Still searching for the secret to help you hit the ball more consistently?
Have you considered trying different stances in golf?
The great thing about the game of golf is that the journey is never over, every day or every round we seek a little adjustment here or there that can make the difference.
Over the years, we can improve and learn little alterations that help us reach our full potential regardless of age.
Too often we hear that we must be lined up straight like railroad tracks and to make sure we have perfect alignment. While the truth is that two of the best ball strikers of all time, Lee Trevino and Sam Snead did not. Lee Trevino had an open stance, while Sam Snead aimed well to the right especially with the driver.
What does all of this mean?
That stance and alignment aren’t fundamentals and can be varied from golfer to golfer.
This also means that we owe it to our golf games and sanity to try out different stances and figure out what works best for us.
As Arnold Palmer said,
“Swing your swing. Not some idea of a swing. Not a swing you saw on TV. Not that swing you wish you had. No, swing your swing. Capable of greatness. Prized only by you. Perfect in its imperfection, Swing your swing. I know, I did.”Arnold Palmer
What is the Best Golf Stance for Seniors?
We would recommend trying out two different stances that vary from the normal. These include:
- The Open Stance
- The Closed Stance
Below, we will dive into these three golf stances for seniors listed above. Highlighting advantages, tips, and pros and cons of each stance.
Option #1: The Open Golf Stance for Seniors
The open golf stance consists of dropping your front back several inches and up to a foot and having your stance open up. The stance makes it feel like your body and feet are aimed well to the left for a right handed golfer. However, the club remains aimed at the target.
Advantages of the Open Stance for Seniors
- Allows the hips to clear
- Allows the club to drop into the slot
- Potentially more power
Advantage 1 – Allows the hips to clear
For those golfers that struggle to get their hips open enough, the open stance in golf allows the golfer to already have the hips somewhat cleared out.
As golfers reach the level of being a senior golfer, some flexibility and movement may have been lost and the open stance allows the golfer to cheat a little bit and have those hips already open.
If the thought is to keep your head behind the ball, a golfer can truly find an effortless swing where the club is taken back and dropped into the proper slot to hit a draw or fade.
Advantage 2 – Allows the club to drop into the slot
One of the most important moves in any swing is allow the club to drop into the slot and making sure the golfer is not too steep. The first instinct in the swing sometimes is to pull down, causing a steep swing and even sometimes across the ball.
The open stance can allow you to remain patient on the down swing and allow the arms to fall into the slot. By being disciplined and having the feeling that you don’t have to rush and open up, the golfer can allow the arms to be patient and fall right into place.
As golfers become seniors, they can feel a need for extra power and have a greater tendency to pull down to try to create power or to try to open up with the hips which doesn’t allow the proper slotting of the club.
Advantage 3 – Potentially more power
With the proper shallowing of the club and utilize the hands to fire away, the golfer may see an increase in golf swing speed. Let’s face it, as we lose some balance in the golf swing as we age, relying on the hands and setting the body open can be a great thing for many golfers.
The patience allowed and the zipping of the club through the zone can bring some additional swing speed.
If you take a still photo of any golfer at impact that hits the ball a long way, they often will be pretty open. This open place allows the club to work quickly and have the speed in the right spot.
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This golf instructors Eureka Moment came with an open stance!
Tips for the Open Stance for Seniors
- Square up the club face
- Monitor your swing path
- Hit a draw or fade
Tip 1 – Square up the club face
One of the key things here with an open stance is to ensure you are squaring the club face up to the path you are swinging on. The open stance allows you to have an inside out swing, even though it might appear that it would force an outside in.
However, the golfer can once again remain more patient and allow the arms to fall into the slot.
At address, it is important to have the face aiming more straight down the target line versus down the line of where your feet are aligned.
Tip 2 – Monitor your swing path
Make sure you monitor your swing path and make sure you aren’t coming too far inside or too far across the ball. I would recommend every now and then using a launch monitor to make sure you matchups are staying within several degrees of each other.
I would highly recommend the SkyTrak Launch Monitor that can be used indoors or outdoors. I use my SkyTrak both indoors and outdoors and have quality data to drive my adjustments to my golf swing.
Tip 3 – Hit a draw or fade
With the open stance you can hit a draw or a fade. The key here is to understand the ball flight laws. Here is a quick explanation:
Why? If you understand the ball flight laws you can start to become your own swing instructor and make corrections on the range or the course by reading the flight of your golf ball.
Too often golfers turn to the video of their swing when everything you need to know can be read off of your ball flight. Did you know that your ball flight can tell you the following:
- Where your club face was at impact.
- If your swing path was left or right of the club face.
Once you know these two items you can make the corrections by checking out our 2nd Tip on understanding what swing thoughts can help you get the proper matchups.
So let’s dive into the ball flight laws:
- Generally speaking, the golf ball will start where the club face is aiming.
- The golf ball will then curve away from the swing path.
There are two different lines that we must understand. The target line and the start line. The best golfers start the ball left or right of the target line and then curve the ball back towards the target.
You can hit a draw or fade with an open stance or close stance. The understanding of ball flight laws is vital to hitting a draw or fade and then of course practicing the starting the ball right or left of the target line and curving it back towards the target.
Option #2: The Closed Golf Stance for Seniors
The closed stance in golf for seniors is where you take your back foot and drop back several inches up to 1-2 feet. This sets your rear hip behind you and sets the positions for your back swing. However, your club face should remain somewhat square to the target line.
Advantages of the Closed Stance for Seniors
- Allows the hips to clear on the backswing
- Sets up for a draw shot
- Helps maintain balance
Advantage 1 – Allows the hips to clear on the backswing
Many golfers, especially as we get older, struggle to get a full backswing. This doesn’t allow the body to fully turn and maximize the power of the golf swing. With the back leg dropped back several inches to a foot, it takes the hips and puts them in a position that is typically reached at the top of the backswing.
Of course, on the downswing the hips will not open as much, but the resistance can actually help generate some hand speed. Think of the whipping of a towel, the hips can serve as the resistance and allow the club to whip through the hitting zone.
Advantage 2 – Sets up for a draw shot
With the stance closed, the club path is naturally pushed more from inside out, causing a path that naturally produces a draw shot. The arms and hands can fire away without worry about firing the hips, allowing the club to stay on the inside.
Oftentimes the over the top swing results from the person trying to do too much and not remaining patient from the top of the backswing.
It is key that a golfer, whether using an open stance or closed stance remains patient at the start of the downswing and utilizes the speed that can be found in the hands. The hands contain a ton of speed that many golfers never fully realize.
Advantage 3 – Helps maintain balance
The dropping of the back leg can help stabilize the golf swing as we lose balance as we get older. Some golfers prefer to play more off the front leg, which this closed stance allows the golfer to utilize that front leg and feel some additional stability.
I have found both of these stance great practice drills at key times to help neutralize the swing as well. If I am hooking the ball too much, going with an open stance during range sessions has been helpful.
Or the opposite, if I am sliding too far forward in the downswing with my hips, dropping that back foot helps me maintain being more centered with my hips and keeps them from sliding.
The dropping of that right leg will help keep you behind the ball and allow you to maximize your distance and quality of contact.
Here is Shawn Clement discussing a closed stance:
Tips for the Closed Stance for Seniors
- Set weight slightly onto front foot
- Monitor your swing path
- Hit a stock draw shot
Tip 1 – Set weight slightly onto front foot
With the closed stance, if you take and put 60% of your weight on the front foot, it truly provides a great opportunity to stabilize your hips, center your body and make some impressive ball compression based contact.
I love this feeling of being able to swing the arms back, stay on the inside and then throw my hands and arms at the ball, producing some quality speed and excellent contact.
Go ahead and test this out, knowing that your weight doesn’t have to shift from center to back and then back forward. Too often golf instruction told us to shift weight from center to back and then to front.
This leads to great inconsistencies in the quality of the ball strike because the timing is difficult unless you are spending several hours a day practicing.
Tip 2 – Monitor your swing path
Just like with the open stance, monitoring your swing path is important. You have to be careful here not to develop a swing that is too far inside to out, which can lead to hook or over draw shot.
Tip 3 – Hit a stock draw
This stance is set up perfectly to develop a stock shot draw. Here is a drill that you can implement to assess where you are at and practice getting better at this:
- Set up an alignment stick in the ground 6-8 yards in front of your driving range station.
- See how many shots out of 10 you can start to the right of the alignment stick.
- Once you have accomplished starting the ball consistently on one side of the alignment stick, focus on curving the ball back towards the target
The stock draw shot can be wonderful as seniors age due to the extra distance and roll that results. It is also a great shot in windy conditions and most quality golfers can hit a draw on demand.
Golf Stance for Seniors: What’s Next?
I would recommend trying out different stances in the game of golf. I point back to the quote by Arnold Palmer who told us to swing our swing. Find out what works best for your game.
If you are looking for a way to assess or measure what is the best swing measure it against the three fundamentals listed below.
The Stack and Tilt Instructors said it best when they described what they believed were the fundamentals of golf. They explained it somewhat similar to this:
- The first fundamental is the golfer’s ability to control the bottom of the golf swing. The best golfers will hit the ground in the intended spot, close to 100% of the time.
- The second fundamental is the golfer’s ability to control the curve of the golf ball. The best golfers are able to start the ball to the right or left of the target line and have the ball curve towards the target without the ball over curving past the target.
- The third fundamental is the golfer’s ability to have enough power to play the golf course. This means they are able to hit the ball far enough to play the course in regulation.
They explained that among the greatest golfers of all time there were different grips and different aim points. The fundamentals in golf are not grip, and alignment.
Ben Hogan played with a weak grip, while Lee Trevino had a strong grip. Lee Trevino and Fred Couples aimed way to the right, while Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer aimed well to the right.
Go ahead and hit 10 balls for each level and monitor which golf stance is the best for you!
My Secret To Golf Improvement
Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently. About three years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage.
I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.
This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer. I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day. I can practice or play rounds of golf.
I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.
It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.
Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:
Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better
What does this mean for you? I believe in the following recipe to get better:
1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor. Here are some options:
Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:
2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed. Here are some options:
Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:
3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier. Here is a series on breaking through:
We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.
4 – Practice Frequently
Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system? It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:
- Is a Golf Simulator Worth It?
- How to Build a Golf Simulator?
- What is the Best Golf Simulator?
- Golf Simulator Accessories?
- How to Build a Golf Simulator for under $7000
- Top 11 Reasons to Buy a SkyTrak
- How to Build a Golf Simulator for Under $1000
- Why Build A Golf Simulator?
- What Space is Needed?
- Can A Golf Simulator Improve My Game?
- How Much Does A Golf Simulator Cost?
- Don’t Forget to Check out our 15 best golf swings of all time.