Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady this week, be sure to check back on Tuesday for another edition of Ask Brady Riggs Live! Thanks to everyone for your questions, comments, and videos. Sorry I couldn't get  to everyone. Get your posts in early next wek so I can help you fix your issue. Thanks again and have a great week. Jan Lernfelt asks at 1:50: Working on getting the ball start more online or slightly to the right and drawing back. Like I've said in a previous post I've always hit pull fades, which has worked, but obviously I've had problems hitting draws.
I am starting to get the path right now but still loosing balls to the right - which makes this a club face problem, yes? Also this is causing some distance loss.
To solve this I must close the face somehow but I have gathered as much info to understand that excessive rotating of the arms and wrists can cause timing problems. So either I take away the club with very little rotation like Dustin Johnson and just slam the clubface down, or I try to rotate more and think of the left forearm short and right fore arm long, a la Azingers golfplan videos. Any thoughts on the swing overall?
Here's a vid om me hitting an 8-iron down the line. Thanks for your time, love the podcast! Glad you liked the podcast. The issue is that the clubface is actually too CLOSED and the path is too steep on the downswing. It is not a good idea to release a closed clubface through impact and next to impossible if the path is steep. You need to allow the face to rotate during the takeaway so the leading edge is perpendicular to the ground by the height seen here. Jan The club is also slightly left of your hands as you approach the top of the swing. It is nearly impossible to get the club on a shallower angle of attack when you are sin this position. Getting the face more square and the club lined up better as you approach the top will naturally shallow out the club in the transition and allow you to extend the club out and away from you from impact into the release. This will make the face rotation automatic and produce the shot shape you are looking for. Get away from the closed face takeaway first then work on the position of the club at the top. Keep me posted. Joe asks at 1:30: Thanks for doing this every week. It has really helped me with understanding my golf swing better. I sent you my swing about a year ago and got to work on the things you told me could use some improvement. Since then I have made a big leap in my overall ballstriking. Here is a video that shows my swing last July compared to now. Three of my big focuses have been 1. having a one-piece takeaway without rolling my hands and clubface open 2. shortening my backswing 3. staying on that tush line.
So here it is, let me know what you think! (Sorry that the camera is a little close) Thanks. Thanks for showing the before and after! It’s always fun to look at the progress you make when working on the right things. The improvement is impressive in every aspect of your swing. The Tush line is no longer an issue. The adjustments you need to make are very subtle. The takeaway is a bit inside your hands. This takes the club a little too deep and flat as you work towards the top. The problem with this is the natural momentum of the shape of your swing will create a steeper than ideal downswing angle. This makes the natural release of the club very difficult which can be seen as your clubface exits your body slightly open. The advice at this point would be to improve the takeaway by getting the club inline or slightly outside your hands. This will get the club working more up and less in making it much easier to work the club down on the proper angle. Check out the pictures of AK to see a more neutral shape. AKback Tom asks at 1:14: This is really a great service. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer questions. I would like to submit a video so I could get more precise advice from you. I notice that many of those who post on here have slow motion swing shots. I do not have a video camera that can slow it down like that. Would you still be able to get a decent feel for my swing if it was not in slow motion? Or, how do you suggest I get a shot in slow mo? Your help is greatly appreciated. Send it in however you can. If you can give me a face on and down the line view that would be great. If you can include a close up of your grip that would be even better. I look forward to seeing it.   JP asks at 1:10: Brady.... Very specific question here. One video is a practice swing and one is a swing hitting a ball (of course they are different!!). My question is on the downswing hitting a ball, I can't keep the shaft from flattening out. On the practice swing, I like the downswing path quite a bit. What am I doing in the real swing that flattens out the downswing so much?
Thanks.. JP The path with the practice swing is a bit too far above the plane but obviously different than your regular swing. I still believe that if you improve upon your pivot, specifically where your tush is through impact and how your hips are rotating to get you there the club will line up properly all by itself. The basic idea being that the shape of your swing is pretty sound but your body is forcing the club down and behind you as you approach impact. I agree that the club is better on your practice swing but so is your pivot. If the pivot of your body gets cleaned up the club will be where it should be. Check out the reply I gave to the first question today about how to practice keeping the Tush line and let me know how it goes. Seph asks at 1:00: I am working hard to "hit down" at the golf ball more to keep my hands ahead of the clubface on my downswing. What do you recommend in the way of practice or actually trying to do this better and more often when I'm swinging? I wouldn’t recommend TRYING to hit down. If you are moving your weight in the direction of the target, swinging the club on the proper path, keeping some softness in the arms to create a little lag, and allowing the club to let go you should hit the ground. There is the small matter of having a good address position and maintaining some forward bend during the swing but that isn’t that difficult. If you take care of the fundamentals of swinging the club properly you will find the ground in front of the ball without “trying” to. Phil J asks at 12:34: Brady ... love the blog. Great reading for those of us that are fortunate enough to have internet access in the workplace.
My question is this ... I have a bit of an "odd" move at the start of my backswing. At setup, my head is tilted away from the target at about a 30 to 45 degree angle. So my eye alignment, is closed and looking inside to out with regards to the target line. At the beginning of my swing, my first move is to almost straighten my head out. As the club starts back, my head tilts towards to the target. This seems to get my in an awkward position and make it difficult for me to turn my shoulders and seems to limit my weight shift.
My question is this ... what is the proper eye alignment at address? Should my eyes be square to the target line like my feet, knees, hips, shoulders? Secondly, have you seen this type of move before and what kind of difficulties or faults does it cause.
In all of the reading and watching I've done on the internet about the golf swing, I have only seen this move discussed in one other place. It was mentioned in that piece that this teacher had seen it in someone who was told to keep their head absolutely still. So to combat the natural turning and shift of the head backwards during the backswing, the student tilted his head towards the target in an effort to "keep it still".
Any thoughts? You are right eye dominant, welcome to the club. I see this tilt every time I look at video of my own swing. Yes, it is very common. No, you shouldn’t try to be perfectly square at address because it is way too difficult. However, if you don’t get it a bit more neutral you will try to find a more “centered” position during the takeaway which will drive your head in the direction of the target and make shifting your weight and turning properly impossible. So….get the head tilted only a little so you can allow your head to shift AWAY from the target during the backswing. When done properly your pivot going back will allow you to make a more dynamic shift in the direction of the target as you begin the downswing. This is the exact opposite position you are currently in as your weight is positioned over your front foot and your spine is tilted towards the target. Even in my pictures you will see the inevitable shift from a bit of tilt to more tilt at impact. This is a better direction to go than over-tilted to less-tilted. You can’t run from right eye-dominance, embrace it. Eyes Doug asks at 12:16: I struggle with a push-slice that ranges from slightly off to "goodbye ball." After over a year of trying to fix it, I think I've realized that my biggest problem is getting the clubface square at impact. Do you have any pointers on something I could do with my grip, backswing, etc. to make sure I square the clubface at impact and get rid of this awful push-slice? Thanks! The push slice is easily the most painful shot in golf. While the shank feels awful and is embarrassing, the push-slice tends to go OB and hit houses, cars, livestock, etc. The problem is the combination of a path that is slightly to severely inside and a clubface that is open to that path. You could fix the face and possibly see an improvement, but it’s not a sure thing. This can be done by strengthening the grip, flattening the left wrist at the top, and/or turning the toe harder and earlier at the bottom of the swing. However, this may not be the answer. Often times the body is hanging so far back and the right side has become so over-tilted that there is no amount of closing the clubface that will prevent the dreaded push-slice. If you are unable to kill the shot by fixing the face there is another way to go. I would recommend you try to keep the length in the right side of your torso on the downswing, through impact, into the release and finally to the finish. This will allow the clubface to rotate through more naturally and help the path get up on top of the plane. Think of the swings of Rocco Mediate and Annika as examples of how to do it. If you can send me some video I can give you more specific advice. < Bill asks at 12:00: I’ve posted in the past and really appreciate all the help and advice you give to the participants. Your answers are well thought out, descriptive and in depth something I didn’t expect from a busy Pro. Thanks. I have been working on getting rid of the persistent pull shot. You suggested sliding toward the target which allows you to attack the ball from the inside. I’ve had some success but a wild pull creeps in on both the driver and irons. Also and I’m not sure if it is an issue, my right foot is up off the ground at impact. The photos of you swing in Golf shows you more flat footed at impact. I also bend the left arm at the top. Finally, what’s a good guide to determine if you are standing too close to the bal as I think I might be. I’ve included a few swings for you review and comment. Thanks again for all the help. Bill Thanks for the kind words about the blog Bill. I wouldn’t worry about the bent left arm at the top. I would rather it be soft and slightly bent than locked out and straight. Locked out and tight arms are always slow. You are definitely getting your weight and the bottom of the swing towards the target on the downswing by incorporating some lateral motion. The issue is with your tush line. You are having trouble keeping your tush on the line during the downswing, into impact, and during the release. When your tush moves towards the ball as you work through impact your left hip can’t rotate properly. This makes it impossible for the club to track enough to the “left” and forces it up and off the plane. Your hands will try to compensate by rolling the clubface during impact, the source of your shots missing left. It is a challenge to maintain contact with the line and move the proper amount laterally towards the target. When done properly your back foot can come off the ground at impact, but it shouldn’t be on your toe until you near the finish. Look at the back foot of AK, Davis Love III, and Annika to see a cross-section of age and gender with great footwork. The best way to work on this is near a wall without a club. Take your address position with your tush about 3 inches away from a wall. On the backswing allow your right “cheek” to push back against the wall. As you start your downswing get both “cheeks” against the wall and slide laterally a couple of inches to the target. At impact, only your left “cheek” should be against the wall with your leg straightening. The left “cheek” should stay in contact until your hands reach shoulder height and then it too should come off as your body stands up more vertically into the finish. Work on this until you own it!! When it comes to distance from the ball the end of the handle should hang down in line with your toes while the weight is positioned in the balls of your feet. If your weight starts in your heel you will have NO chance of maintaining the Tush line.

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