Archive: September 2009

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September 29, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game

Posted at 12:08 PM by Brady Riggs

Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon Eastern to review your swing videos, answer questions and offer up tips to lower your score. Be first in line by leaving a question in the comments area below.

Thanks to all for your great questions today. Perhaps the most interesting session so far! I look forward to hearing from all of you in the weeks to come. Remember, if you post a link to your swing on You Tube I will put you to the top of the rotation. Have a great week and Go Packers!

Stephen asks at 1:00:

I am trying to get my ballstriking form back by practicing with lots of half swings. Is the L to L drill the best way to practice half swings? In other words, swing arms to parallel going back with wrists fully hinged and then do the same through the ball. Once I can strike the ball solidly consistently I will add the full shoulder turn. Will my plan work?

Stephen, I have to tell you I can't stand the L to L drill. The early set of the wrists on the backswing is one of my least favorite styles as it removes the athleticism and movement I think makes great ballstrikers. Work on your swing in this order and you will improve. Clubface first with a good grip and the proper wrist positions throughout, swingpath next with the club approaching the inside/back quadrant of the ball while the face is rotating, pivot last with the body always leading the arms and hands going back and coming down.

I like the idea that you are working on your swing without it being full. I would recommend you take out the speed of your practice rather than the length of your swing. This will allow you to feel the proper sequence of motion, body first, without the blur of full speed.

If you stick to the three critical elements of face, path, and pivot you will get to where you want to be before you know it.

Marc asks at 12:58:

Brady, in your opinion (or to your knowledge), why have so many of Leadbetter's pupils left him?

At one stage he coached most of the top 20 (Els, Charles Howell, Baddeley, Rose, Tryon) but all of those guys have left him for other coaches. The only big names he has left are Immelman (has done nothing since his Masters win) and Wie (has won nothing big at all).

Faldo ended up leaving him as well (probably was nothing left for Faldo to learn though).

Is he too technical now-a-days for a tour where every young player has a textbook swing but doesn't know how to translate that into wins.

That's a very good question Marc. Here is my take. I think Leadbetter had some of the finest swingers of the club back in the day. I still love Faldo and Price and use their swings as an example of what to do in my teaching.

I think several things happened that have changed people's view of Leadbetter effectiveness over the past decade. First, there was Tiger. The shock wave he produced when he entered the scene caused people to focus more on Butch and eventually Haney and took the spotlight away from Lead. Second, the emphasis on technical prowess and control left the game when Tiger's power shocked the golf world. The need for more athleticism and power wasn't necessarily associated with Lead's teaching, fair or unfair.

When it comes to philosophy I am not a big fan of the early set of the wrists during the backswing. I strongly believe that a great golf swing should be an ATHLETIC motion using the body, arms and hands. When the swing begins with a set of the wrists while the body remains passive, the swing becomes contrived and less powerful. You don't see an early set of the wrists in the swings of Hogan, Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Norman, Tiger, or AK for that matter. If power is a critical component of today's game, which it unquestionably is if you look at how unimportant driving accuracy is to winning golf tournaments, then an early set is terribly ineffecitve. This has been an emphasis of Lead's teaching over the last decade and, in my opinion, a negative.

Let me also say that no teacher agrees completely with any other teacher. We all have different approaches and Leadbetter has certainly earned his respect and place in the history of the game by working with the worlds best players. But, I have the philosophy of giving my honest opinion when asked so there it is.

Thanks for the interesting question, keep them coming.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game" »

September 21, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game

Posted at 2:38 PM by Brady Riggs

Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon Eastern to review your swing videos, answer questions and offer up tips to lower your score. Be first in line by leaving a question in the comments area below.

Thanks to everyone for your questions. We always love to see your swing from You Tube so get out those cameras and start filming, it will put you to the top of the list. I will also answer your questions on strategy, short game, swing theory, competing and equipment so don't be bashful. See you next time...

Andy asks at 12:57:

Hi Brady, I seem to pull my wedge shots from 120 yrds in often . I was wondering if you had any idea what the problem could be.Thanks

This is a very typical problem for many players hitting wedges, especially when they aren't full swings. When hitting a wedge shot many people slow down the body through impact in an attempt to gain control over the contact and/or the distance of the shot. This will always speed up the release of the hands and arms causing the clubface to close early and the shot to travel left of the target. Nick Faldo had some great advice about hitting these shots, he said the key to wedge shots, especially the in-between ones, was to keep the body rotating through impact to the target. This has been a very useful key for my own game over the years. Give it a try, I am sure it will get the ball more on line.

Brad asks at 12:50:

The only club in my bag that I hit badly is my driver: high and right (slice). Every other club from 3 wood to hybrids to wedges are dead straight or pulled if I hit it wrong. The driver is right, every time, all the time. Do I have a swing issue or a shaft issue?

It could be a shaft issue. If the shaft is too stiff it can make the ball go right. It is something to investigate before trying to rebuild your golf swing considering you are hitting the other clubs well. Take it to a facility with a launch monitor so you can get the actual numbers in front of you. Trusting a salesman at an off-course location wouldn't be a high percentage play at this point.

Matt asks at 12:35:

How can you build a consistent putting stroke. I believe i am keeping the putter online, but the tempo of the putting stroke is inconsistent. Also, how can you determine what type of putter should I be play. Is there a certain type for body build or swing style?

Thanks for asking a putting question Matt, always good to work on the short stuff.

There is no perfect style of putter for a certain body type. There are differences in the balance of the face, design of the head, and materials for the insert but the fact is most of the bells and whistles are unimportant. The fact is the most important elements of the putter are the length and weight. Fortunately, there has been an emphasis over the past two years on putter fitting that as addressed these issues. Make sure your putter is the correct length and weight, it can make all the difference.

Letting the putter swing on a natural arc is the best way to be consistent. Attempting to keep the putter square and straight back and through is a tough task. Let the putter swing back slightly to the inside and open and close slightly through is a good approach.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game" »

September 14, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game

Posted at 12:28 PM by Brady Riggs

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.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs here to help your game" »

September 08, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Eddie Merrins answers your swing questions

Posted at 10:24 AM by Eddie Merrins

Eddie Merrins, aka the Little Pro, will be online at noon Eastern to answer your golf instruction and swing questions live. Learn from a legend who played against Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Arnold Palmer, and has taught pros like Bob May and Duffy Waldorf and celebs like Jack Nicholson and Tom Brady. Leave your question in the comments section below and the Little Pro will give you the answer.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Eddie Merrins answers your swing questions" »

September 01, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs answers your swing questions

Posted at 10:28 AM by Brady Riggs

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:

Hey Brady

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.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs answers your swing questions" »

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