Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game
Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday at noon Eastern to review your swing videos, answer questions and offer up tips to lower your score.
Thanks for all the great questions and videos. I think we are all getting the hang of this. I am sorry for not getting back to everyone, we ran out of time. Get those questions in early next week! Remember that if you post your video to You Tube I will move you to the top of the order.
Noah asks at 12:55:
Hi Brady -
I really enjoy reading your swing help columns.
I am a right handed golfer who gets narrow and across the line at the top. I come down a little over the top, but my ball flight starts out high and to the right and then hooks left, especially with the short irons. I also tend to hit shots fat and my hips move in towards the ball way too much coming down. I feel cramped and feel my left side is in the way coming into impact. Any drills/swing thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the kind words about the column.
This really sounds like a set-up issue to me Noah. We need to get your body in a position that will help you maintain your freedom during the swing. Your stance needs to be more athletic. Get the weight over the balls of your feet and out of your heels. If you start in your heels you will move to your toes during the swing, making you feel jammed at imapct. This can cause the fat shots you describe, in addition to miss-hits including shanks.
The high hooks you describe are the result of the poor club position at the top of the swing. To get the club out of the across the line position, you need to understand the proper left arm rotation at the top. Stick with me for a second and I will explain. If you extend your left arm in front of you with your thumb pointing up in the air, you are at the starting spot. Rotate your ENTIRE left arm so the thumb is pointing to the right. You have now rotated the arm the proper amount for the top of the swing. If your left arm hasn't rotated correctly, the club will go across at the top and you will feel very cramped and jammed. Practice the proper motion without a club for a while. Put various objects in your left hand during the day and work on the rotation. Cell phones, sunblock, remote controls, etc. will all work. Once you get the hang of it, this must be practiced and looked at in a mirror with a club in your hands to get the feel. This is the cure for your across the line position at the top and the feeling of a lack of width.
Aaron Mann asks at 12:45:
I have been battling an out to in downswing path over the last few months. I think that I am starting the downswing with my upper body first, however I'm not quite sure how to do it with my lower body first. Do you have any drills that would help me start the downswing with my lower body first/swing from the inside? I am also struggling getting a full shoulder turn. Do you have any exercises that would help me achieve a better turn?
Aaron, the good news is you aren't alone. If you have read this blog at all over the last couple of months you have seen this question asks repeatedly. The good news is I don't get tired of answering it. Your brain must be changed first. You need to BELIEVE that the club must attack the ball from an angle, not from directly behind, and the clubface MUST be "closing" to the ball, not staying square as it approaches. If you can drink this Kool-Aid you have a chance.
Start with a better turn by allowing your hips to rotate more going back. This will get your hands and club further behind you at the top making it easier to get "inside" coming down. The best way to feel this is to try to "MOON" the target going back. As you come down, try to attack the INSIDE/BACK quadrant of the ball with the clubface closing. This will make you feel like the ball is going fifty yards to the right, it won't . Through impact get the toe of the club pointing at the target as soon as possible. The combination of the proper hip turn, better swing path and correct face rotation will eliminate the over the top. Don't worry about what starts first, the angle of the dangle or anything else. Stay orgainized with your thinking and you will be on your way.
Matt asks at 12:35:
having the issue on my downswing. I get set up great at the top with my
backswing, but during the downswing my head dips down anywere from 3-6
inches and towards my back foot about an inch. This can cause me to
either push my shots right, snap through for a hook, or if i time it
right hit a good shot. I don't hit many fats shots because my hands
keep at a pretty level plane and I am good at hitting the ball first. I
need a few tips to get over to my front foot during the downswing and
stop hanging back..
By your description your head is going back away from the target on the downswing. This is a classic "hang back" and will certainly produce the ball flight problems you describe. This key here is to understand the tilt of your upper body as you turn back and come down. When your head is going back, your left side is getting too high, too soon on the downswing. This forces your right side to tilt too early and too much, forcing your head to fall back over your right foot. This problem can begin in the backswing if the shoulders are turning on too flat an angle. You need to feel like your left shoulder is staying lower than your right shoulder as you make your backswing, and maintain this feel into the start of the downswing. This will delay the tilting of your right side later in the donwswing, keeping your lines more level at impact.
Keep this in mind: Your shoulder must still turn despite the steeper angle they are on. If this doesn't happen, you will be attacking on a steeper angle than you would like. Check out the swings of Sergio and Sean O'Hair as a blueprint.
Scott asks at 12:20:
Ian asks as 12:03
I am working on trying to get my club more laid off and starting the downswing with my lower body to shallow my transition to hit a fade - my miss is a pull hook. Can you take a look at this swing and let me know if I am doing things right?
That is a swing with a ton of potential Ian. I am going to give you my take on the swing from a fresh perspective, rather than commenting on what you are working on. Here is my take: Your clubface looks closed at the top. This isn't necessarily an issue unless you struggle getting your body through the shot. If your body gets stuck at the bottom, your hands will get overactive rolling the clubface excessively. When you combine the stuck body with the shut face you get a pull hook. In my opinion, you need to fix both.
The clubface issue appears to be related to the excessively flat position of the left wrist at the top and not the grip. I would have you retain a slight amount of bend in the left wrist at the top to help the clubface stay square. This is the adjustment I would make first. Next, I would have you work on moving through impact like Annika, Duval, Darren Clarke, Robert Allenby, Carl Petterson, Joe Durant, Charles Warren, and others who let their eyes and head release early to the target. Your head remains down well past impact, making it difficult for your body to keep pace with your hands and arms. This allows the hands to get overactive, and contributes to your hook. Try to get your eyes to find the ball about ten yards in front of where you are swinging. This will get them out earlier and help you stay in sync through impact. While this feels very strange at first, it can become extremely effective almost immediately. I have had players work on this as a drill and never go back becasue they hit it so much better.
Send in a new video and we will keep working on it.
Robert Marshall asks at 12:00:
In the latest issue of Golf(Senior Player) Learn the 30-yd lob, I confused. It say one place to play the ball forward and another the play it back. Which should it be?
The ball must be forward. Putting the ball back steepens the angle of attack making the face more vertical to the ground producing a lower shot. Play it up, lay the face back so the grooves are pointing to the sky, widen your stance and lower your hands a bit so the shaft is flatter. This will help you get the ball up high and soft.