How Wide Should Your Golf Stance Be?

How wide is your stance in golf? This is a great question for all golfers regardless of their skill level. This important question has rattled around in my head for about a month.

After analyzing my swing (for the first time on video), it was very clear that I had absolutely no lower body movement; I mean none. Additionally, this year I struggled with consistency off the tee, this dramatically increased my frustration while playing my favorite sport . When I mentioned this to my friend Kirk, he said that I have always swung the club this way! Needless to say, I was completely surprised! I maintained a 4 handicap for 10 years and this year it dropped to 2.8! I cannot seem to lower my handicap any further, mostly because of my limited distance and inconsistent play off the tee. Well, now I have my next project as I continue to strive towards being a scratch golfer.

While at the PGA Tour Canada Golf Clinic at Wildfire Invitational this past Wednesday, a young pro noticed my stance woes immediately. He recommended that I widen my stance about two inches with each foot! As I moved my feet out, it felt like I was doing the splits. However, after hitting about 20 balls on the range that day, my new stance started to feel more comfortable.

Curious about my new found knowledge, I started to research the proper distance and location of my feet in my stance. To my surprise, I found that everyone had an opinion and very few were exactly the same. So here is what I found that was consistent among most articles:

  • Everyone’s stance will adjust according to their physical stature. Being short, tall, stout, thin, or average will have a direct impact on the width of your stance.
  • The shoulder width rule (your feet shoulder width apart) is an okay guideline, but flexibility will definitely impact your foot position. The more flexible, the wider your stance.
  • “Basically, what you need to do is find neutral joint alignment.  In other words, find where the center of your ankles, center of your knees, and center of your hips stack up over each other.”
  • “Consequently, the most efficient width of stance should be no wider than shoulder width for most full swing shots, including your driver.  With this width you will more likely maintain a dominant rotary force.  This will lead to greater club head speed and better dynamic stability.”

Here are a couple of videos  that help explain the advantage of a proper stance and how to figure out what is best for you.

After widening my stance, I have suddenly found 10-20 yards off the tee. I am more consistent when hitting my driver just by moving my feet a couple of inches farther apart. Not to suggest this is an easy fix, I still have to hit the range to determine the exact position of my feet, where the ball should be placed in my stance for all my clubs, and build confidence to swing through the ball! I am excited about my new project and will keep you posted as things progress!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!