Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon Eastern
to review your swing videos, answer questions and offer tips to keep your game on track. Leave a question or comment below.
Thanks to everyone for your participation in this weeks blog. I look forward to seeing your swings and questions next week. I hope you are all having a better week than Tiger. GO PACKERS!Matt W. asks at 1:08:Hi Brady, I hope you can help me. For a long time my miss has been to
the left, everything from pulls to a duck hook with longer clubs, often
hitting it out on the toe. I have worked on making some swing changes
but continue to have this problem. I can see I’m under plane going back
and I lose my tush line, and then I’m steep coming down. Problem is I
don’t know how to fix it. I really don’t feel like I have a lot of
weight in my heels at address, sometimes just the opposite, and my grip
is fairly neutral. This video is from a couple of years ago but I
assume I’m still doing the same thing because I keep getting the same
results. You have always been very helpful when we have communicated in
the past and I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks for the kind words, Matt. Your tush line doesn't seem to be too far off so I wouldn't waste a great deal of effort on that at this point. Yes, you are slightly below plane going back but again it seems fairly insignificant to the problem at this point. The major issue for me is that your shoulders look severely open at impact. This is the cause of your left issues and has more to do with a lack of laterally motion toward the target on the down swing than your takeaway. If I had you on my lesson tee I wouldn't let you leave until you hit several shots where we could see your upper left arm from the Down the Line camera angle at impact. To get there, you will have to get your weight working parallel to the target line as you begin the downswing. This will happen with the entire body but you will maintain more right side tilt away from the target than you currently have. With your body moving more laterally, the rotation of your shoulders will slow significantly and the club will attack on a shallower angle. This will eliminate the pull, lessen the depth of the divot and help you start the ball at the target or even slightly right. I really like your motion but I think you could improve a great deal with this simple change. Send me some new video as soon as possible.

James asks at 12:55:I am having trouble understanding if the wrist hinges vertically on the
snuff box, how does maintaining this wrist hinge help on any
through-ward momentum?That is a good question, James. For those of you who are wondering what language he is speaking James is referring to the depression made where the end of the thumb side of the hand meets the left wrist when the thumb is "hinged" or "cocked" during the swing. The reason this creates more momentum is because it makes for more "whip" in the swing. When the left wrist hinges to it's max it can create more potential for clubhead speed during the impact interval. However, this is "potential" speed. For many players, trying to achieve maximum hinge does nothing for clubhead speed and can lead to huge bouts of inconsistency. These types of keys or tips in the swing aren't for everyone. There is no substitute to swinging the club on the proper path with the face square while have the proper sequence of motion. That would always be the direction I would go first.Michael Austin asks at 12:40:I have recently found out that I cup my wrist whenever I am at the top
of my backswing. What things can I do to assure that I am not cupping
my wrist whenever I take the club back? I notice that I have to make a
conscious effort to not have my wrist break down and it really
hinders my swing when I am not trying to think about things and just
swing.Just so you know there have been many major champions that play with their left wrist slightly cupped at the top of the swing. In fact, there have been major champions that play with it flat and bowed for that matter. The type of grip you have has a great deal to do with whether your wrist should have some cup in it. If the grip is excessively strong, the wrist is more likely to be cupped, if the grip is excessively weak, the left wrist is more likely to be bowed. With that said, getting the wrist in a flatter position can make the clubface more square and less open through impact, greatly improving the ball-striking. To fix the takeaway and top focus on the middle knuckle of your left hand. You need to "feel" that the knuckle is working away from the top of the forearm as you are nearing the top of the backswing. This will fix the cup problem. When you are away from your golf clubs you can practice the top of the backswing by making a fist with the left hand. This is a great way to reinforce the flatter position you are looking for.Calvin asks at 12:20:What is a good drill for shoulder turn and weight shift? ThanksThe single best way to feel how the weight should move during the swing is swinging with a step. Just like you would in baseball, stepping into the forward swing is a must for good ball striking. Obviously, stepping during an actual swing would not be a good idea, but the sense that the weight is moving in the direction of the target before the arms and club come down is critical. To get this feeling, start with your normal stance width and address the ball. move your front foot next to your back foot and then begin your swing. Before you reach the top of your backswing, step your front foot to the target. This will help you feel the timing of the movement of the weight from back to front during the swing. It won't take long for you to feel the same shift in your normal swing without actually stepping.

Mike G. asks at 12:08:

Sorry to hear that Mike. Here is the skinny. There are 4 really easy ways to shank a wedge shot. Start too close, get too close, attack excessively from the inside, attack excessively from the outside. The good news is that you can only do three at a time. The best way to go about the fix is start in the set-up. Get away from the ball when you start, and try to feel that your weight gets progessively more in the heels during your chipping motion. The combination of more space at address and staying away from the ball should really help your swing path get more neutral. The simple drill after the changes is to try to strike the ball on the toe of the club.
With all the Tiger Woods drama this week, it is nice to get back to some golf instruction. From a personal standpoint, I am disappointed. What a huge blow to all those kids out there who looked up to him as a hero and role model. There are thousands of parents out there that are having conversations with their kids they don't want to have. Looks like Charles Barkley was right again.... Now back to the golf swing.

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