Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs answers your swing questions
Can't stop three-putting? Chipping from one side of the green to the other? Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be Tuesday at noon Eastern to fix your golf swing. Be first in line by leaving a question in the comments section below.
Thanks to everyone for the questions, especially the videos. My apologies to those who asked questions I was unable to get to. Please resubmit your questions next week, and get them in early! As always, any links to your swing posted on You Tube will be moved to the top of the list.
Bruce asks at 12:45:
I feel like my swing, while comfortable from the waist up, is all upper body and not nearly enough legs/hips. No matter what I do, I just can't get a good feeling of "getting my legs into it," or getting that powerful-looking "sit down" move I see almost every pro use. How can I incorporate the lower body into my swing in the proper way?
This is a big emphasis of my teaching. I think people should use their feet, legs, and hips to support the swing, power the pivot, and produce the rhythm needed to hit good shots. Getting the legs into the swing begins in the set up. The legs should feel bouncy, relaxed, and ready to move. In my opinion, the club should always trail the movement of the weight during the swing. The weight should move into the right leg during the backswing before the club moves away from the ball. On the downswing, the weight should move towards the target before the club begins down to the ball. If the weight moves before the club in both directions, the feet and legs are leading the swing and produce the proper rhythm needed to hit quality shots. This may be a huge philosophical change for you to make, but there is no change that will be more important.
Jaekwon asks at 12:35:
What is the proper position of the right arm/elbow in the backswing? Specifically, how high should it come up? I had been keeping it pretty low the entire time, and I'm struggling with terribly inconsistencies (50/50 hook/slice on almost all drives). Could this be part of the problem?
This certainly could be part of the problem. There has been a trend over the last few years in the world of golf instruction to have the right arm extremely low and close to the body at the top of the swing. Like so many things in the swing, there are no absolutes. Think of throwing a baseball, would you rather have your pitcher throw with his arm low and attached to the body or up, out, and away. I would take the ladder. I prefer to see the right arm in a position where the upper arm is parallel to the horizon with the elbow off the body. This is a more powerful position and allows the arm to move closer to the body on the downswing. A common mistake people make when keeping the arm close at the top is to have it move away on the downswing, the classic over the top move. The right arm is a good place to look, but always start with a solid grip, stance and posture. It will save you valuable time.
Ray asks at 12:20:
Here is a link to a video of my swing, full speed and half speed, plus
a close up of my grip.
I've been working on staying more on the balls of my feet to maintain
the tush line. I've been working on taking the club back with my
shoulders, I tend to take it back with my arms and too far inside. I
also come over the top and cast at the start of my downswing. I've
been working on swinging the club more from the inside. When I do
that, the ball starts right and keeps turning right. The swing feels
good, impact feels good, I just can't hit it straight, everything goes
right. So then I start coming over the top again, in an effort to hit
Finally, as you see on the video, my right foot is tacked to the
ground and I chicken wing.
Any tips would be appreciated.
Thanks for the video Ray. You are working on some positive things in your swing. I agree about your right foot being tacked to the ground, the chicken wing and the over the top move. But why is it happening? The magor issue is in the transition. As you begin your downswing, the solid turn you produced in the backswing is undone by a slight lateral slide of your hips AWAY from the target. This is the exact opposite direction they should be moving in. instead, your hips should move ahead of your arms and club towards the target. This is the "bump" you hear all the time. It is simialar to stepping into a baseball throw or hitting a pitch. When the lateral bump is done properly, the movement of the weight allows the arms and club to stay back away from the target line, keeping the club from coming over the top. This creates the proper "inside" attack to impact, making the release of the club a possiblility. This will fix the chicken wing and correct your ballflight.
Just remember that without the proper shift in the transition, you will be unable to get the club on the correct path or release the club.
Harry asks at 12:08:
Swing video location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjTJsDv09iU
I switched from an R shaft to a UST V2 HL Stiff in my G-10 to get a more penetrating ball flight. I hit a few good drives but, I started to overswing trying load the S shaft (swing speed 95+) causing me to loose my spine angle at impact topping the ball with the driver and woods. Went back to R shaft and still have been topping and hitting the driver/woods thin. Also, the thumb of my golf glove always wears out rapidly. I am still hitting irons solid from 7 down using more of a Leverage type swing. I take deep divots but I usually hit the ball first giving me good distance and trajectory (8I 150 yds-slight draw). How can I control my spine angle and get more solid drives?
Thanks for the video Harry. Looking at your video, there are two things you can change that should help you improve your ball striking. Lets start with the address position. The easiest way to lose your spine angle is to start with your weight excessively in your heels. Your body will search for balance as you swing, forcing your weight to move towards your toes. As your weight moves towards your toes, you will stand up. Instead, start with your weight more in the balls of your feet. As you make your backswing, allow your weight to move into the right heel as you rotate your hips. This gets to the second issue, your turn. The right hip shouldn't move away from the target during the backswing. This makes the swing excessively long because you can't maintain the forward bend in your upper body. With the weight in the balls of your feet, turning the right hip immediately not only eliminates your slide, but helps the weight move into your right heel.
Give this a try, it will feel strange in the beginning but stick with it.
Hurricane Bill asks at 12:00
I keep hitting behind the ball, sometimes 2-3" behind the ball. I change ball position, I change hand position, club position, etc. I still hit behind the ball. I also have NEVER had a divot taken in front of the ball. Help!
Here is an easy way to think of this. The bottom of the swing is going to fall where your weight is . If you have moved your weight properly onto the front foot at impact, your divot should begin just in front of the ball. If your weight is still between your feet or on your back foot, the bottom of your swing will be behind the ball and you will hit up on it or contact the ground early. Making solid, crisp contact definately takes some time, but moving your weight properly is a huge piece of the puzzle.