Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online LIVE at noon Eastern to
answer your questions, review your swing videos and help you improve
your game. (Remember: He’ll answer questions with videos first!) Leave a
question in the comments area now to be first in line!Thanks to everyone for your great questions and videos. This was a really good blog this week and I feel like it keeps getting better. I look forward to next week…Charl asks at 1:20:Brady, why does someone like Phil, with all his talent, consistently
struggle with losing the ball right? After the U.S. Open that he threw
away, you would think that he would have fixed it immediately. Yet even
Butch doesn’t seem to be helping him with his driving accuracy. One
tournament he is straight, the next two he is wild.
What is up with his swing that causes this? If you had the chance to
coach Phil, how would you go about solving his driving problems?Let me start by saying that I respect Butch a great deal and think he does an excellent job working with each player’s individual strengths and weaknesses without imposing any “methodology” of his own on their golf swing. If more teachers adopted this philosophy when dealing with students, more people would play better golf. Phil has three things going against him when it comes to accuracy. First, he has a great deal of clubhead speed, which magnifies small mistakes with the driver. Players who hit it shorter can be just as off technically and still hit the fairway because they lack his power. Second, Phil has been this way forever so making changes can be very challenging. Finally, and this is the root cause, he was the victim of some very bad golf instruction early in his career. I will not name the teacher but let’s just say that the amount of respect I have for Butch is equal to the amount of disdain I have for this teacher. The problems in Phil’s technique should have been addressed long ago and weren’t. When it comes to what I would work on, it isn’t far from what Butch seems to be doing. I would tighten up the length of the swing a bit by getting his legs underneath him better throughout the swing. I would like to see him more vertical with his body at impact with less hanging back and a more stable front leg. These aren’t new ideas but would most certainly improve his ability to hit fairways more consistently. Marc asks at 1:10:Johnny Miller was saying how he thinks that Steve Stricker’s swing is the swing of the future. Do you agree?
The thing I noticed that I don’t like is that it seems like Stricker
disconnects his upper right arm from his body very early on his
backswing. I don’t know if this is serious or not or would lead to
compensations later in his swing.
Always interested to hear your thoughts?I refuse to give my completely honest opinion about Johnny Miller so let me hold back a little and say he isn’t my favorite. Steve Stricker’s strength is in his overall game and even more specifically his putting. His ball striking has improved dramatically and last year he moved up to seventh on tour in that category. I think his golf swing is solid, effective, and would be a fine model for most people to emulate and steal from. His upper left arm does rotate off his body early creating a flatter shaft alignment going back than many players. This makes the shape of his swing a “uni-plane” which is very effective. Is it revolutionary? NO! Is it unique and groundbreaking? NO! Is Johnny Miller a complete novice when it comes to swing theory and where the game is going? No comment! Hwang-jae asks at 1:00:After flooding rains and heaps of snow I developed a hook problem, and
when I checked my setup and swing path into the ball everything was all
wrong. Also I had excessive secondary tilt on the downswing. I think
it’s due to my ball position creeping back in my stance. (maybe
parallax’s fault?) To keep it short my questions are…
1. Should I have the butt end of my club pointing at my left zipper seam, or could you have the butt end in the middle?
2. Left arm during setup: I noticed mine is bent slightly and was
wondering if it should make a straight line? (I can also hyper-extend
my arms past straight so should I do that or keep it straight, or is a
slight bent OK?
3. I slide on the downswing causing horrendous tilt (worse than Brad Faxon’s). My left leg is noticeably bent at impact out toward the
target, possibly due to the tilt. If I rotate–and not slide–I feel like
I’m not transferring weight, and am swinging out-to-in, but I dont think I
am. Does the weight transfer during the real swing because the
swing is in motion?
I know it’s a lot and I don’t have a video and I am working on it……maybe next week!Let’s see what I can do here. You can have the handle pointed at either the seam or in the middle at address. The effect is that the more the handle leans forward the more the clubhead will go inside in the takeaway. The left arm should be relaxed in the address position so I would always prefer it to be slightly bent vs stiff. I will tell you that the upper left arm should be on top of the left pec and not to the side of it. When it comes to the secondary axis tilt becoming excessive there are several causes. The most common is the excessive slide of the left hip while the upper body leans back away from the target. I would like to see your left shoulder, hip, knee, hands and club over the left foot at impact. Here is a picture of Anthony Kim in that alignment at impact. Notice the difference between the set-up position on the left and the impact on the right. The yellow line is on the outside of the left shoulder at address and running through the arm at impact. Just pose these two positions and you will feel the difference. Send me some video when you get a chance so I can give you some specific advice. Noah asks at 12:40:I’ve participated in a couple previous blogs looking for help
regarding a narrow, across-the-line backswing and a loss of “tush line”
as you call it on the downswing. You’ve given me some great advice, but
I still struggle with those faults. I suffer from all kinds of misses,
mostly high hooks and high pushes. Lots of shots on the toe and some
thin, distance is not a problem.
I finally got around to getting my swing on camera. Attached are two links with a driver and a 5 iron.
Any insight on a path to success would be appreciated.Noah, it’s all about the tush line for you. Your lack of space through impact makes the shaft get very upright, restricts the proper release of your hands and arms, and kills any chance of proper hip rotation. The club looks OK going to the top in terms of width and alignment but the major issue is your inability to keep your space away from the ball. If I had you on my lesson tee I would make you go the opposite direction. In other words, I would get you too close to the ball with your weight completely in your toes at address and teach you to go into your right heel going back and your left heel going through. If you don’t exaggerate the fix you are going to struggle with this issue for a long time. Forget about the other small things in your swing you don’t like and get on top of this right away. Check out this really good-looking guy at set-up and impact and you will see I maintain the line because my setup is effective. Check out the angle of my lower legs at address and then look at yours. Send me the new stuff from the Target line view ASAP. Steve asks at 12:25:Hi Brady,
Love your blog. I have been working on a few things since the advice you gave me earlier on 1/1/10.
I have weakened my right hand, attempting to get the right index first
knuckle more on the side, trying to get the clubface more open and
parallel to the left forearm at the top. I have also tried getting more
into the balls of my feet at address (posted links below). The good
news is the hooks are gone, but I am still frequently blocking with
occasional shanks. I am really struggling to get the shaft at
transition pointing outside the ball on the target view. Are there more
things I can fix in my setup or is this more of a dynamic problem in
need of drills? Thanks!
Ben from the 80’s asks at 12:10:Brady,
Thank you so much for the feedback. I’m amazed at your diligence in
taking the time to respond to these inquiries. I’m the guy from last
week who swings like an 80s golfer. Unfortunately I was born in 1982 and
I’m only 27. Needless to say I taught myself on old Golf Digest issues and the
Nicklaus book. Anyway, here is an updated swing that feels so much
better with a more centered turn and starting position. Basically I try
to feel like Rickie Fowler with a bowed-out leg starting position and
try to feel like I’m hitting a fade and it seems to work. Let me know
what else I could work on. The fact that you learned from old magazines and Nicklaus’ book makes perfect sense, Ben. BTW, the Tiger-esque club twirl at the finish is a bit flashy for me. I prefer the old Hogan drop and step back. I think your swing looks really good and matches your desired left-to-right ball flight. If a fade is what you desire I would keep things where they are. My only concern is for your lower back over the long run because of your low right shoulder and side bend at the finish. The problem is that if you change your finish and become more upright the ball flight would be more likely to move from right-to-left. The key at this point is to monitor the health of your back and weigh that with the shape of your shots. I have included a couple of pictures at the finish of Darren Clarke and Chad Campbell to help you see the differences. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the swing with a real ball outside (and without the twirl of course).
Eric asks at 12:00:Back with video for next week! It still lacks a little bit of speed
— I go from parallel behind the ball on the downswing to parallel in
front of the ball on the release — but it has a lot more than the
camera I tried to use last week. The first swing down-the-line with the iron was
a complete shank, the rest were fades/pushes/slices. I noticed I fell
back into swaying my hips laterally on the backswing too much again —
does anything else jump out at you? Thanks for the new video Eric. You are correct that your hips are moving laterally too much on the backswing. This makes it very difficult to get the club to attack the ball on the proper path coming down. I think I have sent you to my swing site to show you the backswing pivot of Davis Love III. If you haven’t, please check that out at www.redgoat.smugmug.com. Here is a picture of the proper location of the right hip in the address position and then at the top of the backswing. Look at the space his right hip has created away from the line from where it began. When it comes to the rest of your swing, you are sitting back in your heels too much in the address and I would like to see you more up on top of the balls of your feet. Your right hand is placed too far under the handle with your grip in an excessively strong position making the clubface closed at the top. The problem with the closed clubface is that it causes you to hold on too much through impact to keep the ball from going left. The slice is caused by the poor path related to your hip turn and the lack of release caused by the strong grip. The shank comes from your weight moving toward your toes during the swing, making you too close to the ball with your body at impact. Start with the changes at address, work on your hip turn and you will see better results quickly.