Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time to help fix your swing and analyze your video. He'll be back next week at the same time so video your swing and post it on YouTube so Brady can analyze it next week Thanks to everyone for your comments and questions. I look forward to seeing everyone again next week. Ryan asks at 1:30:

Brady, What do you think? I'm really trying to cover it more but can't seem to get all the way left

Ryan, I'm running short on time but I wanted to give you some quick feedback. The steepness of your downswing is betraying your efforts. The club is too flat coming back forcing the momentum of the club across the line at the top of the swing. This causes the shaft to become too steep coming down, making it impossible to go as left as you would like. Keep this in mind, when the shaft is steep coming down you NEED the lower body to slide a bit to help the club attack on the proper path. Steve Marcus asks at 1:20: There is such an abundance of information out there regarding the golf swing, much of it conflicting. Your blog puts things in perspective, and makes everything much more understandable. I thank you for that.
My question relates to the downswing. How active should the arms be in the downswing assuming one is relatively on plane with the backswing? Some "experts" talk about very passive arms going along for the ride and other "experts" talk about more active arms to generate swing speed.

Thanks for the kind words. This is one of those things teachers screw up. If you asked 10 Tour players if they think their arms are passive or active coming down you will hear some say passive, some active, and some passive in the beginning of the downswing and active through impact. When you deal with a subjective issue like this you are dealing with the players' feel. There is no way to quantify feel. Teachers make a mistake when they say the arms MUST be one way or the other. I like to tell my students to think about how they use their body when throwing a ball. The weight moves first followed by the arm that is relaxed and able to snap the wrist during the release. Just as you wouldn't focus on the arm during a throw you shouldn't during the swing. What makes it powerful and consistent is that it works in the proper sequence with the right amount of tension. I know this may not be the answer you were looking for, but I think it is accurate.
Stephen asks at 1:05:
Hi Brady, thoughts on my swing (other than the head drop) and what I should focus on during the winter months?

Thanks for sending the video. Your feet are closed to the target line and your shoulders are open. This is the exact opposite combination that you see in Tour players so I would encourage you fix that straight away. If you look at the face-on video, you will see that your weight is sitting back excessively on your left foot. This will lead to the head drop at the top of the swing you mentioned in your question. Always remember you will go where you are NOT during the swing, starting back as you do will force you to drop down during the backswing. I would like to see your arms and club come down closer to your body and more from the inside than you are in this swing. It will help you create more extension after impact and produce a more balanced and healthier finish position. The best news is that if you improve your address position everything will get better. Progk1 asks at 12:50:

What is the best way to correct the fault of casting/early release? Like so many others I have lost the angle between the shaft and my lead arm coming into impact, then lose my posture to prevent the fat shot but causes thin shots. Is it more complicated than just being conscious of trying to maintain that angle or perhaps finding another path into the ball that helps maintain that angle? Thanks for all your hard work!
The worst thing you can do is TRY to keep the angle. The only way you retain it is by keeping your arms, wrists, and hands soft on the club and moving your body in the proper sequence. This is a term we hear all the time (sequence) and it can be very confusing. The best way to think of sequence is to remember that the weight should always precede the movement of the club. In other words, your weight moves slightly into the right thigh and then your club should start back away from the ball. Before your arms and club have finished going back your weight should move aggressively into the left thigh. When the arms, wrists, and hands are soft and the weight moves into the left thigh first, the angle between the left arm and club will become MORE powerful. When the arms, wrists, and hands are tight on the club and they begin the downswing before the weight moves, you will lose the angle and all of your potential power.
Andrea asks at 12:30:
Brady, what do you think of my swing? I posted a video and got some feedback from you a long time ago and have worked on my swing a lot since then. 9 iron:

5 iron:

I'm working on my finish as I don't like its look with the short irons. Here is my objective opinion. At this point, I think your speed and athleticism is fantastic during the swing and could take you to great places as a player. On the other hand, I think some of your mechanics are flawed, some seriously, which will hold you back until they are cleaned up. Here is a laundry list of things to work on. At address you carry your hands too high and your weight is sitting back in your heel excessively. This combination of errors leads to a club that is excessively inside in the takeaway, a halfway-back position that is too flat, and an inevitable steepening of the shaft during the transition. With the weight in your heels at address, your body is forced to lean closer to the ball during the swing than it started, forcing your tush off the line and your body to become to vertical through impact. This makes it difficult for your left elbow to get down in front of your left hip approaching impact, creating a blocked or trapped arm position. The clubface also appears to be a bit shut during the swing. I can't tell from the video if this is caused solely from a bowed right wrist at the top or if your grip is also a bit strong, but it is an issue. Having said all that, the fact is you can fix all of these issues fairly quickly and improve your game dramatically if you work on them in the proper ORDER. This means start with the grip, the hand height at address and your weight more in the ball of your feet. Once these are better proceed to the takeaway which will help the shape of the backswing and prevent the steepening of the shaft coming down. The proper posture at address and the improved takeaway and backswing should greatly improve your trapped arm coming down without even trying, and your finish will come along for the ride. When you screw up the start, the rest is doomed. Work on the basics at the set-up and you will see your entire motion improve dramatically.

Ben asks at 12:13:
Brady, what are your thoughts on a swing where the club comes left after hitting the ball and comes around to a flatter finish? I think this a better way to swing that the classic down-the-line swing. It seems many Tour player now have this swing. My swing has always ended up going down the line after hitting the ball and come more vertical on the follow-through. I've tried many times to get a more rounded follow-through and I'm not quite sure the best way to go about it. I end up with a lot of pulls when I try to really stay over the ball. What are some things to focus on? Body rotation through the ball? How do you swing left on the follow-through with out coming across the ball? I don't have a recent video to show you but here is one I've posted here a while ago that is still representative of the problem I'm describing.

I remember seeing this swing. I think the "going left" thing after impact is all the rage right now. I agree that the swing that is more around the body is better on many levels than the down the-line swing, but don't discount how many great players have played more up and down. The problem with the swing you sent is that your hips move too much laterally coming down to produce anything but a more vertical exit of the club. This begins with your pivot going back and continues with the lack of rotation in your left knee as you start down. This may seem complicated, but I will show you some pictures that will help. One last thing, your head stays down way too long past impact making it impossible for your body to move through properly.
Kneehip
Steve asks at 12:00:
Brady, I used to be a lights out wedge player-basically from 80 yards in. I recently lost 40 pounds and the wedge game went with it. I now have no consistency and even hit the shots fat. I know the loss of girth has probably changed my swing. Please help. Thanks so much.
You aren't the first player who lost a bunch of weight and struggled. The simple fact is that shots requiring a deft touch require constant practice and repetition. When your body changed, your feel for these shots changed with it. The solution isn't to go back to the ice cream shop but to improve the mechanical problem that is causing your poor contact. In other words, don't blame the weight loss, blame the swing.
When the wedge shots are fat there are three typical problems to check. The first and most common issue is with the clubface. If you are trying to keep the face to "square" during your abbreviated swing it can cause the leading edge of the club to "dig" as it makes contact with the turf. The next issue is the angle the club is attacking the ball. If the angle becomes too steep, the club can easily find the ground before the ball. The last thing to check is your commitment level to moving THROUGH the ball to the finish. It is critical to your success with the wedges to make sure your chest continues to move to the finish. This is a simple thought Nick Faldo used and it is a fantastic way to improve your contact.
If it continues to be a problem, send in some video of yourself hitting wedges and we will get it cleaned up.

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