Stance Width

Bradley Hughes discusses stance width at address for short, medium, and long clubs.

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The stance width. Where should it be in relation to what club we have? The main important thing about stance width is it's to do with the balance of our body as we swing. So obviously, the shorter the club-- here's a 9 iron. The shorter the club, the less speed we're going to create with that swing.

We're more distance orientated. We don't need to hit a 9 iron 170 yards. We need to hit it 140 yards all the time. So I need to find my balance of my feet to suit that.

So I'm going to talk about the 9 iron, a 5 iron, and then a 3 wood, and show you how it works. So for every club in the bag I know where my club bottoms out at my strike. So I need to play the ball-- if I just started taking some divots, I would get a general idea that if my club hits here and my divot is after, I need to put the ball somewhere near where the start of that divot is. That's my low point. That's where I keep hitting the ground.

So I need to put the ball on that or just behind it so I hit the ball first. So I know once I've got that where that is in relation to my feet and more so my left foot. So I will play the ball in the same position every time no matter what the club, unless I'm hitting some type of specialty shot, right there in relation to my left foot.

Then I will base how much width I need in my right foot to balance me as I swing. So for a 9 iron shot, from experience and knowing, that's about it. That's the width I feel comfortable to be able to balance myself for the speed that I swing the 9 iron with.

And as we look at that, that ball is, in my estimation, it's a couple of inches inside my left heel. But because I have a narrow right foot, the ball almost looks in the middle of my stance. So don't be fooled by that.

What we're going to look at here is more the width of the shoulders. So this can be different for each person. I have reasonably wide shoulders. So I'm going to show you where they fall in relation to my fee.

So here's my 9 iron set up. If I drop this club straight from the outside of my shoulder it hits the outside of my left foot. And if I drop it from my right shoulder it hits the outside of my right foot. So my feet, or the outsides of my feet, for a 9 iron are basically my shoulder width.

Now, we'll go to a 5 iron. A little longer shaft. Going to hit it a bit further. Probably going to swing it a little bit harder as well.

So again, left foot, ball, same spot because that's where I hit the ball, and then I hit the ground. So I need my ball in that relative point.

5 Iron. Longer club. Faster swing. Right foot a little bit wider for balance. Now I feel I can control my balance properties around this length of club and the distance I'm trying to hit it.

So as we'll see, just by widening the right foot, that ball visually has shifted forward a little bit because I'm a little bit further back here. And I'm viewing it differently from my point of view. So it looks between middle and heel now.

So let's have a look where my shoulders now are in relation to this 5 iron club. And remember, I haven't done anything except move my right foot back for balance. My left shoulder, if I drop it down, it's more towards the middle of my left foot. My right shoulder as I drop it down it's more towards the middle of my right foot.

So by widening my stance my width of my shoulders still match up. My shoulders haven't changed. But I've built a little bigger base. So for the 9 iron it was the outsides of my feet. For the 5 iron it's more the middle of my feet. Left shoulder gets changed because I've widened my stance.

3 wood. Same thing again. Ball is in relation to my left foot. Exactly the same. Right foot goes a little bit wider.

Longer club. Bigger swing. More balance.

And because the longer shaft I'm more further away from the ball, I need that stability. Very hard to swing a long club from a narrow stance. So that just makes sense.

So now, we'll see because my [? right ?] foot has gone wider, that ball now, again, looks closer to my left heel. Truth is it hasn't changed. Visually, the wider I get, narrower I get, the different that ball position looks.

So now, as I set up to my 3 wood and I drop my club from my left shoulder it's going to be on the insides of my feet. Left foot on the inside. Right foot on the inside.

So there's no set pattern for all this. We just need to know where we need to be in relation to that ball with our stance. And we can use our shoulders as a check point to make sure we've got it right.