Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for Brady, be sure to check back next week for another edition of Ask Brady Riggs Live. Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. Sorry I couldn't get to all of them today. Please ask your question again next week. Have a good one.... Jeff asks at 1:25: thanks for the blog. My question is : how much do the hands roll on the backswing? You have mentioned before about the 1/4 turn of the hand by the time it gets to the top. I seem to have been fanning the clubface open on the way back. Reading an old Hogan book "Power Golf", he says the wrists should not roll. Did he change his mind later? The quarter turn by the Transition is critical to consistent ball striking. The vast majority of amateurs roll or rotate too much, too early in the backswing making it nearly impossible to get the arm and club lined up properly as the downswing begins. There have been many great players with little or no rotation going up to the top of the backswing that rotate or shallow out the clubshaft as the downswing begins to get the club in the proper position. Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Hal Sutton, etc. all fall into this category. I would agree with Hogan that the wrists don’t roll, it is more the entire arm from shoulder to hand that needs to have a ¼ turn. The other thing to keep in mind is that great players will always describe their golf swing as it “feels” to them. In many cases, what they feel is happening and what is actually happening aren’t the same. Mark asks at 1:14: Brady, I've recently been having success with my iron shots by exaggerating how much I lead with my hands through impact. However, I sometimes have a number of shots where the divots are just too big and I may be losing distance. I may even push the shot out to the right. Can you recommend a swing thought or move to help eliminate those flaws? Thanks As I mentioned in the previous question trying to get the hands more forward can produced some contrived results. It sounds like you have created an excessively steep angle of attack causing the deep divots. I went into some detail as to how to get the hands more forward at impact in the previous post. I would have you work on the same parts of the swing to improve the position of your hands at impact. Thomas asks at 12:47:   My main problem at the moment is that I release my club too early in the downswing, resulting in having my hands behind the ball at impact, which causes me to either (1) duck-hook it left, or (2) hit fat shots by hitting behind the ball.
Identifying my problem is not the primary issue - it's fixing the problem that has actually "been the problem." I'm not sure what the best method, swing thought, or drill is to help fix this problem. Releasing my hands early in the swing is my "natural feel" and it's not something I consciously do. Therefore, I find it difficult trying to hold off from releasing the club.
When I try to practice this (by not releasing the club and having my hands in front of the ball at impact) I tend to hit "hosel shots" causing my frustration level to sore.
Any advice on how fix releasing the club too early (and thus having my hands behind the ball at impact)?
Thanks! Love the blog. Glad you enjoy the blog. This is obviously a common problem that many players struggle with. Trying to get the hands further forward at impact by “not releasing” doesn’t really work as you have discovered. Fixing the problem requires you to improve a couple different parts of your golf swing. There are two main issues you need to resolve to get the hands further forward at impact without “trying” to get them forward. The first is in the transition. When players release early they often begin the downswing with the hands and arms instead of the body. Once the hands move before the body there is no chance to get the hands forward at impact. If the body moves first the arms and club will delay or “lag” behind creating more angle between the left arm and clubshaft as the downswing begins. When the hands move first the exact opposite happens and that angle becomes wider. The second issue has to do with your posture and it’s affect on the right forearm approaching impact. If your hips move in the direction of the ball during the downswing the right hip will block the right forearm from moving down in front of the hip as it should. This will force the release to happen early as the right arm stops. Working on your posture and your transition will go a long way to improving your golf swing and help you get rid of the early release. Lefty Mike asks at 12:30: When I stand closer to ball with the driver, it feels as if I have more power than standing farther back. Is there any validity to this? Also, I like the power standing closer to the ball delivers...However, I seem to always hook the ball when I stand closer to it. Is this normal? How can I avoid pulling or pull-hooking the ball when I stand closer to it? Thank you so much for your help and advice. There is less power standing too far from the ball than the right distance from the ball. Standing to close to the ball can present its’ own problems so it is always best to get the proper distance away so you can remain consistent. If you get too close to the ball the path can become steep and the attack more outside than it should creating the pulls and pull-hooks you are describing. There is no way I can tell a student the exact distance they should stand from the ball at address. The fine tuning of the distance from the ball can only come from work on the range. Tim asks at 12:24: Thanks so much for doing this blog. I'm having trouble staying the proper distance from the ball on the downswing. On some shots I have too much weight on my toes at impact, resulting in an off balance finish. Sometimes I have to step out with my right foot. I'm wondering if I have too much weight on my heels in the backswing and then I compensate by shifting hard to my toes. It an intermittent problem. If i stay centered, I hit the ball great. If I get towards the ball, I hit fat and have a weak cut ball flight. Any insight would be awesome. Thanks in advance. You sound like you have things figured out. When the weight starts too much in the heels it will move in the direction of the toes during the swing. This is an extremely common problem people have with their golf swing. When you get closer to the ball approaching impact your body will generally stand up to make room. Fat shot and weak cuts are common misses with this problem. If you get a bit closer to the ball and start with your weight towards your toes you will have a much easier time maintaining your center. If anything, the weight will move in the direction of your heels during the swing, a very common practice among really good players. Kyle asks at 12:14: My new miss seems to me a quick top and pull direct left, any advice on swing thoughts to help avoid that? There isn’t much to go on here but I’ll give it a shot. The combination of pull and topped shots often happens when the weight is hanging on the back foot coming through impact. When this occurs the bottom of the swing is behind the ball causing the club to move up as it makes contact with the ball. The pull can also be a result of this mistake as the clubface rotates too quickly through impact when the body is hanging back. I would focus on getting the weight into the front foot on the downswing and finishing your swing in balance over your lead leg. This will get you moving in the right direction coming down and should improve both the contact and direction of your shots. JP asks at 12:00: Working only on tush line. I was not hitting the ball solid here but I think the tush line is excellent. The club is still under plane on the downswing. Since I am too far from the ball, I have to swing out at it. A few days later, still working on the tush line, but I decided it was logical to stand closer to the ball, which would promote a steeper downing, which it did. I am pretty happy with this swing, except for the kind of steep backswing. face on view I agree that the swing looks much better than before, especially in the clip with you standing closer to the ball.  I wouldn’t worry too much about the “steeper” backswing at this point. It isn’t unusual to work up going back and then more on plane coming down. Overall the swing looks very good and should continue to improve as you own the changes you have made.

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