How Wide Should Your Golf Stance Be?

How wide should your golf stance be? In this video, PGA pro Ben Emerson answers that question with his expert advice

Ben Emerson demonstrating how golf stance width differs depending on the club
(Image credit: Future)

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How wide should your golf stance be?

Although it’s one of the basic fundamentals, don’t worry if you still wonder how wide your golf stance should be - you won't be alone. However, getting this right will ensure you have the perfect ball position with every club, which will help you finally reach your potential. In the video and article below, PGA pro Ben Emerson runs through everything you need to know...

When looking at the width of your stance, it’s really important to understand what you’re trying to achieve. Essentially, it’s about producing two things: a nice stable base and a body turn that helps you move away from the target and then back towards it. If you struggle with this, it's probably one of the reasons you don't get better at golf.

However, the width of your stance is not the same for every club in the bag - that's one of the most important things to remember. The basic rule is the longer the club, the wider your stance needs to be. This is because the extra shaft length creates more clubhead speed and to control that, you need the added stability of a wider stance. This goes some way to explaining how launch angle and power are linked

It’s also important to remember that if your stance gets too wide, the mobility of your swing and your weight shift will become restricted and you will lack overall power. So there is a fine line between the two, which is why it’s vital to keep on top of the basics.

Driver

With the driver, the club you’re looking to create the most speed with, you do need that stable platform from which to generate power that can be controlled as much as possible. To do this, start by setting the ball up inside the heel of your lead foot - use alignment sticks when practising to make this easier. 

How to set up to your driver

Setting the ball up in line with the inside of your left heel will help when hitting the driver

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

For right-handers this will be your left foot and vice versa for lefties. Having your feet shoulder width apart is a great baseline and from there, take one more step away from the target with your trail foot to set the ideal base from which to produce power.

Irons

But what about when you’re not trying to hit the ball as hard? When hitting a 7-iron for example, you still want stability but you don’t need the same width as with the driver. Again, shoulder width apart is a great starting point, with the ball just a fraction forward of centre. 

From here, widen the stance ever so slightly and you’ll be in the perfect position to rotate from a stable platform. Get this right and you'll be able to master the ideal weight distribution in the golf swing.

How wide should your golf stance be?

With an iron, you want the stance to be a little narrower to promote proper weight distribution and angle of attack

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Wedges

Finally, moving on to wedges, and this is an area of the game that’s all about finesse, so you don’t need as stable a base. All you need is a stance that’s going to keep you in balance, allowing you to retain control while you rotate back and through. On full shots, around shoulder width apart works well and that can be made narrower as you approach the green and the swing length reduces.

Ben Emerson
Top 50 Coach

Location: Sand Martins GC 


Ben’s modern approach to golf coaching has seen him become one of the most sought-after coaches in the country and teaches none other than Robbie Williams. His honest, modern and fun style of coaching has help thousands of golfers of all ages and abilities and he has been coaching for over 20 years.


Advice for practice:

Start with slow, small swings. If you can’t do it small and slowly there is not a hope in hell of doing it at full speed with a full swing! In other sports such as rugby or martial arts they slow learn new moves/plays before making them at full speed. 


Teaching philosophy: 

‘Why guess when you can access’ Ever new student goes through a full TPI movement screen, 3D motion capture and pressure plate analysis as well as TrackMan and 2D video analysis. Coaching is based on facts and not guess work. 


Most common problem:

A lack of clubface understanding and awareness. I get golfers to aim the clubface directly at the target and get them to make a slow swings and deliver the club to the ball with an open face, then repeat the same thing again but with a closed face, followed by one at the target. Giving them full awareness based on feelings errors to find a happy middle ground.