Stance at Address

By John Giatropoulos
Last Updated: 11/06/2016

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Let's start with the basics. Setting up to the ball, figuring out how to even stand can be a complicated endeavor, but let's break down the foundation of your golf swing based on a few methods.

I was reading Ben Hogan's Five Lessons recently to see if there was any analysis that I could add to Swingbot. I'm always looking for trusted instruction to keep the analysis on point.

In the book, Hogan says:

The soundest rule, since it applies to for people of nearly all builds, is that THE FEET SHOULD BE SET APART THE WIDTH OF THE SHOULDERS WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING A STANDARD FIVE-IRON SHOT. THEY ARE SET SOMEWHAT CLOSER TOGETHER WHEN YOU PLAY THE MORE LOFTED CLUBS, SOMEWHAT WIDER THAN THE WIDTH OF THE SHOULDERS WHEN YOU PLAY THE LONG IRONS AND THE WOODS.

This is great advice. Feet shoulder width apart, ball in the center with a 5-iron. As you decrease the number of the club (6,7,etc) you can move your feet closer together. As you INCREASE the number of the club (4,3,3-wood, Driver) you can widen your stance by moving your feet farther apart.

Let's take a look at your stance at address to see if you are setup according to Ben Hogan.

Figure 1

I don't know what club you used in your video, although that might be a new feature coming soon ;-)

I drew lines on your swing that you see above. I simply drew some vertical guidelines to let you see if your shoulders are roughly in line with your feet. So the vertical guidelines are drawn through each shoulder.

Now keep in mind, if you were swinging a driver in the video your trail foot should be OUTSIDE the line drawn on your rear shoulder.

If a 5-iron, according to Ben Hogan, the lines drawn on your feet should go right through each shoulder respectively. And if you were swinging a lesser iron (6 thru sand wedge) then your feet might be narrower than your shoulders.

Why do we do this? Why move your feet at all?

Let's think about this.

If you are swinging a longer club, like a driver, the energy generated by this club is much greater, and creates a higher propensity for you to lose balance when wielding this long club.

Also, you might try to really give this club a big swing and your "base" (feet) need to be solid and balanced to support your upper body moving at such speeds.

For shorter clubs, you can narrow your stance. The club is closer to the ground (its shorter!) and because of the energy generated when you swing the club around your body (less centripetal force) your body can withstand this energy and maintain balance.

So keep in mind, the longer the club the wider the stance.


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