Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady, be sure to check back next Tuesday for an all-new edition.
Welcome to the Ask Brady Live! I want to give a shout out to Ryann O'Toole and Danielle Kang who both made the cut and played well at the US Open in Colorado this week. Way to go girls! Thanks to everyone for your videos, questions, and comments. Enjoy the Open Championship this week, see everyone next Tuesday.
Kevin asks at 1:50:
I have some questions about one of the common characteristics of a typical professional swing that I see when viewing their swings in slow-motion. From the start of the downswing until impact their head appears to drop a slight bit in relation to the level it was at address. What is the benefit of this move and is it absolutely necessary to promote consistently good ball striking? If it is something you recommend, how does one trigger this move at the start of the downswing? Do you consciously think about dropping the head or chest closer to the ground as you start down or is there another trigger which automatically creates the move? The reason I ask is because I am a low handicap golfer that really doesn't have much head movement downward (or upward for that matter) through impact. My head pretty much stays at the same height level from address to impact. I would much appreciate your thoughts on this.
This is a very good question Kevin. It isn’t critical to good ball striking but I agree that you see many good players with some vertical head drop from the address position to impact. The amount of drop depends upon a couple of factors. The first is the height the player stands at during address. Those that stand taller tend to drop more than those who are bent over. This would be true of Adam Scott who drops quite a bit (although it has improved in recent years) vs. Nick Price who drops very little.
The other factor is the amount of right side bend combined with hip rotation through impact. If the lowers their right shoulder considerably during the downswing you will see a larger drop in the head position from address to impact. The really important factor here is to come to grips with the fact that address and impact aren’t the same, were never meant to be the same, don’t need to be the same, and shouldn’t be compared to eachother as a point of emphasis when it comes to height during the swing. Most good players will drop a little, but if the player is fairly bent over at address and doesn’t clear the hips too violently you may see no drop at all. Stop worrying about it ;).
Jason asks at 1:10:
hey brady, been readin your blog for awhile very helpful, i have a problem letting my rist kind of break at the top, i guess it feels like i can reach back for more power, i have a feeling it contributes to my inconsistancy at times more with my driver than irons, irons actually feel pretty good but if you look at my drive( video below) you can see it becomes an issue, and drills or tips to helping with this, thanks, heres a few videos,
p.s. i dont want to lose my power of course.
The swing looks very powerful. I wouldn’t try to shorten the swing by changing the action of your wrists. The arms will always wait for the body to grab them, this is the sequence the downswing must work in to be successful. If the body waits too long to get moving in the direction of the target then the arms will go too far making the swing too long. This is what happens in your swing. Your body doesn’t engage and move back towards the target until the club is well past parallel. If you started the body when your hand feel as if they are at chest high going back the swing will become considerably shorter and actually increase in power. I would recommend that move the ball more forward in your stance with both the iron and the driver and allow your head to move away from the target going back. The back ball position and a bit of a reverse pivot aren’t helping matters. I love your speed, clean up the little things and you could really do some damage.
Steve asks at 1:08:
My problem is keeping my ball close to the pin on bunker shots where the pin is tight. I have no problems getting the ball out of the sand, just lack the knowledge on how to judge the short ones. Do I use a higher lofted wedge or swing slower or take a shorter swing?
I have always preferred to change the length of my sand shots with the speed of the swing rather than the length of the swing. The fact is the ball is flying out on the sand it sits on. If the sand comes out fast and far so will the ball. If the swing is still long but slow the sand won’t come out as fast or as far and the shot will be shorter. This has always been the approach I have used and have found it to be very successful.
Mike asks at 12:50:
Enjoy your blog every week, Brady. I don't have a video, but wondered whether you could make some suggestions based on the following. Whenever I have an uphill lie (not ball above or below feet), I hit a solid iron shot toward my target. It's uncanny. However, I don't have the same luck on level lies, often picking the ball, with my misses typically short and right - especially with the longer irons. Can you give me any suggestions based on that scant info?
Chances are you stay back and behind the ball better on the uphill lies. This enables the club to work past your body during impact as it should during a normal lie. On the more level lies your body is most likely racing in front of your hands and arms making it difficult for the club to find the bottom of the arc and impossible for the clubface to square up at impact. Hitting the ball with the face open and your body too far out in front will produce short shots that end up right of the target. From the uphill like it is very difficult to move the body as well and you end up staying behind it more that normal. The suggestion would be to practice from the normal lies with a bit more right side tilt (assuming you are right handed). This will simulate the uphill lie and help promote a more back position through impact. I would also like to see you focus on allowing the club to pass your body more through impact. Give this a try and let me know how it goes.
Hi Brady thanks for your help a couple of weeks ago and also for your PDF on breaking 80.
I almost did it last week shot an 81 - 9 pars, 7 bogeys and two doubles.
The doubles were a result of not getting away off the tee - The rest of my game is in pretty solid shape, but getting away is the key to scoring for me.
Have resorted to 3 wood off the tee for more control ( if you remember I used to use a three iron and was struggling with my driver )
Anyway I can hit the 3 wood 200-245 depending on the quality of the strike.
The trouble that I'm having is that I think I have too many swing thoughts and as a result I still have a variety of outcomes.
I can kind of leave my right shoulder low and cut across teh line if I want a cut shape and to a large extent I can manage that - If I want a neutral or draw shape I can do it but 1 in 4 ends up being a complete duck hook - usually meaning trouble - I sometimes thin it too.
In short I have been on the range trying to groove a 'go to' shot but as yet haven't been able to do it.
Here are my main features - set open for a cut closed for a draw, hands with a strong baseball grip, swingpath out to in for a cut and in to in for a draw. Ball inside left heel. Low and slow takeaway, I Concenrate on good spine angle and keeping down on shot until well after impact. Hitting at 65% power does seem to limit the damage - the ball flight being straighter and the club face being squarer to target and therefore imparting more power - less power leakage.
Bottom line is that I have been searching for quite some time and the inconsistency in this element of my game is driving me nuts ( every other part of my game is sound )
Do you have any simple pointers to help me execute a more consistent shot.
By the way I have an offset cobra 3 wood and I think it helps counteract the slice but it really makes the hook shot awful. Perhaps as I am improving I should consider a neutral club? Although that's a bit scary because my natural tendency is to cut the ball.
It sounds like you have tried just about everything to find a shot that will get you into the fairway. The concern from my perspective is that you haven’t been successful as of yet and are swinging at 65%. There comes a time when you need to get the mechanics cleaned up or you can’t get better. I would like to see you set up square with no strange compensations in your grip, alignment, ball position, posture, etc. and swing. From there we would have an idea where things are going wrong and begin chipping away at your compensating moves by eliminating the need for them. This would mean looking at the entire motion from the address position and taking out the elements that aren’t neutral as they occur. It may seem like a daunting task, but it is the only way you can reach your potential. When the swing is good there will always be pieces that aren’t perfect, but you should be able to stand up to a driver, swing hard and hit the fairway. The fact that you are still scoring well is a tribute to your ability to “play the game”. If the swing caught up to your ability to score, it might be scary what you could accomplish. Send in some video so I can get you going.
Ben asks at 12:10:
Thanks so much for your blog every week - I never miss it. This video was taken back in May, and I believe I've since discovered that I desperately need to add the 1/4 turn in the left arm - am I on the right track?
If not, what should I focus on? Thanks for your help!
You are on it! You are too deep and across at the top of the backswing making the clubshaft too steep in the transition. Adding the ¼ turn before you reach the top of the backswing will get the club pointed on plane in the transition and remove the need to “save” it as you approach impact. I think the rest of the motion is solid, but the tendency to hit big blocks and snaps will be there unless you fix this issue. Remember, start the ¼ turn before the top and the picture in the transition will change. Here is a comparison to help you see how different the downswing will look.
Mark McLeod asks at 12:00:
It's been about six months since my last post and I thought I'd ask for another opinion from you. I don't think I've got the tush line completely solved. I'm thinking I'll have to practice hitting almost flatfooted to stop turning my left hip and knee in early. I am fighting misses in both directions (with occasional draw), but I'm also fighting fat and skulled shots with my irons now, which makes me think I'm losing my level. I also wonder if my hands are too active
If I played more I'd improve for sure, but I think there are other issues that are hampering me.
Thanks for sending in the videos. It is saying the videos are private and I need a login. Can you make them available to everyone including myself?