Categorized | Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks : Chapter 2 – Stance

By: Tony Blacker

The stance is the aspect of your set up that relates specifically to the width your feet are apart at address and to the position of the ball relative to your feet. A good stance is crucial because it enables you to strike the perfect balance between stability and mobility. If your feet are too wide, this will restrict your mobility, which means that you cannot make the required body turn. If this happens, you will lose power and you may find your direction suffers.

If your feet are too narrow, you will struggle to retain your balance as you swing, finding it difficult to strike the ball with any authority. Producing the correct distance at address enhances your balance and offers the appropriate mobility to make a powerful body turn in your backswing. I would like to suggest that creating an athletic stance is essential to a good posture; you should look and feel energetic, prepared to respond to the movement of your takeaway.

StanceIRON STANCE FULL SWING

The best way to learn your correct iron stance is by standing up with your feet together, the ball aligned in the middle of your feet, shoulders back and, more importantly, looking straight ahead at eye level, with a comfortable knee flex. This position creates enough clearance between your chin and chest, thus allowing your shoulder turn to be effective for your swing. From there simply move your left foot, then right foot into a comfortable position. Normally your feet should naturally arrive into a shoulder width position. Every person is a little different so don’t become too measured in this position.

FOOT POSITION

You will see that some professionals also splay open their right foot in their stance position.

It has been said for a long time that the great Ben Hogan preferred his right foot to be square to the line and his left foot turned toward the target a few inches. The advantage of this is that the square right foot helps shorten a too long backswing, and the slanted left foot helps to make a full weight shift and follow-through.

To splay the right foot out slightly is to allow more turn on the backswing, making it longer. Just be careful that you maintain a good turn and not fall into the habit of doing a lateral weight shift if you choose this way. Both positions are effective and please check with your professional which is best for you.

CHIPPING STANCE

When playing a chip shot, your stance will be very narrow compared to any other shot. We will discuss more about this in the chipping chapter.

StancePITCHING STANCE

When playing a pitch shot of small distance, say 15m to 50m, it is important that an open stance is used. We will discuss more about this in the pitching chapter.

WOOD STANCE FULL SWING

Do the same as the iron stance whilst standing up, but this time with your feet a little apart. This time, the ball should be aligned with the inside of your left heel, again with your shoulders back and your look straight ahead at eye level, with a comfortable knee flex. This position creates enough clearance between your chin and chest thus allowing your shoulder turn to be effective for your swing. From this position draw your right foot back, but do not move your left foot. Now flare out your left foot very slightly rather than keeping it square, this will allow your hips and body to wind and unwind as you swing the club back and forth.

It is important to ensure that the ball has remained opposite the left heel, the perfect position from which to deliver the club head to the ball with a shallow ascending angle, for both driver and fairway woods. A point to consider is the length of your driver, as in today’s trends some manufactures are extending the length of their drivers to around 46 inches in length, so you may find yourself moving your ball position a little more forward to achieve the shallow ascending angle. Please check with your professional.

SUMMARY OF STANCE

A good stance is crucial because it enables you to strike the perfect balance between stability and mobility.

The famous teacher of Jack Nicklaus, Mr. Jack Grout said: “The commonalties of the good players are the basic fundamentals of golf technique. They haven’t changed much in an awful long time, and there aren’t a whole lot of them. But they have to be understood and mastered if you are to play the game consistently at or close to the maximum of your potential.”

Happy golfing!

About Tony Blacker

Tony Blacker is an Australian pro golfer and a master coach of Infinite Golf Academy at Senayan Driving Range. After a solid pro golf carrier in Australia, he decided to move to Indonesia in 2005. Tony Blacker started his pro golf career from the age of 22. This is Tony Blacker personal message to all who wants to learn and coached by him : “I have a strong belief in the positive outcome of punctuality, self motivation and commitment which I adhere to in all aspects of my life and I further pride myself in all tasks undertaken and am open to suggestions and constructive criticism. I enjoy working with all people regardless of colour or race and assisting them in anyway possible. My goal in life is to be happy in everything I undertake.”

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