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Closed Stance Open Shoulders Golf shoulders square

The closed stance with open shoulders is a fundamental aspect of golf that plays a critical role in achieving success. The alignment of the golfer’s shoulders is an important factor in their swing and overall performance. A more powerful and accurate strike can be achieved by taking an open stance with shoulders open towards the target line. By opening the shoulders, the golfer creates a wider range of motion, allowing for a greater turn during the backswing. The torque generated by the open shoulders not only increases distance but also promotes better clubface control. Additionally, the open stance assists the golfer in maintaining a square position to the target throughout the swing, ensuring the ball travels on the intended path.

Paying close attention to alignment, particularly shoulder alignment, allows for a more controlled and consistent swing, increasing the likelihood of hitting the desired target accurately. Thus, for optimal performance, avid golfers should master the closed stance with open shoulders.

Proper Golf Swing Alignment

Proper golf swing alignment is crucial to achieving consistent and accurate shots on the course. When addressing the ball, it is imperative to ensure that your shoulders are aligned correctly. The shoulder line should be parallel to the target line, allowing for a square stance and ultimately a solid swing. To hit a draw, the shoulders at the address position should be slightly closed, aiming to the right of the target line for right-handed players or left for left-handed players

This closed shoulder position helps promote an inside-out swing path, leading to the desired right-to-left ball flight. Conversely, to hit a fade or a straight shot, the shoulders at the address position should be square to the target line. Having open or closed shoulders can greatly affect the ball’s trajectory and consistency.

Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to your shoulder alignment to ensure a proper golf stance and increase your chances of hitting accurate shots

Shoulders to Target Line Open, Closed, or Square?

When it comes to the shoulders to target line in golf, every golfer would benefit from using an alignment that promotes a square position. One common mistake golfers make is having their right foot set back behind the ball, which can cause the shoulders to open and result in an open position. This can lead to inconsistent shots and a lack of power in the swing.

To improve your swing, it is important to maintain a square position, ensuring that the left shoulder is aligned with the target line. This position allows for a more efficient transfer of power from the body to the club, resulting in longer and more accurate shots.

Practicing this kind of stance can be done on the driving range, where you can focus on aligning your shoulders correctly and avoiding the tendency to take the club too far back. By maintaining a square position, you will be able to achieve more consistent results on the golf course

What is a Closed Stance and Open Shoulders?

A closed stance and open shoulders are two commonly used terms in the field of body language and sports. A closed stance refers to the positioning of the body where the feet are closer together and the forward foot is slightly angled away from the target. This stance is often seen in sports such as golf and baseball, and it is believed to provide stability and control. 

Both a closed stance and open shoulders have various implications on communication and body language. While a closed stance may indicate a more defensive or cautious behavior, open shoulders tend to suggest a more positive and engaging approach.

Understanding and recognizing these nonverbal cues can enhance interpersonal communication and enable individuals to effectively convey their intentions and emotions. 

First, let’s define precisely what we mean by a “closed stance” and “open shoulders” in the golf swing.

The Closed Stance

 A closed stance involves positioning your feet, knees, and hips to the left of the target line if you are a right-handed golfer (or to the right if you swing left-handed). This results in a skewed alignment where your body is pointing to the left while keeping the clubface square to the target at the address.

Some important elements of a closed stance include:

  • Feet placed parallel to each other but pointing left of the target line.
  • Knees and hips are directed towards the left rough or even further to the left.
  • Shoulders remaining square to the target line.

Adopting a closed stance in this manner can encourage an inward-to-outward swing path and facilitate the ability to hit a draw from right to left. 

Open Shoulders

When your shoulders are opened at the address, it signifies that you have aligned them with the target line. If you are a right-handed golfer, your shoulders will be directed towards the left of the target when viewed from the front. For left-handed golfers, the shoulders will be positioned towards the right of the target.

The characteristics of an open shoulders setup encompass the following:

  • The shoulders are aligned towards the left of the target line.
  • The upper body is facing left while the lower body is closed towards the left.
  • The shoulder line runs perpendicular to the direction of the closed stance.

By opening the shoulders, it counteracts the closed stance below and encourages a swing that goes from the inside to the outside. 

The Advantages of a Closed Stance and Open Shoulders

When performed correctly, adopting a closed stance with open shoulders can provide some useful benefits for your golf swing and shots. Here are some of the main advantages golfers can gain from this setup:

Promotes an In-to-Out Swing Path

The main advantage is using this posture to encourage an in-to-out swing path. The closed lower body promotes pulling the swing from inside, while the open shoulders allow clearing through impact to the left. This inside-to-out move maximizes compression and draws the ball flight.

Allows Wide Swing Arc

With the upper body aligned open, you can swing the arms and club back and through on a wider arc. This permits fully shallowing the club and maximizing swing width for power.

Helps with Consistent Strikes and Squaring the Clubface

The counter-directional alignment between the lower and upper body promotes keeping the clubface square through impact. This can lead to cleaner ball striking and improved directional control.

Facilitates Powerful Turn Through Impact

Having the lower body closed left while clearing the shoulders open left helps generate big torque and a powerful turning of your core as you swing through impact. This rotational force can increase clubhead speed.

Good for Draw and Hold Off Shots

If you struggle with slices, a closed stance and open shoulders will make it easier to hit draws. It also performs well for hold off shots where you feel like you need to swing out to the right.

Tips for Mastering this Stance and Shoulder Alignment

While a closed stance with open shoulders offers some excellent advantages, it can feel awkward at first. Here are some tips for mastering this combination in your golf setup and swing:

Adopt Progressive Alignment Drills

First, get a feel for this alignment by progressing gradually from your normal stance. Try closing the stance while keeping the shoulders square, then open only the shoulders with a neutral stance, before combining them.

Make Small Initial Adjustments

When you first incorporate this into your full swing, make small adjustments. Only close your stance slightly and open the shoulders subtly. Exaggerating too much too soon will feel unnatural.

Focus Weight into Trail Side

The closed stance will shift weight onto your trail foot. Maintain pressure here throughout the swing, keeping the head still as you turn against this side.

Align Clubface Square

Be diligent about aligning your clubface square to the target, even though your body aims leftward. This will promote drawing the ball back on the proper line.

Maintain Spine Angle

The angular relationship between the shoulder and hip line puts torque on your spine. Concentrate on maintaining your spine angle through the swing.

Allow Arms to Fully Release

The closed hips want to hold off and block the arms and club. Consciously release your arms fully through impact, whipping the clubhead out left.

Rehearse Positions without the Club

Practice getting into your setup positions and rehearsing your pivot and clearance without a club first. Then add the club once the motions start to feel more repeatable.

Use Ball Position to Promote Desired Shot Shape

Ball position will impact how much you can close the clubface. Play the ball forward to allow maximum closure through impact and increase draw spin.

Applying This Alignment for Different Shot Shapes

The closed stance open shoulders position lends itself well to forming particular shot shapes. Here is an overview of how to apply this setup to achieve different trajectories:

The Draw

In order to achieve a draw shot, employ a significantly narrow stance with shoulders facing in the opposite direction. This will enable a greater inward-to-outward swing and a clubface that is closed upon impact, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing flight path that curves from right to left. 

The Hold Off Fade

To achieve a prominently steady high fade, adopt a moderately closed position with slightly open shoulders. By doing so, you will maintain a smooth swing through impact while minimizing the tendency for significant hooks. 

Low Stinger

A more compact, confined posture positions the direction for low shots. Maintaining parallel shoulders to facilitate a descending swing generates monotonous trajectories that move with minimal deviation. 

High Bomb

Adjusting the position by a slight angle of 5-10 degrees in the opposite direction counterbalances the position of the shoulders, thereby enabling a swing trajectory that extends both outward and upward. This facilitates the execution of powerful shots that reach great heights and gently land on the target. 

FAQs About Square Stance vs Open or Closed

What happens if shoulders are too open at address?

If your shoulders are too open at the address, it can lead to an over-the-top move in the downswing and slices to the right. Excessive openness in the shoulders counteracts a square clubface and promotes an outside-in swing path. It’s better to have a moderate shoulder openness to allow full release through impact.

Do open shoulders cause a slice?

Open shoulders alone don’t necessarily cause a slice. But if combined with an open clubface and outside-in swing path, this shoulder alignment can contribute to slicing the ball. Keeping the clubface square with a slightly open shoulder alignment can still allow for an in-to-out swing.

How do I keep my shoulders closed in my golf swing?

To keep your shoulders closed in the swing, focus on turning your back to the target in the backswing. Feel your right shoulder dropping under your chin if you’re a righty golfer. Then make a full shoulder turn through impact to square the clubface.

How should your shoulders be aligned in golf?

In general, your shoulders should be aligned close to the parallel left of the target line if you are a right-handed golfer. A slightly open alignment allows freedom to release the clubhead through impact. But avoid exaggerating the openness too much.

What is the proper shoulder alignment?

The proper shoulder alignment typically has your shoulders just slightly open to the target line at the address. They should form a perpendicular angle to your closed stance line. This promotes an in-to-out swing path for solid ball striking. Keep the openness moderate for control.

Putting It All Together

It takes practice and self-awareness to master a closed stance and open shoulders golf posture. However, the benefits of an in-to-out swing, widened arc, increased torque, and draw shot shaping may make it worthwhile.

Implement this alignment gradually. Strive for balance in your lower and upper body positions. Maintain your spine angle and fully extend your arms through impact. When you begin to notice the increased compression and control, you’ll realize that a closed stance with open shoulders is an intriguing combination that can improve your ball striking.

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