Pro Vs. Joe
How to take your swing from average Joe to touring pro in no time.
Holding the angle has nothing to do with trying to keep the wrists cocked. Creating lag has more to do with the legs than with the arms.
The biggest difference between the PRO and the JOE downswing is in the sequence of motion. The torque produced by the PRO on the backswing can now be utilized during the attack at the ball. The PRO moves dynamically, starting his lower body toward the target before his backswing has finished. This produces a great deal of lag and the potential for tremendous clubhead speed.
JOE starts his downswing with his lower body as well, but it isn’t nearly as dynamic. The “rubber band” wasn’t stretched as tight going back, and the decrease in tension produces less potential for speed. JOE can still be very powerful, but his limitation in flexibility and core strength requires a different approach. The power must be achieved while keeping the club on the proper path. A quick spin of his hips and shoulders will force the club on a steep, outside path. Starting the downswing with a smooth, lateral motion helps his club stay more to the inside coming down, which is a key to JOE’s success.
A good way to understand the PRO’s technique is to think about it in comparison to a Major League pitcher’s motion or a professional tennis player’s service motion. When elite-level players from these sports deliver energy to the ball, whether it’s through their arm or racquet, they use a motion that’s very similar to cracking a whip. Energy is stored on the way back and then significantly increased when the body and arm or racquet starts moving in two different directions at once (the body turns toward the target, but the arm is still going away from it). This is exactly what pro golfers do, except with a golf club
The differences between the PRO and JOE during address, backswing and downswing have now taken full effect at impact. JOE’s commitment to the proper swing path keeps his right side tilted from the start. While this produces the proper path, it tilts his upper body back slightly at impact. As a result, contact with an iron can lack some compression,
but the benefits to his shot from the proper path make up for it.
The PRO’s more centered action during the entire motion, with less tilt and less rotation, allows a more “stacked” impact position. His shoulders are directly over his hips and his knees are in a powerful and level alignment. This creates a more direct contact at impact that can be heard very clearly. Notice the straight line up from the PRO’s left foot to his left shoulder. This is the definition of “stacked” and is a clear contrast from JOE’s impact position.
Another critical element to the PRO’s swing that comes from his “stacked-at-impact” position is outstanding balance. The PRO has his weight firmly on his left foot at impact, which allows him to leverage himself against the ground. The PRO’s arms extend down and through the ball while his legs and body are moving upward as his left leg straightens. This not only creates a lot of dynamic power at impact, but also leads to a comfortable, balanced finish. This is why you rarely see
a PRO stumble into the finish.
In comparison, JOE has to lean away from the target at impact and so has more weight on his right side, which can cause poor balance.