Wide Stance in Golf: Advantages and Disadvantages

A wide stance is when the feet are significantly wider or set outside of the shoulders.  There are advantages and disadvantages and much of it comes down to a personal preference and what works for each individual golfer.  There have been professional golfers that have used a wide stance, most notably Mo Norman.

Through personal experience as both a golfer and a coach, I have experimented with wide stances and narrow stances in golf.  Golf can be an exhilarating game, but also frustrating at the same time. 

The wonderful part of this is that it leads us to exploration within the golf swing.  Over the past 30 years of playing, I have tried it all.

One of the adjustments I have tried is the a wide stance in golf.

Update: If you are someone that struggles with overactive legs/hips and continue to slide too much in the downswing, a wider sance and base can help quiet the lower body. The golf swing can tend to get too far in one direction and sometimes minor tweaks from month to month can help keep the swing more neutral.

The wide stance has advantages and disadvantages. See more below.

Wide Stance in Golf

Below we will take you through the list of advantages and disadvantages of the golf swing.

What are the Advantages of a Wide Stance in Golf?

  • Provides a more stable base.
  • Limits over rotation in the golf swing.
  • Quiets the legs in the downswing.

How does it compare to a narrow stance? Check out this post here on narrow stance in golf!

What are the Disadvantages of a Wide Stance in Golf?

  • Can reduce the ability to hit a draw.
  • Can limit some power in the golf swing.
  • Takes away some of the athleticism in the golf swing.

In the game of golf, we all want to be consistent.  This leads to more fun and allows us to enjoy the journey that golf can take us all on.  Golf is an incredible sport and the mental and physical challenge is what draws many of us to the game. 

We love the challenge of getting better.  When we struggle, we seek answers.  There are many tweaks and adjustments we can make to find our own personal secret to become a more consistent golfer.

Before we dive into the advantages and disadvantages let’s first understand what we believe the fundamentals of the golf swing.  While many believe the fundamentals are the grip, the stance or setup, we believe they are different.

If one were to study the golf swing, they would quickly learn that there are strong grips and weak grips, open stances and closed stances.  Golfers that aim way right and golfers that aim way left.  Golfers with a narrow stance and golfers with a wide stance. 

The main point being is that there are many different ways to hit a golf shot.  Here at golfjourney365, we believe the 3 fundamentals in golf are the following:

  • The ability to control the bottom of the swing close to 100 percent of the time.
  • The ability to control the curve of the ball and have a consistent start line.
  • The ability to have enough power or distance to play the golf course.

We know that there are many different ways to control these three fundamentals. 

Golfers should build their drills around hitting the ground in the same spot every time, working the ball and building a consistent stock draw or fade and then training to gain swing speed or at least not lose swing speed as they get older.

Some of the best golfers on tour utilize a wide stance.

Advantage #1: Provides a More Stable Base

One of the greatest ball strikers of all time, Mo Norman, used an extremely wide stance which provided great stability in his golf swing.  While he still had a complete turn, he was able to keep his club control and swing path more consistent than maybe anyone in the game of golf.

The wide stance in golf provides a wide, stable base allowing the golfer to potentially gain the highest level of stability.  Looking at fundamental #1, the ability to strike the ground in the same spot consistently might be aided by the wider stance. 

For others, they may struggle as the wide stance could move the bottom of the swing back a bit if the weight is not shifted properly.

Advantage #2: Limits Over Rotation In The Golf Swing

The wider stance once again provides the stability by limiting the over rotation in the golf swing.  The more the hips and the chest move increases the potential of hurting fundamental #1 listed above. 

This lack of rotation can provide greater consistency with fundamental #1, but might hurt fundamental #3. 

Each golfer must try different stance widths and find the line between where the stability and the limited rotation start to hurt the overall power.  Some might be willing to sacrifice some power for greater consistency. 

There is a line for every golfer where the trade off of consistently might be worth some additional power and distance in their golf game.

Advantage #3: Quiets The Legs in the Downswing

The wider stance can help reduce those that might end up with the issues of the legs being all over the place in the golf swing leading to some inconsistencies in the ball contact (fundamental #1) and the ability to consistently hit a consistent start line and curve (fundamental #2). 

A great drill that I often use is to put the feet together and practice.  This can also help stabilize the swing. 

Trying a different stance once again can lead the golfer to new discoveries and find the best place for their game.  I have tried many different swings and approaches, but often end up back in the middle with a more neutral stance.

I have tried open stances, closed stances, wide stance and narrow stances.  At the end of the day, I have had solid ball contact with all of the different stances.

Disadvantage #1: Can Reduce the Ability To Hit A Draw

We believe that with a more narrow stance the golfer has a great ability to hit a draw as the rotation of the lower and upper body are increased.  This allows the golfer to keep the upper body back as the lower body starts the downswing, which leads to more of an in to out swing which will better increase the chances for a draw shaped shot.

I prefer my stock shot to be a push draw, which is a shot that starts right and surves back towards the target.  Fundamental #2 leads to the ability to manage a course and each hole. 

The golfer can now control their start line and course management becomes a possibility.  Managing a course when you have no idea where your ball is going will result in the inability to manage their game and the course.

To me this fundamental is vital!

Disadvantage #2: Can Limit Some Power in the Golf Swing

With the increase in stability, we believe there is a reduction in the power.  There has been a great deal of discussion about ground forces and maximizing swing speed through utilizing the ground for leverage. 

We believe if you prefer the wider stance, we would highly recommend training with the SuperSpeed Golf System.  This overspeed system trains the mind and body and allows it to swing faster. 

Did you know that your brain will only let your body move as fast as it feels safe that it could stop?  

Check out SuperSpeed Golf here at use discount code Golfjourney365 for a $10 discount.

Disadvantage #3: Takes Away Some of the Athleticism in the Golf Swing

One of the greatest challenges in golf is that we often take the athleticism out of the game.  We hear, use this grip, use this alignment, make sure you get your shoulder in this position and so on and so forth. 

The wider stance can limit the golfers ability to utilize their athleticism.  Many golfers have been great baseball players, basketball players and many other sports that have athletic movements that are responsive to the target out there.  

The best instructor we have found if you feel that your swing is limited by too many positions or too many swing thoughts is Shawn Clement.

If you are a former baseball player, you must check out Mike Malaska.

These instructors are great to get you out of the positional based approach.  Tap into your athleticism.

Greatest Golfers That Have Utilized A Wide Stance

  • Mo Norman
  • Jimmy Walker
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Tiger Woods

Final Thoughts

Golf is a game of adjustments.  Everyday you could feel somewhat different.  Utilizing your athleticism and finding your game for that day is the key.  To think that we are going to find the exact formula that is going to work everyday is maybe a bit misleading.

Instead train to work on the 3 fundamentals and develop those.  You will find more satisfaction in your game by controlling your contact, start line and your overall power.

Bonus Drill:

  • Set up an alignment stick somewhere between 6 to 10 feet in front of you at the driving range.
  • Hit 10 golf balls and try to start the ball right of the target line.
  • See how many golf balls start to the right and if they over curve the target line.
  • Keep working on this drill until you can get at least 7 to start to the right and see how many curve back towards the target.
  • This works on Fundamental #2

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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