Before having the first contact with golf, the most curious thing is how players manage to position themselves to hit the ball, making it fly and place it in the right position, adopting positions that get so much attention.
We always talk about accuracy, but if you have already taken your first steps or if you have been playing this sport for years, you will know that there is much more behind a ball that reaches the place you wanted it to.
That’s called stance and the balance that it offers is the secret to success with your swing.
And it’s a term that is so necessary to master so we’ll talk about it today.
What is stance and why your swing depends on it.
The Royal Spanish Golf Federation (RFEG) defines stance as ‘positioning’: When the player places his or her feet in position to strike a shot.
The first thing you need to know is that it’s not a natural body position, that is why it is important to work on this position and the movements that go with it.
The “stance in golf” provides us with stability and the image we will reflect will be of a straight back, knees slightly bent and feet apart leaving the ball between them.
Let’s take it one step at a time.
The back should be straight but leaning towards the ball. Make sure you achieve a balanced position by bringing the glutes outwards. Don’t forget your lower back, keep it straight to avoid any possible injury.
Your legs should be bent to avoid that stiffness that is not good for you. This will bring your balance point closer to the ground, which will give you stability when striking.
To achieve this point of flexion, pretend to lean on a stool or high chair. This will help you to distribute your weight equally between your heels and the tips of your toes.
Your hands should be free, not stiff but holding the club firmly.
To check that you have achieved this, make sure that your shoulders are comfortable, not tense and your hands are free and you can hold the club securely.
Lean your head slightly so you can focus on the shot and let the club go through smoothly.
How to improve your stance.
If you take golf lessons, your teacher will have talked to you many times about stance.
This insistence is because a good stance before the shot is what will make your arms move better, your trunk, your hips and your legs. In other words, that your body is ready to hit the ball.
To give you an idea of the importance of this, imagine a sprinter who doesn’t bend down properly or position his hands in such a way that they allow him to fly at the start line. That starting position you see in athletes is the equivalent of our stance.
Do you know if you need to improve it?
If you don’t know the answer to this question or if you think you do, without a doubt, we recommend that you test the stability of your stance with a partner.
Set yourself up as if you are about to hit the ball with your club and hold that position. If your partner, gently pushes you, causing your balance to wobble, read on.
We tell you how to improve it.
You already know how to position your back, hips and head. This remains basically the same.
The biggest difficulty often appears when it comes to placing your feet and the position of the pole.
How far apart should my feet be?
The exact position varies depending on the swing of each player and the club they are going to use.
Align yourself correctly so that you are positioned at an angle that gives you balance and allows you to use the full potential of your body at the moment of the shot.
The key is the position of the ball in relation to your feet.
Position yourself in front of the ball, making a right angle to it.
Rest the club on its base perpendicular to the ball. The gap between your body and the grip should be four fingers with the short and mid irons (six if you use a flat club) and one finger length with the woods.
Hold your club tightly in your grip.
Your left foot should always be at the same distance from the ball, about six inches or so unless you are using a wood.
The right foot will depend on the club you are using.
If you use a short club or a wood, the right foot should be about 30 centimetres from the ball and with a mid iron the same distance as the left.
The difference is in the distribution of body weight.
If you use a short club, put a little more weight on the left leg, on the right for a wood and equally for a medium iron.
Bend your legs as you have seen before and perform the back tilt with your buttocks out and stick your biceps tight to your chest. Your arms will drop and separate from your body to match the club you want to use now.
If your body is aligned parallel to the line, the ball will follow.
Well done, you’ve found your stance!
It is important to note that the position of the club head at the time of the shot will cause your ball to go one way or the other.
The open side will send your ball to the right (fade or even slice), the neutral side will send it in a straight line and the closed side will send it to the left (draw or hook).
One last tip, in case you find yourself in a situation of misalignment with the ball.
If your feet are higher than the ball, you should aim slightly to the left, because your ball will go straight to the right. In the opposite case (the ball is higher than your feet), the ball will go to the left, so you should aim to the right.
Now you know the most important things you need to know to help you hit the perfect shot.
Remember to practice a lot, until you make it automatic.