Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs is online every Tuesday at noon EST to answer readers' swing questions and analyze their swing videos. Check back next week and leave your question of video for Brady. Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. I am sorry I couldn't get to everyone, I am off to the lesson tee. I will see everyone next week on the blog. Torrensv asks at 12:52: Thanks for doing this and sharing your knowledge. My question is this: in watching JByrd this weekend he seemed to me to let the clubface "face" the ball for a long time in the backswing, then delivered it pretty much the same way. Didn't seem to square it at impact, but with a face that looked already square going into the ball. Is this an illusion or can that be achieved? Seems like it would take a lot of timing out of the golf swing. I think Ben Hogan had a similar ability, i.e. squaring up the face well before it got to the ball, then just turning through? There are some professionals who play with the face slightly open on the downswing, more with the face slightly closed and most with it very square. Each clubface position requires a different release, all can work very effectively. I will try to find some new swings of Byrd to check but the pictures I have show the face perfectly square. There have been many a good swing ruined by trying to keep the face “square” to the target line. This is true from the putter, chipping, pitching and the full swing. Here is a picture of Byrd from a while back. Craig asks at 12:35: Just a general question about hitting the more lofted wedges. I have a set of Cobra irons which run from 3 to gap wedge. I'm a good iron player and have no issues hitting my GW and PW -- along with my 7- and 8-irons they're probably my best clubs, with good distance control. I also have a 56-degree SW and a 60-degree LW, both Taylor Made in my bag. I have an awful time getting any sort of consistent contact on these clubs -- for example, it's not uncommon for me to hit three full SWs in a round, and hit them 95 yards, 70 yards and 50 yards.
I'm wondering if this is a common problem with mid-handicaps -- this disparity between the lofted wedges. Or is it a questions of these types of clubs being more difficult to hit (less forgiving), or could it be a question of greater comfort level with the weight and feel of my Cobras? Any ideas? It can be an issue with the type of clubs you are using, but most likely it is you. I would try some other clubs to see if there is a measurable improvement. At the very least you could eliminate it as an issue. One of the biggest mistakes non-professionals make with their wedges is they try to hit them too far. You should very rarely be hitting shots full with the wedges. If you go to any professional event you will see Tour players controlling the trajectory of the shot to control the distance. This is done by hitting wedges far shorter than possible to keep the height of the shot down. Not only will this help you hit the ball at a different height, it will make it significantly easier to hit the wedges solid because the swing will be shorter and the easier. Nash asks at 12:17: Hi Brady I posted my swing two weeks ago and you told me to work on a steeper shoulder turn. I had the crazy overly flat shoulder turn that made my head move up away from the target line. You said that once I worked on the steeper turn I should post another video so that we could take the next steps. I also noticed that my hands/shaft get steep on my downswing. I am aware that many things cause people to get steep so I was curious about what exactly causes me to do that.
Here is a video for down the line:
and for the front view:
Thanks again. I really appreciate you giving your time to help us. You have made some positive changes, good job. The overall shape of your swing needs work. Your hands are too far forward at address and your grip looks too strong. This leads to a takeaway that gets inside quickly, causing the backswing to become too flat going back. This almost always leads to the opposite problem on the downswing, getting too steep. This isn’t an easy problem to fix as it requires you to work on multiple parts of your golf swing at the same time. I will tell you that if you work in the order they occur, set-up, takeaway, etc., you will notice each previous fix helps the next. The last issue you have is directly related to your takeaway and that is your pivot. You tend to keep the majority of your weight on your front foot as you take the club back this keeps your head a little too centered for my taste and forces your left leg into an awkward angle during most of the swing. I have included some pictures that should help. Tom asks at 12:10: Will grip change (strong, weak, neutral) affect swing path? Yes, the grip will most certainly effect the swing path in two specific ways. First, the position of the hands on the club will change the alignment of the shoulders at address making it very influential on the path of the swing. For example, if the grip is weak the right shoulder tends to be higher and closer to the target line at address, making it more difficult to get the club attacking from the inside. The opposite is true with a strong grip. The lower shoulder at address tends to close the shoulders at address and can make it too easy to come from under the plane. The second effect of the grip on the path is the position of the clubface during the swing. If the grip is weak then the face will tend to be open, making it very likely the swing path will come from the outside to compensate. This is the exact opposite for the strong grip as it makes the face tend to be closed. If you understand the issues each grip presents, it can shed light on many of the flaws you may have in your golf swing. Henrique asks at 12:00:
Thanks for taking time every week to help us!
My question is if there's any drill to help with the transition from the backswing and with the weight transfer. Unfortunately I have no video but I'm feeling I leaving the weight on my back foot. Thanks for the question, Henrique. There is a simple way to get the feeling of moving the weight in the direction of the target before the arms and club on the downswing. This should be done first without a ball to get used to the sequence and then with a ball at a slower speed than normal. Take your standard address position then move your forward foot so it is positioned next to your back foot. Take the club away from the ball in your normal backswing, but just before you reach the top, step with your front foot back to its original position. This should help you get the confidence to move your body before your arms and hands as you start the downswing.