Up until my book, Venus On The Fairway, the so-called fundamental golf stance for men and women was considered to be shoulder-width with a driver. I personally felt this was odd for years because I had noticed throughout my career on the LPGA Tour that the best female players in the world set up with a stance wider than their shoulders. This wider stance made sense to me, not just because the players seemed to be having great success, but because the women actually looked to be more comfortable and better balanced with their wider, hip-width stances.
Women are built with wider hips than men, so we are much more flexible in the hip area. Our hips turn easily and naturally on the backswing. What we need is more stability to control our bigger hip turn and create better resistance.
A wider-than-shoulder-width stance also allows for a more dramatic weight shift back and away from the ball. A narrow stance will easily throw a woman off balance, as it does not allow stability for sufficient weight shift. Oftentimes, a narrow stance promotes a reverse weight shift, which is a very common swing trait with women.
Men can get away with a narrower stance because they do not turn their hips as much or as freely on the backswing. They have a higher center of gravity and one-third more muscle mass in their upper bodies. Men are usually built with shoulders that are wider than their hips.
Women also have a lower center of gravity, so we naturally use more of our lower bodies to generate the power in our swings.
To merely take a wider stance at address may seem like a very simple, easy golf tip. Yet, I have personally seen women turn many a golf swing totally around by making this one shift at address position.
Remember: no more shoulder-width stance for women. The new, improved "Venus" stance is hip-width. That is my stance on this issue, and I am sticking to it!
About Debbie Steinbach
Debbie Steinbach, a k a "Venus," is the author of Venus on the Fairway and Venus On The Fringe. She is a former LPGA touring pro and a perennial selection to best-women-instructor lists. For more information about Venus or her latest DVDs (titled "Venus On the Fundamentals of Golf"), visit the Venus Golf website.