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The Golf Stance | How Getting Too Wide Can Impact Weight Transfer
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Published: February 17, 2014
The most common problem we see with the golf stance, are players that set up too wide.
Rarely do we see someone with too narrow a golf stance, but too wide is all too common.
Let's look at some of the problems that come from setting up too wide. We know we can be about two inches outside of neutral joint alignment with the hips.
Any wider and you won't be able to make a full weight transfer without your head moving all over the place.
A lot of golfers like to set up very wide, especially with the driver. It feels very stable and powerful, but a wide golf stance prevents you from getting back to that left side effectively.
Rotation is Impaired
Proper weight transfer is one of the most important aspects of the golf swing.
You need to get your weight fully shifted back to the left so you can stabilize and brace on that left glute and left heel, allowing you to rotate through the swing.
With a wide golf stance, you can't rotate correctly.You'll end up basically spinning your hips out of the way, if you use them at all.
Most golfers with stances that are too wide end up using all upper body in the golf swing because they can't move their lower body effectively.
Try It and See
Stand up and see for yourself. When you put your feet very close together, you'll see that it's easy to pivot your hips from side to side because you can transfer your weight effortlessly from one foot to the other.
That's the whole key. You need to be able to rotate your hips out of the way in the golf downswing.
You need to be able to pivot on that left side.
Now set your feet a little wider. You'll notice that you have to take a little more time to shift back to the left, but you can still pivot.
The wider your golf stance, the bigger the shift, and the more time it takes.
When the golf stance is too wide, you'll typically be pushing off the right side, which will drive your hip into the ball and cause you to lose your spine angle in the downswing.
You will find yourself locked into the ground, and have to rely on your upper body to swing instead of being able to shift back to the left and use the big muscles in your hips.
Check Your Right Shoe
Looking at the swing from down the line, if you're stance is too wide you will typically be pushing off your right side in an effort to get your weight back to the left.
You can check for this by seeing how your right foot looks at follow through.
If you find, in the follow through, that your right shoe is bent (see photo), that means there's weight back there.
Your right foot should always be straight at follow through, with virtually no weight on that leg. At that point, your right leg's primary job is balance.
At least 90 percent of your weight during the finish is on the left leg.
If you have weight on your right leg at follow through, apart from hurting your back and your hip, you're not getting the full benefit of the weight transfer and the rotation on the left side.
Set up with a golf stance that's appropriate to your hip width, and you'll get rid of those common swing faults.
Checkpoints for Practice
- Proper stance width is 2" outside of neutral hip alignment
- A wider stance may feel powerful, but inhibits weight transfer
- Check your right shoe at follow through - there should be virtually no weight on that leg, so the shoe should be straight at finish
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