Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video link for Brady, come back next week for another editor of Ask Brady Live! Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. We will be back at it next week so get those videos in early so I can be sure to get to them. Should be another great week here is Southern California. Thanks again to Mark and JC Video for all their help and support. David asks at 2:30: I am a plus handicap but am getting the club behind my hands halfway into the downswing, thus coming too inside out. It also seems that my right shoulder moves toward the ball just a bit early in the downswing compared to most tour players. Without a video to send, any thoughts/feedback? Thanks so much! The scenario you are describing is a bit strange. Usually when the right shoulder moves out toward the ball too early in the downswing, the hands are thrown out in the same direction and the club ends up too far outside the proper path. I would love to see a video of your swing so I don’t lead you down the wrong path. Let me know if you can make that happen… Jerry asks at 2:05: Hello Brady. Someone told me to stick my butt out for a better turn. Can you get into it better and any drills to make it work? Thank you for the time you take to help the weekend warriors. Thank you for following the blog, Jerry. I have absolutely no idea why someone told you that. Were they trying to help your hips turn? Shoulders? Core? Not sure. Most “weekend warriors” would be well served to allow their hips to turn freely during the backswing. Trying to restrict your lower body’s rotation and crank your upper body against it should be left for those very flexible and/or playing on television. If your weight is fairly balanced in both feet at address and your knees feel flexed and relatively bouncy, you are most likely in a decent starting position. Sticking your butt out will only help the amusement level of your playing partners in addition to their wallets. Once the set-up is better, the most simple advice I can give you is to try to “moon” the target with your tush during the backswing. This will help your hip turn freely and encourage the club to attack the ball on a more inside track. When you do this properly, your weight will move back into your right heel at the top of the swing. There are many swing methodologies out there that would have you start with the weight more on your front foot and leave it there during the backswing while you allow your head to remain centered or move slightly to the target. Don’t do that. Turn your tush, stay bent over which will allow your head to move slightly off the ball (I will be tarred and feathered, for sure) and you will hit it better. Here are a couple of pictures of great players committing the two “fatal flaws” of turning their hips and moving their head. Let me know how it goes…. Matt asks at 1:45: Here's my swing, please let me know what you think. I know of two problems personally, my clubhead is too behind my hands in the backswing, and my head drops down and a bit back in the downswing. Sorry for the video seeming patchy, I had to edit it because it's from a video lesson I do with my local pro, and he comments on the videos. So I had to cut and paste the swing together at some points, I do not have those hitches in my swing. Of course the swings are in slower speed than normal. I am just looking for guidance on my stance, posture, grip, ball position, swing path, things like that. Thanks. Thanks for sending in the videos, Matt. It looks like the professional doing the lesson gave you some indication of where you could begin. While there are things to improve upon in your golf swing, it does appear the club is attacking the ball from a fairly good place in the video you submitted. The ball appears to be well back in your stance and your weight is sitting well back in your heels. When the ball is too far back and your weight sits in the heels, it is almost inevitable that you will take the club too far to the inside during the takeaway. This usually forces the club across the line at the top of the swing, triggering a transition that is too steep. Steep in this case basically means an extension of the club is pointing well inside the target line when your hands are just below your right shoulder on the downswing. The save for this is to slide your lower body to the target as it buys more time for the club to drop onto a more playable path. As a result, your upper body will get stuck through impact and hang back behind the ball excessively making it difficult to rotate properly through impact. This is the cause of your lack of extension and inability to finish the swing in a more traditionally balanced position. Hey, you asked!!!! So, here is the deal. It may seem like a daunting task, but you may read into my critique the fact that it all starts with the set-up. When you improve the starting position, your takeaway will improve as will the top and so on. Get the ball more forward in your stance and move your heels back away from the ball so your knees can bend over your toes. Once this is adjusted you will be on your way to making a better and more productive golf swing. The takeaway will need a bit more work to get on track but if you focus on maintaining the bends present in your left wrist from address to the top of your swing you will be well on your way. Get some video to me in the next couple of weeks so I can check on your progress. Here are a couple of pictures to help you visualize the changes. Nate asks at 1:20: Hello Brady. I'll keep it short and simple; how does my swing look to you? I know it is hard to tell much with a single camera angle and without high quality video or slow motion, but any thoughts would be appreciated. My miss is pretty consistent: a straight push to the right (w/ a slight right-to-left bias). I am thinking perhaps I have the ball too far back in the stance and am not getting around to square at impact.
Here is a "caddy view" to complement the down the line angle: Thanks for sending in the video. There are many that would love to have not only your golf swing but your consistent miss. Overall I think the swing is quite good. There are a few things that could be changed to make the swing more dynamic and consistent. Your grip is a bit on the strong side and the clubface appears closed at the top of the swing as a result. While many great players have played with this combination, it can be problematic for some and is often the source of the “right-to-left bias” you mentioned. The other issue has to do with the (lack) of participation of your lower body during the swing. Your stance is too wide, making a dynamic lower body move nearly impossible. I would also like to see your weight get more up onto the balls of your feet at address. Your weight is sitting back too much in your heel, making it very difficult to move properly during the swing. This will give you the “feel” of more bounce in your legs and encourage you to use the body more actively during the swing. The combination of a more neutral grip and livelier lower body will be uncomfortable and challenging to be sure. How much you should change things should be determined by your comfort level and the changes in ball flight that occur. Let me know how it goes…. Jack Stein asks at 1:00: Morning, I am a low single-digit index. However, at the top I cross the line, my left wrist cups too much and my right elbow gets behind me -- ouch -- I then come from the inside too much and too shallow. I have learned to hit the ball from this position; however, I would love to cure it. When I put the club to the top in a good position, I am able to swing with no re-route and my right elbow comes in front and I hit the ball better. Help? Please. Thanks, Jack Stein It sounds like you have a good idea about what you need to do with your golf swing. As a low single-digit player you face a unique challenge when changing the shape of your backswing. While the across the line position at the top creates its own set of issues you are able to deal with it and play well. When you make the changes to the backswing the results immediately become inconsistent, especially on the golf course. If you are certain you want to make the change, you need to adjust the way you practice and the expectations you have when playing. Take some time away from the course under competitive settings so you can remove the “result” component of the game from the equation. Work with the feedback of either your coach or a camera so you can continue to ingrain the changes you are making. Like any swing change you will have some ups and downs along the way but if you stay away from “results” based practice and play you will have a better chance of making it stick.