Putting With Open Stance (Advantages and Tips)


“If I could only make 1-2 more putts per round!”

Every golfer

As golfers, more than likely, we have all said this at one time or another. 

There are times when the golf ball tracks towards the hole hole, but just doesn’t seem to fall.  Or even worse, when we are nowhere close and the golf ball doesn’t even look at the hole.

Even on those days when the ball is tracking towards the hole, there is always the chance to make 1 or 2 more putts per round.

The great thing about putting is that there are plenty of options.  Golfers can choose from a variety of putter heads (blade or mallet), lengths of putters (short, medium, or long), grips (standard, front hand low, or claw) and can even vary their stance (square or open).

Over the course of the history of the game of golf, the greats have used different approaches and ultimately it comes down to finding what can help you control the two main keys in putting:

  • Controlling your start line
  • Controlling your speed

Get these two combinations lined up and you are on your way to making more putts.  We believe that the putter head, length of the putter, grip, and the stance you use should all be decided on what helps you start the ball on the right line the highest percentage of time and which allows you to control your speed the best over time.

Once again, find this combination and give yourself the highest probability of making more putts.

What is an open putting stance in golf?

An open putting stance is where the toe line of the golfer is aimed to the left of the target line.  The putting is aimed at the start line, but the feet are aimed to the left.  There is a variation in how open a golfer might be with an open stance.  There are several advantages to the open putting stance in golf.

Advantages of the Open Putting Stance

  • Allows the golfer to see the line better
  • More space for arms to operate
  • Club face can stay down the line longer
Golf is an amazing sport. It is even more fun when you can drain putts! Check out our advantages to an open stance and some putting tips to help take your game to the next level!

Advantage #1: Allows the golfer to see the line better

Those that use an open stance will often talk about being able to see the line better.  While we would highly recommend reading the putt from behind the ball and the hole and then lining up a line on the ball on your intended target line, the golfer needs the confidence when he or she is standing over the ball that they can see the line in order to make a committed putting stroke. 

If you seem to lack commitment in your putting stroke, it might be time to give the open stance in putting a chance.

Mallet vs Blade: Which one should I use?

Advantage #2: More space for arms to operate

When a golfer is set up square, they could feel that there is less room for the arms to operate.  The golfer might struggle to see the line and fail to keep the arms moving freely back and through the putting stroke. 

Once the golfer feels restricted, he or she will lack the confidence to stay committed through the putting stroke, often resulting in a quick movement with the hands of moving the body.  By opening the stance, the golfer is able to secure his or her lower and upper body and allow the arms and shoulders to move to keep the putter on line.

What length putter should I use?

Advantage #3: Club face can stay down the line longer

Once again, due to the extra space, golfers often report that they can keep the club face down the line longer.  Some golfers prefer to have a straight back, straight through putting stroke. 

This extra space the body provides can help the golfer exaggerate staying down that line without feeling like they are pushing the golf ball off the intended line.

How to make more putts! (5 Tips)

Why use the Open Stance in Putting?

Arguably the greatest champion of all time, Jack Nickluas, used an open stance when putting.  While maybe not the greatest putter of all time, he has won the most major championships of all time.  He made plenty of clutch putts in his career, leading to a total of 18 major championships.  Even as he aged, he could still roll the golf ball and maintained his traditional, slightly opened, bent over putting setup.

At the end of the day, he was able to start the ball on the intended line at the speed to maximize the opportunity for the ball to fall in the hole.

Keep in mind that ultimately, we need to build a setup in our games that maximzies the two keys in putting which once again are hitting our intended start line and at the right pace.  Control these two and you will have a chance to be a great putter.

Other elements of putting that include green reading, adjusting to speed and handling pressure all impact our putting, but the most basic elements of putting being with start line and speed.

When to use a putter (4 situations)

Check out any professional tournament. You see see a variety of putters, stances, and grips. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just make sure you measure your results!

Open Putting Stance in Golf – 5 Tips

  • Test out your options
  • Practice your short putts
  • Practice your lag putts
  • Manage expectations
  • Be Patient

Tip #1 – Test out your options

I would highly recommend testing out your options.  These include the following:

  • Putter style (mallet or blade)
  • Putter length (short, medium or long)
  • Grip (standard, front hand low, or claw)
  • Stance (Square or open)

Head to the practice green and try to eliminate one variable at a time.  If you are struck with your putter, you can move right to the grip and stance variable in the putting stroke.  Start with the open stance and take some measurables around the two keys.  For example, you could do the following:

  • Hit 10 putts from 10 feet with a square stance and an open stance
  • Hit 10 putts from 30 feet with a square stance an an open stance

What were the results?  How many did you make from 10 feet?  What was your proximity to the hole on the 30 foot putts.

Tip #2: Practice your short putts

Did you know that the make percentage from 8 feet on the PGA Tour is only 50%?  Yes, you read that correctly.  The majority of time on the putting green should be spent on hitting putts between 3 and 10 feet and outside of 30 feet. The goal is to make those short putts and avoid the 3 putt from 30 feet or more.

Set up a statiation between 8-10 feet and work on the start line and then work on speed.  When you can combine these two on the short putts, you increase your chance of improving your make percentage.

How to make more short putts (5 simple steps)

Tip #3: Practice your lag putts

After the shorts putts, head to the 30-40 foot distance and work on putting the ball inside of 30 feet.  Out of 10 putts, how many can you get inside of a 3 foot circle around the hole.  Work to hit 100% and get good at laging the putt close to the hole to reduce those pressure 4-6 footers to save par or bogey.  Make your round more stress free and keep your energy level high and your mindset positive!

What is a lag putt? (Drills and Tips Included)

Tip #4: Manage expectations 

The goal with putting is to trust the process.  Trust your start line, trust your speed and measure your results based on whether you started the ball on the right line and if you hit it the optimal speed.  Do not judge your results on if you make the putt.  Obviously, over time, you are going to miss more than you make.  There is a three step checklist:

  • Did you hit your start line?
  • Did you hit the optimum speed?
  • Did you trust your line and make a confident stroke?

Tip #5: Be Patient

Trust your process and your system.  The putts will fall eventually.  Keep controlling the three variables above an give yourself the opportunity for the ball to fall in the hole.  You can’t force a putt to go in, but you can control the three variables above.  At the end of every round, think back to your round and grade yourself on every significant putt that you hit.

Stick with the open stance and the different variables you have selected for at least 5 rounds to measure your putting statistics.  Don’t jump from option to option after every round, instead give it at least 5 rounds that includes practice time between rounds.

The most difficult holes in golf make for the most fun. Enjoy the journey in golf to lower your scores!

Final Thoughts

Here at golfjourney365, we are on a journey to reach our full potential, play as much as possible and have fun.  Golf is a wonderful relief from the grind of everyday life.  Make sure you enjoy it!  We have a recipe below that we believe can you accomplish your goals in the game.  Playing and enjoying the challenge is great fun and make the most of every opportunity you have to play or practice your golf game!

Test out different putting options and enjoy the game! Enjoy the journey and embrace your journey to shoot lower scores!

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:

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