Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time to help fix your swing. He'll be back next Tuesday at the same time to help you play better golf. Welcome to the Tuesday Instruction Blog. Let's get started... Craig asks at 1:00:
I have a bit of an odd distance. I hit the ball long with my irons. My 9 iron goes 155, 8 iron 165, etc, with good height. My driving distance, however, is pretty anemic in comparison--probably 240-250 or so. It's pretty frustrating playing with buddies who fly it 20-30 yards past me with their drivers.
What could account for this disparity? Could my grip have something to do with this? The fact that you use a ten-finger grip isn't the problem. I used an interlocking grip for about 15 years and then switched to the ten-finger about 17 years ago and have never looked back. The distance issue you are describing usually occurs because of your equipment or the position of your clubface during the swing. Let's start with the equipment. If there are 2 clubs every player should have custom fit for them by someone who really knows what they are doing it is the Driver and the Putter. If the driver's shaft is too soft or too light in weight, you can see a huge disparity in distance from the irons. I highly recommend you go out and get this checked if you haven't already. The second issue is the position of the clubface during the swing. If the clubface is closed and the attack into the ball is a little steep, then the irons can go very long. The problem is the same mechanics that produce unusual power with the irons kill the distances with the driver. If this is still a problem after you have checked your equipment, send me a video of your swing and I will get you going in the right direction.
What would be the best way to get the club on the shaft angle set at address on the DS (getting it on plane)? Thanks for sending in the video. Your hips are moving laterally away from the target at the end of your backswing. This is an issue because you lose your right-side tilt away from the target on the downswing. Without the tilt, you can't keep your upper body and your head behind the ball at impact. Here is a picture to help you see it. Steve asks at 12:30: What is the best way to develop a consistent, repeatable swing? I feel I have the tools to improve my swing, but notice if I'm concentrating on one aspect (i.e., takeaway) then I miss something else (i.e., follow-thru). Do you recommend focusing several days on only the setup, then the next on the setup + takeaway, and continue to build in that manner? Thanks, the blog is always great! Thanks for the kind words about the blog. You are experiencing a common problem people have when working on their swing. You have several areas that you are trying to improve upon, but working on all of them at once isn't effective. The best advice I can give you is to help you understand that the swing must be built from the beginning to the end and not from the middle out. In other words, if your address position isn't solid, your takeaway will suffer and so on. To make your swing consistent and repeatable, something every student regardless of their level of play wants, you need to do one thing at a time beginning with the set-up. Michael asks at 12:14: Brady, The longer the club I use, the longer my swing becomes, so that by the time I swing driver I get way across the line at the top. (I can see the head of the club out of my left hand eye when it reaches the top.)
Any advice on drills or tips to keep the swing compact throughout all the clubs in the bag? Swinging the club longer isn't necessarily a bad thing. Take a look at the swings of many great players and you will see top-of-backswing positions, especially with the driver, that are well past parallel to the ground. I have seen many players try to shorten their golf swing to be more compact only to lose a great deal of distance and feel for playing the game. If you have been swinging "long" for a while and have had success, I would proceed with caution when it comes to shortening your swing. If you are still convinced that is where your swing should go here are a few things to keep in mind. The flatter your shoulders rotate the longer your arm swing is likely to be. Rotating your shoulders on a steeper plane is an excellent way for you to prevent your arms from running on after your shoulders stop turning. To achieve this the right shoulder will "feel" like it goes up and around to the target while your left shoulder works more down to the ground. A note of caution: Make sure your weight and specifically your head moves a bit away from the target, especially with the driver, or you will be moving toward a stack and tilt. Here are a couple of pictures to help you visualize the position.