Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. Leave your question or video for Brady in the comments section below. Welcome to the Tuesday instruction blog. Hopefully you have all received this month's issue of Golf Magazine and read the article on "How to Break 80 in Six Weeks." We are looking for a few brave souls to follow the plan and chart the progress here on the blog. If you are interested please send in an email with your name, your lowest-ever score and goals for your game to editor@golfmag.com. Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. I look forward to next week's blog and working with those of you who volunteer to take part in the Break 80 Challenge. Bill asks at 1:20: Hello Brady, I really enjoy this post. I've been working on eliminating the left shot but it has been persistent for most of my golf years. Most of my shots are 10-15 yard pulls to the right or a hard pull hook on my drives. I have tried going to an ultra weak grip but i can still pull it pretty easily. I'm desperate for some help. I've included a recent 9 iron swing for you review. Thanks in advance. Bill

There isn’t anything too bad, Bill. The clubface and path are both pretty good. The cause of the hooks is your pivot through impact and the resulting flip of your hands. Your upper body moves away from the target as you strike the ball, forcing your right wrist to straighten to quickly. This sends the face “wrapping around” the ball and the result is left. The shaft needs to be leaning more forward at impact to prevent the face from flipping. To accomplish this you need to get your left hip to move more away from the ball and rotate to allow your right arm to keep its bend at impact. This will keep your right wrist from straightening too quickly. Let me know how you are progressing… Dan asks at 12:55: Brady, I am looking to get a new putter. The last few years I used a mallet and it was ok, except for the soft insert and ball skidding alot. I wonder if I should go back to the blade-style anser 2 or a heel-shafted putter that I used a LONG time ago and seemed to work ok at the time. What are the advantages/disadvanteges of the different putter types? Any other thoughts you have on inserts on putters and the grooves in putters to get them to roll would be great. There are so many choices it does get confusing. I remember the first round I used a putter with roll-face technology, it was awful. I couldn’t stop running the ball past the hole. Despite the fact that the roll was better, I eventually went back to my old Arnold Palmer “the Original” because I could control the speed much easier. Rather than go into all the details about the different putters, ask yourself the question if my life depended on it which putter would you choose to make a 5 footer. That is the style of putter you should pick. When it comes to the technology there is no better way to figure it out than to putt with all of the different inserts. Obviously if you putt on slow greens the roll-face technology will help you far more than on super-fast greens. Like all equipment issues you need to experiment. Stephen asks at 12:43: Excited for the new season and working to improve my grip. Can you explain the proper placement of the back hand (left for me as a lefty)? I have been placing the shaft on the middle knuckles of the middle two fingers and then wrapping the hand around. Should it naturally cover the thumb on my other hand and should my back palm face the target? Thanks, always love reading the input. As a lefty, your left index finger should be on the trailing side of the handle with your palm facing the target while covering your right thumb. If your right hand isn’t on the club properly it will be very difficult to place your left hand on in the correct place. Make sure you focus on the entire grip. Here is a picture to help you see how the hands should look at address. Your grip doesn’t have to look exactly like this, but get it close. Griphowell James asks at 12:28: How can I properly get more pivot compression on the backswing and downswing and still retain max coil in the correct places (i.e., squatting into the ground)? Without seeing your swing it is obviously difficult to pinpoint where your pivot is less than ideal. The best analogy I can give you for how the pivot functions through impact is that of rebounding a basketball. To become ballistic through impact you need to load or engage your legs during the transition. As a basketball player would squat into the ground to jump, you need to feel the same compression into the ground as you start the downswing. There must also be some lateral motion in the direction of the target and then rotation away from the ball before the left leg posts up at impact. How much and when can change based upon flexibility, strength, athletic ability, ball-flight, and the club you are hitting. If you can send in a link to your swing I can give you more specific instructions. Dave asks at 12:18: Always good tips, that's why I always read! Any tips/drills you can suggest to get the proper body/muscle sequencing to promote an in to out swing would be appreciated. I tend to cut across the ball and even if I could level it off a little I feel I could hit the ball much straighter and farther. Thanks! Glad you always follow it. Keep in mind that most people cut across the ball BECAUSE it makes the ball go closer to the target than coming from the proper path. The reason it helps some players is because the clubface is open, making it very difficult to keep the ball from going to the right. Cutting across the ball or coming over the top as some call it helps the ball start more left, making the result more effective than attacking on the proper path. I would highly recommend you get the clubface at least square, if not slightly closed through improving your grip and/or flattening your left wrist at the top of the backswing. When you get the face square, cutting across the ball will only produce a pull. This provides the motivation to come more from the inside as it will make the ball go more toward the target. Fix the face first, and your sequence and path issues will become much easier to adjust. Gerry asks at 12:00 Great blog Mr Riggs. I like to play with an open stance and do it with accuracy but not distance. Any tips to get more distance with all the clubs? Thank you. Thanks for the question, Gerry. The open stance shouldn’t be a reason for you to lose distance. There are several areas to look at that may be the cause of your problem. The easiest place to start is with your equipment. Make sure that you have clubs that have been properly fit for you so that isn’t the issue. Once that has been ruled out you need to look at your sequence of motion. If your arms are leading the motion into the ball, you will lose speed. Make sure your body moves in the direction of the target before your arms and you will be moving in the proper, most powerful sequence possible.  

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