Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online on Tuesday at noon Eastern time to help fix your faults and analyze your swing videos. Leave your question or video link for Brady in the comments below. ***Due to a technical problem, Brady Riggs had to end his blog early today. We apologizes for the inconvenience, but he'll be back next Tuesday for another edition of Ask Brady Riggs live. If you left a video link below, Brady will answer your question next week.*** Joel Williams asks at 12:30: Brady, I have a lot of trouble on the course with mistakes and decision making. Do you recommend any things I can do to get my "mind right"? A great thing to try is making a plan for how you are going to play the golf course before the round. This sounds overly simple but here are a few wrinkles that make it work. There is the plan for how you would LIKE to play each hole and then the plan for how you are going to adjust when things go bad. This may include specifics like "punch out to the fairway when in the trees" to help you stay organized when you are struggling. The plan also includes your routine before every shot from your driver to the shortest putt. This includes the specifics of your routine (waggles, breathing, etc.) and should also address positive thinking and precise target selection. Having a plan in place and sticking to it takes the pressure off of many decision-making situations and keeps the tension level low when playing. Dan asks at 12:15: I really enjoy reading the blog and appreciate the work you do week in and week out. Here is a recent swing video, using a 7-iron. I would like to apologize ahead of time for the poor lighting, people talking and lack of a face-on view (other than that, it's pretty good).

I am playing to a 13 at the moment, but trending upward. Needless to say, I am not playing real well right now. I noticed my head moves/drops quite a bit in this video. There is a yardage sign that comes into view during the swing, yet it is not visible during address. My most common misses lately are thin shots and blocks out right. When it's good, I'll hit a nice high fade, or a lower, baby draw like the one in this video (but I don't move the ball too much in either direction unless it's a miss, in which case, I can curve it with the best of them). Some video is always better than no video. The head drop issue isn't unusual among really good players. The fact that it never goes up before going down is a good sign. The part of your swing I would like to see you improve upon is the top. Your arm-swing is very high making it necessary for you to re-route your downswing to a flatter angle to get the club working into the ball properly. While a little vertical isn't a big deal, you need to make a significant adjustment that is very hard to do consistently. A good way to think about the change is that your arms and club need to work more around you to the top and less straight up. The slight change going up will make it much easier for you to attack the ball from a more inside angle allowing the face to rotate properly through impact. LeftLefty asks at 12:00: A big thank you for doing this. I like the way you think about the swing. My question is about rotating through a shot. As a lefty, when I feel my left shoulder going through the shot, it's usually a good sign (rather than my typical hanging back and flip). But I find it hard to finish in balance when I throw the rear shoulder at it. I feel like I lunge. I seem to be more in balance and under control when I think first about rotating down and "behind me" (i.e., keeping the back facing the target longer), then when the club gets down near my hips or so, fire through impact. Does this make sense? Also, I read Hunter Mahan's swing thought of "falling toward the target" from the top of the backswing. I tried this and, boy, it was a disaster. Can you explain what he's trying to say? Thanks for the kind words about the blog. Let's deal with your shoulder issue first. The problem with "feels like" advice is that it doesn't produce reliable results. It sounds like you are trying to deal with the issue of hanging back by driving your rear shoulder around to the target. This is a strategy that can work. Another approach would be to monitor the amount of slide toward the target in your lower body during the downswing. If the hips move too far toward the target, there is no thought or feel that will get your upper body moving properly to the finish. In many cases, the problem of hanging back occurs well before the "hanging back" and happens in the transition. Without putting words in Mahan's mouth it sounds like he is talking about letting his upper body drift toward the target to begin his downswing. This keeps the lower body from moving away from the upper, the cause of the hang-back move you are fighting. As I said before, his "feel" may not work well for you. You need to find the thought and feel that produces the desired effect. Keep in mind to look at the root cause of the problem instead of focusing on the symptoms.

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