Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults

October 25, 2011

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question for Brady, check back next Tuesday for an all-new edition! Thanks for following the blog. Hope to see everyone next week….. Casey asks at 1:50: thanks for keeping up with the blog. It’s been very helpful all year.
I have a question on AK. I love his swing and am trying to steal some things from it, but I am a little confused why he hits his driver so wild. Do you think his swing is fundamentally sound and his issues might be more related to his health and not practicing enough? I just don’t understand how such a pretty and efficient looking swing hits the ball so wild sometimes. Any thoughts are appreciated. It is a very good question Casey. AK is no different than many powerful players when it comes to accuracy. With increased clubhead speed comes more power when you hit it well and more power away from the fairway when you don’t. When a player with AK’s power misses a shot it will always be more wild than the proportional miss of a Fred Funk. I think AK’s mechanics are excellent for the most part and are a good model to copy if you have the physical attributes of strength and flexibility. I think the lack of sufficient practice time, injuries, and overall rust under tournament conditions are all contributing factors to his lack of accuracy from the tee. He has played some solid rounds since his return, it remains to be seen if he can reach the superstardom that we all think is possible. John asks at 1:10: Appreciate any advice on the attached down the line video. I very much understand intellectually the tush line concept but cannot seem to execute it – my head moves so far back away from the ball and I was wondering if you might be able to suggest “why” this is happening . . . so I can get at the root cause to try and correct. I can take swings where I am “sure” my head does not move and the camera says otherwise. Much appreciated Brady! Thanks for the video John. I couldn’t agree more that your lack of posture during the swing is the major issue. When you lose the “tush line” and stand up during the downswing your body doesn’t rotate properly as you are making contact. When the body isn’t working properly the hands have to overwork and play to active a role. This can lead to numerous misses including hooks and even the occasional shank. If I had you on the lesson tee the first thing I would fix is your legs and tush in the address position. Your hips are positioned too far behind your ankles making a shift towards the ball with your tush a certainty. You need to push your hips out over the ball while keeping your knees out over your toes. This may sound a bit confusing but the idea is to get your hips directly over your ankles so there is no need to shift off the line during the swing. Once the set-up has been fixed you will see an immediate improvement in your ability to maintain contact with the line. Chances are this won’t completely fix your issue. I would have you make slow and short swings focusing on maintaining contact with the line your tush and head begin against. This is an incremental process that eventually becomes the full swing technique, but it takes time. You can put your head against a door jam at home, take your address position and make some “swings” without a club where you focus on maintaining contact with the wall until after impact. You can use the same drill with your tush against the wall and begin to get a feel for what is different than your normal swing. Keep in mind, you can’t make changes in your swing at full speed and full length. You have to slow it down and shorten it up to get there. Send in some new video when you get a chance so I can see how you are progressing. Posture Stevey O’Brian asks at 12:40: Brady, I have the Driver yips. Ok I said it, I admit it. Over the past 3 years the occasional snipe, low and left, has become a major problem in my golf game. It doesn’t happen on the range, I can hit driver over and over again and I can’t replicate the issue. But it’s happening 70% of the time I attempt to hit driver during a round. I assume it’s 100% mental, do you have any suggested drills or strategies to excise the demons? I was an 8, now a 14 about to sell my sticks on E-Bay. It’s going to be ok Stevey. You aren’t the first player to have this issue and won’t be the last. The good news is it can most certainly be fixed. Without seeing your swing I can’t tell you the specifics of why this is happening but I can help you with some strategies for moving forward. The biggest issue has to do with where your focus is when you are hitting the driver. Often times players struggle with the driver yips because they are anticipating impact. This makes your hands “fire” or grab the handle on the downswing and the results can be quite bad. The road to fixing this issue begins with your focus shifting to the flight of the ball and your finish position. I would suggest you abandon the thoughts of staying down and keeping your eye on the ball at impact and replace it with allowing your eyes to work out towards the target well before impact. This will change your motivation as you are attacking the ball from ball focused to target focused. With your eyes working out earlier you won’t be able to anticipate the contact and your hands will play a more passive role. Combine this with a commitment to hold the finish position and you will have a new formula to fixing your yips. Bill asks at 12:15: Attached are a few recent swings for review/comment. I’ve been struggling with what i think is an overly long backswing and more importantly a flippy release. My right hand seems to overpower my left at the bottom of the swing, something i’ve been trying to correct forever. Is there a technique you can suggest that puts the hands in a better release position?
Thanks, Bill Thanks for the videos Bill. The grip is a bit weak in the left hand. While this might not seem like a big deal it effects your impact position and release in a profound way. If your body were to rotate open at a more normal rate (it is currently quite slow through the ball) and your hands got out in front at impact there is no way the clubface would square up properly. Think of the relationship between body rotation and hand action at impact as a balancing act. The more rotation you have the less the hands will be involved and vice versa. As a result, you are wise to keep the body rotation down to a minimum with the left hand grip positioned as it is. The hands have to pick up the slack through impact as a result which is why you see and feel the flippiness at impact. If you took the opposite example of a Paul Azinger or David Duval you would begin to see the relationship in a different way. They both play(ed) with strong left hand grips requiring a great deal of body rotatioin through impact to keep the hands from overworking. If the body was as passive as yours with the grip they were using you would see some impressive hooks. The key to improving your entire motion, specifically your impact position, lies with your grip. Make the left hand stronger so your body will have to move better through impact. This will give you a chance to get your hands leading the clubhead at impact and change the way you strike the ball. Aman Misra asks at 12:00: Dear Mr Riggs, greetings from Kolkata, India. I hit the ball too low, i.e my trajectory or ball flight is very low. What can I do to improve my height over the ball? Particularly with my long irons and woods. You can start in the address position. Make sure the ball isn’t positioned too far back in your stance as this will make it very difficult to get the ball in the air. The ball should be positioned forward of center in your stance with every ball played on the ground. It should be even more forward of center with the driver. To encourage a bit more height you need to create some right side tilt (right handed players) at address. If the shoulders are too level at set-up you are going to have very little chance to get the ball taking off at a normal height. Here is a picture to help you. Rightsidetilt