How to Square Your Stance in the Golf Swing

By Mike Southern
Pro players such as 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel pay close attention to squaring their stance before a shot.
Pro players such as 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel pay close attention to squaring their stance before a shot.

You can spend hours in the gym. You can spend hundreds on training aids. You can do all the swing drills you want. But unless you learn how to aim the ball properly, you will never get the golf ball to go where you want it to go. Fortunately, squaring your stance is an uncomplicated process that you can learn with just a little effort.

On the Practice Range

Choose your target. Even on the practice range, you should get into the habit of playing every shot to a specific target. The sooner this becomes second nature to you, the quicker your play will improve.

Create your practice station using two of the golf clubs. (You will swing the third club.) Lay the first club down on the ground, parallel to your target line and just in front of your feet. Lay the second club down perpendicular to the first club, on your side of the first club. The second club should point at the position where the ball will be, and its shaft should be lying between your feet.

Take your address position with the toes of both feet pointing at – and an equal distance from – the target-line club. Your feet should be parallel to the ball-position club. The ball-position club should be pointing at the ball, which should be located on the other side of the target-line club. Obviously you don't want to hit either of your "aiming" clubs when you swing.

Angle your left foot toward the target (if you are a right-handed player). Your heel should not leave the ground when you do this; just lift the ball of your foot and pivot it toward the target. This is where many players get confused. When you pivot your foot toward the target, your left foot will look as if it is farther away from the target line club than your right foot. Your heels are what determine whether your stance is square or not.

Hold your third club against your shoulders with your arms across your chest – that is, with your left hand holding the club against your right shoulder, and vice versa. Make sure this club is parallel to your target-line club. You also can check your hips with the club if you wish but, as long as your feet and shoulders are square, the rest of your body should be aligned correctly.

Grip the third club normally and make your shot. Your stance should now be square and, as long as you make a good swing, the shot should go where you aimed it.

On the Course.

Choose your target line just as you did on the practice range. You aren't allowed to lay clubs on the ground during play, so you'll need to make sure you can see this line clearly. It may help to pick out a couple of spots on the ground as markers.

Set your feet so your toes are aligned parallel to the target line and pivot your left foot toward the target, just as you did on the range. Now your feet are square.

Align your shoulders parallel to the target line. Now you are ready to hit the ball.

About the Author

North Carolina native Mike Southern has been writing since 1979. He is the author of the instructional golf book "Ruthless Putting" and edited a collection of swashbuckling novels. Southern was trained in electronics at Forsyth Technical Community College and is also an occasional woodworker.

Photo Credits

  • David Cannon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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