When I am at the range, chipping green and on the course I see a common problem. Way too many golfers have the exact same stance no matter the shot.
Some have a shoulder width stance, which is great for drivers and fairway woods, but terrible for chipping.
Some have narrow stances which is great for chipping and 60 yards pitch shots, but terrible for driver.
Most have stances where their shoulders are level and their bodies are straight up and down and equal weight on both feet, which is fine for putting, but terrible for everything else.
Many have square stances which is fine for full shots, but bad for punch shots out of the trees and chipping.
These are just a few of the many issues people have with their stances. What I am about to say is a very general guide line that doesn’t have to be followed exactly, but should be used to show the varying setups will help you be more consistent throughout the bag.
Width of stance:
Driver is shoulder width. Bump and run shots and chip shots with woods are with feet almost together, with every thing else staggered in between. Putter can be any width, what ever is comfortable and works. The worst offense I see is when people try the Tiger Woods chip with a fairway wood, they stand up to it like they are hitting a full shot. It works best with feet together and with an open stance.
Shots that should have a more open stance than you have normally:
Chips, pitches, bump and runs, chips with woods, punch shots out of the trees and any shot where the ball is farther back in your stance than normal. How much open you need to be on these shots is an individual thing that needs to be tested.
You always want to be in balance at address. Other than putting, you right shoulder(left shoulder for a left handed golfer) should always be slightly lower at address because your right hand is lower on the club. If your shoulders are level at address, you are out of position. This is a big problem I see in more than 50% of golfers. More like 75%. Also, to keep this in balance, you need to bump your left hip slightly toward the target. The lower right shoulder and bumped left hip are very subtle. Look at the setup of every good player and you will see this. Look at almost every 20+ handicap and you will see straight up and down body lines and level shoulders.
On all chips, pitches and green side sand shots you should have more weight on your left foot(right handed golfer) as that will change all you body angles to make it easier to hit down on the ball…which is vital in chipping and pitching.
When trying to keep the ball down in the wind or out of the trees, you want more weight on your left foot and more on your right when you are trying to hit it higher on a full shot.
Remember, these are just general guidelines and not at all comprehensive. It is to show all of you that having a variety of setups is needed and finding the right setup for each shot will help a lot more than technical swing changes.