Tuesday, March 13, 2012

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have question or video link for Brady, leave it in the comments section below! Welcome to the Tuesday Blog Ask Brady Live! Another crazy week on the blog. I answered a few more questions overnight. Wish I could have gotten to all of them. Looking forward to another great week in Southern California at Calabasas CC. See everyone next week on the blog. Sonny asks: I have an over the top, outside in swing that of course results in pulls with the short clubs and pull slices with the longer clubs. I have just lived with it for years but have decided I want to fix it. Help! Please. Thanks. Thanks for the question Sonny. If you look at the answer I just gave to Kris you will know where to begin. The only difference you have expressed is the slice with the longer clubs. This occurs when the face is pointed left of the target line but open to the path that is attacking from the outside. This open face to the path position can be the result of many things but is often a function of the path being out of position enough that the face can’t close at a fast enough rate coming through. Here is the conundrum among teaching professionals. If the clubface is closed to the target line and open to the path why not fix the path and make it more inside. In theory the clubface will remain slightly closed to the target line and the improvement in the path should produce a straight shot and eventually a draw. Can this work? It can. There are others that say make the face more closed to the path and the outside attack will send the ball so far left the student will have no choice but to attack the ball more from the inside. Under this philosophy the student is highly motivated to swing more “right” because the ball is going to far left. Can this work? Absolutely. So what should you do? It depends a bit on how bad the miss is and where the clubface is relative to neutral in your current swing. The fact that I can’t see this without seeing the swing makes it very difficult for me to tell you what to fix. So, I would encourage you to do a little of both, hit some really slow and shorter than full swings to find help yourself decipher how to proceed. Send in the video so I can be more specific. Kris asks: I hit the range this week for the first time since November (no snow!!!). Unfortunately I've developed a strong pull. No hook, just a straight pull. About 5 yards on a wedge, but a LOT more as I get to long irons/woods. I have 2 main swing flaws that I'll be working on this spring (and would love some ideas on how to fix); I grip the club way too hard, and I unhinge my wrists early. Would either of those cause a pull? If not what might have cropped up over the winter? I've never pulled before. I've never liked hitting off mats, but I can't see that causing a pull. Thanks a lot, love reading each week! P.S. My hip/feet/shoulder alignment is good and my grip is neutral. The pull is a path that is a bit outside and a face that is square to that path. That is the easy part. There are those in the teaching world in love with their technology that would tell you to shift the baseline of your plane by moving your aim to the right and the problem would be solved. I’m not one of those teachers. You need to figure out why the path is faulty and fix it rather than aiming 5 yards right with the wedge and a LOT more with the long irons/woods. Gripping the club too hard can have a negative impact on the sequence of motion during the downswing. However, it isn’t a problem in and of itself. I have worked with many professionals that feel they hold the club very tight and don’t have a problem with coming into the ball above and outside the proper path. Check the alignment of your shoulders in the address position. If they are too open to the target line the turn is negatively impacted causing the arms and club to be to up and not deep enough at the top of the swing. This can make it very easy to attack above the plane coming down. Additionally make sure the right hip isn’t sliding laterally away from the target during the backswing as this has the same negative effect on the turn and depth of the arms at the top. Finally, try to hit some shots that start slightly right of the target line by swinging the club more from the inside coming down. The combination of a deeper top of backswing and a path that is more inside approaching impact is sure to fix the pull. If you get a chance to send in some video I can tell you more specifically what’s up. Ben Salmonsen asks at 1:30: Thanks in advance for your help, i find the blog very helpful to my game. Anyways, I have been struggling to make any consistent contact lately. I wish I could give you a consistent miss, but I don't have one. One day I'm pulling it, one day pushing it, and then hitting it thin the next. If you could just look at my swing I would really appreciate any feedback!
Thanks a ton,
Ben Salmonsen
DTL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdc5jUvDghI&feature=youtu.be Front View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqqRiE59Gs4&feature=youtu.be Thanks for sending in the video. There are a few things that I would like to see you improve to help make you more consistent. The left hand grip is a bit too strong which not only leads to some clubface issues but forces too much tilt into your right side at address. If you make the left hand more neutral the shoulders won’t tilt as much and you will get off to a better start. The natural progression of this address position is to have the club work excessively inside during the takeaway, get too far across at the top and attack on an excessively inside path coming down. This is the case with your swing. I would like to see you fix the address position first, send in some video and we will go from there. Here are a couple of pictures of the proper set-up. Byrd address Rob Guenther asks at 1:15: I look forward to reading your blog every week, some of your tips and tricks have helped my game emmensly over the last couple years. I have 2 questions for you today. I dont have video of my swing but I have for the last couple years been developing a swing which is too much in to out. I'm hitting a lot of blocks and hooks with my longer clubs and I have lost the ability to really compress the ball with my irons (havent been taking divots at all) which I'm assuming is becasue I'm coming through the hitting area in more of a sweeping motion instead of a clean striking motion. My iron play has been shaky at best the last few years and I picked up a new set of irons after christmas and I'm hoping to put them to use and revamp my iron game. Do you have any tips to get my swing path straightened back out to a more down the line path or even a slight out to in path so I can start hitting fades again. Thanks for the question Rob. There are a number of reasons why the path can get excessively inside out. They can range from too wide a stance, ball too far back, too much right side tilt, too strong a grip, excessively inside takeaway, club across at the top, too much hip slide on the downswing, etc. I would rather see you work on the underlying issue of the problem than trying to change the path with a drill. With that said you can work on hitting some shots that simply start left of the target line and work back to the right in the air. This is best worked on with mid irons at a slower than normal speed with a shorter than full swing. The path should change to attacking more down and into the back of the ball with the club going left immediately through impact. Once you have the feel of the different angle on the downswing it should be easier to translate into the full swing. Again, I would recommend you send in some video of your normal swing so we can get to the root of the issue. Casey asks at 1:00: I have a different type of question. Could you comment on what you think the best practices are to make your game travel? This is really important to me because I've got a bunch of am tournaments coming up soon.
One of my keys has been trying to focus on the same mental and physical rountines I've been working on (instead of physically just going through the motions but mentally being in a different place). And I've been trying to get in a lot of rounds at away courses. Are there other things you think are keys? Thank you as always for the help, it's noticably helped my game. Glad to hear you are playing better Casey. I was talking to Tommy Armour III one day about what it takes to play professional golf. He told me the key to playing for a living is learning how to be comfortable when you are uncomfortable. The basic idea is you have to take care of all the variables you can so you are able to handle those you can’t. I would put some time into learning how to map the course properly during the practice rounds to give you another advantage over the field. It is also important for you to keep some detailed statistics of your tournament rounds so you can make your practice sessions more productive and focused on the areas of your game that need the most work. The last thing I would recommend is to work on a go to shot from the tee that is a little different than your standard driver. It may be a stinger with a long iron, a fade with a 3-wood, something to hit with the driver isn’t working great or on tighter holes under pressure. Let me know if you need some more specifics on how to map a course. Wesflynn2yahoo.com asks at 12:35: My new iron set has 3, 4 and 5 hybrids. They are much easier to hit than irons but they do pose one problem. How do I hit a low trajectory, long shot with them...for example, if I have tree limb trouble in front of me but a long shot to the green? I've tried ball back in my stance and a slight forward press as I do with my irons but the ball flight is still higher than I would like. This is a problem many players face with the hybrids. The wider sole of the club makes it very difficult to angle the leading edge down into the turf and not have the club “right itself” through impact. You can experiment with hitting a low draw as the angle of attack is slightly shallower and keeps the club from skipping through impact. The other solution to the problem is to keep one longer iron in your bag to give you a little more versatility through the bag. Corey Kates asks at 12:20: I need some major help! I'm 26 years old, and played in high school and college. The summer going into my Senior year in high school I had several rounds in the 60s in tournament play. I felt great! Somewhere around then there was something that happened that has killed my short game from 60 yards and in. My confidence is so bad I have the shakes on pitches and chips anymore. I either chunk the ball and it goes 5ft, or I blade it way over the green. It's embarrassing when I play with friends from back in high school or college, and they ask me "what happened to your game?" and all I can say is "I don't know."
I live in the midwest and thought maybe it's my 60 degree that I've had since high school that has 6 degree of bounce, and that I need more bounce. I've watched videos about different techniques like the hinge and hold method, and nothing seems to help. Any idea to help a desperate player? You aren’t the first really good player that has had the yips chipping. I have taught many scratch players that are horrified to hit pitch and chip shots, especially from a tight lie with a very lofted wedge. I wrote an article last year called “New School Pitching” that has a video here at golf.com. Here is the link: http://www.golf.com/video/new-school-pitching The basic idea here is to run away from the hinge and hold methodology and allow the bounce of the club to be used effectively. I am sure you have noticed that many average players can chip significantly better than you would expect. The scoop release they have with their full swing is more effective as it translates to using the bounce of the club than attacking with an excessive amount of forward shaft lean where the leading edge of the club is digging into the turf. Watch the video and give it try, this has worked with players in your position many times. Stephen asks at 12:00: In the northeast and just got my first round of the year in this weekend! My ball flight was really low with my driver, 3W and mid-irons. What might be the cause? Welcome back from hibernation. The most likely cause of hitting the ball too low is ball position. If the ball gets too far back in your stance it is very difficult to get the proper trajectory with the longer clubs. The short irons aren’t impacted negatively as they will tend to fly a bit farther as the club is de-lofted at impact. The second possibility is that you have drifted too far past the ball at impact with your upper body. Getting ahead of the ball makes the effective ball position too far back causing the same problems as starting it in the back of the stance. Here are a couple pictures of the proper ball position and head positions at impact with the driver and irons. Foximpactdriver Foximpactiron

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