Tuesday, December 13, 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 or video link for Brady, be sure to check back for an all-new edition. Thanks to everyone for your questions and videos. Let's get it going again next week! Kevin asks at 1:45: I have a case of the sh**ks. I wouldn't dare speak the whole word as the golf gods would frown on me. I was a solid 10 handicap until I hit a wall a couple months ago with this. It started with by wedges, 56-64 degree, but has now moved throughout my entire bag. Any help would be much appreciated. Sounds like a great deal of fun Kevin. There are 4 ways to shank it, fortunately you can only really do 3. Start too close, get too close, swing too far from the inside and swing too far from the outside. Obviously you can’t swing too far from the inside and the outside at the same time so you are left with 3 possibilities. Here’s the quick solution. Hit some practice shots working on the following: Get the weight more towards the front of your shoes at address and allow your weight to move towards the right heel during the backswing. Try to attack the ball from the inside and actually hit the toe of the club. Once you are able to hit the toe consistently you will have overcome this issue. It seems a bit simplistic but it works! Clif asks at 1:15: Hi Brady, golf swing theory question here. I injured my lower back about 6 months ago and am still recovering. The question I have pertains to what Rocco Mediate is doing in his swing as he has a bad back as well. If I understand he wants a very wide stance, side to side movement is encouraged, but up and down is bad. I have really been working on your tips this year and love your philosophy. Should I now get a little more "Rocco" in my swing as my back will never be what it was? Or is there a better approach that you advocate? Thanks so much for the great blog! Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I have been struggling with lower back issues for years so I feel your pain. Standing a bit more upright at address and limiting the amount of right side tilt you produce during the downswing will help significantly. With less tilt your hands will not lead the clubhead as much into impact creating less descending blow and more clubface rotation. As a result I would avoid a stronger grip as the tendency to hit excessively right to left shots would be too strong. As with any adjustment to your golf swing, understanding how all the parts work together will give you a chance at being consistent. Dealing with lower back pain is an unfortunate reality for a large percentage of players. You can play great golf without pain if you work on your fitness off the course and improve the mechanics of your golf swing. Send in some video and I will try to help you through this issue, unfortunately I have a great deal of experience with it on a personal level. Joe asks at 12:45: Brady: My short game is good but pathetic distance makes it difficult to reach any but the shortest holes in regulation. It's hard to break 100, let alone 90. My best drives only go 160-170 yards, and no other club goes more than 140, even a new Diablo 5-wood. I see plenty of duffers who are older, smaller and/or have worse swings routinely hit farther. My Nike Machspeed 10.5-degree driver (senior shaft) goes no farther than my former Nike Sasquatch 13-degree. I can hit a 9-iron 100-110 yards, a 6-iron 130, 5 hybrid 140. If I could hit at least 200-yard drives and 175-yard fairway shots, I feel I could often break 90 with my decent short game. I've tried every power tip and taken many lessons but nothing helps. I really don't think I'm that weak but I just can’t generate any club head speed. Can you help? Thanks for the videos Joe. Yes, I can help. The issue for you is in the sequence of your golf swing. Instead of starting the downswing with the body moving towards the target leading the arms and club, you are in reverse. When your arms start the downswing there is a significant loss of power and balance. In fact, in your video you lose your balance approaching the finish in the direction of the target line, a dead giveaway to your sequence problems. If you are going to gain speed and power you have to change the transition between your backswing and downswing. The body needs to start moving in the direction of the target BEFORE your arms and club finish the backswing. There are a number of drills you can do including the step drill that will help you feel the proper sequence starting the downswing. Think of throwing a ball, hitting a baseball, slinging a Frisbee, anything that is athletic is done in the sequence of body before arms and object. This is the issue Joe, get to work. Luke asks at 12:15: I have been struggling with hitting shots fat and taking a big divot. I do not have a steep swing path and the divot is shallow but I believe it has something to do with my head mivement during my swing. I have watched video of my swing and seet that I lean over the ball during the backswing and the during the downswing my head moves back(laterally) and hangs way back but is still over the ball causing the lowest point of my downswing to be way out in front of me. Is there any drill to keep the proper head position during the downswing? Thanks
  Thanks for the question. When the body is off-balance in the address position it creates the movement during the takeaway. If you are falling over the ball during the backswing it is very likely you are standing too upright during the address position with your weight too much in your heels. As a result, your body will search for balance during the motion of swinging and move down and in the direction of the ball. When the weight moves in this direction during the backswing the adjustment coming down is to back up and hang back. To fix this excessive movement you need to start where you were going. In other words, get more bent over with the weight more towards the front of your shoes. This will kill the movement over the ball during the takeaway and stop you from adjusting during the swing. Aman asks at 12:00: dear mr riggs, what is the most consistent manner in your opinion to switch between a draw and a fade in the middle of a round? My stock shot is a draw , but certain situations do demand a fade. Also in what manner should one work on his distance control particularly with the wedges . Thank you for your time Aman from Kolkata, India There are several factors you need to consider when it comes to shaping your shots. Because the draw is your natural stock shot, moving the ball left to right requires some effort. Some players will change the shape by adjusting their address position, some will adjust their swing, some will change both. If you need to curve the ball significantly then you will need to adjust both the address position and the shot. When it comes down to a slight fade it really is up to you. You might want to open the stance slightly, visualize swinging along the line of your feet and hold the face open a bit through impact. You may want to aim left and weaken the grip slightly to alter the ball flight. The simple fact is you need to go experiment with what works best for you.  

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