The closed stance in golf refers to the positioning of a golfer’s feet to promote a more closed or less open position at address. In a neutral stance, the feet are typically aligned parallel to the target line, which is ideal for a neutral ball position. However, when a golfer needs to hit a draw or fade, they may choose to use a closed stance by aligning their left foot slightly closer to the target line than their right foot (for right-handed golfers).
By doing so, the golf ball will be positioned further back in the stance, which can promote a swing path that comes from the inside and leads to a draw. This is particularly useful when using a wedge or an iron. On the other hand, an open stance, with the right foot closer to the target line than the left foot, may be preferred for hitting a fade.
The closed stance can also help a golfer to avoid an open clubface at impact, leading to a better chance of hitting the ball straight.
What is a Closed Stance?
In simple terms, a closed stance in golf refers to aligning your front foot, knees, hips and shoulders aimed left of the target line (for right handed golfers). This is in contrast to the more conventional square or open stance positions. At setup, the closed stance will have your feet, knees and hips pointed slightly left rather than parallel or right of your target line.
The closed stance is recognizable at address by observing several key factors:
- Front foot flared outwards
- Front knee pointing left of target
- Hips and shoulder alignment matching front foot
Compared to a square stance, the closed position essentially “closes” your body alignment relative to the target line. This has implications on swing path, clubface position and ball flight which we will explore shortly.
Advantages of a Closed Stance
Implementing a closed stance setup brings some noteworthy benefits:
Promotes Draw Shot Shape
The primary advantage is a closed stance promotes a right-to-left ball flight for right handed players. With your body aligned left, it becomes easier to trace an inside-to-out swing path required for drawing the ball. The clubface also tends to close more easily at impact from this position.
The draw shot shape is known as one of the most consistent ball flights in golf. With some practice, aligning closed should improve the repeatability of your swing path and lead to more consistency.
Better Weight Transfer
With your hips open at address, it enables better hip rotation and weight transfer to the front side during the downswing. This leads to more consistent and powerful ball striking.
Who Can Benefit from a Closed Stance?
While a closed stance has its advantages, it isn’t necessarily an ideal setup position for all players. Determining whether to implement a closed alignment depends chiefly on your current swing path and the shape of your common shot patterns.
Best Suited For Slicers
Golfers who tend to hit slicing shots or fade as their stock shot shape can gain the most from a closed stance. Aligning your body left of target should help straighten slice swing paths and lead to more draw and straight shot shapes. This is why coaches so often prescribe a closed stance fix to slicers.
Not Ideal for Hook-Prone Players
Conversely, players who already hook the ball left or have an inside-to-out path through impact should steer clear of a closed stance. Doing so would likely exaggerate hooking ball flight issues. Stick with a square or open alignment instead.
Tips for Implementing a Closed Stance
When first transitioning to a closed stance, focus on these key setup adjustments for the best results:
Flare Front Foot Outwards
The most critical adjustment is flaring out your front foot by 25-45 degrees from target line. Avoid the urge to simply realign your shoulders only. Flaring the front foot opens your hips properly for an inside swing path.
Check Spinal Tilt/Posture
Be wary of allowing your upper body to tilt or lean away from target with a closed stance. Maintain good posture by keeping your spine tilted slightly towards the ball.
Monitor Ball Position
You may need to adjust ball position slightly forward in your stance with a closed alignment to account for the increased likelihood of a draw. Move it 1-2 inches forward of standard to start.
Give yourself plenty of practice repetitions to get the feel for swinging freely from a closed stance. Be prepared for some early hooks before you dial in proper path and face control.
What does close stance golf mean?
A closed stance in golf refers to aligning your feet, knees, hips and shoulders aimed left of the target line (for a right handed golfer). At setup, the closed stance points your body alignment left rather than parallel or right of where you want the ball to start.
How do you fix a closed golf stance?
If your stance is too closed, you can fix it by incrementally straightening your alignment. Flare out your front foot less, square up your knees and hips slightly, and ensure your shoulders don’t aim too far left. Check proper ball position as well, as you may need to play it slightly back with a less closed stance.
Can you chip with a closed stance?
Yes, you can utilize a closed stance even while chipping. It promotes an inside-to-out swing path which can help golfers stop blading chip shots. However, you’ll want to careful not to close your body alignment too much on finesse shots around the green.
What is a closed stance in golf?
A closed stance refers to aligning your front foot, knees, hips and shoulders aimed left of your target line at address. For right-handed players, it opens up your body alignment to the left to promote a right-to-left ball flight. It’s best suited for slice-prone players.
Aiming left with a closed stance at address can have excellent implications for improving ball striking consistency for certain players. Keep these key setup factors and swing adjustments in mind to give this technique a fair chance to work in your favor. Minor stance tweaks could lead to major Improvements in eliminating slices and hitting controlled draws.