Pro Vs. Joe

How to take your swing from average Joe to touring pro in no time.

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When you compare an average golfer (in this case, we’ll called him “JOE”) to a Tour player (let’s call him “PRO”), you notice big differences in each golf swing. For example, the PRO can achieve certain swing positions because he’s more flexible and has stronger golf muscles than JOE. In fact, physical limitations often prevent JOE from reaching the same positions as the PRO, making it critical for him to make certain adjustments to his technique in order to still strike the ball solidly without hurting himself.

What I’m saying is that if you’re an average recreational player, trying to copy the exact moves of a Tour player is going to make you worse. But that doesn’t mean, by any stretch, that you can’t have a sound swing and be a good ballstriker and scorer. 

In the following pages, I’ll describe specifically where the PRO’s and JOE’s respective techniques should diverge and what adjustments you should make to various parts of your swing in order to maximize your potential. 

PROs Tend To Be Neutral At Address; JOEs Can’t Be
JOE needs to start building an inside path to the ball at setup. His right shoulder should be lower than the left and pulled back to produce a slightly closed alignment in relationship to his feet. This tilts his upper body away from the target, making it easier to turn properly and avoid the dreaded reverse pivot. Flaring both feet slightly makes it easier to rotate.

The PRO wants to restrict early rotation of his body and an excessively inside attack. His feet are more perpendicular to the target line, with his body more “stacked” and neutral.

The Difference In The Backswing Is All About The Pivot

In order for JOE to achieve enough shoulder turn, his hips have to participate from the beginning. The adjustments to the address position help, but free-turning hips are the key to JOE getting to the top properly. The sharper turn of his hips negates any lateral movement away from the target with his lower body. When combined with the slight tilt at address, his upper body moves to the right as it rotates, making it much easier to attack the ball from the inside.

The PRO limits the rotation of his lower body at address and continues to do so by moving laterally during the takeaway. This slows down the turn of his hips, making it easier to swing the club up in front of his body.

The PRO’s pivot keeps his shoulders steeper going back, preventing the club from swinging around his body excessively during the swing. It also promotes a more dynamic change of direction and greater power.


His hips and shoulders work together to move the club away from the ball. The proper downswing path requires the full participation of the hips going back.
His right leg begins to straighten, helping his hips and shoulders create enough turn. A lack of flexibility mandates this simple adjustment.
His right hip has traveled much farther from the ball than the PRO’s. This helps create the proper turn while eliminating any chance of a reverse pivot.
His hips shift slightly away from the target with the upper body. This slows down the rotation of his body and helps the club work “up,” on-plane.
His hip rotation is much slower than JOE’s. This makes his shoulder turn steeper, as evidenced by his right arm’s position being higher than his left.
A great deal of torque has been produced by limiting his hip rotation. Only the PRO’s flexibility and strength make this a functional backswing.


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