Ask the Top 100 LIVE: Brady Riggs is here to fix your game

Ask the Top 100 LIVE: Brady Riggs is here to fix your game

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. EST to answer your questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady, he'll be back next Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. for a new Ask The Top 100 Live. Thanks to everyone for submitting your questions and especially your videos. I would love to keep going but I have to get to the lesson tee. Special thanks to the guys at JC Video for all their support with the software, it brings teaching to life. If I didn't get to your question please ask again next week and get them in early! Nick asks at 12:50: Mr. Riggs,
I have trouble going past parallel at the top of the swing. My arms
feel out of sync with my body on the backswing and my arms continue to
move even when my shoulder turn stops. Do you have any tips to build
more resistance in my backswing? I have tried limiting my hip
turn/rotation by having knees pointed more toward the target line and
flaring my left foot, however, I tend to come over the top too much
with this and still go past parallel. I will try to upload a video for
next week's blog.
wanted to add something. What muscles, body parts should I be
engaging/feeling on the backswing? I feel that my swing is more left
sided and that I am pushing and turning my left shoulder on the
This is a good question, Nick, with an answer that will seem like I am being sarcastic, but hear me out. To stop the backswing sooner and kill the run on with your arms you just need to start the downswing sooner. I know this seems silly but it's true. Think of your arms as mindless, wandering fools going back. They are incapable of stopping until something stops them. Your body is the only thing that can do it. If your body moves back toward the target before your arms and the club have reached the top they will come down because the body is DRAGGING them down. Starting the club back away from the ball with your upper left arm, shoulder and chest as you have asked is a very good way to get things going. I would stick with that and add the missing piece of moving the body back toward the target earlier. This begins in the feet, works up through the legs and hips, transfers into the trunk and shoulders and eventually brings down the arms and club. The transition should begin with the body just after the left arm is parallel to the ground going back. It will take a few frames on video for the arms to be "caught" by the body, so that is why you need to start early. Here is a couple pictures to help you see it. Ta3 Travis asks at 12:48: I'm
having some trouble with my driving accuracy late in a round. I start
out driving the ball nicely (although with less distance than I would
like) but I then start slicing the ball most of the time, while
occasionally hitting a straight pull to the left. I know without video
it is hard to diagnose what is going on, but any possible tips on how
to straighten that out would be great.
As the round progresses you may be getting fatigued making it difficult to turn your body as you were doing when the round began. Make sure you get the right shoulder to feel closed in the address position to give you a head start on the turn. Initiate the swing with your upper left arm and chest moving back and around together to help ensure your turn stays consistent. This will make it easier for the club to get to the inside coming down and help you get in a position where you can release properly through impact. A slice and a dead pull are twin sisters from the same ugly parent, an outside-in attack. Tony asks at 12:35: I have
heard plenty of Tiger getting stuck now, and on the Golf Channel last
night Faldo talked about the shoulder movement, how would you get Tiger
Tiger isn't stuck! He is just the opposite. When he tries to hit a cut he hits either a dead pull (hole number 1) or a push slice (hole 11). When he tries to hook it he either snaps it (hole 5) or chunks it (hole 13). His has issues with his address, backswing, and his pivot that are preventing him from releasing the club correctly. How is it that the best athlete ever to play the game who is without a doubt the smartest golfer who ever lived unable to fix a problem he said has been bothering him for years and years? He is working on the wrong things in the wrong way. Stay tuned to tomorrow as I explain what is up with his swing and his chipping from a technical standpoint.

Brady…. Thanks for all your helpful advice. Here are some new swings.
This is a SW, 7-iroon and 3-wood. This longer the club the more I get the club
behind me on the downswing, how do I avoid this? The 3-wood actually
bottoms out behind the ball many times. I am also thinking my hands get
to high on the backswing.

My pleasure, JP. We could deal with the swing, the bottoming out and the the club getting behind you. but we would be putting the cart before the horse as they say. ( I always wonder who "they" are.) You are the poster boy right now for needing to maintain your "tush line." Losing the line is why you stand up going back, it's why your arms are too high at the top, and it's why you are bottoming out on the downswing before you get to the ball. We need to get your address position in order before we proceed.What is interesting is that your weight does appear to be toward the front of your shoes, which is correct. However, you are WAY TOO FAR from the ball and WAY TOO BENT OVER. We need to get you in the right spot before we do anything else. I want you to feel that you are TOO CLOSE to the ball at address with your weight toward the front of your shoes. If we get you in the right spot you will feel like you have to get further from the ball as you swing the club. In addition, if you feel like you are standing TOO TALL, you will increase the amount of squat during your swing, making you more powerful while giving your arms more room to get down in front of your hips. Here are some pictures of the proper address position and squat to give you the idea.

I am a
avid reader of your blog and love your approach to the game. Your
explanation of maintaining the "tush line" has resurrected my swing
from near oblivion. I had been trying Jim Hardy's one-plane swing and
was bending way too far. It was also stressing my back. As a middle-aged golfer with occasional lower-back issues, I am interested in your
opinion of the limited-turn swing taught by Don Trahan, which takes
swinging vertically to the extreme. His son D.J. seems to be doing well
this year in a number of statistical categories and supposedly uses
Don's swing, although D.J. appears to be closer to other golfers on
tour than to Don in his swing mechanics. I look forward to reading your
Thanks for the kind words, Tony, I really appreciate it. It is funny that you have mentioned two polar opposites in terms of styles between Hardy's "one plane" and Trahan's more vertical action. As you mentioned, his son is much more in the statistical middle when it comes to his swing. Since you have been reading the blog you know I am not a big fan of any "methodology" that says everyone can do it one way. Many people selling a product will try to convince the customer that they have the secret, the key, the answer to all their issues with a simple DVD and 3 easy payments of $39.99. This is why you don't see any products for sale by your blogger. When I find a product that makes sense and actually does what it says, I will endorse it. Until that time comes I will be teaching people the three most important issues when it comes to hitting a golf ball, getting the clubface to match their path while using the pivot to power the motion. Tony, please send me a video so I can give you some specific advice for your golf swing. I promise I won't try to sell you a DVD or make you buy some amazing gadget. Matt W. asks at 12:00:

Brady, Years ago you were very helpful with my son’s swing and you posted some
suggestions on your website under Student Swings for M.W. He doesn’t
get to play golf as much but he is starting to get back into the game
and I was hoping you could take a look at his swing. I know he is steep
in his transition but I’m not sure where to start first. His misses are
usually on the toe and he has been blocking them to the right. I have
had him look at some of your videos on youtube but any suggestions you
would have on what he needs to do would be much appreciated. Here are
his swings. The first thing I would do is to get those knees spread out in the address. He is restricting any athletic motion starting with his legs pinched together. The steepness in his transition is related to the lack of lateral motion in his transition. He needs to get his hips going in the direction of the target as he starts down so the club can stay back and attack more from the inside. The toe contact and blocks come because the club can't go out anymore once it has reached the ball. It has done all of the out it will do in the start of the downswing. If you get the lateral to start down, the club will go out more at impact, allowing the contact to find the sweet spot and the clubhead to release properly. Please look at the pictures I just put up of Anthony Kim in the downswing and you will see where he is going wrong. I have also included a set-up picture to show you how the knees should look. Kneeswide

Hope you enjoyed the Masters, although I don't see how you could not. As a fellow lefty, I am a huge fan of Phil's win.
One of the things that I struggle with in my swing is a steep,
sometimes over-the-top attack, that is led by an excessive movement of
my shoulders at the beginning of the downswing. As a result, my arms
get too close to my body and cannot extend.
Therefore one of the things that I have been working on is trying to
hold the upper-body back and swing from the inside. When I do it
correctly I produce more of a draw flight and can really feel my arms
extending. Any tips or swing-thoughts I can use to facilitate more of
an inside to out attack on the ball? The genesis of too steep is always in the address. If you look at the response I just gave to the previous question you will see I covered the need for the proper tilt away from the target and the subsequent good pivot that goes with it. The trick to attacking more from the inside coming down is always in the direction the hips move in the transition. The lead hip, in your case as a lefty your right hip, must move laterally to the target before it begins to rotate. If this is done properly the arms and club will stay back away from the target line as long as possible, allowing the attack to come more from the inside. A great way to feel this is to try to get the quad muscle (top of your leg) of your lead leg engaged for a while as you begin the downswing. This will keep the hips closed and prevent you from spinning too quickly. Here is a great sequence of Anthony Kim showing the proper loading of the front leg. (I made him left handed just for you!) Kimdown

problem is head drift toward the target on the downswing. I have tried
to start the downswing with my lower body but still get my head moving
forward first anyway. It actually starts just as I get to the top. When
I try to hold my head back I end up staying back too long and my lead
leg sags. I have also tried the shadow drill where I put a ball on the
ground and try to keep the ball within the left 2 or 3 inches of my
head shadow (I'm a lefty). That works well, but when I actually hit a
ball it drifts anyway. This is a persistent problem and I would
appreciate any drills that you can suggest. Thanks.
Dave, you are trying all the right things. One of the problems with trying to keep your head and upper body from moving too far toward the target line is that you will have the tendency to hang behind it too much. It is the happy medium you need to find. Keep in mind that the head can be in different positions based upon the club you are hitting. When the ball is played on the ground the bottom of the swing needs to be in front of the ball. This makes it OK for the head to move closer to the target at impact than it was at address. The driver requires impact to be on a flat spot, with no descending blow. This makes it necessary to move the ball farther up in the stance and keep the head more behind at impact. Here is a picture of Davis Love III and Anthony Kim showing the proper head position from start to finish using an iron and a driver. Akdlimpact The key to fix your issue begins in the address position with your tilt away from the target. Once you have established the proper tilt, you can pivot correctly going back. Your head should move slightly away from the target while your back hip turns sharply. This will maintain your tilt from address and put you in a position at the top where you can move aggressively to the target. Here is a picture of the proper pivot going back.  Khuenepivot  Give this a shot and let me know how it is going. I would love to see the swing so get it taped and upload it to Youtube asap.

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