Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesdaday noon EST to answer readers' swing questions and analyze their swing videos. He'll be back the same time next week to answer all your questions, so get those videos ready! David asks at 12:50:

I posted my swing a couple of weeks ago and you mentioned that I needed to get the club more open during the swing in order to release fully. My grip, however, is already on the weak side of neutral. What drills/feels would be best to get the clubface in a more open position?

If the grip isn't the source of the closed clubface, then your left wrist is the problem area. The best way to feel the club in a more open position is to get your left thumb to feel like it is directly under the handle and supporting the club at the top of the backswing. With your thumb in this position, your left wrist will have a bend or slight cup in it at the top. This will solve the problem of the closed face at the top and make it easier to release the club fully through impact.
Thanks for your questions and comments this week. I look forward to hearing from all of you next week. Joe asks at 12:34: Thanks for the putting question, Joe, we don't get enough of them on the blog. I am a big fan of whatever works on the green. I have seen great putters put straight back and through, arc, left hand low, saw, claw, croquet, side-sadle, putt with a belly, putt with a long putter, not to mention Aoki... Like so many things in golf trying to teach any ONE WAY does a disservice to a large population of players. When things aren't working conventionally, it is the teacher's responsibility to change course and put the player into a technique that will work for them. This can require some outside-the-box thinking, but that is what makes teaching so rewarding.
In my opinion the set-up position is the most important fundamental of putting consistently. This doesn't mean all players must set-up the same, but their set-up must match their stroke. For example, if the player is going to putt straight back and straight through with the face remaining square they will be more successful with their stance narrower and slightly open because it allows their arms and hands to track further toward the hole after impact without clubface rotation. These players are often right-eye dominant and feel more comfortable with a short putter. If the player is going to arc, their address should be very neutral with the elbows bent close to the same amount, their feet, knees,hips, shoulders, and EYE LINE parallel to the putting line. This gives them the best chance to release the putter properly during impact. The basic idea is there are many ways to be successful on the greens, but you need to understand your mechanics and how they are complementing your philosophy.
Thanks for the kind words about the blog, I love doing it.There is an old, simple drill for helping you get the club more UP after the takeaway that will give you a good feel for where the backswing should be going. Stand about 2-4 inches away from a vertical wall (garage door works well) with your tush facing the wall. When you get to the club parallel to the ground position during the backswing, your next move would normally have the club clattering into the wall. The wall provides the motivation to get the club working more vertically and less around. When done properlly, the club should miss the wall entirely and travel up and over your shoulder into a solid top of backswing position. Not only will this help your plane, but the proper angle of the club working up will enable your wrists to function correctly helping you achieve a more square clubface position.
Brandon asks at 12:00: Thanks for the credit, I'll take it where I can get it. Any advice you get either from a magazine or elsewhere should be taken with a grain of salt. In many cases, the advice given may be the exact opposite of what you need. Tha author of the article is also important to take note of. If it is written by a teacher who is known for teaching a different style than you are using it might be a good idea to skip that article. In any case, you always have the blog to answer your questions.

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