Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question for Brady, be sure to check back next week for an all-new edition!! Thanks to everyone for your videos and questions. See you next Tuesday!!! Jan asks at 1:20: Trying to up my swing-speed a bit since I think I'm not using the DGS300-shafts to their full potential. Normally I have a pretty calm tempo but swing speed around 86 mph w a 6-iron. The DGS300 IS a heavy shaft and I feel I'm a bit short on the distance side compared to when I was playing Project X 5.5s (could be a spin issue as well but I think after viewing my swing videos that I look rather slow...
Trying to increase that. Also trying not to take the club too much inside during takeaway, having some difficulties with this. When I try to take the club back more 'on plane' it feels as if I really start too much outside in.
Your general comments on the swing and feedback please, video included (I pulled that shot quite a bit, mainly because of the fact that I tried to hit it harder, :-)). Good to hear from you again. Getting the club a bit more outside in the takeaway should be accomplished while the upper left arm is staying attached to your chest. If you disconnect the upper left arm AND try to get the club more outside you will be taking it too far out. I would encourage you to focus on this connection while the clubhead is staying outside your hands to encourage the club to get more vertical and in front of you during the backswing. This will remove the need to come back down over the backswing track as I was describing earlier in the blog and help the club stay behind you more coming down. The pull you hit here would be a shot I would expect to see if you don’t reshape the tracks your club is working in during the backswing and downswing. Dani asks at 1:05: Hi Brady! I have a neutral grip and a flat position of the left wrist at the top, yet the club face pointing to the sky in transition. I think causes my lack of rotation through the impact area. The thing is, I don't understand how is it possible that matching a neutral grip with a flat left wrist I get in such a shut position at the beginning of my downswing. Thank you very much from Spain. When you have a neutral grip you will only have a “square” looking clubface at the top of the swing if you maintain the amount of bend in the left wrist present at address during the backswing. In other words, the clubface will appear closed if the left wrist goes to flat. The reason for this is the left wrist is in an impact condition at the top when it is flat, in an address condition when bent. As you have discovered the dynamics of the transition generally make the left wrist become “flatter” than they were at the top. This makes the slightly bent left wrist become flat and the flat left wrist become bowed. As with so many elements of the golf swing, this isn’t the case for every player but a good rule of thumb when looking at the majority of golf swings. If you are seeing the clubface shut in the transition I would encourage you to play with the left wrist slightly bent at the top, as it was in the address. The wrist will flatten as the downswing begins putting into an impact condition without forcing the clubface closed. Cupped Ben asks at 12:40: Here is a face-on view and a down the line view of my 7 Iron swing. I need some help with my swing plane and tightening things up, yes? When I try to take the club more 'up' I have pain in my lower right rib cage - I dont have health issues and I am fairly flexible, which makes me think my mechanics are just wrong. Help? Thanks for the videos Ben. I wish I knew a bit more about what your ball flight issues. The swing you have sent shows every indication that it would be effective. If I was to tell you the things that are a bit off from neutral I would start with the takeaway. The club is coming back too much on the inside with the face turned down to the ground in a closed position. This takes the hands and arms too deep behind you at halfway back and the club “looks” like it needs more up in it at this point. The depth of your arm swing at the top requires a loop over the backswing track to find the plane which you do successfully. The problem with this loop is it can make the downswing too steep, something you fight against properly by sliding the lower body to the target and driving your head back through impact. With all that said there is no reason you can’t play really well with this pattern, many have in the past. Changing it can be risky and make you play worse, especially in the short term. You have to weigh the risks and proceed with caution. Joel asks at 12:25: I hit the ball thin a lot, and I would like to stop doing so. I know that I play the ball pretty far forward, but even when I move it back, I still tend to hit it thin, and then I hit it even lower than I usually do (that's another one of my problems: hitting it low). I've attached a couple of videos. Please help. Thanks! Thanks for sending in your videos. There are a couple of things that you need to do that will help you begin to release the club properly through impact. The thin contact and low ball flight are both results of other issues and can’t be fixed on their own. The biggest issue you have right now is your grip. Your right hand is sitting too much on the side of the handle with your right thumb running down the back of the grip. The handle should be placed more into the fingers of the right hand with the right index finger on the trailing side of the club and the thumb across to the other side. With your grip in it’s current position the clubface is extremely closed during the swing. As a result, if you hit the ball solidly the lack of loft in the clubface produced from the grip makes the ball fly too low. To prevent the inevitable hook from occurring due to the clubface position you restrict the extension in your left arm through impact. This leads to the thin contact you are experiencing. The grip change will produce some shots that go well right as you get used to it. However, the square clubface will produce more height and force you to release the club properly over time. Grip Casey asks at 12:00: Well Brady, looks like our boy AK is turning the corner over in Asia. Maybe I spoke too soon!
Could you please comment on my swing? I think I am getting it too laid off at the top and my guess is that is leading to my inconsistent ball striking. Some days I hit it like a champ and others its pretty rough. I've been working on my takeaway and body movement and I think those are better, but from there I think I need to get it less flat and laid off, but I'd like to get your thoughts if possible. The video has two swings DTL and face on. Thank you!! I agree that the club is getting a little laid off at the top of the backswing. When you work on your swing it is usually best to go back a few steps before you actually see the problem to figure out why it happened. In your case, the shoulder turn is getting too flat halfway up on the backswing. This is the reason why the club isn’t lining up properly at the top of the backswing. If you watch your head from the face on view as you approach the top of the backswing you will see it moves further away from the target. The lateral head movement is good until you are about halfway back. If it keeps working away from the target as you approach the top your shoulder turn will become too flat. Watch the videos of AK and you will see his head stops the lateral drift when his left arm is parallel to the ground on the backswing and starts back towards the target. This prevents the shoulders from getting too flat and lines the club up over the hands at the top of the swing.

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