Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for Brady, please join him next Tuesday for another episode of Ask Brady Riggs Live! Welcome to the Tuesday Instruction blog. Let's get things going... Tony Ortiz asks at 3:20: Please help, Brady. I really have trouble "turning" my hands properly through impact. It seems that if I emphasize it, I hit a dead pull left. If I don't, I either slice or pull it to the right. I do hit some straight shots but not enough to add up to a good score. It's very frustrating and feel like my time at the range is lost. Any tips or drills that you can suggest that would help me do this on a consistent basis? I truly hope you can help me since all of the articles I've read and "advice" I've gotten doesn't seem to help. I really need to see your grip Tony. The fact is that it is impossible to try to perfectly time the release of your hands through impact. You can’t micromanage the release. If your hands are on the club properly and the wrists haven’t become unusually bent the clubface should be in a position where you can let go at the bottom and it will “square up” properly. Please send in a picture of your grip and if you can, a video of your swing so I can give you the proper direction to fix your issue. Nick asks at 1:00: I posted a few weeks ago asking about your TGM background. I appreciate your response and found it very interesting to read. I too am a fan of Gregg Mchatton's teachings after watching some of his interviews and instructional videos. I had also posted on here previously about the different ways the club could exit after impact (low and left release and a more down the line release) and whether or not one should try to maintain a flat left wrist after impact. I believe you posted photos of Tiger and Annika having down the line release in your response.
The reason I bring this back up is that I found some differing opinions on the release between yourself and Mr. Mchatton. In his video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEfetthQU9w, he clearly advocates swinging left. Is this just one of the areas where you depart from his teachings/preferences? Would like to hear your thoughts on his explanation and some of the potential problems one might have while trying to incorporate his release style. I don’t disagree with much in that video from Gregg. His description of what most amateurs do when they start down is right on and why I think “trying” to swing left usually makes players worse. When a player tries to swing “out” they usually swing better, and the club ends up going left when it should, after impact. It isn’t my preference to maintain my impact alignments too far after impact. It has been my experience that “trying” to keep the flat left, bent alignment of the wrists too long creates tension and inhibits the natural “throw” that should be a part of all releases. You can learn a great deal watching the videos of Gregg. In my opinion he is one of the two or three best teachers ever. JP asks at 2:50: Brady... I have the same question as another post. I cannot stop hitting the ground with my driver... help... sorry I only have 1 angle of video.
I’m still not happy with your posture and ability to maintain the tush line. You are too bent over at address and lose your posture and tush line during the backswing. I would like to see you start taller with the weight more toward the balls of your feet and not in your heels. It is easy to look at the swing and blame what is an obvious loop for the poor contact, but your posture should be fixed first as it will have an effect on the rest of the swing. Paula asks at 2:40: Can you please recommend a drill to work on swing rhythm? If I take the club back super slow on the backswing I seem to come over the top; too fast and I lose my balance. I'm just hoping to find the right pace and no matter how much I work on swinging at different rhythms it at the range I've been unsuccessful with finding a rhythm that works for me. Rhythm is a word I rarely use on the range. Instead I like to focus on the sequence of motion. If you are working in the right order you will have good rhythm. I have extremely good players I work with who are all over the spectrum when it comes to rhythm and tempo. However, they all work in the proper sequence. As far as drills go the step drill to begin the downswing is a good way to develop the proper sequence of motion. Start with your normal address position and before you take the club away move your front foot next to your back foot. Take your backswing and BEFORE you reach the top of the swing step your front foot back to its original spot to start your downswing. This is always most effective off a short tee with a 7-iron and a slower-than-normal swing. The idea is to get used to working back to the target before completing the backswing. Give it a try and let me know the results. Jason asks at 2:30: Hi Brady.... Sorry but no video today. What a few things to try when you are hitting the ground 12 inches behind the ball with a driver. This has also crept into my 3W and hybrid. Irons are Ok. My only swing thought, which is a bad one, is to not hit the ground with the driver. That is definitely a problem. The first couple things I would suggest are in the address. First make your stance a bit narrower and try to get your shoulders more level in the address position. I am assuming you are bottoming out behind the ball with the driver because you are “drop kicking” it. Narrowing the stance and eliminating the excess tilt in your shoulders will help! The next step would be to actually make some practice swings where you hit the ground in front and to the left of where the ball would be. This will help the club stay “up” and “on top” of the plane, making striking the ball before the ground much easier. The final step if this doesn’t work is to hit some balls off of your knees. This may sound strange but if you drop below plane from your knees you will hit the ground so far behind the ball the club will bounce over it. When you can hit it from your knees you will have no problem hitting it solid from your feet. Gerry asks at 2:23: To create lag should I start moving my hips before the backswing is completed. What is your opinion on creating more lag. Thank you You’re instincts are correct, Gerry. You need to be “double-directional” at the top of the swing to create more lag in the swing. “Double-directional” is a fancy way of saying that while the arms and club are finishing the backswing the WEIGHT needs to moving in the opposite direction toward the target. This really is the definition of “lag” as the arms and club are coming to impact after the body. Some players fall in love with the idea of creating maximum lag during the swing. I remember talking to Ben Doyle about this and when I asked him if you can ever have too much lag he said, “Can you ever have too much love?” However, if you tilt excessively in the right side and lose your ability to cover the ball your ballstriking can go south. Working on your sequence of motion is a great way to increase the “lag” in your swing without getting too caught up in the “look.” Get the weight to go to the target before you finish the backswing, keep the hands and arms soft, and post up on the front leg and you will increase your speed dramatically. Dave asks at 2:13: Been steadily improving and like where I'm headed this year so far. Part of that is without a doubt because of some of the info you've shared with me. Much appreciated.
I'm in a good place mentally on the course and have gotten much better at staying in the present moment and only dealing with one shot at a time (zen golf and zen putting had a lot to do with that). I've been hitting my driver well and ever since improving my grip I have gone from a weak slice, to a relatively straight ball flight with a slight fade. When I'm not hitting it well though, I'm hitting straight pulls. This then affects my mental process on the next tee box wondering if I'm going to hit that pull again and the doubt creeps in, which as you know almost always leads to a bad shot. I promise I'll post some videos soon, but any insight as to why I'm hitting those pulls? thanks! Glad to hear you are getting better. The grip change sounds like it has made a significant improvement in the clubface position during the swing. The face has moved from open to nearly square and made the ball flight stronger while reducing curve. The pull is usually the result of the path still attacking the back, or the outside-back of the ball instead of the inside-back of the ball. This can come from different sources but the best fix is to work on getting the club to attack the proper quadrant of the ball. Some players can get results by trying to work on keeping the shoulders closed longer, shifting the hips more towards the target in the transition, keeping the hands closer to the right hip coming down, etc. The best place to start is to try to start the ball to the right of the target. It sounds simple, but the solution can be that easy. Let me know how it’s going. Peyton asks at 2:00: Hi Brady!!! You have helped me out tremendously and I enjoy your blog!!!! Well, I think I am finally getting my tush to stay on the tushline!!! I have attached a video to see what you think?!?! If you agree that I have, what is the next aspect I should work on? You previously told me that my backswing was to flat... I have worked on it but it hasn't seemed to take affect yet. Could it be that I need a little steeper shoulder turn?
Thanks for all your HELP!!!! Glad you enjoy the blog. The tush line does look better but you are still coming off it as you near the top of the swing. I would like to see you load up a bit more in your back heel as you near the top instead of moving the weight towards the toes of your front foot at the end of the backswing. The next step would be to work on the “shape” of your backswing. Your hands and arms get too far away from you during the takeaway and as a result force the club into a flat position at the halfway back. If you got your hands to stay closer to you during the takeaway and maintained the slight bend in your right wrist established at address the club would work more “up” and the face would stay square. Here are a couple of pictures to help you see the difference.