Pro Golfers with Narrow Stances: Techniques, Benefits, and Myths Debunked

Colin McCarthy

pro golfers with narrow stances

In the world of golf, stance is everything. While many instructors emphasize the importance of a shoulder-width stance for stability and power, some pro golfers have found success with a much narrower stance.

This unconventional approach can significantly impact balance and rotation, leading to impressive shot accuracy and distance.

Interestingly, the “feet together” drill, often dismissed as a mere practice technique, has proven to be a viable strategy for many.

By keeping their feet closer together, these golfers can hit shots up to 80% of the distance compared to a wider stance. This method reinforces balance and minimizes sway, making it easier to achieve consistent results.

So, why do some pros stick with this narrow stance? The answer lies in the unique advantages it offers. From improved control to enhanced focus on rotation, these golfers demonstrate that sometimes, less really is more.

Benefits of a Narrow Stance in Golf

A narrow stance in golf can offer several benefits to your game:

Stability and Balance

A narrow stance enhances stability and balance. Golfers with a narrow stance focus on rotating around their center of gravity rather than relying on a wide base, which can sometimes lead to sway. When feet are closer, the body tends to make more efficient rotational movements.

This technique reduces lateral movements, making it easier for golfers to maintain their balance throughout the swing. Data shows that controlling sway improves shot accuracy and consistency.

Enhanced Control Over Swings

Golfers often achieve better swing control with a narrow stance. The compact setup limits excessive movement, allowing for a more straightforward, controlled swing path.

By minimizing lower body overactivity, golfers can concentrate on precise clubface orientation and consistent contact with the ball.

Evidence suggests that this approach can result in more predictable ball flights and better distance control. Golfers using this stance frequently notice a higher shot accuracy rate, demonstrating the practical benefits of reduced stance width.

Techniques for Mastering a Narrow Stance

Mastering a narrow stance in golf requires practice, patience, and attention to detail.

Here are some techniques to help you effectively incorporate a narrow stance into your game:

Adjusting Foot Positioning

Changing foot positioning significantly impacts a golfer’s swing mechanics. To achieve optimal balance and control, adjust the feet so they’re closer together than usual.

A narrow stance reduces lateral movement, which enhances stability. When adjusting, align the feet parallel to the target line, ensuring they’re shoulder-width apart.

This creates a strong foundation, crucial for consistent shots. An effective trick is to slightly flare both toes outward, helping maintain balance during the swing.

Practice Drills for Consistency

Practice drills reinforce muscle memory, essential for mastering a narrow stance. One effective drill involves placing an alignment stick on the ground to ensure consistent foot placement.

Stand with feet equidistant and repeat multiple swings to build confidence in foot positioning. Another useful drill is to practice with a pitching wedge, focusing on short, controlled swings.

This highlights the stability benefits of a narrow stance. Additionally, perform balance drills such as standing on one leg to improve core stability, crucial for maintaining a narrow stance without swaying.

Famous Pro Golfers Who Use a Narrow Stance

Several professional golfers have used a narrow stance effectively throughout their careers.

Here are a few notable examples:

Historical Examples

Ben Hogan, an iconic name in golf, often used a narrow stance during his career. Hogan believed that a compact stance provided better rotation control and improved ball-striking accuracy.

This technique allowed him to dominate the sport, especially in key tournaments like the Masters and U.S. Open.

Jack Nicklaus, another legendary golfer, occasionally switched to a narrower stance for specific shots. Nicklaus found this stance advantageous for maintaining balance and achieving precise ball placement. His flexibility with stance width contributed to his record 18 major championship wins.

Current Players

Let’s delve deeper into the golfers known for their successful use of narrow stances:

Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan, often referred to as “The Hawk” or “Bantam Ben,” is renowned for his precision and remarkable ball-striking abilities.

His narrow stance was a fundamental component of his legendary swing. Hogan’s methodical approach to the game involved meticulous attention to detail, and his narrow stance allowed him to achieve exceptional balance and control throughout his swing.

Despite facing physical challenges, including a near-fatal car accident, Hogan’s dedication to perfecting his technique with a narrow stance contributed to his status as one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Seve Ballesteros

Seve Ballesteros, the charismatic Spanish golfer, captivated audiences with his flair and creativity on the golf course. Known for his imaginative shot-making abilities, Ballesteros relied on a narrow stance to execute his daring maneuvers with precision and finesse.

His agility and versatility were amplified by his compact stance, enabling him to navigate challenging lies and situations with remarkable skill.

Ballesteros’s unique style and success with a narrow stance cemented his legacy as one of the most influential figures in the history of European golf.

Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo, a six-time major champion and one of the most accomplished golfers of his era, utilized a narrow stance to great effect throughout his career.

Faldo’s meticulous approach to the game emphasized consistency and control, qualities that were facilitated by his narrow stance.

By maintaining a compact setup, Faldo was able to execute his shots with precision and accuracy, earning him numerous victories on the PGA Tour and in major championships.

His mastery of the narrow stance exemplified his dedication to excellence and solidified his reputation as one of golf’s elite competitors.

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus, widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time, employed a relatively narrow stance as part of his powerful and efficient swing.

Nicklaus’s ability to generate tremendous distance and control with his shots was enhanced by his precise foot positioning. By maintaining a narrow stance, Nicklaus achieved optimal balance and weight transfer, allowing him to deliver consistent and powerful ball-striking throughout his illustrious career.

His dominance on the golf course, coupled with his mastery of the narrow stance, solidified his status as a sporting icon and a true legend of the game.

Misconceptions About Narrow Stances in Golf

Despite the benefits that a narrow stance can offer in golf, there are some common misconceptions surrounding its use.

Here are a few:

Debunking Common Myths

Many misconceptions plague the topic of narrow stances in golf. Some golfers believe a narrow stance limits power. Contrary to this belief, golfers like Ben Hogan and Rory McIlroy consistently achieve significant power with narrow stances.

Another myth is that a narrow stance reduces balance. However, narrow stance drills reinforce better balance and control, as endorsed by various professionals.

Lastly, it’s often thought that narrow stances are only suitable for short game. In reality, numerous golfers use a narrow stance for various shots, proving its versatility.

Scientific Insight on Stance Width

Scientific studies provide deeper insights into stance width and performance. Research indicates that a narrow stance can facilitate better rotation, crucial for generating power and maintaining control.

A study conducted by the Sports Biomechanics Journal found that narrow stances improve stability by enhancing rotational mechanics.

Additionally, data reveal that adopting a narrow stance can reduce lateral sway, a common issue impacting shot precision.

These findings align with the techniques used by many professional golfers, showing the practical benefits of a narrow stance in both power generation and accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of a narrow stance in golf?

A narrow stance in golf enhances stability, balance, and shot accuracy. It increases control during swings and improves rotational mechanics, leading to more precise and powerful shots.

How can I master a narrow stance in golf?

To master a narrow stance, focus on foot positioning and balance drills. Start by placing your feet slightly closer together and practice maintaining stability while swinging.

Does a narrow stance limit power in golf swings?

Contrary to popular belief, a narrow stance does not limit power. It can actually enhance rotational mechanics and generate more controlled power, as evidenced by professional golfers like Ben Hogan and Rory McIlroy.

Are there professional golfers who use a narrow stance?

Yes, professional golfers such as Ben Hogan and Rory McIlroy have successfully used narrow stances to enhance their performance, demonstrating its effectiveness in achieving powerful and accurate shots.

What scientific evidence supports the benefits of a narrow stance?

Studies from the Sports Biomechanics Journal reveal that a narrow stance can improve rotational mechanics, stability, and shot precision, emphasizing its practical advantages in golf.


Pro golfers with narrow stances demonstrate that this technique can significantly improve performance. By enhancing rotational mechanics and stability, a narrow stance allows for greater shot precision.

The success of players like Ben Hogan and Rory McIlroy underscores the potential benefits. As scientific studies continue to support these advantages, golfers at all levels might consider adopting a narrow stance to elevate their game.

Additionally, focusing on specific drills and exercises that target core strength and balance can further enhance the effectiveness of a narrow stance. This approach not only optimizes ball control but also reduces the risk of injury over time.

Photo of author

Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment