Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online today at 4 p.m. EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. Leave your question or video for Brady in the comments section below. Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. Sorry I couldn't get to everyone. Next week we will have some cool stuff on the blog regarding an upcoming story in the Golf Magazine. Please check back then..... Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Instruction Blog. For those of you new to the blog we get together every week to discuss all things golf instruction from the specific problems in your game, teaching methods, PGA Tour techniques, and just about anything else that comes to mind. Let's get the blog started... Tom asks at 5:40: I’d like to express thanks for the advice and clear blueprint you supplied me for hook remedies, back on September 21st, which I’ve spent some time applying—and with which I have significantly reduced my tendency to miss left. For me, eliminating the hook could mean the difference between being a five or six, versus close to scratch. Today I have a question on short pitching. Given that my two main goals here in the 10-35 yard range are solidity of contact and predictability of trajectory (and roll), which technique of the following do you prefer (?): A) A relatively vertical, descending downswing, with the lowest point in the swing 4 or 5 inches post-impact, or B) A flatter, more gradual angle of descent into the ball with a more level “flat spot” through impact, followed—after impact—by a more upward, ascending motion of the club head. Both techniques have been endorsed by the various teaching pros, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Moreover, what are your preferences concerning the role of the upper body and arms here? Your blog, which I’ve been following closely, is both innovative and interactive; it breaks ground in teaching golf on the web. Safe to say that major competing websites—your conterparts—offer nothing comparable. I wanted to add that the points you’ve made on the Tiger “method” issue are all well-taken. Those recent respondents on the blog who, ludicrously, have taken you to task for addressing Tiger’s problems head-on (In what other way can it be done?) all lack mental clarity, to say it charitably. They fail to distinguish between fact and opinion, not realizing, apparently, that you are attacking the ideas, which are always fair game, and not the professional integrity of the man (Foley). I hope you will continue with your incisive and—yes—honest analysis of Tiger’s current swing troubles. Dropping almost weekly now in the rankings while struggling to recapture his long game, the greatest golfer to ever walk on Earth now walks a misguided path. But Stack and Tilt, yet another method-based approach (and one likely destined for the same scrap bin now filled by a score of others in this modern era), won’t be his redeemer. If Tiger were to choose a method-based approach, why would he not go to something more reliable and fully proven, such as the still-relevant Golfing Machine? I can think of at least ten nationally known instructors who support its general principles. On the other hand, he could find, easily, another teacher—preferably less method-based—who has taught successfully some of the very best. Or he could look, Hogan-like, for the secret “in the dirt.” At any rate, thank you for sticking to the facts and above all for getting at the essence of the issue. Thank you for the positive feedback and support. Anyone who knows me will tell you I won’t change my style for anyone. When you mention I am not criticizing the person but the method you are correct. As you probably know I have learned a great deal from TGM because it ISN’T a method but instead a reference. I agree that Tiger should find someone who will help him rediscover himself. He has never been able to do it alone so that may not be possible. When it comes to the short pitches question I vote for B. I want the sole of the club to work off the top of the grass instead of the leading edge digging into it. I think your distance control, trajectory control, consistency of spin, and quality of miss are all far better when coming in shallower. There are times to attack on a steeper angle with the pitches, but they are few and far between and can be done when necessary, not as the bread and butter shot. If you would have asked me that question 10 years ago I would have given you a different answer, but I continue to learn as a teacher and change when I see a better way. I use this strategy when chipping as well, it is so much more consistent it shocks me. Thanks again for your post.
Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FU5RyfiD Dk asks at 5:20: awesome blog, helpful info every time. just wanted some of your thoughts on putting in regards to confidence, consistency and the mental aspects of it. a lot of thought and time go in to the full swing, when in reality all of us need to spend more time on the short game. Your thoughts? People need to spend time on their entire game. Get better at the bad stuff and keep the good stuff. I have never seen a good putter who didn’t think they were a good putter. I have seen many good strokes not produce good results, and many bad strokes produce great results.  What does this mean? Well, the simple fact is good putters believe, bad putters don’t. If you don’t have confidence in your putting you can’t get it by just thinking you’re good, you need to believe in it by practicing. The mindset that seems to produce the best results is not caring if the ball goes in. Stop trying to make putts and instead focus on having a good routine start to finish with the goal making a relaxed stroke with a good roll on the ball. The result is out of your hands, so don’t let it determine your success or failure. Just do the routine and let it go.   Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FU2xGdwR Joe asks at 5:10: I have a consistent problem of "coming over the top" with my swing. Really effects my driver the most resulting in low left sever pulls. Do you have any drills and swing thoughts to help with this problem? If you read the answer I gave to Ted at the beginning of the blog you will get it. You MUST be able to start the ball right of the target line while aiming your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders parallel to the target line. Don’t hit the back of the ball, hit the inside back and “feel” as if you are starting the ball well right of the target. In baseball terms start the ball over the second baseman’s head, not the 3rd base coach! Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FU0pioJK   Rob asks at 4:55: During the downswing I drop my right shoulder towards my hip, dropping the club well below plane and swinging too much from in to out and causing big hooks or a straight push. Any tips or drills that will help keep me from dropping the right shoulder at the start of the down swing? The right shoulder will drop if the left hip drives too far towards the target. Keep your left hip further from the target than your left knee on the downswing. This will help you rotate your lower body properly and prevent the excessive slide that leads to your problem of too much tilt. Here is a picture to help you. Slidevturn Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FTw0PFik Jack asks at 4:45: Last time I submitted videos, you suggested I worked on the pivot by trying to push my backbone towards the target from halfway back, and maintaining my tushline in the downswing.
Here are a couple of new vids. Should I stick to your earlier suggestions, or focus on something else?
Thanks!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn0FPREQejM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hllVDo3s6Wg Glad to see the swing again Jack. Your tushline issue has improved but needs a bit more attention. The face-on view still shows your issue in the transition of moving your head and shoulders to the target before your lower body. I would like to see this be your main area of focus. Here is a picture to help you visualize. Elsstartdown Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FTrpDVsp Casey asks at 4:19: Thanks for all the knowledge. I was wondering if you could give me some tips on my swing. I want to try to improve my impact position and get closer to AK in the way he matches his back swing and down swing planes. Here are some swing vids: 3 wood DTL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzmkvAuM9YA Driver face on: http://www.youtube.com/user/tm6862#p/a/u/2/EEfbPDUvmdA Iron DTL: http://www.youtube.com/user/tm6862#p/u/4/zEdR-Km_ID8 Driver DTL: http://www.youtube.com/user/tm6862#p/u/3/76c7d3NcJPE I think the swing has many positive aspects. I would like to see your lower body quiet down as it has too much action in it going back and coming down. In terms of matching your backswing and downswing lines there are several steps you can take to get things cleaner. I would like to see you stand closer to the ball at address. When your arms hang away from you at address they are likely to come in closer during the takeaway. When you combine this with overactive hips you are likely to get your arms and the club too deep as you work towards the top of your swing. Too deep going up requires a shift out and away starting down, which is what I see in your swing. If you clean up the address and slow down the hip rotation the club will work more up instead of in, making it easier to match your lines going up and coming down. Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FTm2s4lA   Tim asks at 4:10: You told me to repost my question here and you’d get to me ( and travis) first. So here goes. I live up north so I haven’t been able to hit balls and see my ballflight or ball contact. I’ve been working on my swing all winter but I think on the wrong things.I flew down south to play golf with some buddies and needless to say I hit it horrible. Lots of chunks and shots off the toe. Also couldn’t hit a draw to save my life . I triedJespecially with the driver. A lot of blocks and power slices  working on getting some more lateral movement in my backswing like you suggested but I ended up hitting it a lot worse, I seemed to hit it much better staying more centered. I got some video and I can see where some problems lie. In the backswing I get across the line and the clubface is shut, then on the way down im steep in my transition. I know if I can get my backswing cleaned up it will help with my transition and downswing/impact position. As you know Im a huge fan of Ak’s overall game and especially his golf swing. I’ve read a lot of your past posts on keeping the cup in the left wrist throughout your takeaway and backswing but I think Im struggling a lot on after the takeaway. If you could take a look at the videos I posted and help me achieve a better backswing position/motion similar to AK(and your junior students) I’d be so grateful. Thanks again for everything that you do here and sorry for the essay haha! 8 iron dtl- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-RuAWQrzeI 8 iron fo- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Wv0dM44m0 Driver dtl- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbOeYB7xbao Driver fo- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R72wDKlf19I Thanks for reposting your question. No worries on the essay, the background helps. The fact that you are hitting it worse when working on your pivot tells me the club isn’t great yet. I agree that the clubface is a bit closed at the top and you are getting steep in the transition. I would work on these areas first before getting too involved with the pivot. The chunks, toe shots, power slices, and lack of a draw are screaming STEEP! I see you are copying AK’s toe in address position. This requires a great deal of flexibility so make sure you are up to it. I agree that you need to maintain some more cup in your left wrist at the top as it will help the face become square at the top. When the wrist maintains some cup at the top it makes it significantly easier to get the club shallower in the transition. When you have worked on the wrist and gotten the club in a better place, then you can focus on the issues with the body. I would like to see more lateral motion out of your head going back, specifically with your driver. If there is one thing that makes getting shallow difficult with the driver it is getting your head past it’s original position coming down. Moving a bit more away will make it much easier to keep your head at least even with where it began when you get to impact. Your priorities should be getting the face square, shallowing out your attack, and then fixing your pivot. Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FTefLRg8   Ted asks at 4:00: I try and swing way too hard with my driver, long irons and fairway woods. I take it to the top then unconsciously over-tighten my grip pressure and swing with my arms as fast as I can usually resulting in a shoulder turn that out races my hip turn. I know I do this but I can't stop. No matter the swing thought; i.e.; 'swing slow and easy', 'don't over-swing', 'keep your grip pressure light', 'lead with your lower body', at the moment of truth I repeat my usual death grip arm swing.
I guess I just don't trust that I can generate club head speed any other way or maybe I'm just stuck repeating old habits. I'm sure I probably have other technical issues but this is the big one.
Anything you can suggest, drills or swing thoughts to get me out of this ugly awful habit? Thanks for the question Ted. The entire golf instruction industry thrives because people don’t understand how the club is supposed to work through impact. The most common misconception in golf is that the club returns at impact to the position it was in at address, traveling down the target line with the face square to the line. If you have any belief in this at all you will use your hands too much in the transition leaving your body in the role of spectator. Be different than the average bear! Remember the shaft should be leaning forward with your hands ahead of the clubhead. The club should be attacking the inside back portion of the ball with the face “open” to the target line, square to the plane. This is the essence of great ballstriking, to not understand it is to be forever confused. Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/03/ask-brady-riggs-live-march-1-2011.html#ixzz1FTYL1fQJ

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