Tuesday, December 15, 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 during the cooler winter months. Be first in line by
leaving a comment below.
Gary asks at 1:00:I have a tendency to stand up and release early on my downswing. What would your advice be? That is a pretty solid motion Gary. The standing up thing and early release on the downswing is directly related to your address position. If you have read this blog in the past you have heard me discuss the "Tush line" and how to maintain it. If you go to my website www.redgoat.smugmug.com and look at the Redgoat Fundamentals section on Tush line it will give you an idea what I am talking about. The basic idea is that your tush starts too far behind your heels in the address position and is not in a position that can be maintained as you swing the club. To compensate for the inevitable loss of balance that comes from this starting position your weight will move towards your toes as you swing, forcing your torso to become more upright. As a result, your arms have less room to move down into impact before they collide with your left hip. This causes you to release the club earlier than you would like.To fix the problem you must fix the address. Get closer to the ball with your entire body but move your toes back away from it. You should have the feeling that your weight is over the balls of your feet and even towards your toes. Your knees should be bending out over your toes forcing your heels to feel like they are barely touching the ground. This will force the weight to move into your left heel as you turn back and into the right heel as your turn through. (Yes, I have compensated for you being left-handed) As a result your tush will stay back away from the ball, allowing your arms room to get down in front of your hips later into the downswing. This will store energy longer and allow you to pick up some clubhead speed while you are making better contact. I would also recommend you check out the Redgoat fundamentals section on my website www.redgoat.smugmug.com for the different options in the takeaway. Your hands and arms move out away from you too much going back requiring a compensation later in the swing. You have too good a golf swing to settle for that type of inefficency in the backswing. Look at the Nick Faldo and Nick Price swings to get an idea what you should be feeling. Send in the new swing when you make some progress and I will tell you what to focus on next.

Ben asks at 12:40:I wear down the my glove in the thumb area very quickly. Is my glove
just to big or something with my grip or swing that you can identify
from this consistent wear?The first place you should look is the glove size. If the glove is too big then you can easily wear out the glove prematurely. The best way to size the glove is with the glove on. Before you pull the velcro across the glove make a fist. This will give the appropriate amount of stretch that simulates holding the club. Once you have made a fist, pull the velcro across and attach it. At this point you shouldn't have and extra velcro hanging over the back of your hand or the glove is too big. If the glove is too small the pull across won't cover the velcro on the back of the hand. If the grips on your club are fairly new and aren't made with "cord" and your glove fits you shouldn't have a problem. If you are still tearing in the thumb after the glove size and grip are checked then your grip is the next place to look. Keep in mind that poor contact creates vibration that can definately wear out a glove quickly. This can be a reason for your thumb tear that is unrelated to the glove or your actual grip on the club, but in most cases the way you are holding it is the problem.The best way to check the grip is to hit a couple of shots and see if your hands are in the same position on the handle after you hit the shot as they were in the address position. If they have moved during the swing the vibration of poor contact can certainly cause the movement. It is also very possible that your hands were on the club poorly to begin with making it difficult to keep them in place. In either case the friction caused by the movement between handle and hands is causing the tear in the glove. Go to my website, www.redgoat.smugmug.com and look in the Redgoat Fundamentals section for Grip Types to check your grip against those. If you can, post a link to a picture or video from You Tube of your hands and/or swing and send it back in to the blog so I can get a look at it.Jay asks at 12:30:Can you recommend some drills to control swing tempo?I have to tell you I am not a big fan of working on your tempo. I think that the lines of your swing that include a square clubface, an on-plane attack into impact and the proper release are far more important to good ball striking. Instead of tempo I would rather you work on your sequence of motion. This means that your body should always precede the movement of your club. In simple terms, the body should create the movement of the club in the takeaway as your upper left arm and chest move the club back away from the ball. As the club nears the top of the swing your body should start it's movement back towards the target. This is the "bump" that I am sure you have heard mentioned by instructors. The proper sequence makes your golf swing feel like an athletic motion. This is critical to becoming a dynamic and consistent striker of the ball. Remember, there are players on tour that swing the club quickly like Nick Price an those that are very smooth like Ernie Els. The only thing I would want you to focus on when it comes to tempo is to be yourself. If you walk fast, talk fast, and drive fast chances are swinging slowly won't work. This is also true in reverse. Stay true to your personality traits and you will be fine.John asks at 12:20:I am using the one plane swing but my worst shots now are blocks. What exactly is causing this and what is the 'cure?'There is no way for me to pinpoint exactly what is happening without a little more information. I can tell you that there are a couple of places to look when it comes to a block that are universal regardless of the swing style you are using. Blocks are the result of the body getting "ahead" of the club through impact. In other words, your club needs to pass your body earlier at the bottom of the swing to get the clubface to square up properly. A good solution to this issue is to try to keep your body facing the ball longer at impact while the clubhead points to the target. This will help you slow down the rotation of your body and the slide towards the target to help you get the clubhead through impact more effectively. If you ever played baseball and hit the ball down the third base line, your body stays back while you get the barrell of the bat to the ball sooner. The opposite is the case if you are hitting it to the opposite field. Your body moves to the pitcher while your hands stay back allowing the ball to get deeper towards the catcher making it easier to go the other way. Use your sports background to help you feel the solution. We will get started at 12:15 EST. 

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