Archive: October 2009

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October 27, 2009

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

Posted at 9:30 AM by Brady Riggs

Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday at noon Eastern to review swing videos, answer questions and offer tips.

Thanks to everyone for your great questions and comments. I hope you guys have a fantastic week on the links. Stay positive and aggressive on the golf course. Try shots you aren't sure you will pull off and go for it at every turn. Nobody, including you, is going to remember the time you laid up on the Par 5 in front of the water and made a routine par. Play for the glory and the story, good or bad!

Marc asks at 10:15:

Brady, where is Ben Fox nowadays and how is he doing golf-wise? He has one the best swings I have seen...

Thanks for asking Marc. Ben just turned 22 and is playing his first round of the first stage of Q-School today. He is playing the best golf I have ever seen from him. He shot 66 in the pre-qualifier for the PGA Tour event in Vegas and then didn't get in on the Monday. Then he shot another 66 in the pre-qualifier for Phoenix, followed that up with another 66 on Monday and lost in a playoff for the final spot.

The only thing he needs right now is a place to play next year and look out. BTW, I agree about his swing, one of the best I have ever seen.

Needs distance asks at 9;59:

I am 5'8, fairly athletic, have a good swing (hit it pretty straight), but can only carry my driver 240-245 yards on average. How can I get more distance?

Physical stature is not the determining factor for power, just look at Ian Woosnam, Jeff Sluman, or Hidemichi Tanaka for that matter. Once all the other factors have been checked that include the proper specs for your driver, physical well-being, practice, etc. you need to determine if you swing the club like a golfer or an athlete. A golfer is worried about the position his club is in during the swing, staying under control, a pause at the top, good tempo, looking pretty, etc. An athlete is trying to use every fiber of his being to move in the proper sequence to hit the snot out of the ball.

It is a totally different mindset to swing the club like an athlete playing golf rather than a golfer playing a game. There is no way for me to write down how to do this in a timely fashion, but what I can tell you is that you need to watch a great pitcher throw a fastball, a great hitter smash a home-run, a ski-jumper launch themselves from the 90 meter hill, a tennis player serve an ace, and a hockey player take a slap shot. Look at these motions and you will start to see the sequence of movements and the all out attack that it takes to be powerful. This doesn't mean you swing "harder" or "muscle up", quite the contrary. It means you loosen up, get bigger with your motion and stop worrying about where the angle of the dangle is and start kicking some tail.

Post a link to your swing in the blog next week from You Tube and I will tell you how to get started.

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

October 19, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs helps lower your score

Posted at 10:13 AM by Brady Riggs

Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday at noon Eastern to review swing videos, answer questions and offer tips..

Thanks to everyone for your great questions this week. I am sorry to those who I didn't get back to. Please resubmit your quesitons earlier next week so I can be sure to answer them. Remember, if you post a link to your swing from You Tube I will put your question to the top of list. Have a great week!

Shane Roach asks at 1:24:

Hi - whats the best drill to eliminate the reverse pivot that causes loss of distance and thin shots.

Shane, there are two things you need to do to create the proper pivot. First, allow your head to move laterally on the backswing. This may be contrary to everything you have heard but it is a MUST. Next, DON'T move your hips laterally during the backswing. If your hips turn immediately and your head moves laterally away from the target your reverse pivot will be gone.

King asks at 1:15:

Please explain the arch of approach and how to ingrain it into your swing.

Are you asking me this question based upon a Golfing Machine background or just in general? The arc of approach is basically the angled delivery of the swinging motion, rather than the straight line of the hitting motion. I am not sure how this will help anyone in this blog or anywhere for that matter. Maybe you can ask me the question again next week with some more specific information about what you are trying to understand.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs helps lower your score" »

October 12, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Eddie Merrins here to help your game

Posted at 10:23 AM by Eddie Merrins

Eddie Merrins, aka the Little Pro, will be online from noon to 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday 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.

Read past installments of Ask the Top 100 Live

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October 05, 2009

Observations after looping for Bo Van Pelt at Turning Stone

Posted at 1:54 PM by Mark Wood

Wood-van-pelt Every year, Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Mark Wood, the director of Golf at the Cornerstone Club in Montrose, Colo., caddies in a Tour event for Bo Van Pelt, his longtime student. Last week, Wood looped for Van Pelt at the Turning Stone Resort Championship. Here are his observations from his time on the bag.

- You have no clue what a caddie does, all the nitty-gritty toil, until you do it. The public never sees caddies showing up on Tuesday in a Biblical downpour, but there I was with Bo last Tuesday in the rain. Nobody else was on the course, and they were smart. We walked the front nine in rainsuits hoping to devise a gameplan for the holes. On seven, a 433-yard, dogleg-right par 4, we decided that Bo would hit 3-wood every day no matter what. Guess what? He hit driver every day. So much for gameplans.

- I had the best of both worlds. My teacher's badge got me into the locker room and the players' dining room so I could feast on good food, and my caddie badge ... well, actually, that didn't get me anyplace I couldn't go as a teacher, but it was cool to have both.

- I caddie for Bo to find out what's happening in his mind. There's no laboratory that mimics real competition. I learned that Bo can be too much of a perfectionist, which is so common on Tour. On Friday, he birdied seven of eight holes. On every putt, the hole looked like a bucket. That's the mindset that Tom Watson had his whole career. Ditto for Tiger. I suggested to Bo that he needs to always putt like that, thinking he'll make the first putt and not worrying about what type of second putt he might have. Well, on Saturday Bo wasn't so sharp. He bogeyed three holes in a row, including one par 3 where he dunked a tee shot. Bo was really hard on himself. "You can't be a perfectionist; everybody makes bogeys," I told him. He needs to really absorb that idea. Dick Coop, his mental coach who was at Turning Stone Thursday through Saturday, agreed. 

Continue reading "Observations after looping for Bo Van Pelt at Turning Stone" »

October 01, 2009

Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs offers junior golf advice for kids and parents

Posted at 9:00 AM by Brady Riggs


If you're a junior golfer, or the parent of a junior golfer, tune in Tuesday at noon Eastern for live advice from Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs. He can help fix your swing (put a video on YouTube for in-depth analysis) and will offer advice to parents and players for how to get the most out of the game. Post your question in the comment space below and come back on Tuesday for the live forum.

Thanks to everyone for your questions and input. This is a very important subject that I never get tired of discussing. Please keep in mind that if your heart is set on a college golf scholarship for your child their chances are much better academically. There are only a couple spots that open up each year on each team and the competition is fierce. I am not saying it doesn't happen, but it will be an enormous challenge to say the least.

Robert asks at 12:59:

my son is 14. Like most golfers he struggles with consistancy especially off the tee. When he is hitting it well he hits it straight or with a slight draw. But when he is hitting it bad, he tends to slice it or push it. What can he do to get more consistant and eliminate the slice ball?

This is a common problem for golfers of all ages, not just juniors. Keep in mind that the slice almost always occurs because the clubface is open and the path is outside-in. Work with your son on hitting big hooks when he begins to slice it. This should obviously be done on the range where he can exaggerate the correction. This is a great way to help juniors begin to fix themselves when the ball is going poorly. As he hits the ball excessively from right to left he will be shaking up the mechanics of his slice and get him back on track.

If it continues to be an issue, post his swing to You Tube and send me a link in the blog. I will give you some direction....

Randy asks at 12:50:

I have a 13-year-old son who is now an 8 handicap. He is playing a slate of local junior tournaments in Utah and has been doing well since moving into the 13-14 group (he was 12 most of the summer). I know people who put their kid with an instructor and have a "plan" for the future. Problem is, I work for a university and don't make scads o' cash, plus I'm a scratch player and me being his only teacher has worked out pretty well thus far. What do you think? Obviously, if he went on to play college golf, that would be great...

I think you have done a good job with him so far. My dad taught me until I was about 14. When he didn't know what to say to help me anymore we sought the advice of a professional. It turns out his advice to me was better than any of the pros I worked with. In many cases the instruction you get can be worse than no instruction at all. Always proceed with caution when looking into a new instructor.

This whole "plan" thing is overrated in my opinion. If your kid is enjoying the game, getting better, practicing and playing through his own motivation and loving every minute of it, you are doing it right. Make sure he plays tournaments he can have success in that aren't way over his head talent wise. It can be very depressing to get slaughtered by better players every week. You will know the time to move him up in competition. It sounds to me you guys are doing a great job on your own.

Keep this in mind for the future. If he gets to a point where you feel he isn't getting better, struggling, and you need a new direction, send me an email. I know a good teacher in Utah that can help.

Continue reading "Ask the Top 100 Live: Brady Riggs offers junior golf advice for kids and parents" »

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