When you become a great golfer, you start to understand more and more the importance of fundamentals.
When your golf fundamentals are good, chances are you will score well and play well.
Of course, when the fundamentals are not good, you will likely struggle to succeed.
One of the areas of the game that allows for a bit more leeway when it comes to fundamentals is putting.
Putting has so many different styles that you really can’t go wrong when you find something that works for you.
Finding the proper putting stance, practicing it, and sticking with it will help to ensure that you are a great putter for years to come.
One stance that many players like to try when putting is the open stance.
If you have been contemplating switching to the open stance, we have all the information you need to succeed.
Benefits of Open Stance Putting
There are some very significant benefits of the open putting stance.
This is not a fad that some players are doing that will likely fade away over time.
The open putting stance is an option for making great putts that will likely last for years to come.
Here are the main advantages players will get from the open stance putting.
1. Better Line of Vision
The first and probably most important benefit is the better line of vision that you get to the hole.
When your body is open to your target, not only will you be able to see the ball, but you will also be able to see the hole better.
Many times, when we are square to the target, when we look down, we can see the ball but not the hole.
With the desired result being that we want the ball to end up in the hole, it is hard to tell our brain to do this without giving it a final destination.
Studies have shown that when players are looking at the hole, they are better able to guide the ball to its final destination.
If you feel as though you struggle with both alignment and speed, sometimes the line of vision that you have to the hole could be the issue.
In order to see better, you must make sure that you are looking at the hole for as long as possible.
Golfers who focus more on the ball than the hole will end up having a hard time getting the speed and distance down in their shots.
2. Easier Arm Movement on the Proper Path
When you are set up square to the ball, there is only so much movement of your arms that is possible.
As soon as you turn your body more towards your target, you will have an easier time swinging your arms.
Technically, you will feel as though your body is open and able to move more freely.
When your stance is square, you won’t have this same luxury, and you may feel a bit more locked in.
For golfers who are looking to get some more feel from their shots, it is essential to have the ability to move.
Players who move around too much and need something more stable and compact are going to have an easier time with a square stance.
For those who find that they are ready to add a bit more feel into their game as opposed to stability, the open stance is a great choice.
Having the ability to move freely in your swing helps to ensure your putting stroke develops naturally and feels good for your skill level.
3. Face Can Stay on the Line Longer
The face of the putter is the part where you are going to make direct contact with the ball.
When you make contact with the ball, you will feel as though it is either a solid hit or it is going to vibrate and move a bit.
The longer the face can stay on the proper line, the better the chance you have of making solid contact with the ball.
Solid contact comes from the shot being hit with a square face while accelerating through the shot.
When you accelerate through a golf ball, your putt will, without a doubt, stay on the line and have a much better chance of making it into the hole.
Leaving the face on your intended line as long as possible is going to help with both distance and direction.
Getting that solid hit is the most important part of becoming a great putter.
So many people think that the entire face of the putter is where you want to make contact.
This is just not the case because you must make sure that you make contact with the exact center of the putter, the sweet spot, if you want the best putt possible.
4. More Efficient Follow Through
When you finish your putting stroke, it is essential to follow through.
If you look at other sports, the follow through is an essential part of the game.
Think about tennis, baseball, even playing darts.
If you don’t follow through with your shot, you are not going to get the results that you need.
This is especially the case when it comes to putting.
Golfers who want to hit a great putt are going to need to finish their putting stroke.
If you finish your putting stroke with a proper follow through, the ball tends to remain on track and give you a much better end result.
Golfers who stop their putting stroke short will find that they often come up short with their putts.
The only way to actually make a putt is if you give the ball enough of a hit that it makes it to the hole.
Unfortunately, the lack of follow through is a reason many golfers miss putts.
The better you can work on your follow through and increase how solid your shots are, the better chance you have of making the putt.
Overall, the open putting stance tends to make the entire stroke feel much more efficient.
5. More Accurate Strike
Golfers who struggle with putting often have a hard time making solid contact with the ball.
The more accurate you can hit the ball, the better the chance you have of making the putt.
Accuracy and speed are the most essential factors in getting the golf ball to the hole the way that it should be.
The open stance also allows the golfer to move more freely and have a better mental vision of what they are trying to do.
More accurate strikes include a higher chance of getting the ball in the hole.
6. Less Chance of Spine Angle Change Through Impact
When you stand square to the ball, you will have a very hard time seeing the target.
This makes golfers peek at the target when they are putting.
A very common mistake that golfers make is, as they are swinging through their putt, they pick their head up and take a look at the target.
This is done because they can’t see the target, and they take a peek to get a look at where the ball is supposed to go.
Picking your head up and turning as you come into the impact position makes the game quite a bit more difficult.
The problem with this is that the spine angle changes, and the putter face opens as you lift your head and look at the target.
To avoid this type of mistake, simply open the stance a little, and you will be able to see the target out of the side of your eye.
With this type of view, most golfers are much less likely to lift their heads as they come through the impact position.
It’s essential to find the right amount of open in your stance.
If you think that just a slight turn of the front foot is enough, that is fine.
If your body is better off almost entirely facing your target, that is another option that could work as well.
There is no perfect amount of open or closed that a golf stance needs to be.
Tips to Become Better at Open Stance Putting
If you want to get better at open stance putting, there are some things that you can do to practice and perfect this.
Open stance putting is an option that will work for a large majority of golfers as long as you are careful about your mechanics and the transition you make into this kind of stance.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for converting to the open stance putting.
1. Start on Practice Green
Although we understand how frustrating it can be when you make a few bogeys in a row, there is no reason to start a new stroke on the course.
If you try to change your putting stroke while you are on the golf course, you may find that things get even worse.
This is a big change to make on the course, and it should be saved for the practice putting green.
After your round, head to the putting green and start to implement the new style.
If you go about this the right way, you can end up implementing the strategy very quickly.
Work on the putting green for a bit to see how much more effective you are when your body is open to the target.
If you are closed or square, you will likely find that there is a difference, and it doesn’t feel as good as it should when releasing the putter head towards the hole.
2. Try Putting with Your Eyes Closed
When you are first trying to determine how open your golf stance should be, try putting with your eyes closed.
When your eyes are closed, you will have a very natural ability to move the putter’s head towards the hole.
This is something that many golfers use as part of their practice and warm-up routine.
We like to use this strategy to determine exactly how far open your golf stance should be.
You can putt a few times with your eyes closed and figure out a different amount of open stance to see which is going to be the best fit for your game.
You may find that putting with your eyes closed is something that you actually want to do more often while you are playing on the course.
3. Don’t Forget What Open Means
Remember that, when playing golf, there are different amounts of open that your stance can be.
In addition, there are parts of your body that are going to create this open stance.
When you are open to your target, it is not just your feet that are on an open line.
In addition, your hips and shoulders should also be open to the target.
If you have crossed lines where your feet are open, but your hips are square, you will have a hard time getting any type of consistency in your swing.
It’s crucial to work on keeping your stance open in all areas and not just turning your feet to the right.
This is the only way that you can establish that you will still be able to make a good putting stroke.
Is a Closed Putting Stance Good?
The opposite of an open putting stance is a closed putting stance.
You may not feel as though the closed putting stance is as talked about as the open putting stance, and this is certainly the case.
The reason behind this is that the closed putting stance does not tend to be quite as reliable.
With a closed putting stance, you are going to have a hard time seeing the target and narrowing in on the hole.
A closed putting stance tends to restrict a golfer’s swing a bit more, and that can make it difficult to make putts.
There is, however, a good option for those who find that their putting stance actually needs a bit more stability.
You can take both of your feet and turn them in towards each other.
If you look at classic pictures of Arnold Palmer putting, you will see that this is a style that he used.
The feet being turned in will make it quite a bit easier to keep your lower body locked in and avoid any type of swaying movement in the swing.
Many players implement this concept, and although it may seem like the stance is closed, it is really just the feet being more closed in towards each other.
The lock of the lower body makes it much easier to get that solid contact that so many golfers lack when it comes to the putting green.
Should High Handicappers Try an Open Putting Stance?
Many high handicappers and beginners are afraid to break from what is considered a best practice in the game of golf.
Players feel that if they deviate from the square stance, square shoulders, straight back, straight through putting stroke, they won’t get to be as good.
Although these things are essential, it is just as important to find something that feels good and works for your golf game.
The more you work on your putting stroke, the more you will find what works best for you.
Just because you are new to the game of golf, don’t feel as though you are stuck with what the textbook says about how to swing and how to feel.
As golfers, we all need to listen to what feels natural and normal to our bodies.
If we can do this, it will be much easier to get to a point of shooting lower scores.
As you can see, the open putting stance has quite a few excellent benefits.
The more you can learn about the open putting stance style and how it can be a good fit for your game, the better the chance that it will work.
Being open to a variety of different putting styles will only help you to reach a new level as a player.
Golfers tend to get stuck in their routine, and they won’t vary from it even if there are positive benefits.
If you are not making fewer than two putts on each hole, it’s a good idea to look into what you can do to improve your putting game.
Sometimes a simple turn towards your target can change everything about how you are putting and make the game of golf that much more enjoyable.