Pro Vs. Joe

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

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Even players who have the proper mechanics can be hampered by a significant lack of flexibility.
This is a revealing set of pictures. Here, JOE allows his hips to turn freely going back, facilitating the proper position at the top of his backswing. While the lower body looks different than that of Charles Howell the top is extremely similar.

The NO picture is a perfect example of what happens when you limit hip rotation without enough flexibility to make it work. While the right leg has maintained its flex like Howell’s, the club is out of position at the top because his shoulder turn has been restricted too much.

The purpose of the backswing is to set up a powerful, on-plane approach into impact. This can happen with both the more restricted backswing of the PRO and the free-turning move of JOE. Either way, both golfers shouldn’t try to make a backswing pivot that’s beyond his flexibility and strength.

Limited flexibility  makes it a necessity to straighten his right leg going back. While this reduces torque, it allows his club to be in a perfect position. 

His hips have been restricted like the PRO’s, but a lack of flexibility makes his club laid off at the top. His pivot doesn’t match the player’s physique. 

This is interesting
—though both Howell and Brady are mechanically sound in their techniques, Brady can’t reach this position at the top of the swing due to his different body build and physical condition

Howell’s level of flexibility and strength allow him to torque his upper body against a restricted lower body. This is a huge key to his clubhead speed.


Howell’s knees remain flexed and pointed at the target line. This reduces hip turn and serves to keep his lower body stacked and in-line.  

Charles Howell III is a perfect example of how Tour players, especially the younger ones, produce amazing power with slight frames—it’s all about good tension, or torque. Professional golf is played by more athletic players than ever before. The PRO works extremely hard off the course on his fitness, specifically core strength and flexibility. As a result, he can wind up his upper body against his hips, while the JOE has to wind up his entire body against the ground. The benefit to the PRO is an increase in control with a reduced number of moving parts, leading to a buildup in power like that of a stretched rubber band. This good tension isn’t from being overly stiff, but from being extremely athletic and dynamic.

His downswing should start with a slight lateral shift. This helps keep his hips and shoulders back and the club on the proper path, without causing injury.

His dynamic transition from backswing to downswing comes from the ground up. His club is dragged down by the body, storing energy that can be applied directly to the golf ball. 


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