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. Thank you for participating is this weeks blog. I will see everyone next week. Enjoy your holiday..... Luke asks at 2:00: Wish I had video but think my question won't need it. On the downswing, I have been focusing on firing my right hip to start the downswing. Unfortunately, when I do this, I feel I am turning my right hip closer to the ball and this is making me come over the top.
Would it make more sense to start the downswing with a focus on turning the left hip and pulling it away from the target and allowing the right hip to stay the same distance away from the ball at address?
I have been trying to watch youtube videos of the pros and try to figure this out but have not had much luck. Love the blog. Thanks for your help! Thanks for the question Luke. Before there is any rotation on the downswing there should be some lateral motion. If the first move down is rotation it is likely you will come over the top. Unlike your shoulders your hips can’t work independently of each-other. When one hip moves, so will the other. Determining which hip you focus on is up to you. I will tell you that driving your right down and around is a thought that has worked for me over the years. However, make sure you get enough lateral motion first or you will not be happy with the results. Rick asks at 1:30: I have had problems with my hip turn on the downswing. I tend to swing the club to the top, but my hips will move towards the ball, creating a very bad impact. I play off a 6 handicap, but I know I would be more consistent with a better impact. If I am understanding you correctly your hips and tush work in towards the ball at impact closing down the space that was present at address. This is a very common problem even among good players. The first step is to check your address position. Make sure your weight is starting towards the front of your shoes in the balls of your feet. If the weight starts in your heels you will search for balance in your swing by pushing your weight towards your toes. This will take your hips towards the ball and create a lack of space for your arms as you attack on the downswing. With the weight already towards the balls of your feet at address there is no need to move closer to the ball to find balance. Your weight can work into the back heel during the backswing keeping enough space from the ball for your right arm to work down in front of you. Dave asks at 1:05: hello Brady...thanks for all the help. quick question regarding release: what role do the forearms play in the release of the club and what time during the downswing does the release occur? and the same question related to putting? I wish I had a few hours to answer this question. Let’s start with putting. The release of the putter and the action of the forearms has everything to do with the style of putting used. If you are a “blocker” like Mickelson used to be there is little to know release of the putter through impact. The face stays very square to the plane and putter shaft remains vertical to the ground after impact. There is absolutely no rotation in the forearms during impact and into the finish. On the other hand if you are a player who likes to “release” the putter head during the stroke everything changes. The putter passes your hands after impact, the stroke has more arc in it, the putter face rotates along the arc and the forearms have a proportionally amount of rotation to them. It all depends upon the style of stroke. The full swing is much more complicated. When dealing with the release you have more factors to account for. The strength or weakness in their position on the grip, the clubface position during the swing (open or closed), the desired ballflight of the shot, the amount and timing of the body rotation during impact, the trajectory of the shot, the angle of attack, the path, etc. With so many elements needing to be accounted for it is easy to see how difficult it is to answer your question. Yes, the forearms play a role in the release of the club, but when and how much depends upon a great many factors. Nick asks at 12:45: I was wondering how much time do you spend working on shotmaking with your students (draws, fades, low push fades, high draws etc.)? I see a lot of pros at the tournaments mostly hitting their stock shot. For example, I've never never seen guys like Jonathan Byrd or Charles Howell III hit any other shot besides their draw shots. Even Mcilroy or Mcdowell also fall into this list of mostly hitting their high draws. Are most tour level greens and fairways designed so that folks can get away with hitting one type of shot? Are the distances that the pros are hitting from the tee that far so that they can essentially flyover the slight dogleg holes instead of shaping the ball to match the fairway design (pull fades on those dog leg rights)? I guess the final point is do you think that shaping the ball has lost its importance in golf due to the new tech and the marketing focus on distance rather than control? I think you have touched on some very interesting points Nick. Power and technology have changed the game sufficiently enough over the last decade or so that working the ball is a lost art. The last player who played a game of precision, control and true shotmaking that won major championships was Nick Faldo. Those days are long gone. I still work with my players on hitting shots instead of just making swings. While the need for those shots has decreased, the information and knowledge about the swing gained from learning how to hit them is invaluable. Matt asks at 12:30: As always thanks for you analysis and insight. I have a question about flighting wedges. I tend to hit my wedges straight up in the air. I get good distance and they will hold greens but this is more so to trajectory than it is to spin. This becomes particularly troublesome in the wind. I was wondering if you could offer some insights into ways to control the trajectory of wedge shots as I would like to be able to have more options on how to attack greens with my wedge game. Trajectory control is critical to creating opportunities for birdies with the wedges. There are several simple adjustments that will help you flight the ball lower. In address push the ball back in the stance and start with a little more weight on the front foot. This adjustment will lower the ball flight by itself but can be problematic if you don’t adjust for the steeper angle of attack it will create. Try to picture the shot taking off in a long banquet hall and never hitting the ceiling. The backswing will be a bit shorter with the weight forward by the key is attacking more from the inside while your right shoulder stays HIGHER through impact. That may sound confusing by the more inside attack is critical with the change in address position and the right shoulder needs to “stay on top” of the ball as you come through impact. This will prevent the clubhead from passing your hands and create the lower trajectory you are looking for. The finish will be a bit shorter proportionally than the backswing which is fine. Make sure you keep your right shoulder going through impact and you will hit the more penetrating wedge shot you are looking for.