How the Greats Setup

I think it is very difficult to be a hitter without a wide base:
Hogan Wide Base.jpg
John Wide Base.jpg
Knudson Wide Base.jpg

I think Moe Norman talked of the image of a pyramid.

Pyramid golfer.jpg :wink:


I’ve always tried to have my feet shoulder width apart. But looking at these images, it appears that I should set up even wider, so that the instep of my feet should be just outside my shoulders. Funny how the Mod 2 board reinforces this, like John knew what he was talking about :laughing:



NF wrote: “I think it is very difficult to be a hitter without a wide base”

I definitely see that many of the best ball strikers of all time have that wide base. Im not trying to disagree with you just interested in your estimation. I see your point but also wanted to point out that there are other really great "hitters" that do not have that wide base. I don’t know that I see the advantage of the extreme wide base unless you have the crazy flexibility of Ben Hogan which 99% of us do not. I think that it would be interesting to experiment with this stuff! (but only after my year contract with the local yoga class expires :smiley: )

So why do you think that it is very difficult to be a hitter without a wide base? It appears that ABS is fundamental on this.

A wider base allows for more ROM and provides a more stable base, but most importantly it gives us the potential to feel more pressure in our feet and inner thighs. It isn’t impossible to hit with a narrow base. Tiger has narrowed is stance since going with Foley and after his knee surgery…and was never a hitter as we define it anyway. Furyk isn’t a hitter. Sergio…well I have always wanted to go up to him and kick his right leg out six inches just to see what happens…he has always looked awkwardly narrow. Faldo and Snead May not be super wide, but they certainly aren’t narrow.

ROM? Does that mean range of motion? For whatever reason I can’t see why a wider base would allow for more range of motion? When I visualize it a wider base would seem to restrict motion a touch. Of course, I am not sure what you mean by ROM.

Also, how do you define hitters? I was under the impression Tiger is, especially with his irons and that Furyk always has been as well…

Here’s a short and interesting link re: base support and center of gravity.

Yeah, range of motion. ROM in the sense that it gives you more width, and on a flatter swing plane. Think about it…most wide stance players swing flat. Regarding Tiger…I really have no idea what he is doing. RR interesting stuff…perhaps that is another reason many of the greats setup wide and pulled the back foot back. Hard to land an uppercut with a narrow, open stance.

Faldo’s base was plenty wide…at least back in the day:
Faldo Wide Base.jpg

I forgot to address Furyk, who has great control of his clubface through the strike. I view him as a dead hands, body pivot guy. He doesn’t use forearm rotation to start the delivery sequence. So no, he is not a hitter in the ABS sense, IMO.

I guess you could argue that a wider base could increase your width, but that doesn’t even seem to be true unless you are using a wider base to promote a larger lateral move off the ball. However, I am assuming you mean width to be the distance the clubhead is from some centered, fixed point.
I do think you could argue that a wider base in some way could facilitate a flatter swing, which I suppose would look wider and more elliptical in a face on view. But I just think that is because the depth of a swing is not captured from that view.
As far as the Nick Faldo photo, the stance looks deceivingly wide because he is at the top of his swing so we can not compare the width of the stance to the width of the shoulders or hips. I think in general, he used a very average distance between his feet; certainly not wider than normal as far as I can tell.
Greg Norman also comes to mind as someone that has been discussed on this site as having a hitting action, yet his stance was on the narrow-average range in width.

I agree Greg had a narrow stance, and his right hip tended to not turn correctly. You see similar action in Furyk and even Sergio. Their right hip tends to go laterally rather than back.

As it regards Faldo, have you ever been face to face with the guy? He has very broad, wide shoulders. A shoulder width stance for him is still a wide base.

A wide base may move you laterally off the ball, but I don’t see that as a swing flaw. It is not something to seek, but shouldn’t be a concern if it happens as a result of making a good, full turn.

Yeah I wasn’t saying that a lateral move is a flaw, I was just trying to make sense of the claim that a wider stance gives you more width in the swing.
And yeah, Faldo is a big man, but I think it would still be a stretch to say he had a wide stance. I wouldn’t say he was narrow either, pretty standard IMO.

Speaking of stance, check out this video about Lee Trevino and what he does with his feet before he hits. Pretty interesting. I think his body knows what he needs to do - he’s not thinking about it at all. It’s almost a body waggle move.

Great stuff. The ultimate play-by-feel player.
Oh… and hard work.

I’ve gotta give my support to Slamming Sam Snead - He’s my old time favorite. Ben Hogan is up there too, as is Bryon Nelson. I get what ABS is all about and after I complete the efforts with the irons - set up flat and heavy I’ll work on the woods.