Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments today. I want to give special thanks to KB and Popsie for their tireless work on my website and all things related to helping me, the helpless. Check out their work at www.bradyriggs.com. I hope to see everyone at the blog next week. Brendan asks at 1:40: Here are some updated videos of my swing. Let me know what you think and what I could work on next.
Pictures are of a 7-iron, ball went about 160 and had a slight draw.
Thanks! Love the blog!
Brendan It's all about the legs and hips Brendan. If you were on my lesson tee I would have a few good jokes for you about Shakira, Hula dancing, etc. I want you to look at the sequences of Anthony Kim on my site to see how the legs and hips can work my quietly. I will tell you that your arms and hands are off to a great start as you build this golf swing. It is the lower body that should be your focus. Send in some new videos as you make the changes.

lawrie asks at 1:30: Brad, on
my drives my lower half and head are moving off the ball. The result is
ball goes right and also hooks left. Can you help me? There are many great players that move their head and lower body away from the ball during the takeaway. There is always the possibility that you are doing this too much but my guess is that you are looking in the wrong place to fix your driving issues. Send me some videos so I can help you get on the right track. Brett asks at 1:14: The tip of
my index finger is missing, i have trouble transitioning to the down
swing due to the lack of my "trigger" finger. can i use something else
to compensate for lack of?
heres my swing... I'm not seeing that as a major issue on the video you have here Brett. In this swing your lack of control over the "tush-line" is much more of a factor than your hands. You need to check out the videos and numerous articles and blogs I have done discussing the "tush line" so you can get the info needed to fix this problem. The basic idea is that if we drew a line up from the ground touching the back of your tush at address your backside should keep in contact with the line from the address position to the top of the backswing back down to impact and into the release of the club. If you look at your swing you can clearly see you lose contact with the line early and have moved significantly closer to the ball at impact than you were when you started. This forces your upper body to become more vertical, jams your right elbow behind your hip, leans your upper body back away from the ball and target and forces your hands to take heroic measures to save the shot. The telephone pole holding up the fence right behind your tush is a great reference for you to see how much it has moved. Let me know how this goes... Tim asks at 1:00: I've
noticed that it seems big hitters have a longer left thumb/club way down
in the fingers (Dustin Johnson) - is there anything to this? Also, of
the type of takaways you have on your redgoat website, which one most
closely resembles Dustin Johnson's? There isn't much to the long thumb issue Tim. There are both long and short hitters that use both the long and short thumb. It has more to do with the shape and length of your thumb and your comfort level than anything else. The takeaway Johnson most resembles would be that of Tiger and Adam Scott where the left arm rotates early and moves off of the body. I have to be honest with you and say there isn't much in Johnson's swing I would have any of my students copy. That isn't to say that his swing isn't effective and great for him. If he was on my lesson tee and had nearly won two majors I wouldn't change much, I'm not that stupid. However, there are many things he does that aren't usually recommended for the recreational or the aspiring player. I don't particularly like the super strong left hand grip, the bowed left wrist at the top, the shut clubface, the change of posture through impact or the lack of extension in his arms and torso during release and into the finish. But I can be picky.... Theo019 asks at 12:45: My initial
take away of the golf club is very forced and in the first few feet i
tend to get off plane and tend to spray the ball, is there a drill to
improve this so i can be on plane from start to finish? Thanks. I answered a question and put up a couple of pics regarding this issue a few minutes ago that should really help you. There are a couple more things you could try that will help you gain some confidence and improve your technique. In addition to the stable left wrist positions I described in the other post, taking the weight of the club into your hands and off the ground in the address position can really make a huge difference. When you allow the club to sit on the ground before you move it away from the ball the "snatched" takeaway is inevitable. Lift the clubhead up off the ground so it is barely touching the tops of the blades of grass. This will give you control over the weight of the club instead of the ground, making the takeaway significantly smoother and easier to control. This may take some getting used to, but once you establish this as part of your routine it will be impossible for you to go back to the old technique because you will see the enormous benefits of not grounding the club. As far as keeping it on plane from start to finish are concerned that is a whole other matter. There are no secrets, just clubface, path and pivot as your guide. Good luck and send in some video if you get the chance. Tony asks at 12:35: Your blog
really is amazing, every week! Any suggestions on how to fix the
svingpath (out-to-in right now)? I've been playing with an open clubface
for many years but have that under control now, but my misses are pulls
plus/minus a draw (or still sometimes, the old-swing fade). Conciously
thinking of hitting the inside of the ball has helped but only helps for
the moment. I don't have video of my current situation unfortunately. Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I am glad to hear you have the clubface in a better place, that is the first order of business when it comes to improving your golf swing. The fact that you are now working on the path is proof that the instructor you are working with knows his stuff or you have been reading this blog:) In either case, the slightly out-in path is a very common problem on the lesson tee and quite easy to fix if you look in the right place. While you notice the path problem on the downswing make sure you are doing the little things at set-up and during the backswing that make swinging on the proper downswing path much easier. If the shoulders are open, the ball too far forward, or there is no tilt away from the target at address in makes achieving the proper path nearly impossible. When the ball is on the ground it should be placed under the logo on your left pec at address, regardless of the club. If you have the proper amount of tilt and the ball position correct you should be able to see a slight amount of upper left arm from the target line view. Here are a couple of pictures for you. Dl3setup Make the changes in the set-up first and continue to try to strike the inside-back portion of the ball and I think you will fix this issue. Big golfer asks at 12:25: Thanks for
the great advice every week. I recently saw some video of my swing and
I snatch the club way to the inside on the backswing. Do you have a
drill or feeling to help promote a better takeawy? There are several things you can do to help you clean up your takeaway. If you look down at your hands in the address position you should see some bend in the back of your left wrist and an angle formed between the clubshaft and your left arm. If you can maintain both the bend in your left wrist and the vertical hinge (hitch-hiker) established in the set up until the club reaches parallel to the ground for the first time in the takeaway you will fix your problem. It sounds a bit technical I know, but the fact is all you need to do is keep what the angles you started with in your left wrist and the takeaway becomes very easy. If the left wrist flattens during the takeaway and/or you lose the hinge (the clubhead will come back too low to the ground) than there is no way to avoid the snatched, inside takeaway. Here are a couple of pictures to help you visualize what to do. Clarkeaddress Tom asks at 12:10: 1) what
is the proper way to hit a lob shot? I usually open the clubface,
re-grip, then open my stance but I very often blade the ball.
2) how do I chip from hardpan or extremely tight lies? I love chipping and pitching questions. These are both situations most recreational players really struggle with Tom. The fact is that most people shouldn't be hitting a lob under any circumstances. The amount of risk associated with a miss when hitting this shot doesn't justify the attempt, especially when today's wedges make it much easier to hit a softer shot without a huge swing. Before the grooves became so potent, the only way you could stop a ball quickly on a green was to utilize the trajectory of a lob shot. This forced all good players of my era to open the face, widen the stance, drop the hands and make a long risky swing to achieve the desired result. Despite the recent changes in the rules relative to the grooves, the wedges in today's game still make it significantly easier to hit a shot that stops quickly via the spin rather than the trajectory. If you insist on trying the shot keep in mind that the lie must be advantageous. If the lie is too tight you won't be able to slide the leading edge under the ball sufficiently to avoid a skulled shot and if the lie is too fluffy the lack of bounce on today's wedges can drive the entire club under the ball. If the lie is conducive to hitting this shot, make sure the weight is still slighty forward towards the target, as it should be on all chips and pitches, to insure the bottom of the swing occurs in the correct place. Chipping from a tight lie or hardpan can be a scary shot for players on all levels. There are a couple of adjustments to your address position that can make a huge difference. To help you hit this shot more consistently make sure you grip down slightly on the handle and make the shaft a bit more vertical than normal in the address. This will help you get the toe of the club on the ground more than the heel, a huge help in making more consistent contact. When combined with a slightly open clubface position this vertical shaft alignment allows the bounce of the club to used properly while eliminating the "stab" at impact caused by the heel hitting the ground. When the club is set up correctly, the fear of a "chili-dip" or chunk is removed and you will be able to attack the ball and the ground more aggressively. Make sure the shaft is leaning slightly forward in the address and your weight is a bit more on the front foot than the back. The last thing to focus on during your motion is to allow the clubface to rotate with the plane going back and through. Never hit a shot from a tight lie keeping the face "square" to the target during the stroke. This straight back and through, face square style has been taught by some in the past and it doesn't work. Doug asks at 12:00 My
question has two parts, but stems from the same problem. With nearly
all my shots, I push the ball to the right. Occasionally, it has a
little slice to it also, but usually I hit it straight, just straight
right. I also do this with my wedges when I try to hit short pitch
shots...they often just shoot almost directly right. What am I doing to
cause these push shots with every club and how can I fix it? Thank
you! Thanks for the question Doug. Without actually seeing your swing there is no way for me to tell you exactly why this is happening but I can give you the usual suspects. The best place to start is with the clubface. If the ball is starting right and/or curving right the clubface may be open during the swing. This can start with a grip that is too weak, a left wrist that is excessively bent or a release that is faulty. If the face is square the set-up can also contribute to the rights. Your alignment can be right of the target or your ball position can be too far back in the stance. Mistakes with your golf swing are more complex. Try the simple stuff I suggested first and send me some video if you get a chance so I can give you more specific advice.

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