Tuesday, August 23, 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, be sure to check back next week for an all-new edition! Thanks to all for your questions and comments. We will be back next week on Wednesday instead of our usual Tuesday spot. Have a great week!!! Chris asks at 1:20: A few months ago I started from scratch and ditched my horribly inconsistent swing of the last 10 years. I'm beginning to get consistently solid contact when I'm not reverting to old habits, but I still alternate between slight draws and the occasional push. I would be fine with a draw, but the inconsistency makes it difficult to aim for the pin. I'm trying to find a practice technique to get a more consistently square clubface at impact. Are you a fan of impact bags as a training tool? Or do you believe working on the proper turn and follow through will naturally develop the proper impact position? Hate the impact bags. They do make a good chair in a pinch on the range but that’s about it. Impact can’t be micro-managed. The correct alignments of the clubface, angle of attack, pivot, etc. are all set in motion from address forward. Work on the clubface position first with a good grip and proper wrist position at the top, get the turn of your body to produce a neutral height and depth for the club and hands at the top of the swing, sequence things correctly and your impact will improve. Don’t waste your time on training aids and gimmicks, they aren’t worth your time and money. Rcon asks at 1:00: General question on swing plane...I'm a 9 hdcp and this year began flattening my swing plane on my own. Reason being is my miss was a chunk (I'm stellar from 100 yds in bc of this), partly because i did suck the clubhead inside, however once i got the backswing path more on plane, i couldn't deliver the club from the inside consistently for a myriad of reasons. Basically, it was complicated. I've found the flatter motion to be an easier concept for me to work at. So the other a day, a teaching pro invaded my practice session and told me i was too flat and he could help me. Little did he know i'm hitting it better than ever and my miss is now a hook, but not so severe i hook it out of play. In fact, I'm having more fun than ever hitting balls in the water (because i hit the ball) than playing my 3rd shot from 85 yds bc of a chunk. So is there an ideal swing plane or is it more different strokes for different folks? Thanks for the question, it’s a good one. The simple answer is one swing plane doesn’t fit all. Some players are at their best more upright, some more flat, some are better more inside going back, some take it up and out and have success. It is more important that the club attacks the ball on the proper plane than the angle the club, arms, and shoulders are working on during the backswing. With that said, there are easier places to play from at the top than others. It sounds like you have made a change you are happy with, I’d stick with it and tell those that give unsolicited advice to mind their own business. < Latch asks at 12:40: I'd like to stop the ball on the green better while pitching and chipping. Some of my approach shots will stay right where they land like a dart. This mostly happens on a high pitch. I have seen my chips and shorter pitches check up but this is not consistent. I'm pretty happy with a shot that wont bounce - just go straight to a slow roll after landing on the green. Is there a swing thought or practice idea that will help me get that one bounce and stop like the pros or even spin the ball back a little on pitches and chips? I don't think equipment is my issue (Cleveland cg 14 wedges with dg spinner shafts) I have rolled back my PW and 9 iron before, but never the wedges. Thanks Brady. The shot you are describing has become nearly impossible with the new rules regarding groove technology. In some ways, it has brought a level of skill back to the game that had disappeared as a result of the wedges that are now illegal on Tour. To make the ball check up quicker you need several factors in your favor. First and foremost is a really good lie, without it there is no chance. Second is a clubface position that is slightly open and some brisk acceleration through impact. If the lie is good and the contact is crisp this will help you stop the ball faster on the green. Personally, I am happy with the change and think it is a positive for the game. Remember, your best chance to stop the ball quickly with the new groove rule is with trajectory instead of spin. Jeff asks at 12:30: Brady, love your blog. I have a question I hope you can help with. I have been missing all of my drives to the right, the ball flight is straight or a slight draw. Any ideas? May be difficult without a video, I know. Can not wait to hear your thoughts! Thanks for the kind words about the blog. You are correct, it is very difficult to diagnose without video. If you look at the previous questions today regarding a slide of the hips and blocks you might find your answer. Getting the lower body in a better position coming down can make it much easier to release the club properly. When the posture is better through impact the club tends to get “unstuck” making it much easier to start the ball on line. I would look in both of these places to improve the miss to the right. The fact that the ballfight is a slight draw or straight shot leads me to believe the clubface and path are both in good shape. Let me know how it goes. Casey asks at 12:13: Thank you so much for your blog and website, they are both really helpful.
I've had a big block right that keeps killing tournaments, and I used to the the issue was my takeaway, but now I think I was getting my right arm way too deep at the top. He is a video when i still had the right miss and the right arm was working back to my side: Here is one where I try to keep my right arm more in front of me: Do you think that keeping my right arm more in front of my chest is the correct thing to work on to eliminate the block? Or is the right arm supposed to work toward the side of your body? The right arm can be in either position and be effective. I think your issues with the blocks under pressure have more to do with your body not moving through the shot correctly rather than issues you are having during the backswing. Your head and shoulders are staying down and buried too long. This is usually the result of some lower body slide in the direction of the target during the downswing. I would like to see you maintain more height in your body at and especially immediately after impact. This will allow you to extend both your arms and legs after impact making it much easier to get the club releasing properly. Here are a couple of pictures to help you. Stuck Blockfix Roberajane1956 asks at 12:00: I have a habit of too much hip slide in the down swing which leads to a pushed shot especially tee shots with the driver. How can I eliminate this and keep my power please? When the left hip slides closer to the target than the left knee you have hip slide. Working your left knee around towards the target in front of your hip prevents the slide and creates more power by separating your lower and upper body rotation when it counts. There is some movement of the hip and knee to begin the downswing, but the left knee has to get out ahead of the hip fairly quickly. Akangslide

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