Archive: April 2011

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April 27, 2011

Difference between PGA Tour and Nationwide is smaller than you think

Posted at 5:27 PM by Marius Filmalter

Kevin-na After my week off I am back on tour, but I am not in Louisiana for the Zurich Classic. Instead, I am in Valdosta, Ga., for the South Georgia Classic on the Nationwide Tour, where I have several players playing, including Mathew Goggin, Bubba Dickerson, and Kyle Reifers.

I often get asked what is the difference between my students who play on the PGA Tour versus the Nationwide Tour. The first glaring difference is the extra zero the winner’s check has on the PGA Tour. But, for the most part, there is very little difference between players’ ability on the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. However, if one skill is more refined on the PGA Tour, it is putting.

The players who make up a field on the PGA Tour are better putters as a whole than the players on the Nationwide Tour. I know that is a subjective statement, so let me try and quantify it.

If you look at the “putts per round” stats provided by both tours and select the player in the No. 1 position and the No. 100 position from each tour to compare, you will see that the PGA Tour players are clearly superior. (I am not claiming that “putts per round” can be used to properly identify the best putter on a tour, as there are many factors not taken into the calculation, including the number of greens hit by one player as compared to another, but for today’s discussion it will do.)

On the Nationwide Tour the player, or players in this case, topping the putts-per-round stat are Erik Compton and Daniel Chopra with an average of 27 putts per round. On the PGA Tour, the putts-per-round leader is Kevin Na (pictured) with 27.25. These two averages are very close, representing approximately a one-stroke difference over a 72-hole tournament.

However, when you compare the difference between the 100th-ranked player in putts per round from each tour, the discrepancy is much greater. On the PGA Tour the 100th ranked player in putts per round is Bill Haas, averaging 29.19 putts, versus John Kimbell on the Nationwide Tour who is averaging 31.43 putts per round. That means John takes two additional putts per round or almost nine more putts over the course of a 72-hole.

Given the competitiveness of both tours, one stroke can be the difference between playing the weekend or packing up and leaving town for next week’s event.

I know that I’m going to get a bunch of nasty emails to blog@mariusgolf.com complaining that I was comparing putting stats for two different tours that play different venues, However, before people rush to think that Nationwide Tour events are held on weak golf courses, please consider that this week’s event is being played at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, a gargantuan 7,781 yards with waving greens. Yikes!

In other news, I am opening my second academy at Miami Shores Country Club in Miami, Fla. Miami Shores is in the process of being overhauled to return the course to its former glory. As part of this overhaul, I have been asked to provide some guidance regarding the redesign of the practice facility. This is a wonderful opportunity for me as I believe many of today’s golf course facilities lack proper allocation of space for short-game improvement. I understand the economic reasons for avoiding proper short-game facilities; however, this reluctance is prohibiting players from focusing on the part of their games that need the most improvement.

The new facility at Miami Shores will not be completed until after this summer, and I will keep you posted on its progress. As always check out my web site at www.mariusgolf.com and sign-up for the free member section. I also want to thank all the readers who have purchased my new Automatic Putting package (3-disc DVD set, Marius Putting Belt and Marius Metronome). I have gotten several hundred emails from folks sharing their stories of improvement, which are very rewarding to me. Keep them coming.

Until next time….cheers!

April 26, 2011

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults

Posted at 9:57 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for Brady, please join him next Tuesday for another episode of Ask Brady Riggs Live!

Welcome to the Tuesday Instruction blog. Let's get things going...

Tony Ortiz asks at 3:20:

Please help, Brady. I really have trouble "turning" my hands properly through impact. It seems that if I emphasize it, I hit a dead pull left. If I don't, I either slice or pull it to the right. I do hit some straight shots but not enough to add up to a good score. It's very frustrating and feel like my time at the range is lost. Any tips or drills that you can suggest that would help me do this on a consistent basis? I truly hope you can help me since all of the articles I've read and "advice" I've gotten doesn't seem to help.

I really need to see your grip Tony. The fact is that it is impossible to try to perfectly time the release of your hands through impact. You can’t micromanage the release. If your hands are on the club properly and the wrists haven’t become unusually bent the clubface should be in a position where you can let go at the bottom and it will “square up” properly. Please send in a picture of your grip and if you can, a video of your swing so I can give you the proper direction to fix your issue.

 

Nick asks at 1:00:

I posted a few weeks ago asking about your TGM background. I appreciate your response and found it very interesting to read. I too am a fan of Gregg Mchatton's teachings after watching some of his interviews and instructional videos. I had also posted on here previously about the different ways the club could exit after impact (low and left release and a more down the line release) and whether or not one should try to maintain a flat left wrist after impact. I believe you posted photos of Tiger and Annika having down the line release in your response.

The reason I bring this back up is that I found some differing opinions on the release between yourself and Mr. Mchatton. In his video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEfetthQU9w, he clearly advocates swinging left. Is this just one of the areas where you depart from his teachings/preferences? Would like to hear your thoughts on his explanation and some of the potential problems one might have while trying to incorporate his release style.

I don’t disagree with much in that video from Gregg. His description of what most amateurs do when they start down is right on and why I think “trying” to swing left usually makes players worse. When a player tries to swing “out” they usually swing better, and the club ends up going left when it should, after impact. It isn’t my preference to maintain my impact alignments too far after impact. It has been my experience that “trying” to keep the flat left, bent alignment of the wrists too long creates tension and inhibits the natural “throw” that should be a part of all releases.

You can learn a great deal watching the videos of Gregg. In my opinion he is one of the two or three best teachers ever.

 

JP asks at 2:50:

Brady... I have the same question as another post. I cannot stop hitting the ground with my driver... help... sorry I only have 1 angle of video.

JP

I’m still not happy with your posture and ability to maintain the tush line. You are too bent over at address and lose your posture and tush line during the backswing. I would like to see you start taller with the weight more toward the balls of your feet and not in your heels. It is easy to look at the swing and blame what is an obvious loop for the poor contact, but your posture should be fixed first as it will have an effect on the rest of the swing.

 

Paula asks at 2:40:

Can you please recommend a drill to work on swing rhythm? If I take the club back super slow on the backswing I seem to come over the top; too fast and I lose my balance. I'm just hoping to find the right pace and no matter how much I work on swinging at different rhythms it at the range I've been unsuccessful with finding a rhythm that works for me.

Rhythm is a word I rarely use on the range. Instead I like to focus on the sequence of motion. If you are working in the right order you will have good rhythm. I have extremely good players I work with who are all over the spectrum when it comes to rhythm and tempo. However, they all work in the proper sequence. As far as drills go the step drill to begin the downswing is a good way to develop the proper sequence of motion. Start with your normal address position and before you take the club away move your front foot next to your back foot. Take your backswing and BEFORE you reach the top of the swing step your front foot back to its original spot to start your downswing. This is always most effective off a short tee with a 7-iron and a slower-than-normal swing. The idea is to get used to working back to the target before completing the backswing. Give it a try and let me know the results.

 

Jason asks at 2:30:

Hi Brady.... Sorry but no video today. What a few things to try when you are hitting the ground 12 inches behind the ball with a driver. This has also crept into my 3W and hybrid. Irons are Ok. My only swing thought, which is a bad one, is to not hit the ground with the driver.

That is definitely a problem. The first couple things I would suggest are in the address. First make your stance a bit narrower and try to get your shoulders more level in the address position. I am assuming you are bottoming out behind the ball with the driver because you are “drop kicking” it. Narrowing the stance and eliminating the excess tilt in your shoulders will help! The next step would be to actually make some practice swings where you hit the ground in front and to the left of where the ball would be. This will help the club stay “up” and “on top” of the plane, making striking the ball before the ground much easier. The final step if this doesn’t work is to hit some balls off of your knees. This may sound strange but if you drop below plane from your knees you will hit the ground so far behind the ball the club will bounce over it. When you can hit it from your knees you will have no problem hitting it solid from your feet.

 

Gerry asks at 2:23:

To create lag should I start moving my hips before the backswing is completed. What is your opinion on creating more lag. Thank you

You’re instincts are correct, Gerry. You need to be “double-directional” at the top of the swing to create more lag in the swing. “Double-directional” is a fancy way of saying that while the arms and club are finishing the backswing the WEIGHT needs to moving in the opposite direction toward the target. This really is the definition of “lag” as the arms and club are coming to impact after the body. Some players fall in love with the idea of creating maximum lag during the swing. I remember talking to Ben Doyle about this and when I asked him if you can ever have too much lag he said, “Can you ever have too much love?” However, if you tilt excessively in the right side and lose your ability to cover the ball your ballstriking can go south. Working on your sequence of motion is a great way to increase the “lag” in your swing without getting too caught up in the “look.” Get the weight to go to the target before you finish the backswing, keep the hands and arms soft, and post up on the front leg and you will increase your speed dramatically.

Dave asks at 2:13:

Been steadily improving and like where I'm headed this year so far. Part of that is without a doubt because of some of the info you've shared with me. Much appreciated.

I'm in a good place mentally on the course and have gotten much better at staying in the present moment and only dealing with one shot at a time (zen golf and zen putting had a lot to do with that). I've been hitting my driver well and ever since improving my grip I have gone from a weak slice, to a relatively straight ball flight with a slight fade. When I'm not hitting it well though, I'm hitting straight pulls. This then affects my mental process on the next tee box wondering if I'm going to hit that pull again and the doubt creeps in, which as you know almost always leads to a bad shot. I promise I'll post some videos soon, but any insight as to why I'm hitting those pulls? thanks!

Glad to hear you are getting better. The grip change sounds like it has made a significant improvement in the clubface position during the swing. The face has moved from open to nearly square and made the ball flight stronger while reducing curve. The pull is usually the result of the path still attacking the back, or the outside-back of the ball instead of the inside-back of the ball. This can come from different sources but the best fix is to work on getting the club to attack the proper quadrant of the ball. Some players can get results by trying to work on keeping the shoulders closed longer, shifting the hips more towards the target in the transition, keeping the hands closer to the right hip coming down, etc. The best place to start is to try to start the ball to the right of the target. It sounds simple, but the solution can be that easy. Let me know how it’s going.

 

Peyton asks at 2:00:

Hi Brady!!! You have helped me out tremendously and I enjoy your blog!!!! Well, I think I am finally getting my tush to stay on the tushline!!! I have attached a video to see what you think?!?! If you agree that I have, what is the next aspect I should work on? You previously told me that my backswing was to flat... I have worked on it but it hasn't seemed to take affect yet. Could it be that I need a little steeper shoulder turn?

Thanks for all your HELP!!!!

Glad you enjoy the blog. The tush line does look better but you are still coming off it as you near the top of the swing. I would like to see you load up a bit more in your back heel as you near the top instead of moving the weight towards the toes of your front foot at the end of the backswing. The next step would be to work on the “shape” of your backswing. Your hands and arms get too far away from you during the takeaway and as a result force the club into a flat position at the halfway back. If you got your hands to stay closer to you during the takeaway and maintained the slight bend in your right wrist established at address the club would work more “up” and the face would stay square. Here are a couple of pictures to help you see the difference.

Leftyblog Leftblog


 

April 19, 2011

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults

Posted at 10:29 AM by Golf.com

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online today at noon EST, where he will answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for Brady, leave it in the comments below, then check back at noon to see what he has to say.

Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments this week. Wish I could stay longer, off to the lesson tee. It is a beautiful day here in So. Cal.


David asks at 1:00

Why do I hit draws, sometimes giant hooks, with my irons and not Driver or 3 wood?

That is a good question David. Every once in a while I will have a student swing very differently with the irons than the driver. I have seen students hit beautiful high draws with the driver and weak fades with the irons and vice versa. I could throw out some guesses about having the shaft leaning back more with the irons causing a “flip hook” and not doing it with the driver but it would be just that, a guess. I am not a big believer in blaming equipment so as a teacher I wouldn’t go there either. The most responsible advice I can give you is to go find a teacher who uses video and has a good reputation in your area and seek some help or send me some video of your swing with the irons and driver so I can get you on the right track.

Jason asks at 12:40:

Been really battling a slice with my longer clubs and driver, I have tried everything. What's the best way to correct this. Thanks for any advice.

If you look at the question at the beginning of the blog today it will help you understand where to look. As the clubs get longer and lose loft you increase the amount of sidespin on the shot making them curve off-line much more than the shorter clubs. The reason there is an entire golf instruction industry is that people think the ball should be struck with the club traveling down the target line into the back of the ball with the face square. When they try to create this impact they hit the outside back of the ball usually with the face open. The result is a slice. If you focus instead on hitting the inside back of the ball with the face rotating to square you will lose the slice. Obviously, you need the face to be in a fairly square position relative to the path by having a good grip and flat left wrist, but understanding how impact works will take you a long way.

Tim asks at 12:35:

what is going on with our man AK. He's all over the place this year and doesnt seem to be headed in the right direction with 2 straight missed cuts. aside from possibly not putting enough time into his game, can you point out some things that he's doing with his swing right now thats making him hit the ball so bad and maybe some good things that he's doing? AK is my favorite guy to follow on tour and I hope he gets back on track again. thanks brady!

I haven’t been very tight with AK for some time now. I still consider him to be a friend but my interaction with him over the past few years has been very limited. I think his instructor Adam Schriber is a great guy and an excellent teacher who I have nothing but respect for. If AK decides to make golf his #1 priority he will be a force again in every tournament he enters. There is absolutely no one in the game that has more talent than him. I hope we see it soon, he is very fun to watch when he plays up to his potential.

Bob Jewett asks at 12:30:

I have noticed that many golf teachers, including Sean Foley, encourage players to have their weight on the left foot at impact.

In June 1962, Golf Digest published an article describing a scientific study done at UCLA which proved that a golfer's weight is 56% on the right foot at impact, both with a driver and 8-iron. Several top pros were tested during this study.

In April 1989 the study was repeated with a new group of top pros, including Greg Norman, and they had 60% of their weight on the right foot.

Why do so many golf teachers say that a golfer's weight should be on the left foot at impact? Are they simply ignorant of these scientific studies?

Sincerely,

Bob Jewett

I don’t have those articles in front of me Bob so I am going to refrain from commenting on them. If you would like to email them to me I would be happy to read them. As far as what Sean Foley teaches you would have to ask him.

Ken asks at 12:09:

Love reading you each week. I have an issue in my swing where I kind of pull up with my arms and body, causing my to hit the ball thin a lot. Do you have any suggestions to fix this? I don't know if it's related, but I also tend to end up with my weight on my toes as I begin my downswing and into my follow through, which is something else I am looking to correct.

Glad you enjoy the blog Ken. When your weight moves into your toes during your swing you are effectively getting closer to the ball than you were in the address position. When this happens you have two choices as a player. You can either maintain the amount of forward bend you started with and fall on your face or you can stand up to help you find some balance. When you stand and lose your “spine angle” your chances of making solid ball-turf contact are gone. Many players try to fix this by starting with the weight in the heels in an attempt to keep them there during the swing. This actually makes the problem worse as the weight will inevitably go where it isn’t, to the toes during the swing. Start on the balls of your feet and concentrate on moving the weight into the right heel going back and the left heel going through. This is a bit oversimplified but it will help you maintain your posture and get you on the right track.

 


Bryan asks at 12:00:

What is the best drill for correcting an outside to inside (over the top) swing path?

In most cases a player will come over the top because it will HELP the ball get closer to the target. People usually make “mistakes” later in the swing in an effort to compensate for something else that went wrong earlier. The reason coming over the top would help in a player’s mind is that the ball continues to fly to the right (for a right-handed player) of the target. The best drill to fix the problem is to get the clubface in a square position so the ball will stop curving to the right of the target. If the face is square to the path you are swinging on and you come over the top the ball will go left of the target. This will be all the motivation you need to get the club attacking on a better path to the ball. Check the grip first, then make sure the left wrist is flat at the top of the swing and you will be on your way.

April 12, 2011

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults

Posted at 10:33 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday to answer swing questions and analyze swing videos. Check back next Tuesday if you have a question or video.

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Instruction Blog. What an amazing Masters Tournament last weekend. Feel free to leave your comments about all things related to playing the game. Let's get the blog going...

Rod asks at 6:40:

What did you think of Tiger's swing at Augusta? It seems like he's not releasing the club like he used to and his scores were somewhat inconsistent. Do you think he will eventually be better with this new swing like he says?

Tiger hit the ball better than he has in quite a while. Of course, he has hit the ball pretty bad for over a year so maybe it was about time.

Here’s a scenario for you: Imagine you had climbed to the top of the highest peak and decided you wanted to find another way up the mountain. You head down to the bottom and embark on a new journey. You hit impasses and setbacks along the way but eventually you can see the same peak you were on before from where you were standing. The problem is there are other people ahead of you on the way up and you're too beat up to make it yourself. It’s a long way around the bend to say that he can’t do it better than he did before. How many Majors would he have won had he left things alone with Butch? Or stayed with Haney? We will never know.

Tim asks at 6:20:

Brady, Working on cleaning up the backswing and making progress. Thanks to you I'm on the right path. I was hoping you could give me some insight on the transition and on how I can get the clubface more square or open during my backswing. I know these two are related.

Here are a couple vids:

Driver, down-the-line

5-iron, down-the-line

5-iron, face-on

Thanks for the videos, Tim. I agree that it is looking much better. If you added a bit more lateral motion to your body away from the ball, it would help you in several ways. First, it would allow the club to come a bit straighter back longer, which would prevent it from working across the line at the top of the backswing. With the club lined up better at the top, the face will be less closed because the left wrist won’t be over-rotated and bowed as it currently is positioned. With the weight more on the right side at the top, your body will have an easier time rotating around toward the target on the downswing. In your current swing, the weight is stuck on your front foot going back, making it impossible for you to get out of the way on the downswing. As the club lines up better at the top and your hips are free to rotate through impact, you will see a huge improvement in the ballstriking.

Casey asks at 5:50:

Thanks for all the help. Just wanted to check in with you. Here is my swing DTL and Face on:

Face-on

Down-the-line

I think I've made a lot of progress (massive credit goes to you for helping me work on the right things). Going forward, I think I need to improve my setup by getting less weight on my left side and also groove my takeaway, but I really wanted to get your suggestions for things I should be working on.

Also, I wanted to know if you have any tips for things you can do during the week when you can't make it to the range or course to practice. Any books, exercises, etc. you recommend?

Thank you very much for all the great tips.

I think the overall shape of your swing, especially from down the line, is excellent. The next area of focus for you should be to eliminate any unnecessary movement in your swing especially in the vertical direction. I would like to see you maintain your levels more throughout your golf swing. Specifically, your head is dropping down quite a bit during the swing and moving down and back during impact. If you can quiet down the body and make all of your movements more subtle you will find your ability to hit solid shots on a more consistent basis will improve. You have done a great deal of the hard work to make the swing better and you are now left with some minor details. Let me know what is happening with the misses and good shots in terms of contact and shape of shot so I can be a bit more specific.

Dave asks at 5:35:

Just got back from an awesome trip to Disney and played two of the courses there. I had an amazing time and struck the ball really well. I struggled a bit on the greens as I'm used to what we deal with here in PA. Another part I struggled and continue to struggle with is the long irons. I have a 3 hybrid which I have no problem with, but what tips can you give to making consistent contact with a 4- and 5-iron, beyond getting hybrids to replace them?

There is obviously a higher degree of difficulty when hitting the longer irons vs the hybrids. That is why so many Tour players use the hybrids. The issue with the longer irons is they expose weaknesses in your swing you may get away with when hitting the shorter irons or the driver from the tee. The simple fact is everything has to be better when hitting the longer irons. When the swing is a bit steep the shorter irons are very effective but the longer irons are very challenging. When the swing is a bit flatter the driver is very playable but the long irons become tough to hit solid. The plane must be solid, the clubface alignment and release must match up well and your weight must have moved into the front foot properly to produce the correct bottom to the arc. The idea is there are no tricks, you just need to swing the club better.  

Tripp Steinbeck asks at 5:25:

I am a dedicated reader and first-time poster. Please take a look at my videos and offer any suggestions you can think of. I am struggling with consistency with my irons and slice with my driver.

Thank you

Tripp S.
Raleigh, NC

Thanks for following the blog! You have a very common problem shared by so many avid golfers. The overall shape of your swing is a bit backwards. Your club works in behind your hands during the takeaway and never makes it back there for the rest of the swing. What comes in during the takeaway almost always comes out and over during the transition. Your arms and club are too far out away from your body during the downswing as you are tracking above the plane. This makes the club come back in and close to you during the release, killing your ability to get around to a full finish. The overall in, up and over, outside, and jammed shape of your swing needs to be reversed. If the clubhead stayed outside your hands during the takeaway and worked up more vertically the momentum of the club would want to work more behind you during the downswing. This would get the club tracking into the ball more from the inside, allowing the club to release properly and free up your arms to extend away from you after impact and up into a proper finish. Here are some pictures to help you see the difference. Clarkeup

Extension

Bob Hues asks at 5:13:

I am having a problem with toe hits with my irons. I am 6'2 and have adjusted my irons 2 degrees up. What could be the cause? A lot of people say an out-to-in swing or standing too far from the ball. Thanks for your help.

There are numerous reasons you can make contact with the toe of the club. The easiest is standing too far from the ball, one of the most complicated is a steep transition that is compensated for by standing up and leaning to the right during impact. If you have been on a lie board and see the lie angle is too flat, it may be that you are suffering from the steep angle of attack issue. When your spine becomes more upright through impact, your hands will lift off up and the shaft angle will become MUCH more vertical than address. This brings the toe of the club closer to you, making contact on that part of the club a near certainty. Changing the lie angle won’t fix the problem, the swing needs to improve. It may sound crazy, but a great way to shallow out your transition is to hit some drives off your knees. If you are suffering from the problem I described you won’t be able to make contact with the ball as the clubhead will hit the ground way behind the ball. If you can get the contact right off your knees, you will have fixed the shape of your downswing.

Bill asks at 5:00:

Hey Brady,
In your opinion do you think a 8-10 handicapper should replace the 3-iron with a hybrid?

The vast majority of the time I would say yes. If you look in the bags on the  Champions Tour, LPGA Tour, and more frequently the PGA Tour you will see more bags with hybrids than without. If it’s good enough for them….

 

 

April 10, 2011

The first step toward masterful putting is know your stroke

Posted at 12:23 AM by Marius Filmalter

You might think I would provide a tip on how to putt on fast and undulated greens in this week’s blog, but instead today I want to discuss the importance of understanding your putting style before deciding which putter to use. It is a Masters-related lesson because this week because the winner on Sunday will have had unconditional confidence in his putting and that starts with using the right equipment. When you watch the Masters on Sunday, pay attention not just to each player’s putting stroke, but also to their posture and the type of putter they use. All these things are related and they might decide who will win this tournament.

But before we get to the pros, I want you to think about how your putter path would appear if you were standing on a ladder looking at yourself putting. There are two basic types of putting styles (there are additional variations but this is a short blog so bear with me): straight-back-straight-through and arc putting. Before you decide what type of putter you should purchase you need to determine what putting style you believe in. In general, I like to see the putter path move slightly inside the target line—to square at impact—to slightly inside the target line. This style of putting is often referred to as arc putting. Straight-back-straight-through is as simple as it sounds. The putter moves straight-back-straight-through on the target line with no rotation. I strongly support arc putting because that is what my research says works best and it is also what I see week to week from the best putters on Tour.

Here is a video lesson that will show you how to test what kind of putting stroke you have:

You must decide which putting style works best for you. Whatever you decide, you need to be 100 percent committed to that style of putting, both physically and mentally. Part of my research shows that one of the quickest ways to get the yips is to believe you putt one way (for example, straight-back-straight-through) when in fact you are putting the exact opposite way (on an arc) or vice-versa. The conflict between what you believe you are doing and what you are actually doing can cause significant turmoil with your putter.

If you are a straight back-straight through putter, you would likely benefit from a face-balanced putter. If you swing the putter in an arc, you would likely benefit from a heel-toe balanced putter or a heel-weighted putter. Here’s an easy test to tell them apart: balance the putter lengthwise on your finger approximately 6 inches from the putter hosel, if the putter face points straight up, then it is a face-balanced putter, if the toe points diagonally down, then it’s a heel-toe balanced putter, and if the toe points straight down, it’s a heel-weighted putter.

Traditionally, mallet putters like the Odyssey Two-Ball are face-balanced. Putters in the style of the Ping Anser and the Scotty Cameron Newport are heel-toe balanced putters, and the Wilson 8802 and the Yonex ADX putters are heel-weighted putters (like the style Phil Mickelson used when he first came on tour--he now uses a modified version made by Odyssey).

In fact, the Nike Method putter that Tiger Woods is using this week is likely a heel-weighted putter. These putters are ideal for players who stand more upright and really swing their putter on an arc. Ben Crenshaw is the classic example of this style putter. If you swing on an arc but bend more from your hips, then a heel-toe balanced putter would likely be the best fit for you.

Rory McIlroy is a great example of a player who putts with a lot of rotation and uses a putter that encourages that. On the other hand, Jason Day, the guy who was chasing him Saturday, uses a putter that would benefit a straight back-straight through putter. I don’t want to single out Jason, but very few Tour players are not rotational putters (even the ones that think they are straight-back-straight-through), so it will be interesting to see if he putts well under pressure on Sunday. I am not saying you can’t be a good putter using a face-balanced putter with an arc stroke or a heel-weighted putter with a straight-back-straight-through. Try all types of putters; what matters most is what looks and feels best to you when you stand over a putt.

Another contender to watch closely on the greens Sunday is Adam Scott. I talked about Adam’s use of the belly putter and why it would help his confidence in the short term but not the long term in an earlier column. Augusta National’s fast greens make the belly putter especially tricky because you need to make a longer stroke with the belly putter than with a regular putter. However, those fast greens require a shorter stroke, and it could be difficult for Adam to make such a delicate stroke under the gun of Sunday pressure. If he can do it, I expect he’ll use that belly putter for a long time.

For those who have not been to the Masters before, make sure you go to the Masters web site to register for the lottery for future practice rounds and limited daily passes. I promise you, if you love the game, there are few better experiences than walking the grounds of Augusta National. Please send me comments or questions to blog@mariusgolf.com and also check out my website at www.mariusgolf.com and sign-up for the free member section. Also on my web site is my new Automatic Putting package which includes a three-disc DVD set, Marius Putting Belt and Marius Metronome. The package now includes free shipping.

Until next time….cheers!

April 05, 2011

Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults

Posted at 9:44 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online today at 7 p.m. EST for a special "prime time" edition of his teaching blog, where he will answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for Brady, leave it in the comments below, then check back at 7 p.m. EST to see what he has to say.

Thanks to everyone for your questions, comments, and videos. Sorry I couldn't get to everyone, submit again early next week so I can help you out. Please check out my friend's charity the Beauty Bus. They help chronically ill housebound patients and their caregivers by providing in-home/free beauty & grooming services. They are hosting an event in Los Angeles on April 17. Check out their website www.beautybus.org.

Welcome to the "Primetime" editon of the Tuesday Instruction Blog. Thanks to everyone for your following of Danielle last week at the Nabisco. It was a tough but important week for her as she learns more about what it takes to play her best on the highest level.

Bill asks at 8:28:

Thanks for the advice you gave me two weeks ago concerning my pivot and resulting flipping of the wrists through impact. I’ve been working on turning my left hip away from the ball as suggested, however my right arm still straightens and the left wrist flips up.
Since I started playing I’ve always had problems understanding the correct release, rotation of the forearms, supination and pronation. See 25 year old photo. I bought every wrist swing aid on the market and although it works when it’s on, the feeling doesn’t last when I take it off. I even got a video lesson from Ron Gring who picked up the same thing you did but he didn’t give me a fix.
Last week you had two good questions on the wrist position which leads to the question of what exactly does the left/right wrist do after impact? You said “Don’t keep the left wrist flat and the right wrist bent past impact and into the finish”. What should they do? And finally can you suggest a few drills that might help get the proper feeling and some explanation that might help me understand a bit better.
Thanks in advance.
Bill
http://img703.imageshack.us/content_round.php?page=done&l=img703/5930/billswing.jpg
http://img713.imageshack.us/content_round.php?page=done&l=img713/4870/swingd.jpg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDEJ4kaYWnE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8ie7_Z87dQ

 

Nice hair in the old pic Bill, I’m jealous! Let’s answer your questions first. The left wrist will bend back and the right wrist will flatten after impact. There is no benefit to “holding” your impact alignments into the finish position. Look at the impact pictures vs. release pictures of Vijay and Phil if you aren’t convinced.

Postimpactwrists

Wearing training aids isn’t the answer as you have probably already discovered. There are several things that need to happen to have a chance. In your swing, you lose your opportunity for success in the beginning of the downswing when your hands and arms move out away from your body. The clubhead must stay inside your hands as you approach impact or you will never achieve the proper impact alignments. Your weight must move in the direction of the target or your right arm will have to straighten before impact. So, you need to improve upon all of these issues to improve impact. This could be depressing and impossible if you attempt to go at full speed. All of your practice should be slow, very slow, to get feedback that will help you understand where you are going wrong. Here are a couple more pictures to help you see the differences with your swing.

Dkimpact

 


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/04/ask-brady-riggs-live.html#ixzz1InFT9JGd

 

JP asks at 8:10:

Hi Brady... Here are my first swings of the year. I know these swings are with an iron, but, my main problem I am having is with the driver hitting the ground 6 or so inches before it gets to the ball. With the irons, I continue to work on posture/tush line and anything else you feel is significant. Any comments on the video or the driver problem would be appreciated.

Thanks... JP

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-uOkOFOGKI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G90CMO_Cy3Y

Thanks for the video JP. I would like to see you work first on your takeaway. There is too much forward press from the face on view that translates to your hands moving away from your body going back while your club stays too close to the ground. The combination of body, arms, and hands going back is dominated by hands, making it difficult to be in sync the rest of the way. Try to keep your hands close to your left leg and your clubhead moving more up as you start your swing. Do this prior to worrying about your pivot as the takeaway effects everything that happens after it. Here is a picture to help. Flip them around to your side...

Clarkeup


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/04/ask-brady-riggs-live.html#ixzz1InAZ7GOE

 

Ryan asks at 7:55:

Love the blog! My problem is that I have been working on getting my hips involved to create more power. It seems to me that on the down swing I'm raising out of my posture which is causing an early release in turn at impact it becomes a flip. my divots are all right of the target and the ball is hooking uncontrollably, and a cut is out of the question. I try to keep the tush on the board but cant seem to stop the early release which leads to chunks. HELP!!!!

When you speak of getting the hips more involved I am assuming you are speaking of more “rotation”. If this is what you are working on it isn’t surprising that you are struggling with your contact and accuracy. The fact is that it is significantly more important to have your arms and club work in sync with your body that to have the hips flying around out of control. When you look at some of the world’s finest ball strikers you will notice that in many of their swings the legs and hips appear to be less active than in many amateur’s swings. This is an illusion. The legs and hips are active and powerful when they are working against the ground for leverage. Many amateurs make the mistake of confusing excessive lateral motion or excessive rotation with being powerful. It never is. Chances are you are not swinging with your arms and body in sync which is causing your ball striking problems. Here is a picture of where the body should be at impact vs. address that may help you visualize this idea more effectively.

Quietlegs


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/04/ask-brady-riggs-live.html#ixzz1In5rUYAj

 

Tim asks at 7:25:

brady, tough tourney for danielle. too bad she didnt place better. im sure the experience was great though...I've been working hard on the swing in the off season and finally got out and hit some balls and played a quick 9. I noticed im really struggling with the backswing still. i just cant seem to get the club in a better spot at the top. it seems like I need to get the club working more back behind me but not sure how to do it without ripping it inside. im a strong believer that a better backswing will set up a much better downswing. i know my pivot needs some work and i could use some lateral movement on the way back too.

7 iron dtl- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-qYa4JUZzo
face on- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QvKz4Cmsv0
driver dtl- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgzESiF-IpA
face on- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMvq7WLYI7Q

Thanks for the kind words about Danielle. I agree, the experience was a good one. I agree that the club could be in a better position at the top of the backswing. The club could be less across the line with the iron, and certainly with the driver. I agree that there are some pivot issues but one adjustment in your address will immediately help you through impact. Your toes are pointed too far in, especially with the left foot, making it impossible not to hop and rotate the foot during and after impact. Start with your feet a bit more toes-out and it will be easier for your front foot to maintain contact with the turf during the swing.

The clubface is also a bit closed as a consequence of the club’s position at the top of the swing. The more “laid-off” position at the top will help both the path of the club coming down and the clubface position during impact. When the clubface is square and the club is pointing more down the line at the top the miss shouldn’t curve to the left or start too far off line to the right. Here are a couple of pictures of some adjustments that will get you more on track.

Feetandtop


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/211/04/ask-brady-riggs-live.html#ixzz1Imz1Rri8

 

Jan Lernfelt asks at 7:15:

Managed to get a round under my belt while on vacation in the south of France, a bit different from indoor training indoors in Winter-Sweden.

I've been working on a couple of things since the last time I wrote you, but mainly not to take the club to far on the inside going back. This is of course the main cause for me coming over the top sometimes. It looks a lot better than before in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_-iU1yiW1U

However, I can still see and feel that I come just a fraction outside-to-inside on my shots. Should I over exaggerate the feeling that I am driving the club to the right of the target, to get the feeling of coming more from the inside, or is it my lower body that is not active enough? I hit the ball really well now actually, and have gained some distance too, but I want to be able to hit a draw when I need to, without flipping my hands (which is the only way I can hit a draw right now)...

Make sure you aren’t standing too far from the ball in the address position. In the above video your weight is sitting back too far in your heels. If you get closer to the ball and start with the weight more in the balls of your feet the club will work more up and less in automatically. This will make it easier for the club to stay on track in the transition as the momentum of what used to be back and in to over will have been removed. Send in the new and improved move so we can see the progress.


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/04/ask-brady-riggs-live.html#ixzz1ImwU7hFF

 

Doug asks at 7:00:

My worst miss is a straight push or occasional push/slice (I'm right handed). I can pretty much feel what I'm doing in my swing: I tend to get "stuck behind my body" a lot, and my hands and right hip don't follow through completely, leading to a swing path that just trails off to the right, and my ball follows. There's also a weight shift issue, as I rarely finish as much on my left foot as I need to, and if I focus on doing so, I end up swaying too much. Any thoughts on how I can groove my follow through to be more rounded and complete, and get my weight smoothly shifted? Thanks!

A great thought is for your right shoulder to be the closest thing to the target at the end of the follow through. When you hit the push slice the right shoulder is often too low during impact with the body’s weight stuck on the back foot. This makes it very difficult for the clubface to rotate properly through impact, producing the push and push/slice. Focus on keeping your right shoulder up during impact and moving around towards the target and you will see an immediate improvement in your miss. Here is a picture for you to try and emulate at the finish. Keep in mind that your flexibility or lack thereof can make it hard to get all the way around. Go as far as you can without straining.

Finish


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2011/04/ask-brady-riggs-live.html#ixzz1Imsk99yE

 

April 01, 2011

First round report: Brady Riggs and Danielle Kang at Kraft Nabisco Championship

Posted at 10:07 AM by Brady Riggs

This week Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs is working with a student, U.S. Amateur winner Danielle Kang, at the LPGA's first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Brady will file stories from the course throughout the week, so keep checking back for more updates.

THURSDAY
Danielle_kang_caddie_april1_2011 Round 1 is in the books with a very frustrating five-over 77. In all the time I have been around the game, I have never seen a player hit the ball better and score worse. (Scroll down to see a video of her swing.)

Danielle got off to a solid start and was one under through the first six holes. She missed one fairway and hit every green during that stretch and looked to be headed to a very good round. The cardinal sin at this golf course, however, is to miss over the green. Danielle hit four shots directly at the flag that ended up long and in the heavy rough. With rock hard greens that slope back to front, there was little chance of getting up and down. On those 4 holes Danielle was five over. Add to that a double from a greenside bunker and the round got away from her. She hung in there and played the last six holes one under to give her a shot at seeing the weekend.

The thing all of us can learn from a round like this is that playing golf is all about making adjustments. With the high temperatures and firm ground the ball was going significantly farther than in the practice rounds. Danielle made her adjustment a bit late, so her excellent ball striking wasn't validated on the scorecard.

Friday is a new day, and an under-par round should get her to the weekend.

Photo: Kang with her caddie, Ty Gretzky


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