What Is Standing Astride In Golf? Explained With Tips For Improvement

Have you ever heard of “Standing Astride” in golf? If not, then you’re missing out on an integral part of the game. Standing astride is a stance used to set up and swing the club properly for maximum power and accuracy. Even in many situations, you may be penalized for some fault during your golf play if you don’t know about it. It’s essential for all levels of golfer from budding amateurs to seasoned pros. In this article, we’ll explain what standing astride is and how it can help improve your game with some helpful tips along the way. So if you want to maximize your potential on the course, read on!


What Does Standing Astride In Golf?

Standing astride is when the golfer stands with one foot forward and the other behind it, with their legs slightly apart. This position allows for better balance and power during your golf swing by evenly distributing weight between both feet. It also ensures that the club moves straightly without any unnecessary movement from side to side. This means keeping your left foot forward and right foot behind for right-handed golfers. For those playing left-handed, the opposite applies.

It’s important to note that standing astride in golf may result in a penalty in many cases. The USGA and the R&A have emphasized that “The player shall not make a stroke on the putting green from a stance astride, or with either foot touching, the line of the putt or an extension of that line behind the ball.”

For instance, if you were to place your front foot on the line of the putt to guide your ball to the hole, you may unwittingly violate this rule and incur needless penalties. The same applies to your back foot, which should never touch the line, even if it’s behind the ball. Always keep this in mind and stay on the right side of the rules on the green! Finally, you both feet should be parallel to the line and don’t touch it.

Many golfers were penalized when they stood astride in their play; in contrast, some didn’t get caught. So, what happens if you are standing astride in Golf? Keep reading…


What Happens If I Stand Astride In Golf?

Standing Astride In Golf
What Happens If I Stand Astride In Golf?

If you are deemed to have violated the standing astride rule, two types of penalties can be applied. The first is a standard penalty stroke and the second is loss of hole. Both can be very costly in both money games and official tournaments, so it’s best to avoid this situation altogether if possible.

Standing astride is not allowed during play as it gives you an unfair advantage in making contact with the ball. If a player is seen standing astride the ball during their shot, they will be deemed to have grounded their club and will incur a penalty stroke. This means they must add an extra stroke to their score for that hole and usually have to take a drop from the original spot they played from. By standing astride the ball, players are also deemed to be moving it, which is another breach of the rules resulting in a one-stroke penalty. For these reasons, it’s important to make sure you stay behind the ball when playing a shot.

It is important to note that standing astride on the golf course can be perceived as intimidation by other players. As such, players should always uphold sportsmanship and be mindful of their conduct. Standing astride in a threatening or intimidating manner may result in higher penalties, ranging from tournament disqualification to club suspension.


When Is It Acceptable To Stand Astride?

It is permissible to stand astride in certain situations outlined by the USGA, which does not consider a fault. Here are some of the circumstances in which standing astride may be deemed acceptable in golf.

  • When applying the AimPoint method to read the ground’s contour
  • When determining the degree of slope using your feet. 
  • No penalty is imposed on a golfer who takes a stance to avoid another line of putt accidentally
  • This is also allowed if a player straddles the line of putt while trying to determine the slope (but not when making a stroke).


Why Do Golfers Stand Astride On Their Putting Shots?

What Is Standing Astride In Golf
Why Do Golfers Stand Astride On Their Putting Shots?

We mention the AimPoint method when discussing circumstances that can be accepted to stand astride. So, why do golfers stand astride on their putting Shots, and how is it related to the AimPoint method?

The AimPoint golf method uses a player’s body position to help them align their putts more accurately and precisely. Standing astride when using the AimPoint method means that instead of standing behind the ball, the golfer takes up a position facing it slightly sideways so that one leg is on either side of the ball.

The idea behind standing astride in AimPoint golf is that it helps you pick up more visual clues about the slope of the green and how this affects your putt. You can see the undulations in the ground from a different angle, which makes it easier to judge the pace and line of your putt. It can also take the focus away from the target and allow you to concentrate more on reading the green.

This approach especially benefits golfers needing help aligning their putts on sloped greens. However, as we discuss, you may get a penalty if you don’t apply it properly.


How Do I Avoid Standing Astride In Golf?

To ensure that you are standing correctly and avoiding penalty with this simplest rule to follow, these tips may help you:

  • Check your posture: Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your weight evenly distributed between them. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight.
  • Set your feet: When addressing the ball, set your feet so that they are parallel to the target line. Make sure that you don’t have one foot ahead of the other, as this will cause you to stand astride and result in an uneven swing.
  • Shift your weight: As you swing, shift your weight from one side to the other. This will help create a smooth transition through the ball and prevent standing astride.
  • Practice: The best way to ensure that you are avoiding standing astride is by practicing regularly. Once you have established good posture and understand how to shift your weight correctly, you will find that standing astride has become a thing of the past.



Standing Astride is a golfing technique that can help you improve your game by providing more visual clues about the slope of the green. It involves standing slightly sideways onto the ball, with one leg on either side and shifting your weight through the swing. While Standing Astride has its benefits when used properly according to AimPoint principles, it may result in a penalty if done incorrectly. 

As such, it’s important to take time to practice good posture and shift your weight correctly before applying this method to avoid any unwanted penalties. With these tips and tricks in mind, you should be able to use Standing Astride effectively and see an improvement in your putting accuracy!


Can I Stand Behind An Opponent When He Is Putting?

Standing behind an opponent during their putt is permitted under golfing regulations, as it provides insights into the breaking of the ball. It should be noted that tournament caddies are prohibited from standing behind their players during their putting stance.

What Is The Standing Astride Rule In Golf?

Rule 16-1e (Standing Astride or on Line of Putt) states that a golfer cannot stand behind the ball with both feet on the same side of its line of play. It is considered an illegal stance and carries a one-stroke penalty unless the player is using AimPoint to read the ground contour or otherwise determine the slope.

Is It Legal To Putt Between My Legs?

This is considered an ‘unusual stance’ and carries a two-stroke penalty, as specified under Rule 16-1f of the Rules of Golf.

Where Do I Stand When Another Player Is Putting?

When another player is putting, standing outside the line of play and remaining still is appropriate. It is important to be respectful of other players at all times while on the golf course.


  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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