Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday at noon EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady, be sure to check back next Tuesday for an all-new edition. Leave your questions in the comments section below. Thanks to everyone for following Ask Brady Live! Get those video cameras and smart phones out and send me some swings to analyze next week. See you then... Jim asks at 1:50: Love the blog and read it weekly. You really give great advice to people. I don't have a video to post but my play last year I really lost my lag and even on good contact didn't take a divot. All my shots were sky high including the driver. It was very easy to thin the ball. I would hit the ball straight or block it. Any tips to fix this? Thanks for the kind words about the blog. High and thin is usually very straight forward. Try to get more of you over your front foot at impact. When your upper body hangs back behind the ball the bottom of your arc will be there as well. This means any divot you take will be before contact and in most cases the club will be traveling more up during impact. This will produce thin shots and increase the loft on all of your clubs forcing the shots up in the air. When the body moves over the front foot correctly during the downswing the bottom of the arc will be in front of the ball with the hands leading the clubshaft. The divot will be taken out in front with the club descending into impact. The ball flight will come down and it will go much farther. Give it a try and I am sure you will get the results you are looking for. Casey asks at 1:15: I saw comments were a little light so I wanted to post again. I have an update video of my swing and was hoping to get your thoughts. I think my back swing plane improved in this but I wanted to know what your think and also if you could offer any suggestions on how to practice so I can actually keep this backswing (assuming its good enough). I often make changes that are good in my swing but it is really tough to get them to stick. (ps, what I usually am doing with my hands after a shot are signals so I know how I hit it). Thank you! Also, any chance I could you would comment on what Tiger is doing in his swing? I remember you thought it wasn't the right move for him originally I am just curious if you think its headed in a better direction now? Glad you sent in the improvements Casey, it does look better. I have to know, does that belt really match the shirt? That may be a little too coordinated…..just saying. I am glad you sent in the face on view because it offered some insight into what I thought I was seeing down the line. After seeing your grip from the face on view it makes sense why the clubface appears to be a bit open on the downswing. I would like to see your left hand get in a bit stronger position at address. I can see way too much of your left thumb on the forward side of the handle at address. It should be positioned more on top and to the trailing side to facilitate a more square clubface position during the swing. I agree with you that the shape of your backswing is quite good right now. There is room for improvement on the downswing when it comes to the clubface position that is currently open and a slightly steeper angle of attack than I would like to see. As you continue to progress as a technician your head can do a better job of moving out with the contact of the ball during impact and into the finish. In my opinion, your head stay down too long making your arms track around you too much as you work towards the finish. Let your eyes follow the ball out and you will see more consistency in the strike at impact and improve your long-term physical health. Except for the belt I really like what you are doing. Brett asks at 1:15: I have an odd situation. I just turned 40 and am playing better than I ever have. Not complaining about that--I'm shooting two or three over on 9-hole rounds with my son. And I shot a 79 three weeks ago.
The problem is, the more I play, the worse my game gets. I now play once a month (if I'm lucky) and never go to the range. I used to play weekly and practice three or four times a week. What gives?
Maybe I am older and wiser? I do know that I spend time thinking about a good golf swing instead of banging balls. Chances are you are tinkering less and playing the game more. I have had a similar experience in my own game. As a teacher and a student of the game you can only imagine how many times I have changed my swing. Over the last few years I have left it alone for various reasons from a lack of time, injury, etc. As a result my consistency has never been better and my focus is on playing the game instead of getting lost in my swing. It sounds like you are having the same experience. A mentor of mine used to say he just needed to keep things oiled up instead of working at it too hard. Once the mechanical aspects of your golf swing are good and you trust your technique you SHOULD focus more on the actual playing of the game. You are getting older and wiser to be sure, but chances are you have a pretty solid swing that just needs to be oiled up occasionally. Jim asks at 12:55: As always, thank you so much for sharing your valuable time and insight with all of us each week, this information is so very helpful!
I have been working the past year, trying to gain a more upright swing plane. Previously, my path has been very flat, that came down deeply from the inside, creating large sweeping draws (averaging 30 yards with my driver) but no divot after the ball. Here are two videos, a front view and a down the line view - I would be grateful for any thoughts you have, as I continue striving to improve this swing plane. Currently I am trying to get my arms a little higher at the top. Thanks!
Jim Thanks for sending in the videos Jim. I have a couple thoughts for you about the swing. I agree that if you got your arms and thus the club up a bit higher at the top of the backswing you will have the potential for more power. However, there is no guarantee that it will be easier for you to attack on plane and bottom out in front of the ball with the irons with the club higher. The issue for you is the reroute in the transition to an angle that is below plane. This can happen with a shorter, flatter backswing or a longer more upright backswing. To improve the angle of attack you need to get your body open to the target much earlier in the downswing. When your trunk rotates back around to the target your shoulders will pull your arms and hands out towards the target line. This moves the club out to the plane and prevents it from dropping too far to the inside. Think of your left shoulder and left knee ad the leaders of the downswing and have them rotate back to the target as soon as possible. The height and length of the backswing is important but it won’t get you on plane by itself. Get the body rotating sooner and the club will track much better into the ball. Ben asks at 12:35: I wrote in a few weeks ago and I know you advised that changing this swing (DTL): (Face On): to something more on plane would be difficult but I have no problem commiting to that. I would like to keep my hands and club handle more in front of me throughout the swing - from face on I would like to see my hands away from my head instead of so deep, but I am having trouble getting the movement down. I know to shorten the swing I can begin the downswing sooner, but I think other issues need to be addressed before I can call that a fix. Can I accomplish what I want by turning my shoulders on a steeper angle? If so, is the feeling I need to go more "up" to the sky with my right shoulder and down with my left during the takeaway? And then at halfway back go more up and under my chest with the left arm? If not what would you recommend?
Is there a certain amount of elevation with the arms that needs to occur to keep the club more in front? Thanks so much for your guidance. Thanks for sending the video. I agree with almost everything you are trying to do with the swing. I agree that your arms get too deep too early. I think the face is a bit closed and I would like to see you maintain a bit more bend in the left wrist going back as it will help the face and get the shaft working more upright. I agree that your shoulders are too flat going back, the thoughts you have to fix it are very effective. A couple of great models for you to follow would be Darren Clarke and Nick Faldo. In both of their swings the club works up in front of them with the shaft more vertical and the left wrist in a neutral position. I think you are on the right track, hit the books and study. Lars asks at 12:00: Can you please give me an advice for my swing. What can I improve to become a better player. My bad shots are push hooks . (Driver) Is my club at the top to much across the line, or even to closed at the top? Thank you in advance.
kind regards lars > Thanks for sending in the videos Lars. If you looked at a static picture of yourself at the top of the backswing it would be hard to define it as across the line. With that said, I still agree with you. The thing static pictures can’t show you is the momentum of where the club is going from frame to frame. When you watch the top of the swing in the first video you can see how the club continues to work closer to your head as it is finishing the backswing. The second clip would do the exact same thing had you not shortened the length going back. The real issue here is the fact that your club need to fall more parallel to the target line as it finishes going to the top instead of working towards your head. It is likely that this only gets worse as you use the Driver. The problem with the momentum working in this direction is it causes the transition to be steep. This is seen in your picture as your hands are slightly lower than your right shoulder coming down. When the club is steep in this frame you have to drop the club behind you as you approach the delivery position (hands around hip high). This drop to the inside is critical to saving the shot. The problem with it is the club can end up attacking excessively from inside with the driver leading to blocks and hooks. I would like to see you try to work the club more behind you as it approaches the top so it falls parallel to the target line instead of across towards your head. When you do this the shaft will point at or outside the ball in the transition picture as opposed to where you are in this picture. Steep Clarkedown

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