My first attempt at trying out different stances was in junior golf competition. I was trying to get rid of the natural fade that results in many lost balls. Needless to say, my father wasn’t thrilled.
I was able to figure out the best way to improve my game after some trial and error.
So if you’re looking to add another setup to your repertoire, I detail the must-know pros and cons of a closed stance in this post.
For optimal posture, balance, swing mechanics, and posture, I recommend that you adopt a neutral stance. As you will see, both a closed and open stance have their merits. Before we compare the results with an open or square golf stance, we will first examine the advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Closed Stance in golf?
A closed stance, in simple terms, is a right-handed player who aims to the right line of their target line. Lefties are naturally in the opposite position. This is the same position you use when setting up for a draw.
Your golf stance will be very similar to that you use in baseball. It is the foundation upon which a player can find balance, comfort, and efficiency when they swing. As a competitive junior, I learned about the importance of golf stances.
I used the grip of death to produce an outside-in swing path on almost all shots. Sometimes it was possible to do it and it worked, but when my left leg, hips, knees, and hips opened up more, it made the situation worse.
To compensate for the shape, I closed my stance slightly because my swing mechanics were too complicated to mess with on the course. Although this was not a permanent solution, I found it helped to reduce the effect and straighten out my ball flight.
In certain situations, you may be able to benefit from a closed-minded approach. You should not make this your permanent setting because it can lead to unpredictable shots.
The benefits of a Closed Stance
Corrects Fades and Slices
A golfer who swings over the top and cuts across the ball can cause extreme fades or slices. Similar to a tennis player who uses a drop shot with a cut so the ball stops quickly.
A closed stance encourages maximum rotation. You will need to clear your shoulders and waist during impact. You’ll notice that this boosts power and helps you square your clubface at impact for straighter results.
My one buddy leads a “tough” life coaching in Phuket, Thailand, where all his students are beginners. He teaches them how to hold the club in the opposite direction and induce a baseball swing. His students love this method because it awakens the rotation motion, and helps them to understand its importance in the swing.
Grab the clubhead, channel Ted Williams and feel how your hips and shoulders turn.
Encourages a Draw
If you want to draw, you must maintain a closed posture. This will align you to the right side of your target and anticipate the curve to the left.
A draw is helpful for righthanders who need right-to–left doglegs and lefties who need left-to–right holes. A draw reduces the hole length and positions you optimally for a hassle-free approach.
Lower Ball Flight
You can close your stance to achieve a draw or strike the ball with a lofted clubface. This approach will reduce the impact of the elements by lowering your trajectory. Consistent flight results in consistent distance and accuracy.
Low flight is very beneficial when you are playing into the wind or stuck under a canopy. These conditions will allow you to deliver a lot of yardage despite your struggle.
We’ve all been there. You can find me in the middle of a bush or behind a tree. My latest achievement is behind a lamp post.
Closed my stance, clubface and swing resulted in an out-to-out swing for low hook when I was just behind a tree stump. However, the results were not always perfect. I managed to escape trouble once my handicap was reduced to one-digits. I also practiced regularly.
Cons of a Closed Stance
Unless you’re stuck behind a tree or bush, you only have to open or close your stance slightly. For a closed setup, players aim further right when they hook their shots.
The downside to this increased roll is that you will have trouble controlling your distance. Low trajectory makes it difficult to hold the green due to the golf ball hitting the ground hot. This causes you to sweat and get up and go down. Instead of reading the line for a birdie,
Excessive Side Spin
In high school, I played with an excellent player with a gentle draw. It made me jealous. The problem was that I had terrible bad days.
I was there when he made a mistake and he missed every fairway. It was because of his intense sidespin, which sent his ball flying into the left rough. He was able to escape serious trouble. He lost so much confidence that he couldn’t escape trouble. His next ten rounds of golf were traumatized by this round.
Other types of stances
An open stance is the opposite of a closed stance. In other words, your toeline will point to the left target while the clubface will remain square to the target.
Open stance has many advantages
Prompts A Natural Fade
As a youngster I watched my older brother at the range. I envied his ability to use the ball in any way he wanted. I thought I needed a change in my grip or swing path. How foolish I was.
I just had to open my stance, swing as normal, and notice a slight fade. You can use the ball in any direction you want to get the best result for each shot.
A higher ball flight
Each hole presents its own challenges. This was the first time I saw it at my home course. It was full of tall trees, water, undulation, and other obstacles. I was able to hit the ball hundreds of times over the trees by using a higher ball flight.
The higher ball flight also allows us to land the ball more softly, which is important for long par 3 tee shots or par 4 approach shots.
Open stance has its disadvantages
Loss of distance
Open stance encourages left-to-right ball shapes with a higher ball flight. This can result in a loss in distance, something Rory Mcilroy, an exceptional player, may not agree with. But, we aren’t him and must play to the best of our abilities and strengths.
The more you open your position and the bigger the fade, the more distance you will lose. This can lead to difficult approach shots that require long irons or hybrids, which will reduce your chances of attacking flag.
Conditions with heavy winds
I have spent the majority of the past decade living in Cape Town, where wind has been a constant feature for the past decade. I am very familiar with its brutal tactics and have spent most of my time there. I was a natural fader when I first opened my shop in the Mother City. I was blown all over by the wind.
My open stance and clubface also increased my apex. The wind grabbed my ball and decimated my yardage. I fixed this problem by closing my stance slightly, and using a forward press setup.
The square stance is when your left front foot is parallel with your back right foot, and pointed at the target. This is the most common stance. Your feet must be spaced shoulder-width apart. The clubface must be square.
You could have a neutral position with your back in line, perfect hips and knees aligned. However, when you play your shot you must have the ball in the middle of your stance. This will force you to push the ball right, even with the perfect swing.
Square Stance: The Advantages
Straight Flight Promotion
A neutral stance can increase your accuracy on the golf course by encouraging straight ball flight. This balanced position encourages fluid swing lines with minimal deviation leading to impact.
The disadvantages of a square stance
You can’t shape your shots if you keep your stance square. This is especially annoying when you are playing dog leg holes. A draw or fade can cut your approach to the dancefloor and get you around the curve.