Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady this week, be sure to check back next Tuesday for an all-new edition! Welcome to the 2012 edition of Ask Brady Live! Special thanks to all the folks at golf.com for making last year so fantastic. Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. Next week I have a new method of blogging that will speed up the response time to your posts dramatically. I am hoping beginning next week that I will be able to get to everyone's questions during the blog. Have a great start to your 2012 season. Golfer3407 asks at 1:45: how stop hitting fat shots? left shoulder shoots up on downswing. The left shoulder should work up on the downswing. The cause of hitting fat shots is the bottom of the arc being behind the ball. The basic idea about bottoming out correctly is you need to get your left shoulder closer to the target at impact than it was at address so the club can hit the ground after it hits the ball. This shift towards the target should occur to start the downswing and fix your issue. A great way to practice this is to use a trick Ben Doyle showed me 20 plus years ago. Go into a bunker and draw a line in the sand perpendicular to the target line where your club would sit at address. Without a ball make some swings where you take out the front of the line and the sand in front of it. You will begin to feel how the weight needs to work to get the bottom of the swing in the right place. This works best in firmer sand as it is easier to move your body. Give it a try. Kermit Murphy asks at 1:00: Thanks so much for all of your time and effort. I really enjoy your weekly blog. I have attached a video below and wanted to see what you would change. The first swing really looks bad and very laid off. Is this becasue the left arm is working away from me during the takeawy? Any other thoughts on my takeaway? I would also love to hear what you have to say about my face on view. My pivot does not look right, almost looks like my left hip gets closer to the target at the top of the swing. I really strugle with low left shots. Thanks again for your help. Kemritm
Thanks for the video. I always watch the swing before I read your question as it gives me a fresh perspective. When viewing your swing I thought the grip was strong, the weight way too far back in your heels at address, the club was laid off at the top and you would have a tendency to lose shots left. This isn’t too far from what you were thinking. The clubface would be the place to start. I would have you weaken the left hand on the club to help get the clubface square. The strong grip isn’t a problem for many players, but in your case it isn’t helping the low left issue. The posture really needs to improve. Your weight is sitting well back in your heels at address causing you to lose the Tush Line with both the iron and the driver. This change in posture during your swing makes it very difficult to make solid contact and rotate through the ball properly. I agree with you that the pivot needs work. If you look at the pictures I posted earlier of Hogan and AK at the top you will see AK has his legs in a completely different position than you do. I would like to see your knees more apart at address and your hip less active during the takeaway. The legs should be significantly more quiet during your backswing and serve more as a stabilizing force. This will keep your left hip from working immediately in the direction of the target and help get your arms and body working together instead of in segments. Send in some new video and let me know how the changes are coming along. Tom asks at 12:40: Have you ever done a comparison of Anthony Kim's swing to Hogan? They seem similar but with AK being more 1-plane. About the same height too.
Also, as an addition to my earlier question, how does AK get that final burst of speed into and through impact once the legs have done their part? Their pivots are very different on the backswing. Hogan has more of a front foot pivot even though his head moves slightly off the ball. AK works much more behind the ball during the backswing and his on top of the right leg post at the top of the swing. If you are working off a stack and tilt model AK wouldn’t be your guy. I think both pivots are excellent and effective for different types of players based on athleticism, flexibility, and desired ball flight. That is AK and Hogan’s pivot…….Here is a picture of Hogan and AK at the top so you can see the differences in their body positions. Akhogan Tom asks at 12:20: Assuming a golfer has successfully lagged the club and is approaching impact, what muscles or body motion do you recommend them focusing on to get the needed burst of acceleration? I get great distance (260+ and I'm 5'9) but must be using my lower back too much as it often gets sore when I try to finish strong. I finish in balance but rarely with full shoulder rotation. I’m not quite sure what you mean when you say “using your lower back to much”. The left leg should be straightening through impact and acting as a post to hit against. Once both arms have become straight after impact you should allow your right side to straighten and release to the finish. When you try to stay bent over too long after impact it can be very hard on your lower back. I would recommend that you look at the pictures of Annika if you are more flexible and Darren Clarke if you are less flexible and incorporate the same look into your swing. Finish wrap around Todd asks at 12:00: Hello, my biggest issue with my swing is that I OVER swing. I have been trying for a long time to stop my backswing at either halfway or three quarters of full will little success. Do you have any tips or drills to help me shorten my back swing and avoid the dreaded reverse "C"? Thanks The fact that you said you are trying to “stop” your backswing tells me a great deal about why you are struggling with this issue. Instead of trying to stop your backswing, you need to focus on when you are starting your downswing. The starting of the downswing really is the end of the backswing. The downswing begins with weight moving in the direction of the target, hopefully from the ground up. If you “wait” to move the weight your arms will keep going back and the swing will become long. The longer swing isn’t necessarily a bad thing for some players, but it is difficult for to create the proper sequence of motion when the club gets well back past parallel. To fix this issue you need to get your weight moving towards the target much sooner during the backswing. Think of stepping towards the target when your left arm is parallel to the ground during the backswing. The swing will feel unbelievably short but when you look at it on video it will be considerably longer than you thought. I have a sequence of Tommy Armour III that will help you see when the weight is moving back to the target. The reason the swing is short isn’t because he tried to stop the backswing but the result of starting the weight very early towards the target. Focus on the difference between pictures 4 and 5. Ta8

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