Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs is here to help your game

Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday at noon Eastern
to review swing videos, answer questions and offer tips.
Thanks to everyone for your great questions and comments. I hope you guys have a fantastic week on the links. Stay positive and aggressive on the golf course. Try shots you aren't sure you will pull off and go for it at every turn. Nobody, including you, is going to remember the time you laid up on the Par 5 in front of the water and made a routine par. Play for the glory and the story, good or bad! Marc asks at 10:15: Brady, where is Ben Fox nowadays and how is he doing golf-wise? He has one the best swings I have seen... Thanks for asking Marc. Ben just turned 22 and is playing his first round of the first stage of Q-School today. He is playing the best golf I have ever seen from him. He shot 66 in the pre-qualifier for the PGA Tour event in Vegas and then didn't get in on the Monday. Then he shot another 66 in the pre-qualifier for Phoenix, followed that up with another 66 on Monday and lost in a playoff for the final spot. The only thing he needs right now is a place to play next year and look out. BTW, I agree about his swing, one of the best I have ever seen.Needs distance asks at 9;59: I am 5'8,
fairly athletic, have a good swing (hit it pretty straight), but can
only carry my driver 240-245 yards on average. How can I get more
distance? Physical stature is not the determining factor for power, just look at Ian Woosnam, Jeff Sluman, or Hidemichi Tanaka for that matter. Once all the other factors have been checked that include the proper specs for your driver, physical well-being, practice, etc. you need to determine if you swing the club like a golfer or an athlete. A golfer is worried about the position his club is in during the swing, staying under control, a pause at the top, good tempo, looking pretty, etc. An athlete is trying to use every fiber of his being to move in the proper sequence to hit the snot out of the ball. It is a totally different mindset to swing the club like an athlete playing golf rather than a golfer playing a game. There is no way for me to write down how to do this in a timely fashion, but what I can tell you is that you need to watch a great pitcher throw a fastball, a great hitter smash a home-run, a ski-jumper launch themselves from the 90 meter hill, a tennis player serve an ace, and a hockey player take a slap shot. Look at these motions and you will start to see the sequence of movements and the all out attack that it takes to be powerful. This doesn't mean you swing "harder" or "muscle up", quite the contrary. It means you loosen up, get bigger with your motion and stop worrying about where the angle of the dangle is and start kicking some tail. Post a link to your swing in the blog next week from You Tube and I will tell you how to get started.

Nick Faldo fan asks at 9:53: I love
Nick Faldo's swing but alot of people say that he lost distance after
he rebuilt his swing with Leadbetter. Is that true? If so, what in his
new swing contributed to him losing distance?Whatever distance he lost he more than made up for with accuracy. Faldo played competitive golf in an era where control was more important than power. He played golf station to station, and was the best in the world because of it. In Faldo's era power wasn't the critical factor it is in today's game. Just look at Augusta National in 1996 when Faldo won his last major shooting 67 to Norman's 76 in the final round vs. Tiger the following year. When Tiger dismantled The Masters field by 12 shots it changed the game in every respect. Before Tiger, it was Faldo's world because of his Hoganesque control over his game. The only thing I will tell you about Leadbetter's change of Faldo's swing is whenever you set the club earlier going back you are going to lose some of the speed created from a more dynamic change of direction. It is an option in your technique that must make sense to your ball-striking needs.Jeff asks at 9:45: Hi Brady,
enjoy your work. My queston is how can I get more lag into my swing? I seem to push at the ball. You need to tap into the other sports you played growing up. Make sure your body is always moving before your club just as it would move ahead of your arm if you were throwing. The weight should move back before your club on the backswing and then move ahead of your club coming down. This will create a more "whip-like" motion that always increases clubhead speed. Keeping your arms softer and your body more relaxed is a must to increase the lag and help you feel like you are cracking the club through impact. Stephen J asks at 9:33: Brady,
what do you think of that Rickie Fowler kid's swing? He seems to take
it back shut, then lift the club vertically and immediately flatten it
out again similar to Sergio. Seems like a high maintenance swing to me
that could run into problems... Stephen, you ask a very good question. If there is one thing I have come to believe over the last 20 years it is that greatness is unique. His swing may look more complicated than some, but he owns it, trusts it, and believes in it. This is far more important than anything he could do technically. With that said I can tell you that I really like his swing. It is very similar to other swings from the past that have been very successful including Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Lanny Wadkins, Hubert Green, and to a far less degree Jim Furyk. The other thing I can tell you about Fowler is that he is winner mentally. Having played his junior golf in Southern California I have many students that have played with him in both competitive and non-competitive settings. One of my extremely good players told me that Fowler's play was no surprise to him because he is one of the smartest players he has ever seen. Kyle asks at 9:20: I've
heard golf commentators mention a "trap draw" before. How does that
differ from a normal draw shot? How do you play it. ThksThe trap draw is played with the ball farther back in the stance. The shot is lower than a normal draw and is different in technique in several ways. A normal draw has a full release of the club thourgh impact with the club moving out away from the body after contact, resulting in a full finish. The trap draw is created by attacking from the inside and "covering" the ball with the right shoulder through impact. The hands and arms are less active and stay more "connected" to the body, limiting the length of the follow-through. This is a very effective shot when playing in windy conditions or from tight fairway lies. Marc asks at 9:13:Hi Brady
A while ago Stack and Tilt seemed to be all the rage on tour, but
now it seems to be dying down. The poster boy for it, Aaron Baddeley,
has also dumped it and gone back to a more conventional approach.
The one thing about it that always used to trouble me is that the
S&T coaches say you should lean over to your left at the top of the
swing (and show pictures of themselves posing in that position), but
none of the S&T pros every really used to do in their actual
swings.
In your opinion, is the Stack and Tilt swing something that could ever last, or has it had its 15 minutes? 14:59 and counting..... The fact is that players who are transitioning from a swing that is excessively inside as they attack the ball with their weight hanging back will always benefit from a more centered pivot and less inside path. The problem occurs when the player starts to play better from the change to a more neutral position of the body and goes on to drink the entire jug of Kool-Aid. The pictures of where they want their players are ridiculous. Any study of the golf swing over the last 60 years will give proof that what they are advocating hasn't worked. One final thought on the question. Teaching a method of swinging the club has the same effect as a broken clock. Every once in a while you will find a student who will need what you are selling, but everyone else is out of luck. A great teacher should adjust to every student they teach and make each lesson a unique experience. As usual you can tell I have no opinion on the matter.... Paul asks at 9:06: Hello, I
have a tendency to start the downswing with my upper body first and
slide instead of rotating left hip. As a result, my head is ahead of
the ball at impact. Can you give me a drill on how to initiate the
downswing properly ? The first step is to create a bit more tilt away from the target with your upper body at address. This will help your upper body stay more behind the ball at impact without having to change your swing. If you are still moving too far laterally on the downswing after creating the tilt, try to get the left side of your torso stretched out vertically before impact. Combined with your change at address this should do the trick. Aaron Mann asks at 9:00: Brady,
I'm having a very hard time squaring the clubface through impact. This
is happening with everything from PW to my driver and I'm losing them
all right. I want to get the clubface square without feeling "wristy"
or "handsy". Any help would be great. Thanks so much!The first place to check is the grip. If the grip is too weak it can be very difficult to square the clubface even with a "handsy" move through impact. The grip should be in a neutral position at least, with the left hand more on top of the handle and the right hand more on the side. There are many illustrations of the proper grip on line including my website www.redgoat.smugmug.com (password:bluegoat). The next place to check if the grip is good is the balance of the body's rotation and the use of the arms and hands through impact. If the body is spinning away from the ball too quickly during impact the rotation of the clubface will slow down. To get the timing back, the club should "feel" as if it is passing by the body though impact. Allowing the arms, hands, and club to pass the body will speed up the face rotation and straighten out the ball.

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