Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs answers your swing questions
Summers almost over, but there's still time to work on your game. Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online today at noon Eastern to fix your golf swing. Be first in line by leaving a question in the comments section below.
Thanks to all for your questions. Sorry I wasn't able to get to all of them! Get them in early next week so I can fix you. Remember, if you post a link to your swing from YOU TUBE I will put you to the front of the list.
Cory asks at 1:48:
It seems at our local course that they water the heck out of the fairway, but the rough can't hold the water. Any tips in playing in the wet fairway and the hard/dry rough?
Sounds like you need a new superintendent. There is only so much you can do without changing your swing for the worse so keep this subtle. You need to catch the ball first in the wet fairway scenario more than normal as I am sure you have discovered. Move the ball slightly back in your stance and make sure you get your weight onto your front foot at impact. If this doesn't happen, your pants are going to get very dirty from the knees down with the resulting splash. This will lower the ball flight, making the short irons go farther and the long clubs shorter so adjust accordingly. The hard dry rough is pretty much the same thing. The only good part is if you hit it fat the club just bounces through instead of splashing. In both cases getting the ball first is critical to hitting effective shots. This will serve you well in the future when the need to hit a lower shot arises.
Shawn asks at 1:30:
I have the common swing fault of swinging too far to the inside which hurts me at hte top of the swing. I think my arms are getting too far away from me and that is what causes this. What drills can i do to have better balance and not have the club going under the plane on the way back?
Shawn, you are correct about your takeaway, it can cause many problems if it gets excessively inside. Here is the fix. Standing too far from the ball in the address position is a great way to screw up your takeaway and get it too far inside. Adjusting the address shouldn't be that difficult. When you take your posture without a club your arms should hang down out away from your knees only slightly more that perpendicular to the ground. Use a mirror to help you achieve this position and take the feel with you to the practice tee. Once that is achieved we can move on to the mechanics of the proper takeaway.
Here is the deal, you need to maintain 3 alignments to fix the inside takeaway. First, your upper left arm and chest should be attached at address and maintain their connection as you take the club back. Don't allow your left arm to move off the body or rotate in the takeaway. Next, the slight bend you see in the back of the left hand and wrist as you look down at a neutral grip MUST be maintained or the club will go inside immediately. Some refer to this as a "cup" in the wrist which is fine, keeping the "cup" will keep the club outside your hands. Finally, you must maintain the vertical hinge in your left wrist during the takeaway or the club will stay too low to the ground for too long. This vertical hinge is felt by bringing your left thumb up to the forearm if you are looking down at it. This doesn't mean you have to set your wrists early! We all have some vertical hinge built into the address position of their would be a straight line from your left shoulder to the clubhead. Just MAINTAIN it in the takeaway and you will be golden.
This may seem like a great deal to accomplish but it isn't because you are only MAINTAINING your alignments, not trying to manipulate new ones.
David asks at 1:18:
Here are some videos of my swing. I don't have one of my grip, but you can see the gist of that in the front view video. Also, these videos are a little older (but they're all I have right now), and I've shortened my backswing somewhat and no longer take the club back across the line, but everything else is still the same. My biggest problem is just inconsistency...I push, slice, and hook with equal distribution. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!
David, if you have read any of the posts in the past you probably have heard my views on how the weight should work during the swing. Looking at your swing, especially from the target line view, it is appears you never really get your weight rotating into the right heel at the top. As a result, your arms are extremely high at the top and right leg has become much longer than it was in the address. The raising of your left heel at the top is often misinterpreted as shifting the weight, but what is actually happening is most of your weight is in the ball of your left foot at the top instead of your right heel.
I would like to see both feet remain on the ground at the top with your right knee maintaining SOME of the flex it began with. I said SOME because some slight straightening of the right leg is fine. If the right leg retains some flex and your weight is in the heel of your right foot, your arms will be more "behind" you at the top making it much easier to swing the club down to the ball on a more inside path. This will greatly improve your chances of making solid contact and improve both your direction and power.
Mike from Philly asks at 1:15:
I’m a low single digit handicapper who is haunted by the 20-30 yard shot, requiring a balance of height and spin (typically with a sand wedge). I tend to either hit this well, skull it, or hit it fat – in unfortunately equal proportions. What are the key thoughts here in terms of set up, weight, wrist hinge etc?
Mike, see Rogers question and answer below as it directly relates to your issue.
Roger Thompson asks at 1:10:
I've got a 2 handicap and am a reasonably decent ball striker. However, about 2 years ago I developed what can best be described as the yips while chipping. From 40 yards in I can't get it on the green consistently. I've been told I'm de-accelerating, I'm flipping, etc. As of right now I'm hitting most chips with a 5-wood or a 5 iron and basically just using a putting stroke unless I have a fluffy lie. Off of any type of tight lie I am just dead. It's gotten so bad I no longer am trying to get it up and down, I'm trying to avoid double. I practice with just my left hand and am fine until my right hand gets on the club. Same results chipping with just my right hand. Are there any good drills I can use to get my hands out of these shots that used to be routine?
Roger, I feel for you. This is not that uncommon among good players believe it or not. It is called the "chip yips" and is awful. The solution may sound strange but hear me out. When most of us learned how to chip we were taught the typical weight on the front foot, hands forward, choke down and keep the clubface square during the entire motion with the hands always leading the clubhead. This can work, but if you get even the slightest amount of hands involved it gets ugly fast. The yips are the involuntary movements or engagement of the hands, which is why it kills traditional chipping.
I teach all of my young, competitive players a completely different method than we were taught. If there is one huge difference between the young players of today and my era it is that their shots around the green are far better than ours were. Some of this is attributed to the wedge design, but the technique is better as well.
Here's what you need to do. Get the hands ACTIVELY involved so they don't accidently participate. Start with the weight only slightly forward, hands only slightly ahead, and club barely choked down. The philosophy of this shot is to use an ARC rather than moving the club straight back and through. As a result, the cubface can rotate open with the plane going back and close with the plane coming through. This active participation of the hands and arms gives you something to do during the motion rather than trying to "hold on" to the clubface through impact. With the face slightly open at address, you can hit that one bounce checking shot you see on TV and dazzle your friends.
This will work for you with a little practice and experimentation.
Marc asks at 12:45:
Hi Brady Here is a link to a swing analysis another coach did. I have a problem with my head shooting forward and down in my backswing and then coming up and back in the downswing. This affects my body angles. How do I stop doing it or what is the cause?
Here is the link:
I would love to see your swing from both angles but lets work with what you have. I agree that your arms are hanging too close to your body in the address position. Let me tell you having know Anthony Kim since he was 10 years old that he sets up with his hands excessively high and arms further from the ball than most good players. It is a good model as an exaggeration for you to follow but don't go overboard.
About your swing. Your head moves towards the ball because you are trying to keep it still. Allow it to have some lateral motion away from the target going back and it will move off the line you begin against. As I have said many times on the blog, your weight should turn into your right heel on the backswing. When you move your weight properly and allow the head to shift laterally the issue will go away. On a seperate issue, I am not a big fan of the flatness of your arm swing going back I like to see the hands up above the shoulder and the club pointing parallel to the target line at the top. The flatter top position you are in reduces clubhead speed and limits your ability to hit various shots.
If you send in a new video, try to use both camera angles and hit a seven iron instead of the wedge.
Davie asks at 12:50:
I just can't stop overswinging, especially with the driver off the tee. Any tips? I'm very inconsistent off the tee, a lot of hooks. I suspect I'm coming down 'over the top'.
thanks, all the way from Scotland ;-)
Welcome to the USA blog Davie. I have a good friend who is a Hibs fan, hope that doesn't offend..
Two important keys to tightening up the backswing. First, you must have your upper body tilted away from the target at the top of the swing. This is achieved by creating a sharp turn of your hips as you move the club from the ball while your head moves away from the target. If done properly when looking in the mirror from face on, you will see your tush is closer to the target than your head. This is the correct tilt at the top and will greatly reduce the chance of an overswing. Next, the backswing should end because your downswing begins. Sounds silly but once your weight begins to move towards the target your hands and arms won't be able to go back any further.
The proper pivot of the body and starting the downswing earlier with your weight shift will shorten up your backswing and produce more clubhead speed.