A Proper Golf Stance in 3 Easy Steps

Proper golf stance

How to Master a Proper Golf Stance

Wondering how to master a proper stance in golf? Our setup tips begin with getting your posture and alignment right to take your golf swing with enough power at the right angle. There are different types of stances for each club; wider for driver and narrower for irons. Some players change how far from the ball they stand for each club, but it’s best just to change your stance.

You might not be as great as the professionals on PGA tours, but you can definitely be better. One of the most crucial steps to becoming better at golf is perfecting a proper golf stance. But how do you pull it off? How do you perfect your golf setup and strike like a pro? Read on to find out.

Proper golf stance infographic

Perfect Golf Stance in 3 Simple Steps

The following steps are essential if you’re going to pull off a proper golf stance:

Step #1: Club Head Position

Before setting up your posture correctly, you need to place your club head in position so we can build everything around that. The best way to do this is to aim the face of your club behind the ball facing your intended target.

Getting your clubhead setup position right before putting your feet in place allows you to eliminate inconsistencies in your setup and golf swing. Take your time and make sure your aim is spot on. 

Step #2: Golf Club Grip

Ensure that your club is in a straight position. If it leans too far to the left or right side, you’ll only end up shooting in the wrong direction. 

To help ensure that your golf club is straight, use the markings on your grip to align your clubface. Once you’ve done this, let your left palm face inwards as naturally as possible. The grip should sit diagonally between your little finger and index finger. 

Place your palm on the side of the grip, and then wrap your fingers around the grip. Finally, place your lead hand on top of the grip—avoid covering the end of the grip with your hand. 

For the trailing hand grip, start by lifting the club and laying it across the middle of your fingers. Wrap your fingers around the grip, covering your leading thumb with the lifeline of your palm. Look for the “V” formed by the thumb and forefinger of your bottom hand, parallel to that of your head hand. This position should cause a crease that runs towards your right shoulder. 

Note: These instructions are for right-handed golfers. If you’re left-handed, simply reverse the instructions.

There are three basic types of golf grips, and they include the 10-finger, overlapping, and interlocking grips. Even though there’s no stipulated grip to use, it’s important to know how each one works. 

10-Finger Grip

Just as the name implies, the 10-finger grip involves you placing every one of your fingers on the iron. Now, this grip style isn’t exactly popular among professional golfers. However, if you’re new to the game, you would undoubtedly find it comfortable. 

This grip is best suited for amateur golfers with small hands since each of your fingers will be touching the surface of the grip. This way, there’d be lower chances of you losing grip of the grip (pun intended). 

Overlapping Grip

This type of grip is also known as the “Vardon” grip and is one of the most popular types among professional golfers. It involves positioning the pinky finger of your left hand and placing it directly in the ridge between your right hand’s index finger and middle finger. The overlapping grip style is popular because it allows for your hands to release easier through impact. 

Even though anyone can use this grip style, golf players with large hands will definitely find it more comfortable as it allows them to work freely and naturally. 

Interlocking Grip

This type of grip style is the most classic and widely used grip across the entire golf industry. It usually starts with the 10-finger grip, and then you bring your hands closer together by interlocking the right hand’s pinky finger with the left’s index and middle finger. 

The interlocking grip has several advantages, which make it so popular among professional and amateur golfers. For starters, it allows you to grip the iron tighter before swinging. It also limits the wrist’s movement when you swing. 

Also read: The Best Golf Training Aids to improve your posture.

Step #3: Posture

Once you’ve perfected your clubhead position and grip, it’s time to strike the perfect posture. 

Distance from the Golf Ball 

Don’t get too close to the ball, so your arms are cramped and unable to swing properly. At the same time, you don’t want to be too far away from the ball so that you’re stretching awkwardly to hit it.

You want your arms to hang naturally down and the middle of the clubface to hit the ball when you swing. 

Stance Width

Try to create a symmetrical stance with the ball front and center and a gap between your legs and the club. Place your legs shoulder-width apart as a starting position. 

Start by tilting forwards from the hip. When tilting, make sure you stick your bottom out. You want your lower back to be flat rather than rounded. 

Next, flex your knees slightly as the club lowers to touch the ground behind the ball. What’s most important here is that you feel comfortable.

When using a longer club, increase the width of your stance. It’s difficult to pull off a proper golf stance using long clubs when your setup position is narrow. Flex your knees further and set your legs shoulder-width apart to set up a wide golf stance.

Also, practice your stance regularly. The more you practice, the better and quicker you can pull off a proper golf stance. 

Ball Position

Some golfers change the ball position depending on the shaft length. However, it’s best to always maintain your ball position and adjust to a wide or narrow golf stance depending on the shaft length. 

Draw an imaginary line from your left pectoral muscle straight to the floor—this would represent the low point of your swing. Playing the ball in this position will allow you to make ball-first contact with the club head.

Golf Stance for Different Clubs

Different clubs require a different stance if you’re hoping to make a great golf swing. The major reason the stance differs is that clubs are not of the same length. Also, depending on the make or model, the loft will vary.  If you follow these instructions, you will get the right stance for each golf club.

Golf Driver Stance

As always, the first step is getting your body posture right. The proper stance for the driver is to have your feet apart, forming a slightly wider than normal base. This affects your speed and helps you maintain balance as you prepare to take a golf swing.

Place the ball forward, closer to your lead foot, so that the ball is vertical to the left side of your upper body, where a shirt logo may be. You may want to tilt your shoulder to the right, to hit the ball on the upswing. With drivers, the distance between the grip and your body will be a little greater because of the club’s length.

Handle: The handle shouldn’t be held too far back or too far forward, as this could lead to improper alignment of the clubface at set up. The ball should be placed slightly ahead of the driver and the club placed vertically.

golf stance irons

Golf Stance Irons

For an iron, the golf stance is slightly narrower than the driver, but the grip and alignment remain the same. The golf ball is placed closer to the middle of the stance so that it’s vertical to the middle of your body, where a shirt’s button is placed. With the iron, the distance between the grip and your body is not as great as with the driver. 

Handle: The iron is held with a forward lean at setup to promote the downward hit. Ensure the clubface is square with the intended target for proper clubface alignment. Short irons provide better accuracy and control, while a long iron improves your distance.

Note: A short iron gives you better control as it is easier to hit with. Long irons, on the other hand, are much harder to hit with. Golf stance irons directly impact your golf swing.

Proper Ball Position in Your Golf Stance

The proper ball position depends on individual golfers and the type of club they use. It also depends largely on how you deliver your swing.


The right ball position for the driver is different from that of other clubs. Generally, the ideal position for a driver is in front of your sternum. Place the ball forward and towards the left heel. 

The driver hits upwards, so depending on your golf swing, you might want to move the ball position forward or slightly backward. If you place the ball at the center of your stance, the club will not give the upswing motion it should. A good golf driver stance improves your accuracy.


The ball position for an iron is slightly in front of the sternum. It’s placed at the center of the stance because the force to hit it will naturally turn you left and give you a quality strike.  

Pitching Wedge

The ball position for the pitching wedge closely resembles that of iron. It’s positioned right at the center of the stance. Try to hit the ball with the butt of the pitching wedge directly under the sternum.

Types of Golf Stances

There are three main golf stance positions. They are:


In the open stance, the toe line or heel line doesn’t align parallel to the target line but crosses it at the back of the ball. This means the golfer aims the toe line to the left of the target. 

To set yourself up in an open stance, begin by taking the square stance. In this neutral position, you only need minimal adjustments to adopt an open stance. Lift your left foot off the ground and withdraw it back slightly. To complete the stance, slightly rotate your right foot to place it parallel to your left foot and comfortably on the ground. 

Effects of the Stance

The open stance opens up the clubface in relation to the swing line. This improves the ball’s loft and allows the golfer to hit shots at a higher altitude. It also allows you to hit different kinds of shots like slices and fades.

If you would like to improve your game, having a variety of shots in your locker is crucial. Also, an open stance golf swing makes a golfer’s body slightly looser. This is especially beneficial to older players as it reduces the strain on their knees and back.


Unlike the open stance, the toe line is not parallel to the golfer’s target line. Rather, it crosses it in front of the ball. This means the golfer aims the toe line to the right of the target.

The first step is to place your feet in the proper position. To do this, place your feet in position as you would in a square stance. Move your left foot forward while you rotate around your right foot.

When your left foot is in place, you only have to move your right foot slightly to place them parallel to each other. When done correctly, you should feel both feet placed comfortably on the ground.

Effects of the Stance

The closed stance closes the clubface in relation to the swing line. This reduces the ball’s loft and prevents the golfer from hitting shots at high altitudes. A closed stance golf swing is ideal for right-to-left side spins as the change in its swing path works better for inside-out swings.


To take the square stance, place your feet so that the heel line and toe line are parallel to the target. You can use either the toe line or heel line to set up the square stance. However, the heel line is more reliable as it’s not disturbed by foot flaring. 

Effects of the Stance

In a square stance, the club’s loft remains unaltered. This way, the ball travels on a definite flight part that corresponds with what the club was designed to do.

Alignment Tips

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, one of the first things you do that has a direct impact on the success of your shot is your alignment. Proper alignment aids your ability to aim a shot in the right direction. Below are three tips to help you align properly. 

Intermediate Target Selection

The first step to proper alignment is picking an intermediate target. An intermediate target could be a leaf, discoloration, or a blemish on the golf course. It should be from your ball to the target line and act as an achievable target that improves your aim. 

Many pro golfers usually choose an intermediate target as part of their pre-shot routine. The best way to pick one is to stand behind the ball, visualize your shot, and select an intermediate target within 4 or 5 meters of your golf ball.

Clubface Alignment

To perform the clubface alignment, move towards the golf ball and align the clubface to the intermediate target. As you align the clubface to the intermediate target, open your body and align your body (shoulder, feet, and hips) to the left. 

Once you have built your stance, the next step is to ensure that your body is properly aligned. To do this, visualize the line from the ball to your intermediate target and ensure that your toes, hips, knees, and shoulders are parallel to the target line. 

Head Rotation 

The first two steps are pretty much all you need to align yourself properly. However, the head rotation tip will help you determine if you are aligned correctly. To do this, maintain your stance and rotate your head towards the target to get an accurate view. 

If you are correctly aligned, you should be looking straight through your target line. Some golfers come into a bit of trouble when they do this by raising their bodies to look at the target. This gives you an inaccurate view, as your head is the only part of your body that should rotate at that moment. 


Who says you have to be a professional golfer to pull off a proper golf stance? With the tips listed above, you’re well on your way to improving your golf swing.

Trust us; it’s easy to pull off a proper golf setup. All you need to do is get used to striking the right position and practice frequently.

In no time at all, you should be able to set up a perfect golf stance and finally play the game with confidence. 

Good luck! 

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Jay Martin
Jay is an avid golfer who has been playing for 25 years. While you can find him on the golf course every weekend, he also spends his time testing clubs at the range. He strives to share unbiased reviews and the most up-to-date information on all things golf.