from the ball. This new swing path will help you attack from the inside, meaning it will be far less likely that you will produce a slice. Over time, you should work on improving the rest of your technique so you no longer need to use a closed stance, but it can work for the time being.
  • Sit into your heels slightly. If you have trouble engaging your lower body in the golf swing, try sitting back into your heels just slightly at address. You don't want to lean so far back that you lose your balance, but favoring your heels over your toes will make it more likely that your legs will work correctly in the swing. This is a particularly helpful tip for players who tend to stand up out of their stance in the backswing. If you know that is a problem which is currently within your game, try moving your weight back slightly to improve your lower body performance.

Nothing you do within your stance should be dramatic. You don't want to get too far away from the basic fundamentals of the stance, because those fundamentals are the best way to create quality golf shots. With that said, you have freedom to find your own way to get the job done on the course, and sometimes that means doing things a little bit out of the ordinary.

Positioning Your Feet in the Short Game

Positioning Your Feet in the Short Game

The short game should not be ignored as you think about how to position your feet at address. While this point is not quite as important in the short game, since you aren't making a big swing, you still do need find a reliable position for your feet in order to make the same motion over and over again.

When putting, you want to keep things as square as possible all the way around. Your feet should be square to the target line, and they should be parallel to one another as well. There is no reason at all to modify this kind of stance, unless you have some sort of physical limitation which requires you to do so. Stay square, use your shoulders to move the putter back and through, and swing the club right down the line time after time.

As you step off of the green and put a wedge in your hands to hit a chip shot, the story starts to change. For one thing, you don't want to keep your stance square while chipping. Instead, you should have your feet open to the target line to promote an outside-in swing path. This kind of path will help you get the ball up in the air, and it will help you produce backspin as well. Many amateur golfers struggle with their chipping, and it is often because they try to swing the wedge straight down the line. If you make the switch to swinging across the ball with an open stance, you might find that you quickly produce the best chip shots of your life.

One other short game situation to consider is playing from a greenside bunker. If you need to blast the ball out of a bunker, you will again want to play from an open stance, as hitting across the ball is the way to go in this spot as well. Along with the open stance it will also be a good idea to set your feet rather far apart. You need a wide stance to support the swing you are going to make, because it takes a big swing to blast the ball out of the sand.

The way you position your feet in your stance seems like an extremely minor point in this game, but it can have big implications. Don't let something simple like this throw your game off track for years to come – work on getting it right now and then forget about it as you move on to other fundamentals. With just a bit of work on the driving range to put the advice we have provided into action, you will be well on your way to better results. Golf is a game of details and execution, and there is no reason you can't execute on this point. Good luck!