Instruction

Ask the Top 100 LIVE: Brady Riggs is here to fix your faults

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online today at from noon to 1 p.m. EST to answer your questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady, he'll be back next Tuesday for another Ask the Top 100 Live.

Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. I will be back next week with my normal computer so I can put up pictures again. Hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the Players!

Marc asks at 12:58:

Where does Tiger go from here in terms of his swing? He went to Haney because he wanted to "own" his swing but that clearly hasn't happened.

In your opinion, who is the best coach (I am hoping he reads this blog and give you a call) to take Tiger back to his previous heights and what are some of the things he urgently needs to address in his swing.

Good to hear from you, Marc, hope all is well. I am still waiting for an apology from everyone who flamed me after my article discussing Tiger's driver problems after The Masters. Funny how they haven't responded...

It is time for a change. This issue from the tee has been going on for too long. He needs to go back and find his natural shot-shape from right to left so he can hit the fairway again. Would Butch be a good resource? Absolutely! Would he ever go back to see him? Absolutely NOT!

I know, he still almost won at Augusta. But he hit 6 of 28 fairways last week and was missing BIG. The face needs to get more square at the top and the downswing needs to get shallower so he can release the club. It is that simple. Tiger is still great! He will fix this problem eventually and win many more tournaments and majors. When he will get the ship righted remains to be seen.

Mike asks at 12:50:

Why does Phil and Vijay let go of the club with their low hand, can this be explained in simple terms?

Mike, please ask this question again next week. I am on my backup computer and don't have access to my swing clips. I want to give you a visual answer....

Andy asks at 12:45:

If the tush line is so important -- and it does seem to be helping me, thanks -- why don't we hear much about it outside of yourself?

In Broadcast News Holly Hunter's character was asked, "if it was hard to always be the smartest person in the room?" She said it was...

The honest truth is that a large percentage of golf instruction stinks. I was listening to Peter Kessler's show the other day and the guy he had on there was a snake oil salesman. I have no idea how he can put a guy on with no credentials or credibility to discuss the golf swing, but it happened. The mechanics aren't that complicated. The "tush line" is part of maintaining posture which has been discussed by every teacher worth a lick in the past. I may be describing it in a way that is different, but there is nothing earth-shatteringly new under the sun.

Thanks for the feedback about your experience.

Dave asks at 12:35:

I am an 11 handicap and have always hit a natural fade without too much of an over-the-top move. However, I have recently strengthened my grip slightly (making it neutral as my club face used to be open at the top) and have been trying to work a little draw. However, the ball is a lot harder to control and a lot of times I'm rolling through fairways and greens even though my contact and ball flight seem a lot more solid. Are the 5-7 yards w/ the irons and the 10-15 yards with the driver really worth it? I seem to play my best when I just let it go and hit the slight fade, even with the new grip. Which is the better shot shape for consistency over time especially when practice time is limited?

Do you stay where you are or try to get better? Good question, and one that only you can answer. I want my students to push themselves through tough spots to constantly try to improve their game. This doesn't mean that you abandon what has made you successful in the past, but you add to it. If the fade is what comes naturally to you and it would be the shot you would hit if your life depended on it, then hit it. It sounds like the more square clubface position has some benefit to your distances so I would stick with it. The fade will always hold the ground better than the draw, so if you play on a course that is fairly firm with fairways that run off into rough and greens that tend to release, the fade makes perfect sense.

Don't be afraid to practice hitting the draw on the range and in friendly games to establish some confidence and trust. It can be a great weapon for you to have when the situation demands it. Keep this is mind, Kenny Perry plays exclusively right-to-left and Craig Stadler plays left-to-right and they have both made a ton of money playing golf. You don't have to be able to hit every club both directions to play on Tour, so don't get too hung up on it at your level.

Sam asks at 12:25:

I have been playing for two years, and can shoot around a 90 at a good muni. i have done this without a pre-shot routine, and now I would like to get one. What is a good pre-shot routine for a feel player who struggles with getting the same stance every time?

As I mentioned earlier in the blog regarding a grip routine, you need to look at other good players on television and try to find one that works for you. I can tell you that every great player is a "feel" player on the golf course. While many great players are very technical in nature when it comes to their approach to the mechanics of the swing, they must put that aside on the course to be successful.

The one ingredient of the routine I think you should have is a practice swing that helps you "feel" the shape and trajectory of the shot you are going to play. This can be done from directly in line with the ball and the target like Tiger or next to ball like Davis Love III. Where you take the practice swing isn't as important as how you take it. In college, we used to record (audio) our routine to help us make it automatic. While this may seem tedious, it was very effective and amusing to anyone who happened to get in my car while it was playing.

John asks at 12:15:

My wife has been playing for about three years now without using woods. She wanted a little more distance on her tee ball and we bought her a new driver. When she uses it her swing looks the same, but the ball contacts the crown of the club and just pops up. Please help

If you read my first response during the blog I discussed how the swing can be skewed to having success with either the irons or the driver based upon the technique. The description of your wife's contact problems with the driver is a perfect example of how the iron swing has a more descending blow than the driver SHOULD have, which explains why she struggles with the long club. To fix this issue she needs to create some tilt with her right side away from the target in the address position. When combined with widening the stance and putting the ball more forward toward her front foot the club will be attacking on a more sweeping angle. This will help her hit the center of the clubface and create some distance as well as height on her shots.

Carter asks at 12:07:

Grip grip grip! Lately, I have been struggling with my grip. I seem to be placing my hands on the club differently every time. It never feels 100 percent comfortable and consistent on each shot with each club. What is a grip routine or set up I can incorporate to place my hands on the club consistently every time?

If you watch any golf telecast you can tell there are many different ways to get your hands on the club. Nick Faldo used to start with his top hand on the handle first, right foot set, and clubhead on the ground to the side of his left foot. He would put his right hand on and then set his feet to hit the shot. There are many players that hold the club up off the ground horizontally and put both hands on while their arms are extended. I could go through a bunch more, but the point is you need to find out what is most comfortable for you and be disciplined enough to stick with it during your round. A good thing to do is keep a club near your easy chair or in the office and pick it up in your routine during the day. This will make you more comfortable faster and help you get to the point where you don't think about it anymore.

Kurt asks at 12:00:

Brady, my ball striking has been very good early on this year, but my driving not so much. I really don't want to just go to the range and smash drives, so is there a way to carry over my satisfactory iron play into my drives, both in practice and on the course?

This is a more common problem than you might think, Kurt. The issue is that a player's swing can be more suited to one side of the game than the other based upon their technique. If your golf swing is naturally more vertical or steep in nature, you will have more success with the shorter clubs and struggle as they get longer, especially with the driver. If the swing is flatter and more around the driver is easier to hit and the shorter clubs are more of a challenge.

The best thing you can do is work on making your swing more neutral when it comes to path and plane so you can develop consistency throughout your bag. If you can get me some video of your swing with an iron and driver from the face on and target views I can give you more specific advice.

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