Archive: October 2010

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October 26, 2010

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher will fix your faults

Posted at 2:09 PM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time to help fix your swing. He'll be back next Tuesday at the same time to help you play better golf.

Welcome to the Tuesday Instruction Blog. Let's get started...

Craig asks at 1:00:

I have a ten fingered baseball grip--pretty strong grip, about a 10 handicap. I feel very comfortable with the grip and don't really want to go through the trouble of changing--I don't play/practice enough to make the changes stick at this point.

I have a bit of an odd distance. I hit the ball long with my irons. My 9 iron goes 155, 8 iron 165, etc, with good height. My driving distance, however, is pretty anemic in comparison--probably 240-250 or so. It's pretty frustrating playing with buddies who fly it 20-30 yards past me with their drivers.

What could account for this disparity? Could my grip have something to do with this?

The fact that you use a ten-finger grip isn't the problem. I used an interlocking grip for about 15 years and then switched to the ten-finger about 17 years ago and have never looked back. The distance issue you are describing usually occurs because of your equipment or the position of your clubface during the swing. Let's start with the equipment. If there are 2 clubs every player should have custom fit for them by someone who really knows what they are doing it is the Driver and the Putter. If the driver's shaft is too soft or too light in weight, you can see a huge disparity in distance from the irons. I highly recommend you go out and get this checked if you haven't already. The second issue is the position of the clubface during the swing. If the clubface is closed and the attack into the ball is a little steep, then the irons can go very long. The problem is the same mechanics that produce unusual power with the irons kill the distances with the driver.

If this is still a problem after you have checked your equipment, send me a video of your swing and I will get you going in the right direction.

Yonglin asks at 12:45:

Hi Brady,
I wrote a couple weeks ago re: tush line, steep angle into the ball, & you rec staying behind and closed at impact. Can you please take a look at this? Thanks. I think the DTL angles are very similar. I think that I am better at getting behind the ball but occasional will jump ahead of it.

What would be the best way to get the club on the shaft angle set at address on the DS (getting it on plane)?

Thanks for sending in the video. Your hips are moving laterally away from the target at the end of your backswing. This is an issue because you lose your right-side tilt away from the target on the downswing. Without the tilt, you can't keep your upper body and your head behind the ball at impact. Here is a picture to help you see it.

Pivot

Steve asks at 12:30:

What is the best way to develop a consistent, repeatable swing? I feel I have the tools to improve my swing, but notice if I'm concentrating on one aspect (i.e., takeaway) then I miss something else (i.e., follow-thru). Do you recommend focusing several days on only the setup, then the next on the setup + takeaway, and continue to build in that manner? Thanks, the blog is always great!

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. You are experiencing a common problem people have when working on their swing. You have several areas that you are trying to improve upon, but working on all of them at once isn't effective. The best advice I can give you is to help you understand that the swing must be built from the beginning to the end and not from the middle out. In other words, if your address position isn't solid, your takeaway will suffer and so on. To make your swing consistent and repeatable, something every student regardless of their level of play wants, you need to do one thing at a time beginning with the set-up.

Michael asks at 12:14:

Brady, The longer the club I use, the longer my swing becomes, so that by the time I swing driver I get way across the line at the top. (I can see the head of the club out of my left hand eye when it reaches the top.)

Any advice on drills or tips to keep the swing compact throughout all the clubs in the bag? 

Swinging the club longer isn't necessarily a bad thing. Take a look at the swings of many great players and you will see top-of-backswing positions, especially with the driver, that are well past parallel to the ground. I have seen many players try to shorten their golf swing to be more compact only to lose a great deal of distance and feel for playing the game. If you have been swinging "long" for a while and have had success, I would proceed with caution when it comes to shortening your swing.

If you are still convinced that is where your swing should go here are a few things to keep in mind. The flatter your shoulders rotate the longer your arm swing is likely to be. Rotating your shoulders on a steeper plane is an excellent way for you to prevent your arms from running on after your shoulders stop turning. To achieve this the right shoulder will "feel" like it goes up and around to the target while your left shoulder works more down to the ground. A note of caution: Make sure your weight and specifically your head moves a bit away from the target, especially with the driver, or you will be moving toward a stack and tilt. Here are a couple of pictures to help you visualize the position.

Shorterbackswing

Jeff asks at 12:00:

Instructors talk about initiating the downswing with left knee, then hips, followed by arms and hands. Can you recommend a few drills?

The sequence of motion to begin the downswing should begin from the ground up. The amount of movement with the lower body is determined by how much lateral motion was in the backswing, the type of ballflight desired, and the strengths and weaknesses of the individual player. The best translation of feel is the motion of throwing a ball. The weight moves in the direction of the target before there is any opening of the hips and upper body. If the weight isn't the first thing to move and it is replaced with rotation, you have a serious problem on your hands.

October 19, 2010

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher will fix your faults

Posted at 10:32 AM by Brady Riggs

 

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday from noon EST to help fix your swing. He's here every Tuesday to answer your questions and improve your game. 

Thanks to everyone for your questions, comments, and videos. I look forward to seeing everyone next week on the blog. Remember you can visit my site at www.bradyriggs.com

Evan asks at 1:00:

I have been trying to get myself to release the club. I think that I am turning my body too fast to be able to release. Should I be trying to slow my body turn and try to let arms and club move past my body during the swing? I am not sure what is a good approach to get myself to release the club.

That's a very good way to think of it, Evan. The club should pass your body through impact. There is no speed in the swing when your hips, arms, hands, and club are all moving together as you make contact. In fact, moving your body, arms, and hands together is a good way to hit in-between wedges because it is an easy way to control your distances.

Stephan asks at 12:40:

Brady, look forward to this time each week. What do you recommend during the off-season so I can come out firing next spring?

Here is a weird one, Stephan. I am convinced that you can make significant changes in your golf swing without hitting golf balls. Slow, specific practice inside can really pay off when you get back to playing again in the spring, IF, what you are working on is correct. I can't tell you specifically what to work on without seeing the swing, but you can make strides practicing your swing inside during the offseason.

Lance asks at 12:30:

I am a 2 handicap, and a very straight hitter, but I would like more distance. I carry it about 240 and an average drive is around 255. It seems to me that I lift up too much. I hit the ball extremely high with my driver, and I don’t feel like I compress the golf ball. I don't take a lot of divots and my miss is thin off the heel. Here are a couple views of my swing. Any feedback would be great appreciated. Love the blog and look forward to it every week.

Thanks,

Lance
UNLV PGM Student

Thanks for the video, Lance. Your description of your ball flight makes perfect sense based upon the position of your body through impact. There are two significant issues you need to work on to improve your ballstriking. From the face-on view, your upper body moves away from the target a little too much on the backswing. As a result, your head is too far away from your starting position at impact. This produces an excessive amount of right-side tilt, which can force your the clubs too far to the inside, leading to thin shots and overactive hands producing the occasional snap hook. The excessive tilt is also the cause of your higher than desired ball flight.

From the target-line view, your tush line is the issue. This is also caused by the excessive right side tilt and lack of "stacking" of upper body on top of the lower body during the motion. I would strongly suggest that you get your tush on the line during the swing. This starts with a set-up position with the weight more in the balls of your feet instead of your heels. With your weight starting in the heels, you have nowhere to go but in the direction of your toes. This is why you lose the tush line during your swing. If you check out the picture of Camilo Villegas I posted below, you can see the angle of his lower leg at address. This shows the weight more toward the balls of the feet, something that would really help you. Send in your swing when you have made some changes so I can give you more feedback.

Nate asks at 12:12:

Greetings, Brady. In previous posts you've mentioned that in good players' swings the right (rear) leg tends to stretch or straighten through impact; à la Rory Mcilroy:

Can you explain why this happens? What are some of the keys to getting great leg/footwork? My action tends to resemble Phil Mickelson's in that my rear leg remains bent and dives inward after impact. Also, my left (forward) leg has a lot of bend in it during and after impact.


Also, what are some good checkpoints to make sure I am standing the proper distance from the ball at address? I think I tend to stand too far away and address the ball on the toe of the club.

Nate, you found some great examples of good and bad lower body work in the golf swing. In McIlroy's swing, the legs work against the ground during the swing using it for leverage and a platform for power and consistency. In Mickelson's move, the lower body in unstable, erratic and inefficient as it slides and shifts during the swing. This places the responsibility of hitting a good shot squarely on Phil's talented hands through impact.

McIlroy's right leg works from bent to straight during impact as he works away from the ground with his body while his arms extend out of his shoulder sockets. The body's action is similar to a basketball player going up for a rebound or a ski-jumper launching off the 90 meter hill. To achieve this type of lower-body movement the hips must remain above the knees, ankles, and feet during the swing with a minimum of lower body rotation going back and a minimum of slide on the downswing. This keeps the legs in line from hips to feet and enables the upper body to remain "stacked" up on top of the lower body. This isn't a stack-and-tilt move where the weight stays on the front foot going back. Instead, the weight is allowed to move into the right on the backswing, reducing some hip rotation that can lead to a slide on the downswing.

It sounds like you share Mickelson's lower-body action because the weight is moving out of your back heel too soon during the downswing, leading to a slide of the hips to the target and a loss of the tush line at impact. The trail leg bends and moves in to the target line because it doesn't have enough weight in it as you begin the downswing. This leads to an excessive amount of slide in the hips, which keeps your front leg bent at and well after impact.

One of the issues is that you need to have enough flexibility to limit some of the lower-body rotation on the backswing to use your legs like McIlroy through impact. If the flexibility is there, the weight should move laterally a bit going back to load up the rear heel at the top of the swing. The downswing should be started with a slight amount of squat in the legs as the hips move toward the target enough to get your left hip over your left foot. From there impact is a straightening of both legs as the hips are rotating around toward the target. This is the move you showed in the video of McIlroy and one we see in countless great players.

When it comes to distance from the ball, here is a quick picture to help you out.

Villegassetup

Keith asks at 12:00:

Here's a grip question: what do you think about the (relatively) strong left hand ('v' pointing to shoulder) / (relatively) weak right hand ('v' pointing to right side of chin/cheek) grip?

I picked this up from Tom Watson's new DVD, and it seems to be helping me from having an open clubface. I used to have my right hand where the 'v's were parallel with my left hand, and I still use the old grip on my wedge and sand shots.

Part of me worries that it may be masking other swing problems I need to address. Should I worry?

There are all types of different grips that can be effective. The measure of the success of your grip is the consistency and power of your shots. I would recommend that you use one grip for all of your clubs. It is hard enough to work on one set of mechanics let alone 14. Send in a video of your swing so I can give you more specific advice.

October 12, 2010

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher will fix your faults

Posted at 9:55 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon EST to help fix your swing.

Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. I look forward to hearing from everyone next week. Don't forget to visit my website at www.bradyriggs.com

Casey asks at 1:17:

I have a quick question on the proper action in the left wrist. Is it ideal if your left wrist is cupped slightly at the top of the swing though right before you enter the hip height zone on downswing, and then goes bowed through impact? I am just trying to understand the mechanics of that move and why it was so important to Hogan's swing, and if it's something I should work on.

Unfortunately, Casey, there is no one answer to your question. There are too many variables involved to give you direction as to whether you should cup your wrist at the top, keep it cupped during the transition, or attempt to bow the wrist at impact. The strength/weakness of your grip, your desired ball-flight, your tendencies when you miss, your overall physical strength and flexibility should be considered when giving advice. Keep in mind that many great players have tried to copy Hogan's ideas in the past and been worse than unsuccessful. I would proceed with extreme caution when it comes to this particular part of the swing.

John asks at 1:00:

Brady, firstly let me say that you're not just an excellent teacher, but an excellent thinker about the swing. I always enjoy your analysis. Here's something I'm struggling with. I'm a decent low-handicap player but there are two competing motions that I've never been able to really grasp. How to "fire the right side" while staying behind the ball? I tend to lurch in front of the ball when I think of turning into impact, or when I concentrate on staying behind, I am forced to rely on "educated hands" at impact. I'm also a "push" release kind of player (or maybe even a slap-hinger, to use Jim Hardy's parlance), not forearms crossing over. What are your thoughts on that release?

Thanks for the kind words, John, I really appreciate the feedback. I agree that your swing thoughts are competing with each other. I can't imagine a swing where you can "fire" the right side, stay behind the ball, and push the release. Here is some tough love for you: Run from all of these little swing thoughts as fast as possible. You have way too many little "tips" in your head to play your best golf. A large percentage of my clients are exactly like you. They are good players, have had more than a few teachers, have read way too many books/magazines, and know just enough to screw themselves up. I am going to act responsibly here and not comment on your release becasue I haven't seen it. I WANT TO SEE IT! Please post a video next week on the blog so I can give get a look at what you are actually doing. You have me curious now...

Sam asks at 12:48:

Brady, Love the blog. It's always a treat to tune in on Tuesdays and see you work your magic. What are the primary factors in hitting the ball higher with irons? Generally players shorter in height hit the ball lower (Justin Leonard, Zach Johnson). But how are shorter players like Ryo Ishikawa and Anthony Kim able to hit their irons sky high? What changes can we make in setting up and otherwise to hit irons higher and softer for firmer greens?

Great question, Sam. One of my players, Ben Fox, is a perfect case study on this issue. He isn't a huge guy, about 5'8" and 140 soaking wet. He has played a few events on the PGA Tour and is currently on the Asian Tour. He generally hits the ball with a very penetrating trajectory that serves him well in windy and difficult conditions. He qualified for the WM Phoenix Open this year and struggled in the third round with firm, fast conditions. To adjust his trajectory, we worked on him making a longer, slower backswing to keep him from getting out on top of the ball too early on the downswing. This little change in technique helped him hit the ball higher and softer in the final round, and has continued to be effective the rest of the year. He has also made a change in equipment to a softer shaft and introduced a hybrid into his bag. The reason I use Ben as an example is that he has made as minor a change to his technique as possible to change his ball flight. You can lower your right shoulder at address, widen your stance, attack on a flatter plane, and stay behind the ball more to get the ball in the air, but it is risky. Start by making smaller, less invasive changes to your technique and equipment before you go crazy changing the swing.

Jeff asks at 12:40:

Great blog. My question is: Can a grip that is too weak lead to coming over the top? My grip seems to have the "v's" [formed by my thumb and forefingers] pointing at my chin. Normally I hook the ball, so I'm concerned about getting it too strong.

Absolutely! It is the most common cause of coming over the top. If the face is too open the ball is going to go right. To compensate for this most players will try to start the ball to the left, leading to the classic over-the-top move. By your description of your hands it sounds like you are in a weak position. I have a couple of posts about the grip in today's blog. Check out the link and let me know what you think.

Jim asks at 12:30:

On the range I've noticed that at impact my hands severely close the clubface. After repeated effort even at a super-slow speed, my tendency is for my right hand to overpower my left hand (I play right-handed). As a result shots often are low hooks with little distance. The tendency is more severe with a driver. Playing with a strong, overlap grip, should I instead move to an interlocking grip and/or make major readjustments to my takeaway and downswing?

The way your hands join together on the back of the handle isn't nearly as important as how they are placed on the top. Interlocking, overlapping, and 10-finger can all be equally effective as long as the grip is producing a square clubface at impact. By your description it appears the problem is with the strong grip, not the overlap. I posted a link earlier in the blog today for my website that has pictures of many different grip types. The first thing you should do is check your current grip and see where you fall in the grand scheme. If the face is closed because your grip is too strong, weaken it appropriately so you can get control of the clubface. This is always your first priority as a player. If the grip is neutral and you are still hooking it, the left wrist may be excessively bowed at the top of the backswing. There are pictures of that on the site as well. Let me know what you discover.

Steven asks at 12:12:

I enjoy your blog each week. My question to you is: Can you please define the "One Plane Swing"? I think that term is tossed around a lot and is a bit confusing. I thought a one plane swing would be a swing where you really turn your core around your spine on the downswing and have more passive arms. I watch Matt Kuchar swing and Steve Stricker swing and their swings look different to me, but both swings are considered "One Plane" by some of the commentators on television.

Thanks for asking a very intelligent question. It is unfortunate that commentators on television don't know more about the world of golf instruction and its terminology. Throwing out terms like "one-plane", hip turn, passive arms, etc. only confuses people watching and does absolutely nothing for helping the average player. The term "one-plane" in its most common understanding by the average player is a swing where the club tracks up on the backswing and down toward impact on the same angle. To most golf professionals and swing junkies it refers to Jim Hardy's theory of his preferred method of swinging the golf club. To be painfully brief, Hardy's "one-plane" has nothing to do with the club, but the relationship between the angle the shoulders are rotating on and the left arm at the top of the backswing. To a commentator on television, "one-plane" refers to the swing of any player who just hit a solid iron shot into the green because they have no idea what they are talking about.

I think most terminology in the swing can be very confusing. This is why I think using video during golf lessons is so critical. I don't want the student to be confused for any reason, especially terminology. The fact is there are so many different ways to swing the golf club effectively so any "one" swing methodology that is billed to be the "only" way is seriously flawed. I will also tell you that because most amateurs' impression of a "one-plane" swing concerns the shaft, I prefer to call a swing where the club tracks up and down on the same angle a "uni-plane" for clarity. Here are a couple of pictures of Hardy's differences between a "one-plane" and a "two-plane" swing and my idea of a "uni-plane" swing. Hope it helps.


Hardy
Akuniplane

John asks at 12:00:

I played yesterday and everything went way right...I tried putting my thumb over more to straighten out my swing but nope nothing...any ideas?

I need more info to help you, John. I don't know which thumb you put over but I am assuming you are speaking of your right (also assuming you are right-handed). While many amateurs think moving the right hand (thumb) more to the left on the grip will make the ball go more left, they are actually making the problem worse. This isn't to say the reason the ball is going right is due to your grip, but it isn't a bad place to start. Check out my website under the Redgoat Galleries tab, then the fundamentals section where you can find information on grip types. www.bradyriggs.com

October 05, 2010

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher will fix your faults

Posted at 12:27 PM by Golf.com

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday to help fix your swing. He'll be back at noon EST next Tuesday to answer your swing questions.

Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. I regret not getting to everyone's questions, please post them again next week during our normal blog time. For more help with your game visit my site at www.bradyriggs.com

Tom asks at 5:50:

Hi Brady, What is the proper way to achieve the power squat on the downswing? Can you explain it step-by-step?

The basic idea is that your core should be lower to the ground as you start down than it was in the address position. To achieve this, you can't start extremely bent over as you will have nowhere to go but up. While the height of your body is usually maintained going up, the body begins to leverage itself against the ground during the transition so it can work away from it during impact. The best visual I can give you for this is a rebounder in basketball going up to get a ball. First he squats down, then he jumps up. While most golfers don't actually leave the ground at impact (some actually do) the weight interacts with the ground just as it would when jumping. It is for this reason you see Tiger's head drop significantly during his swing. Many commentators blame his swing issues on the drop of his head. I would argue that this isn't a problem, it is an asset. To get a feel for the sit-down action you can actually try to jump up off the ground during your practice swings at impact. This will help you get the timing of working away from the ground during impact. Here is a visual for you to work from.  

Tiger's drop
Tiger's core

Yong asks at 5:36:

I've been admirer of the work you do including your Redgoat Gallery!
I am about a 14 index. I have really been awful off the tee with the driver (Big catastrophic blocks to the right-push slices or duck hooks depending on the compensation) and I make poor contact with my irons. I rarely compress the ball and take a good divot, lots of thin and fat shots off the toe.

In my view I really struggle with two aspects of my swing:
1. Early extension/Coming off the tush line/posture etc.........If you could fix this, I'd be unbelievably happy, as I see this as my biggest problem, although I am curious to hear what you think.
2. I feel like transition into the downswing is initially too steep? (Initially steep on the downswing) Is this why I come off the tush line or is it the other way around?


I am really frustrated and feel like I have tried everything--lessons from highly regarded pros, rotating my left leg out, the visual of sitting in a chair, setting my weight on my toes at address, etc and it's driving me crazy. This has been going on for at least a year. If you could get me to stay on the tush line I'd forever be grateful. Please help. Thanks.

Hang in there, Yong, there is hope. I want to clean out your mind as much as possible so from this point forward so try to forget all the garbage floating around in your coconut. The major issue that is the source of all your really big misses is that your body is significantly too OPEN and PAST the ball when you make contact. I agree that there are other issues going on, but if you can't stay behind the ball better and keep yourself from spinning around to the target you will never hit it as solid as you would like. The loss of the tush line and steep club position in the transition will both improve if you focus on the bigger issue of where you are when you make contact with the ball.

Here is what you should do: We need to establish more right side tilt away from the target at address with all of your clubs, especially with the driver. This little adjustment will make it much easier for you to stay behind the ball at impact.  Make sure you get your weight into the inside back of your right heel at the top of the backswing. This will help you achieve a proper turn and give you a chance to attack the ball more from the inside. There are different feels associated with staying more closed with the body on the downswing. They vary from keeping your back to the target, keeping the shoulders closed, etc. I prefer for you to get your left quad (upper leg) loaded with some weight for as long as possible coming down. When combined with right-side tilt at address this will keep your upper body tilted away from the target while your hips and shoulders avoid spinning out too quickly. When you do this properly the club will actually pass your body sooner going through, allowing the face to rotate properly at impact. You should see the ball fly from right-to-left and go significantly farther than before. Send in some new video once you have made the changes.

Sean asks at 5:20 p.m.

Hi Brady, Really enjoy your blog every week. A month ago, I was playing my best golf ever (5.4 index). Kept trying to tweak my swing, primarily to get more distance. I've successfully gotten myself all messed up to the point where I feel like I've "lost" my swing. I did some swing videos (driver down the line/face on, 7 iron down the line/face on) and would really appreciate your comments and thoughts as to what I should work on.

Here are a couple of things about your swing that you may or many not know but should be aware of. Your grip is on the strong side of neutral. Your shoulder turn is excessively flat when compared to your original address position. This can be seen when you look at your swing from the face-on and down-the-line views. The height of your head and the angle of the bill of your cap change significantly during the backswing. There is an obvious shift out and over as you begin the downswing. This pushes the club above what would be a neutral path as you approach impact. As a result, the club, hands, and arms work left through impact, hurting your ability to release the club properly. I will tell you that some of the "slow" release of the hands through impact isn't a bad thing considering your grip is so strong.

Now that we got that out of the way. There are enough "unique" things going on in your swing to produce peaks and valleys in your consistency. The first thing you need to establish is what type of ball-flight you want to create. That will have a huge impact on how you proceed. If I had it my way I would weaken your grip slightly, keep you bent over on the angle you started with during the backswing, and get the club attacking on a more inside/shallow angle to encourage you to release the club properly. The ball-flight would be more right-to-left in nature with your divots very shallow. These changes would produce more neutral alignments of the club during the swing and prevent you from "losing" your swing again.

Eric Paulson asks at 5:06:

I've been working hard on my game and finally getting to be able to hit a draw, sometimes on purpose. It seems that the release is the real hidden secret to both power and hitting a draw. Is it true that holding off the release and really throwing my hands will create more distance and a draw?

I don't really understand why there's so little info on the importance of release, "getting handsy", and throwing your hands. Can you explain?

This is an interesting question Eric because we have all heard about how bad "getting handsy" is bad for the swing. The fact is an aggressive release of the club through impact is a must for good ball-striking. BUT, describing how the release "feels" can be a very difficult task indeed. While the release of two players may look nearly identical, one player could describe their hands as "passive" and the other as "active". This is why the use of video during golf lessons is so beneficial. It isn't important that I know what you are doing or supposed to do, but that YOU know what you are doing. There are certain alignments that are common to professionals in the release. There are also variations to the average based upon the player's grip, angle of the clubface during the swing, path the club is swinging on, and the desired ball-flight. It is for these reasons that I would be hesitant to tell you to "hold off" the release and then throw your hands to create more distance and draw. Without actually seeing the mechanics of your golf swing I could do you more harm than good. What I will do is show you a couple of pictures of some classic releases that you can use to help you find a "feel" that works for you.

Elsrelease 

Azinger

HK asks at 5:00:

Sometimes when you look at how the hill is sloping from behind the hole is different when you look at the slope from behind the ball. The slope seems to be also different when you look from one side of the putting line to the other side. Where is the most accurate view of the slope?

There are many things to take into consideration when reading a green. If you talk to a sampling of Tour players you will hear conflicting ideas about which side is best to get a read on a putt. Some will even say the type of putt (downhill, uphill, side-hill) would be the determining factor when choosing the best side. The fact that there are multiple ideas from Tour players leads one to conclude that there is no one perfect angle. I prefer the look from behind the hole and back to my ball, then from behind the ball looking to the hole in that order. On side-hill putts, especially on severe slopes, I like to stand at the midway point of the putt looking from the bottom of the slope back up to my intended line. This gives me a Triangulated view of the slope that I find to be very helpful. I would encourage you to experiment with all angles to find what works best for you.

As an instructor I encourage my students to keep two specific things in mind. First, I don't want my students to "over-read" a putt. To avoid this I teach them to only go with one angle if they feel they are confident about their read. The second technique they use is to go with their original read if the second or third angle they studied begins to confuse them. In most cases, the original read will be correct. Once the read has been established their is no point in changing your mind while standing over the ball. Making a putt when changing after you have set-up is nearly impossible. Whichever angle you choose, stay committed to your line and you will have more success.


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