Open putting stance is recommended for golfers who are just learning the game and trying to get the hang of putting.
The reason is simple — it’s easier to learn because your eyes are more open to seeing where you want to land the ball on the green.
However, just like other different putting stances doesn’t come without its share of disadvantages, which you should be aware of if you don’t want to ruin your style.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of an open-putting stance, examining reasons why you may want to consider switching to this method and why you may not.
Advantages of Putting with Open Stance
Putting with an open stance has several significant advantages. And despite what some players might think, it is not merely a fad that will disappear over time.
Here’s how you can reap the benefits from open stance putting.
An Improved Line of Vision
When you putt with an open stance, you have a better line of sight toward the hole. Not only are you more likely to see the ball if your body is wide toward your target, but the hole will be more visible as well.
When looking down and standing square toward the target, it’s often difficult to spot the hole despite spotting the ball quickly. As a result, our brain has trouble telling the ball to land in the hole even though we want it to do so.
Several studies have shown that players better guide the ball to its intended destination when looking at the hole. Hence, it’s always possible that the line of vision you have is causing issues with your alignment and speed.
So, for better visualizing the hole, it’s essential to keep your gaze focused as long as possible. And an open golf stance makes it much easier to do so.
Easier Arm Movement
When squared up to the ball, your arms can only move so much. But you can have an easier time swinging your arms once your body is more aligned towards your target. It’s as if your body is more open, and you are freer to move. Standing square doesn’t give you this luxury; instead, it might make you feel more trapped.
When it comes to getting a feel from the shots, your ability to move is crucial. Meaning, a square stance will only help those who love to move around too much, whereas an open stance is an excellent choice for players who want more feeling in their game than just stability. Your putting stroke will develop naturally and feel good when you can move freely in your swing.
The Putter’s Face Can Remain in Line Longer
Depending on how well your putter contacts the ball, you’ll either feel a solid hit or a bit of vibration with slight movement. In other words, the longer the putter’s face can remain in line, the more chance you have to connect with the ball solidly.
Solid contacts are possible when you hit a square-faced shot and accelerate through it. While accelerating through, your putt will undoubtedly remain in line, giving you a much better chance of getting it in.
Read: How to improve your putting?
Hence, keeping the face as long as possible on the intended line can help with direction and distance, which is easily achievable with an open stance since it aides greatly in keeping your vision locked in and your arms steady in line.
Enhanced Follow Through
Following through at the end of your putting stroke is as crucial as with any other stroke. Since it plays a vital role in keeping the ball on the track, your shot is less likely to have the desired result if you don’t follow through. The reason golfers miss their putts so often is usually the lack of proper follow-through.
So if you’re struggling with your follow-through, an open stance can assist you greatly since it keeps your arm perfectly balanced during your swings without requiring you to exert any additional effort.
Read: How to play golf with your dog?
Spinal Angle Is Less Likely to Change Through Impact
Golfers often peek at the target during their putts when they are square to the ball because it’s much harder to see when standing square to the ball.
As a result, many golfers choose the wrong approach by picking their heads up in mid-swing and looking at the target. Since they change the spine angle as they look at the target, and the putter’s face opens as they lift their head, this practice makes their game extremely challenging.
But you can easily avoid such mistakes if you open your stance slightly and fix your gaze on the target from the side. Golfers who view the ball in this way are less prone to lift their heads when approaching the impact position. However, you need to find an appropriate level of openness in your stance, which may differ according to your stature.
Disadvantages of Putting with an Open Stance
An open stance does come with its downsides, as we said before. You should be aware of the following concerns when using it for putting.
Pulls Your Putts
Pulling more putts is one of the downsides to this stance. Pulling your putts is when you hit the ball too far in your rotating direction (right-handed golfers hitting it too much to the left, and left-handed golfers doing the exact opposite).
The pivot point in this stance is responsible for the “pulling” effect. Your body will rotate more around your leading foot since it’s further back, meaning you’ll be turning around it more. Because of this rotation, you may pull the ball and stray further away from your putting line (resulting in a missed putt).
Develops Bad Habits
Some argue that using an open stance during putts can affect your other swings. By changing your stance for putts, you may unintentionally alter your stance for other clubs.
So, you must be very aware of what stance you are taking for each club so that you don’t start practicing these bad habits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an open and closed stance in golf?
An open stance is when the feet and the body face the target. On the other hand, a closed stance involves a dropped back right foot with the toes blocking out the target partially.
Is open stance putting bad?
There’s barely any harm in putting with an open stance unless you turn it into a habit using it with other clubs.
What is the best stance for putting?
Ideally, a prolific putting stance is one where your body, feet, and knees are parallel to the putter’s line of aim. You should position the ball a bit forward in your stance. Bring your eyes over the golf ball by slightly bending the knees and tilting at the hips. Hold the club with your hands where they meet naturally, keeping your arms hanging casually.
Is a closed stance good for putting?
Yes, sometimes. Golfers who have trouble releasing the ball might benefit from closing their stance as they approach the impact. It can also reduce the ball’s trajectory. A lower ball flight will sometimes give you a bit of extra spin for good measure.
How wide should your putting stance be?
Your stance should be wide enough to provide stability yet adequately narrow for your comfort. An optimal stance should be a couple of inches wider than the neutral alignment of your joints. Your body’s neutral joint alignment represents the correct anatomical position.
If you want to improve your putting, the first thing to consider is whether or not you should change your stance. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages of an open-putting stance, but in the end, you should choose what is suitable for you.
Whether that be a traditional or open-putting stance, there are plenty of benefits and potential drawbacks to each. Just remember that changing your putting stance could take some time, so be patient with yourself. Give it a try, see how it feels, and evaluate your progress from there.
Daisy is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Golfs Hub. She is associated with Golf for more than 20 years. She got the inspiration from her father. She is a very private person & doesn't like to be photographed. She's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Now she is enjoying her retirement from day job... but not from Golf! Daisy lives in southeasternmost part of New York state with her family.