Instruction

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs answers your swing questions

Can't stop three-putting? Chipping from one side of the green to the other? Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online every Tuesday at noon EST to fix your golf swing. Read this week's installment below and stayed tuned for your next opportunity to join the discussion Tuesday morning. 

Thanks to everyone for your questions. For those that were unanswered try again next week and get them in early so they can be addressed. Look forward to seeing you all again in the near future......Ryan asks at 12:56I am a
former college golfer now in the working world. I dont get to play as
much as I like to and when I do my swing seems to be very steep and my
body likes to get out in front of my arms producing a ball that starts
on line but falls to the right. How can I shallow out my swing for
better contact as well as improve my downswing sequence? Thanks for the
help.
Ryan, it sounds like your right side is getting to the ball before your arms producing the steeper angle of attack and weaker ball-flight. Fixing it requires you do two things. First, you need to get your right side further from the ball at the top of the swing. To accomplish this allow your hips to rotate a little more on the backswing. Chances are you aren't as flexible as you were when you were playing collegiate golf and can't turn as well as in the past. Rotating the hips more gets your right side further from the ball at the top. Next, we need to slow that right side down in the transition. To do this you can replace some of the rotation you starting the downswing with by adding some lateral motion to the target. Check out Anthony Kim's swing as an example. This will keep your right side at bay longer, allowing the club to stay behind you later into the downswing. Your steeper angle of attack should be slayed. Trying to figure out the exact amount of hip turn on the backswing and lateral motion on the downswing will take some time on the range, but being a good player I am sure you already knew that.....John asks at 12:50I have
been told that I have too steep a downswing, which often results in
tops. How can I flatten my swing out a bit without overdoing it?
John, steep downswings don't necessarily cause tops, so proceed with caution. The easiest way to flatten out your angle of attack is to first change your address position, then change your brain. The address is usually awful with players attacking on an excessively steep angle. Make sure your feet are parallel to the target line and your shoulders are pointing square or slightly closed to your feet. Next, create some tilt away from the target by allowing your trail shoulder to move slightly down and back away from the ball (this also helps close the shoulders). Finally, check the grip and make sure the top hand isn't in a weak position as it will open the shoulders and the clubface during the swing. Now on to your brain. There is an entire industry within the golf industry based on the fact that people don't understand impact. You can't hit the ball straight by attacking the back of the ball with the clubface square. It only produces slices and weak shots. You MUST attack the inside-back of the ball with the clubface "closing" during impact. If you can get this into your coconut, you can play good golf for a long time.Grant asks at 12:42Call you
help me understand how to release the club properly? I have been
struggling lately hitting high weak shots that generally push right. I
have been told that I'm not releasing through with my right hand. I
have tried to be more agressive with the right hand, but now feel like
I'm flipping the club and steering the clubface open and then closed.
Appreciate the help!
In order to release the club properly your need to have a couple things in place. First, your grip must be at least neutral, if it is weak you will have the clubface open during the swing and it will be very difficult to square up the face. To fix your problem, make sure your grip is strong enough. Your left hand should be on top of the handle with the thumb on to the right of the centerline of the grip. This will encourage your right hand to be more under the handle making it much easier to release the club naturally without all of the manipulation you are currently attempting. With the clubface more square and the release more automatic, you should see the ball fly more towards the target with more power. Keith asks at 12:35I am
baffled. I can not hit a wedge (60, 56, 52) consistently for the life
of me. I just get right under the ball and pop it high, or hit it fat.
Even on good hits I lack distance, my 56 is good for 75-80 yards. I hit
all my other irons well (8hcp), with a low ball flight and a small
divot. Why just the attack wedges, help?
This isn't as uncommon as you might think Keith. I have seen players struggle with the contact on the wedges and hit the other clubs solidly. First thing is too look at the wedges themselves. If they have a different design then your irons that can be a problem. Often times good players use a set of wedges that is from a different manufacturer than the rest of the clubs. They are different shaft flexes and look very different over the ball, not to mention the fact that the leading edge is as sharp and a knife and can easily dig into the ground behind the ball. If this is the case, I would recommend trying one different wedge that has more bounce and a less nasty leading edge. Try the 56 first, if that works then you can move on to the other wedges. In terms of the swing, it sounds very steep and open with the clubface on your wedges and nice and shallow with your irons. Work on the range on trying to "hook" some wedge shots. This may sound strange but it will flatten out your angle of attack and allow you to release the club through imapct. The fact that you are hitting a wedge doesn't change the need to be on plane and let go. Good luck with the adjustments...Scott asks at 12:27First
please take it easy on me, its my birthday. I am a 7 handicap that
plays a large draw, for some reason however when I go to the range
(grass range) I cant seem to hit the ball the way I do on the course. I
stripe the ball straight on the range yet it never fails when I get on
the course my 10-15 yard hook is always there. I either hit a draw or
tend to push the ball with all of my clubs from Driver down to 60. Is
there a reason for this? Everytime I go to the range I think I may have
figured somethiing out to straighten out my ball flight but it never
shows up when I am on the course. Any help would be great, THANKS.
Happy birthday! Sounds like you are ready for the Range Tour. As I wrote in an earlier post about this combination of push and hook, you have a good players miss. This combination is caused by a swing path that is excessively inside on the downswing. Why your swing is effective on the range and not on the course can often be caused by your alignment. Do your friends tell you that you are aimed way right on the course? If the answer is yes and you are taking your time to aim properly on the range you have probably found a good place to start. Like I said in the earlier post, try to hit some shots that start slightly left of the target and fade back. This will help you make the swing path more neutral and should straighten out your problem. In the meantime, you can call yourself Ranger Rick for your prowess on the range....Garrett asks at 12:20For a
while I had a pretty virtical swing that left me with inconsistancy
except for my 22 degree hybrid that I could work mericles with. Now I
have a flatter swing and have developed consistancy with all of my
clubs save for my hybrid and my fairway 5-wood that I will either hit
straight or hit a dramatic hook (50%-50%). Lacking consistancy with
those two sticks is really costing me 3-4 shots a round. Any advice
would be great. Thanks!
Most people have a swing that is skewed towards either hitting the ball better from the ground or hitting it better from the tee. If there is one club in the bag that a slighly more descending blow really helps with it is the fairway metals. When your swing was more upright, these clubs were easier to hit because the club was naturally descending into impact. Now that it is flatter, the club isn't working down enough as you make contact causing mishits and inconsistency. The easiest thing to do is stand closer to the ball with your fairway metals. This will produce a swing that is slightly more Up and Down, making the contact more ball-turf. As an overall strategy, make sure your swing hasn't become excessively flat as this will eventually hurt your ball-striking as a whole costing your consistency and distance. Bruce asks at 12:12Whenever
I have a pitch shot (in the 50-75 yd. range), I always seem to hit it
to the right, if I make good contact at all. What's wrong with my pitch
swing that would make me constantly hit it right?
Bruce, don't feel too bad, most good players try to avoid that yardage because it is difficult to hit solidly and the proper distance. Faldo gave some great advice about in-between wedges that I have found really helps people hit them better. He said to keep your upper body rotating through impact and into the finish. This accomplishes two things. First, he prevents you from quitting through impact which is a very common way to mishit the shot. Second, it helps the clubface square up and release, making the ball fly more accurately towards the flag. One last thing, try your best to avoid that yardage and instead leave yourself a fuller shot into the green. That is the stategy most good players use to avoid this shot completely.Danny asks at 12:06

I
make great contact with my driver, but my drives all seem to either be
pushed straight right (sometimes with a SLIGHT slice), or hooked. What
am I doing that would cause such opposite results? Please help...it'd
be great to hit a straight drive every once and a while!!

Posted by Doug at 12:00am
I've
been struggling terribly with my irons lately. I seem to top almost
every shot, regardless of the club or lie. I've videotaped my swing,
and I know I'm not lifting up at all or changing my spine angle. The
only thing I can possibly see is that I slide a bit laterally towards
to target. Other than that, I have no idea what's causing my terrible
iron contact. Can you help me? Thanks!
The lateral movement to the target should help you hit the ball more solidly so I would rule that out. Start with the address position, often times people top shots because they stand too far from the ball. After you move closer to it, you need to keep your arms relaxed and allow the club to find the bottom of the swing. If you are trying to lift the ball in the air your left wrist and left elbow will bend through impact shortening the length of the lever and causing you to top it. You can always post your swing on You Tube and send the link to "ask the top 100".

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