Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday at noon EST 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 everyone for your questions and vids. See you next week on Tuesday for another edition of Ask Brady Live. Ryan Stewart asks at 1:20: My question deals with playing shots into the wind. The course I play has numerous holes that play back into the wind with forced carries over marsh by the green. How do I play shots that can be flighted lower to fight the wind, but still carry a good distance and not rely on rolling something onto the green? There comes a point where you can only carry a ball so far into the wind. If you hit it high the wind knocks it down and if you hit it lower to fight the wind it won’t carry enough. The adjustments to hit the ball lower include teeing the ball down, playing the ball back, swinging slower, leaning the shaft more at impact, placing more weight on the front foot, finishing lower, etc. These all help the ball fly lower. With the longer clubs, especially the driver, these same adjustments will make the ball carry less. I would work with all of these adjustments to see which combination helps you maintain as much carry distance as possible while not losing distance by hitting it too high. Mess around with it and let me know what happens. Dan asks at 1:00: I've got what seems like a simple question, I think... How many different swings does one have to build? I'm talking Tee to Green (full swings). I guess the answer might be different depending on the skill level, but I'm not sure. It seems to me that there are at least 2 - the drive and the iron - sweep vs descending. But what about the fairway wood? I've always treated that more like an iron - slightly descending. And do you have a different swing for draw vs fade? For my irons, I usually try the in to out vs. out to in for this affect. I used to do the same for the Driver, but recently changed that based on an instruction video here. I'm now using the same swing (a draw swing), and slightly opening the face for a power fade, while adjusting my aim. I really like this idea, because I don't need to master two swings and it works well for me. I tried to apply it to my iron game, but I'm losing control and not making good contact on my fade, which is what I prefer to play. (by the way, this is something that often bugs me when looking at pros swing sequences - they often don't say if the pro is playing a draw or fade or if there is a difference for that pro) ps - Thanks for all the great tips here. This has become my favorite blog. Thanks for the question and kind words about the blog. It’s my favorite too! I agree about your comments about the swing sequences of professionals. The writer should discuss the ball flight of the player mentioned. However, often times the sequence is taken without the writer present making it impossible to know what happened to the specific shot. As you have discovered there are multiple ways to shape your shots. Some players use the methodology you are currently employing and change their set-up position. This allows them to make their normal swing and change the shape of their shot without in-swing adjustments. Others prefer to change something subtle in their motion to produce a fade or draw and find it more comfortable and manageable than changing their set-up. The fact is either can work, it’s up to the player. When it comes to different swings for different clubs I would tell you that the change in the length of the club and it’s effect on your address position should change the angle of attack all by itself. Glenn asks at 12:35: I have a question about chipping. The ground in my area is very compacted due to a lack of rain (Dallas, Texas). The courses generally overwater the greens and this soaks the areas around the greens making it difficult to chip. Any tips on chipping/pitching the ball off of this type of lie? When playing from tight, sometimes wet lies it is highly difficult to use your most lofted wedges as they have a tendency to dig into the ground. If you can chip or pitch with a less lofted club in these situations based upon carry distance and the amount of green you have to work with it is a more consistent and safer approach. If the situation makes it necessary to use a more lofted club there are a couple of things you can do to help. You want to get the bottom of the sole of the club bouncing off of the ground instead of the leading edge of the club digging into it. To do this the hands should be placed only slightly in front of the clubhead at address with the weight only slightly onto the front foot. The club should have an arc to it as it would during a full swing attacking the ball from inside the target line and on plane instead of straight back and straight through. The clubface should be allowed to rotate with the plane with no attempt to keep the face “square” to the ball throughout the motion. The biggest problem players have with this scenario is pressing the hands too far forward at address the tying to keep the face square and the club tracking “down the line” during the motion. The chunk or chili-dip is caused by this faulty approach. Set up correctly and allow the club to work on plane with the face rotating properly and the sole of the club will do it’s job and skip through impact producing solid contact. Keep the leading edge from digging and you will have it. Francis asks at 12:30: Greetings from the UK. I'm a long time reader, first time poster. My handicap is currently 12 but I'm committed to getting into single figures. Would really appreciate it if you could take a look at my vids and let me know anything you think I should be working on. I think I may have some set up issues but would also be keen to hear of anything you can see that needs work. My bad shot at the minute tends to be a push or a push fade. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the videos Francis. I appreciate the kind words about the blog. There are three very specific areas of the swing I want you to focus on. The first is your grip. The handle of the club is placed too much in the palm of your right hand instead of more in the fingers as it should be. As a result, your right thumb is running down the trailing side of the grip instead of the leading side. Look at the picture of the grip I have attached and try your best to get your hands to look the same. With your right hand positioned as it currently is the clubface tends to be closed during the swing, your wrists are unable to hinge properly, and the release through impact is compromised. Once the grip has been fixed I want you to improve your posture in the address position. Your weight is sitting back too far in your heels making your shoulders round to much at address. This makes it very difficult to turn properly during the backswing which is the final issue for you to focus on. Your hips move laterally away from the target instead of rotating during the backswing. With better posture at address you should begin the backswing with your tush turning to face the target. This will make it significantly easier to get the proper rotation out of your body during the backswing. The change in grip, posture, and turn are critical if you are to progress into the player you can be. Make the changes and send in some new video as soon as you can. Grip Dl3pivot Dave asks at 12:00:   Good day Brady, Thanks for all the great input you provide in this forum! My question deals w the downswing path (or plane). As my club works down the clubhead ends up getting slightly under the plane leading to too much of an inside approach. without being able to get you a video here are a few characteristics of my swing which may help you: the takeaway is fine w the club up the plane, halfway back i do get a lil too much rotation of the left arm so the shaft is a bit flat (not flatter than the shaft line at address though), the club is parallel at the top and the grip is fine, i maintain the tush line throughout the swing and get a transition to occur in a reasonable sequence. however all the divots are at the target vs the slightly left i used to get and the ball flight is weaker. any ideas as to what i beed to work on to get the club back on the correct, less insde attack? thank you Like so many problems in the golf swing you need to find the spot in the swing where things started to go wrong. Attacking too much from the inside is usually caused the result of a transition that is too steep. The steep transition requires the player to drive the club back down to the plane approaching impact, something very difficult to do consistently. The steep transition has it’s roots in a backswing that usually works from slightly flat in the halfway back position (a place you mentioned in your swing) to slightly across the line at the top. This is the normal progression in the swing that leads to the steep transition and below plane attack. To get this on track you need to get the club working more up approaching the top of the backswing and encourage the clubhead to move away from your head and the target line as it finishes going up. This will get the club on plane in the transition, the key to attacking on the proper path.

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