Archive: August 2011

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August 23, 2011

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

Posted at 9:37 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady, be sure to check back next week for an all-new edition!

Thanks to all for your questions and comments. We will be back next week on Wednesday instead of our usual Tuesday spot. Have a great week!!!

Chris asks at 1:20:

A few months ago I started from scratch and ditched my horribly inconsistent swing of the last 10 years. I'm beginning to get consistently solid contact when I'm not reverting to old habits, but I still alternate between slight draws and the occasional push. I would be fine with a draw, but the inconsistency makes it difficult to aim for the pin. I'm trying to find a practice technique to get a more consistently square clubface at impact. Are you a fan of impact bags as a training tool? Or do you believe working on the proper turn and follow through will naturally develop the proper impact position?

Hate the impact bags. They do make a good chair in a pinch on the range but that’s about it. Impact can’t be micro-managed. The correct alignments of the clubface, angle of attack, pivot, etc. are all set in motion from address forward. Work on the clubface position first with a good grip and proper wrist position at the top, get the turn of your body to produce a neutral height and depth for the club and hands at the top of the swing, sequence things correctly and your impact will improve. Don’t waste your time on training aids and gimmicks, they aren’t worth your time and money.

Rcon asks at 1:00:

General question on swing plane...I'm a 9 hdcp and this year began flattening my swing plane on my own. Reason being is my miss was a chunk (I'm stellar from 100 yds in bc of this), partly because i did suck the clubhead inside, however once i got the backswing path more on plane, i couldn't deliver the club from the inside consistently for a myriad of reasons. Basically, it was complicated. I've found the flatter motion to be an easier concept for me to work at. So the other a day, a teaching pro invaded my practice session and told me i was too flat and he could help me. Little did he know i'm hitting it better than ever and my miss is now a hook, but not so severe i hook it out of play. In fact, I'm having more fun than ever hitting balls in the water (because i hit the ball) than playing my 3rd shot from 85 yds bc of a chunk. So is there an ideal swing plane or is it more different strokes for different folks?

Thanks for the question, it’s a good one. The simple answer is one swing plane doesn’t fit all. Some players are at their best more upright, some more flat, some are better more inside going back, some take it up and out and have success. It is more important that the club attacks the ball on the proper plane than the angle the club, arms, and shoulders are working on during the backswing. With that said, there are easier places to play from at the top than others. It sounds like you have made a change you are happy with, I’d stick with it and tell those that give unsolicited advice to mind their own business.


Latch asks at 12:40:

I'd like to stop the ball on the green better while pitching and chipping. Some of my approach shots will stay right where they land like a dart. This mostly happens on a high pitch. I have seen my chips and shorter pitches check up but this is not consistent. I'm pretty happy with a shot that wont bounce - just go straight to a slow roll after landing on the green. Is there a swing thought or practice idea that will help me get that one bounce and stop like the pros or even spin the ball back a little on pitches and chips? I don't think equipment is my issue (Cleveland cg 14 wedges with dg spinner shafts) I have rolled back my PW and 9 iron before, but never the wedges. Thanks Brady.

The shot you are describing has become nearly impossible with the new rules regarding groove technology. In some ways, it has brought a level of skill back to the game that had disappeared as a result of the wedges that are now illegal on Tour. To make the ball check up quicker you need several factors in your favor. First and foremost is a really good lie, without it there is no chance. Second is a clubface position that is slightly open and some brisk acceleration through impact. If the lie is good and the contact is crisp this will help you stop the ball faster on the green. Personally, I am happy with the change and think it is a positive for the game. Remember, your best chance to stop the ball quickly with the new groove rule is with trajectory instead of spin.

Jeff asks at 12:30:

Brady, love your blog. I have a question I hope you can help with. I have been missing all of my drives to the right, the ball flight is straight or a slight draw. Any ideas? May be difficult without a video, I know. Can not wait to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. You are correct, it is very difficult to diagnose without video. If you look at the previous questions today regarding a slide of the hips and blocks you might find your answer. Getting the lower body in a better position coming down can make it much easier to release the club properly. When the posture is better through impact the club tends to get “unstuck” making it much easier to start the ball on line. I would look in both of these places to improve the miss to the right. The fact that the ballfight is a slight draw or straight shot leads me to believe the clubface and path are both in good shape. Let me know how it goes.

Casey asks at 12:13:

Thank you so much for your blog and website, they are both really helpful.

I've had a big block right that keeps killing tournaments, and I used to the the issue was my takeaway, but now I think I was getting my right arm way too deep at the top. He is a video when i still had the right miss and the right arm was working back to my side:

Here is one where I try to keep my right arm more in front of me:

Do you think that keeping my right arm more in front of my chest is the correct thing to work on to eliminate the block? Or is the right arm supposed to work toward the side of your body?

The right arm can be in either position and be effective. I think your issues with the blocks under pressure have more to do with your body not moving through the shot correctly rather than issues you are having during the backswing. Your head and shoulders are staying down and buried too long. This is usually the result of some lower body slide in the direction of the target during the downswing. I would like to see you maintain more height in your body at and especially immediately after impact. This will allow you to extend both your arms and legs after impact making it much easier to get the club releasing properly. Here are a couple of pictures to help you.


Roberajane1956 asks at 12:00:

I have a habit of too much hip slide in the down swing which leads to a pushed shot especially tee shots with the driver. How can I eliminate this and keep my power please?

When the left hip slides closer to the target than the left knee you have hip slide. Working your left knee around towards the target in front of your hip prevents the slide and creates more power by separating your lower and upper body rotation when it counts. There is some movement of the hip and knee to begin the downswing, but the left knee has to get out ahead of the hip fairly quickly.


August 18, 2011

Marius Filmalter: Aspiring long putters should proceed with caution

Posted at 2:26 PM by Marius Filmalter

Keegan_Bradley Previously, I have written that although the belly or long putter was an effective training tool and short-term solution, I did not see it being a career-long alternative to the short putter. Well, on Sunday, Keegan Bradley became the first player with a long putter to win a major championship. This accomplishment comes on the heels of Adam Scott’s WGC victory in Akron, Ohio, with the broom handle. Today, my friends, I begrudgingly eat a little crow.

I remember some years ago NBC Sports commentator Johnny Miller said something to the effect that a “6-foot-4-inch tall American who was an athlete and grew up using a long putter would dominate golf someday.” Although it is too early to crown Keegan Bradley as that player, it certainly looks like Miller’s statement was a prophetic.

Just to be clear, I am not anti-long/belly putter, and one of my students, Ernie Els, has made the transition to a belly putter, at least for the short term. However, my research still shows the greatest putters are using a traditional putter. When I think of the best putters I’ve ever seen, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw come to mind immediately. We’ve never seen them use the long stick in one of their major victories.

If watching Keegan and the other guys on tour stroking the long putter makes you want to buy one, proceed with caution. No single piece of equipment will change your putting woes. Proper technique and practice is the only way to succeed on the greens.

Keegan handled the long putter as well as I have ever seen, given the speed of the greens at the Atlanta Athletic Club and the circumstances surrounding his first major appearance. Do I think this will start a migration from the short stick to the long broom? Hardly. Putting with a belly or long putter is as much an art as it is technique. One thing is for sure: The success of Adam Scott’s and Keegan Bradley will rekindle the debate over the place of the long putter in the game of golf.

Until next time…cheers!

(Photo: Fred Vuich/SI)

August 16, 2011

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

Posted at 9:37 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs was online Tuesday at noon Eastern time to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady, he'll be back next Tuesday at the same time, so get your swing videos on YouTube for Brady to review!

Thanks to everyone for your questions and videos. I hope the blog was informative and entertaining. If you haven't checked out the Golf Magazine Front 9 App in iTunes,  please give it a look, I am sure you will dig it. See you next week.......

Pablo asks at 1:20:

Hey Brady, All I really think I need is more time on the range. Who doesn't? The thing is, I hate the range. I don't really know how to practice, I just go and hit shot after shot until I run out of balls. I would really appreciate it if you could help with finding out a purpose for me on the range that would be effective on the course.

This is a really good question, Pablo, that deserves several thousand words to do it justice. The issue is that there are many different types of range sessions and the one you need to focus on will change depending upon the situation. Here are a few examples that I will keep brief for the sake of time.

Pre-round practice should be used to warm up the body, the mind and the swing. Usually this begins with short pitches, moves into hitting the odd numbered or even numbered irons, and eventually the driver. The goal is to prepare for the upcoming round and not work on the technical aspects of your golf swing. Targets should be selected and changed often to allow for you to use your pre-shot routine.

Post-round practice should be short and very specific to the issues that were present during the round. Work on the one or two things that were most obviously off when you played so you can leave the course with a sense of improvement. For example, if the distance control with the wedges was poor, try to hit specific yardages until the issue has improved.

Technical practice is completely different. This should be done with one or two clubs with the goal being to improve the technique. This means you don’t care WHERE the ball goes because you are trying to make a technical change. This practice is slower, and more detail-oriented with many practice swings in between. It is the most productive when you have a set of goals you are trying to achieve with your golf swing you have planned before the practice begins. This is ALWAYS better with the use of video.

I could go on forever, but make sure you define your practice session so you know why you are going, what you are working on, and how you are going to achieve your goals for the day. If you don’t do this, you might as well go exercise instead of going to the range.

Ben asks at 1:10:

How can I find a position to trust at the top? How important is it to maintain the "connection" between the top of the right arm and the right lat?

Also, do you believe in two different swings, one for driver and one for irons?

If you look at the picture I just posted of Ernie Els, it should answer the question about the right arm. Several years ago, Jim Hardy released a book about the “one-plane” swing. This book, combined with the Stack and Tilt crowd, have lead many golfers to believe they must have the left arm lower at the top of the backswing with the upper right arm pinned against the chest. While this has been great for my business as it creates a lot of weak, slicing golfers, it has confused a large number of people. Look at the pictures of Els, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, and Tiger in his prime and you will see the arms up in the air.

I know, I know, Ben Hogan didn’t get his arms up in the air. But, he is Ben Hogan and you (not you, Ben) aren’t. Just allow your arms to get up in the air and you will find more freedom and comfort at the top of your golf swing. It’s hard enough to make one good swing, don’t try to have a different one from your irons to the driver. Send in some video and I will give you a more specific set of things to focus on.

Chuck asks at 1:05:

Hello Brady, Despite the fact that I make a divot with my fairway woods, it seems as if all I can do is hit low fades. I was properly fit on a launch monitor with the club and earlier in the year I was hitting shots with plenty of height. I'm a scratch player with a high swing speed and tend to hit all of my other shots extremely high. What can I do in order to hit my fairway woods higher? Thanks for the help!

Taking a divot with the fairway wood is a pretty good indication that you are hitting down on it too much. I would prefer to see the club scrape across the grass with the fairway woods instead of taking earth, as it allows you to get the true loft of the club at impact. When you hit down on the fairway wood excessively, you lose the loft of the clubface and are most likely attacking on too steep of an angle. Try to shallow out your path into impact so the club works across the grass instead of crashing into the ground and you will see the loft of the shot come back.

Dave asks at 1:00:

I'm lost with the driver at the moment. In as few words as possible, give me something that you think will help me find some rhythm or consistency.

Get to the finish in balance.

How’s that?

Scott asks at 12:30:

Hi Brady, I have some problems hitting the driver. I consistently hit the ball near the heel of the club even if I set up with the ball on the toe. Here is a video of my swing. Any help would be great.

Thanks for sending the video, Scott. The swing needs more up and down and less around. The basic idea is that you let your arms and the club get too flat at the top of the backswing. This forces the club to swing too far out away from you as it approaches impact, making it impossible to hit any other portion of the club but the heel. If your arms and club are more up and on top of your right shoulder at the top of the backswing instead of behind it, the club will work more down instead of out and you will find the sweet spot. Standing farther from the ball or teeing it on the toe of the club won’t fix this problem, as you have probably discovered. Here is a picture to give you an idea where you should be trying to go.


Steve asks at 12:15;

I was reading Ben Hogan's book on fundamentals and he discussed having a waggle as part of a routine. It was also talked about during last week's PGA. Everyone is different, but have you found with your students it is helpful? Also, Hogan mentioned the wrist on the forward hand should bend slightly at impact, similar to painting with a brush. Does that make for a better ballstriker or is it simply a fundamental of having the hands ahead at impact? Thanks!

The waggle and the entire pre-shot routine are designed to help you relax before you take the club away. Most professionals have some form of waggle built into their routine. The style and complexity of it can be as elaborate as making a takeaway where the position of the club is checked or as simple as lifting the head of the club slightly off the ground just before the swing begins. The key is to find some simple trigger that helps you relax and is easy to repeat.

The "bend" you refer to in the lead wrist Hogan was describing is better thought of as "bow." In other words, the wrist can "bend" backwards and "bow" forwards. This is a very difficult thing to work on, as it can lead to tension in the hands and arms at impact. If the club tracks on the proper path with the clubhead attacking the inside-back portion of the ball with the hands leading the shaft you will achieve the correct impact alignments. Trying to micro-manage the position of your hands at impact is a great way to screw up your swing.

Doug asks at 12:00

Still struggling with that push-slice. I've been able to narrow it down to the fact that I have an excessively in-to-out swing path and an open clubface at impact, but from there, I'm not sure what to do. Seems like I've tried everything! Any thoughts on getting the clubface to close more at impact, or on getting rid of this push-slice in general? My other shots are fine, so this really kills my rounds single-handedly!

The push slice is probably the most unpleasant shot in golf. Some would argue the shank or chunked shot is more embarrassing, but the push slice is almost always OB, has no chance of coming back or hitting something to stay out of trouble, and is actually dangerous to others on the golf course. I get it.

As you correctly mentioned, the clubface is the issue. Make sure you have hit all the important elements to fix it, the flat lead wrist at the top, a solid grip that isn't too weak, and a more conscious effort to square the face with your hands at impact. Once these have been checked and adjusted, the push slice is far less likely. If is still persists, the body needs to be slowed considerably in its rotation through impact. This will allow the club to move more out in front of the body and speed up the rotation of the clubface through impact.

If you haven't already, download the Golf Magazine Front 9 App from iTunes and check out the fix your slice piece that came out today. There are some really good videos from four Top 100 Teachers (including myself) that will give you a nice visual to help you through this mess.

August 11, 2011

Marius Filmalter: Set your personal rhythm to make more 12-footers

Posted at 4:28 PM by Marius Filmalter

I want to tell you a story about a round I played last week in Dallas. I was supposed to tee off at 1 p.m., but I left my home office late, so I had to drive 75 mph instead of my normal 65 to get to the course. On my way to the course, I received two phones calls. The first was from my secretary, who told me that a contract I’d been expecting wasn’t ready yet, which agitated me. The second was from my son, who told me that he had just gotten a speeding ticket, which made me even more agitated. As I pulled into the course parking lot, my wife called and started nagging me because she didn’t realize I was going to play. I only had 10 minutes to warm up, and I was fuming mad. My round started bogey, par, bogey.

What is the point of this story, and how does it relate to this week’s PGA Championship? Come Sunday afternoon, a player’s rhythm will be king, and guys trying to win their first major or their fifteenth major will have to maintain a consistent personal rhythm. That can be hard to do with all the distractions of normal day-to-day life, not to mention the pressure of major championship golf.

Both Brad Faxon and I have said many times that good rhythm can mask poor technique. Thus, the general rule to follow on the greens is that your stroke should always take the same amount of time to complete, regardless of the length of the putt.

I often work with players who claim they make an adequate amount of 4-foot putts but rarely make 12-footers. Think about your own game for a moment. Have you ever made all the short putts for par or bogey but not made any 12-footers for birdie or par? When I assess players with this complaint, in almost every case they have two different rhythms for these putts. How do golfers begin to putt with two different rhythms? Because you make four-footers and miss 12-footers, you instinctively put more and more pressure on the 12-footers. The more pressure you put on yourself, the more likely you are to disrupt your normal rhythm. So what can you do to control your rhythm?

Let’s go back to my story. I only had 10 minutes to prepare, and I should have focused all that time on getting into my personal rhythm. (I also discussed finding your personal rhythm in this blog post back in March.) I normally use a metronome to do this. I set it on my personal frequency and take a couple of driver swings beside the putting green, making sure my swing matches up with the tic-toc of the metronome. (If you don’t have a metronome, then simply count out loud to help calibrate your rhythm.) I also hit some putts of various distances and match my stroke to the tic-toc as well.

Remember that rhythm is susceptible to your environment and how you feel day-in and day-out. Finding a tool, whether it be a metronome or counting out loud, will help you calibrate your rhythm.

August 09, 2011

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

Posted at 11:54 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs is here to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for Brady, leave it in the comments section below.

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of Ask Brady Live. It was an interesting week at Firestone. Stevie got more press than Adam Scott and the story was still about Tiger and the state of his game. Let's get started....

Tim asks at 1:20:

7 iron dtl-

Driver dtl-

Driver face on-

Brady, I was hoping you could help me out with creating more coil in my backswing and a better position with the club at the top. As you can see in my videos I have a huge shoulder turn and the club goes back farther then I’d prefer. Things that I’m currently working on are a steeper shoulder turn, keeping the cup in my left wrist throughout the backswing, and trying to keep some flex in my right knee. I’ve tried mentally shortening up my swing but this seems to make my transition quick and I just pull the crap out of the ball. Same thing happens when I try to start my transition early (as you suggest in previous posts). I watched Hunter Mahan at the WGC this weekend and I just loved his simple motion and plane and the efficiency of his swing. I would love to get into a similar backswing position as he does. I’ve noticed that halfway in my backswing I keep my right arm very tucked and in front of my body rather then letting it go to my side like most tour pros do. Thanks for your help!

You need to focus on two specific areas to improve the swing. The first is to reduce your hip turn during the backswing. The huge shoulder turn going back can be effectively reduced by limiting your hip turn. A good way for you to improve this is to try to keep your right knee in it’s address position relative to the target line as long as possible going back. This will keep your shoulders from getting out of control going back and begin the process of simplifying your motion. The second issue is to focus on finishing your backswing with the shoulders arms and club at the same time and at the same SPEED. This is critical to keeping the backswing wider and getting the club in a better position. The over-rotation of your shoulders and the run on that accompanies it with your arms is a major roadblock to your consistency. When you improve the length and width of your swing the club will begin to shallow out earlier in the transition and stop coming down so steep. The steepness in the transition position is the major concern and improving the top of the backswing is the way to get there.

Read more:


Jason asks at 1:05:

hey brady following up from a month ago, you told me to move my ball up in my stnace. i noticed it puts me in a more athletic stance. heres a few updated videos...

Down the line

Front view

i had two questions, from the back view, do i need to try to get steeper going back and get the club in front of my hands? ive noticed the pros have this steeper back swing.

second, from the front do i need to get a straight line down my left arm and club shaft at adress. and should i be taking it away in more of a one piece motion?

Thanks for the videos. I agree that the takeaway needs some work. As you take the club back your hands lift up while the clubhead stays too low to the ground. This takes the club too far behind you and requires too many compensating moves the rest of the swing. I would like to see the clubhead stay outside your hands when the club reaches parallel to the ground for the first time. From the face on view I would like to see your head move back off the ball during the backswing. Your head is moving in the direction of the target which puts you in a weak position to begin your downswing. Get the takeaway more clean and improve your head motion during the backswing and you will be on your way.


Read more:


Scott asks at 12:40:


Hi Brady, my sister just joined her high school golf team and could use some help with her swing. She has some problems with consistent contact. Here is some videos of her swing, any tips would be much appreciated.



She is off to a good start. I think her swing is solid for a young player and can improve with a few small adjustments. I would like to see her posture and ball position improve in the address position. She needs to get more weight into the balls of her feet. This will make her back straighter and put her in a better position to move more consistently during the swing. The ball is too far back in her stance. While this may help her feel like the contact is a bit better, it forces her to lose her “lag” early on the downswing. This is a major power leak in her swing and will tend to make the contact more erratic. Here are a couple of pictures of US Amateur Champion Danielle Kang at address that would be great for her to try to emulate.


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Mike asks at 12:25:


How can I stop from "dipping" (my body) on the downswing?

In most cases “dipping” is the result of starting out too upright in the address position or standing up during the backswing. As with so many things in the golf swing you need to attack the problem beginning with the address position. Try to establish a posture that isn’t contrived and you feel is relaxed and athletic. During the backswing focus on maintaining the forward bend you created during the address and keeping your knees relaxed and slightly bent. The combination of the address position change and the relaxed backswing should go along way to preventing you from “dipping” on the downswing. The last thing you can focus on is maintaining your “level” as you begin the downswing. This means you try to keep your sternum or chest at the same height on the downswing. Give it some time and you will see an improvement in your ball striking.

Read more:


John asks at 12:15:


what is the best kind of clubs used/new for me to buy.. im probably around a 22-25 handicap with old tommy armour 845s oversize irons.. looking to upgrade and spend like 300.. some shots tend go right for me sometimes.....


If you have $300 to spend on equipment I would look into purchasing a Driver that is fit for you rather than a set of irons. While the technology in a set of irons continues to improve there isn’t an enormous difference between a good set of irons from 10-15 years ago and those on the market right now. The driver is a completely different story. There is no comparison between the technology in today’s drivers vs those made only a few years ago. This is the club you should invest your money in as it will make a more profound impact on your game. If you have already updated your driver, there are many options out there for a set of irons. I would suggest you stay with a more generous sized clubhead and sweet-spot with some perimeter weighting and a bit of offset. This combination will help you hit it farther and give you the best chance to stay away from the right side miss.

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August 02, 2011

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

Posted at 9:20 AM by Brady Riggs

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs stopped by on Tuesday to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or video for the next edition of Ask Brady, be sure to check back next Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone for the questions, comments and videos. I want to give a quick shout out to my student Danielle Kang. She just recently won the Smyth Silver Medal as the low amateur at the Women's British Open at Carnouste. The week before she won the North and South Am. at Pinehurst #2. Keep an eye on her next week as she defends her US Amateur Championship in Rhode Island. See everyone next week.

Lewis asks at 1:40:

The biggest problem in my golf swing right now is that I really struggle at maintaining the tush line. I do not think that it is a flexibility issue but I have no idea why it's such a struggle for me. I would really appreciate your help!

There are a few simple things that can help you with this issue. First, keep in mind your weight will move in the direction that it isn’t at address. Losing the tush line usually begins with the weight in the heels at address. Once the swing starts the weight moves out of the heel and towards the toes to find balance, this moves the tush off the line. There are some players that lose the line on the downswing as well. This happens when the hips slide too far laterally towards the target and, as a result, the left hip doesn’t rotate back around away from the ball to maintain contact with the line. The solution starts at address. Start with your weight out over the balls of your feet. You should feel like it is easier to tap your heels up and down than to tap your toes. As you swing the club back allow your right hip pocket (tush) to work back and down behind your right heel. This will take your weight back away from your toes and into the right heel at the top of the swing. Your tush will either be on the line or even behind it at the top. The downswing should have some lateral motion in your lower body towards the target. Once the lateral motion has loaded up your left quad allow your left hip pocket (tush) to work behind your left heel at impact. This will help you maintain the tush line through impact. A good drill is to stand a couple inches away from a wall at address with your tush facing the wall. When you go back allow your right cheek to press up against the wall, when the downswing begins keep both cheeks against the wall, at impact get the left cheek against the wall. This should stay there until the arms are parallel to the ground after impact and then it should come off as you stand up to a more upright posture at the finish.

Roberta asks at 1:30:

I can get around most greens in 2 or 3 but my short game is driving me mad ! I either thin my lob wedge like a missile across greens or hit the ground first on pitch and runs ? Help ? Have yo got a simple fix ? Think I'm moving my weight on the shot maybe ?

Moving around on the short shots can be a common mistake that leads to poor contact. On both the lob wedge and the pitch and run you need to control two specific elements to find some consistency. First, the bottom of the arc needs to be in the same place shot after shot. This should be very slightly after impact. To achieve this the weight MUST be slightly on the front foot at impact and since you shouldn’t be moving much during the swing it is best to start there at address. The second element is how the bottom of the club or sole is interacting with the turf. If the leading edge of the club is digging into the ground too much impact becomes VERY inconsistent. This often happens when the hands are too far ahead of the club at address (too much forward press and/or the ball too far back). If the clubhead is passing the hands too early before impact the leading edge lifts off the ground and you will “belly” the shot across the green. The hands should be slightly in front at address and at impact, allowing the bottom of the club to skip or bounce off the ground at or just after impact. This should be practiced first without a ball to get the feel of where you are going wrong and then with the ball to produce solid short shots. Let me know how it is going… asks at 1:10:

Hi Brady,

I have an upright swing and play ping i10s that are 3 degrees upright. Because of this I am able to hit draws very naturally but struggle with hitting fades. Any advice on how to hit fades with such an upright swing and irons?

This may be a strange question but why do you want to fade it? There have been many Tour players who don’t try to play their iron shots both directions. When the pin is on the left side of the green you have a massive advantage, when in the middle of the green you are still good to go, when on the right side of the green aim at the flag and let the ball work back to the middle of the green. You can hit every green you aim at playing one direction. Granted, you may not be able to hit it stiff every hole but I would take 18 birdie putts from 30 ft. and take my chances every day. My point is unless you are trying to play at the highest of levels and able to practice on a very regular to ridiculous basis you are probably better hitting your stock shot as much as possible. If you have to fade it work on a combination of set-up changes and one or two swing thoughts on the range that give you some level of consistency. Otherwise, hit the draw and pretend you are Kenny Perry.


Steve asks at 12:45:

I use to hit a fade or slice for about 15years and hated every minute of it. Somehow now I've learned how to hit a draw in the last 5 but my misses are a snap hook. I hit a lot of "big" right to left shots but they are so hard to control. Anyway I can lessen the hook. I wouldn't mind hitting a fade once in awhile either.
Love the blog. Thanks for the help.

Thanks for the video Steve. Glad to hear you aren’t hitting the weak left to right shot. On the other hand the quick hook isn’t very fun either. The video you sent was helpful but it was difficult to see the position of the clubface. What is evident is the lateral motion in both the backswing and downswing from the face-on view. Unlike some who scoff at lateral motion, especially going back, I think with many players it is an excellent idea. The lateral coming down is a natural instinct against the quick hook. It helps you feel like you can start the ball well right of the target. The problem is it adds to the amount of “hands” you will use through impact. Think of it like a scale, the more rotation in the lower body the less the hands rotate through impact and vice versa. If you are struggling with the quick or looping hook try to add more rotation in the lower body through impact to quiet the hands and start the ball more on line. It may seem a bit scary and feel like you will hit the ball further left, but it will work. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Nate asks at 12:30:

Can you comment about how the position of the left hand (for right-handed golfers) affects the swing; particularly the take-away / backswing. What is too strong and too weak? I've weakened the position of my left hand recently (the logo of my glove is pretty much facing the target) and on video it looks like the club is in a much better position in the backswing and my take-away is very much "on plane". With a stronger left hand I would tend to roll my hands in the take-away and get the club behind me. I watched a Champions Tour even in person and it seemed like a majority of players had a neutral to weak grip (Irwin, Pavin, Lehman, Cook, Price). Thanks for your insight!

It is a very good question Nate. If you look at the position of the left hand amongst Tour players you will see it in all kinds of different positions from very strong to very weak. It is the combination of the positon of the left hand on the handle at address, the relative bend or flatness at the top, the amount and speed of body rotation during the downswing, and the desired ball-flight that make the ball do what it does. For that reason there is no perfect position of the left hand on the handle for everyone. In your specific situation it makes sense yor left hand change has kept your hands more passive during the takeaway. Just remember it is the combination of all the elements that makes the swing effective or ineffective. For example, if the left hand is in a weak position at address, the left wrist is bent (cupped) at the top of the swing, and the body is rotating quickly coming down the chances of hitting anything but a weak slice is highlty unlikely. Be careful that you are aware of how the left hand grip is working as part of the entire swing when you are making changes.

Brady, I am an eleven handicap. I hit fade/slice with my driver (Taylor Made R11). Yes I have it set up closed, with the lowest possible loft. Extra weight on the heel. If I slow my swing down then I hit a pull to the left. Why is it one or the other? How can I fix a slice.

When you slow down the swing you are able to get the face more squared up to the outside-in path the club is traveling on. This is the pull you are hitting. When you hit it normally the outside path is combined with an open face at impact producing the lovely sidespin that makes the ball fade/slice. Just because the club is set up closed doesn’t mean you aren’t able to make the face open during the swing. Getting the face square is your number one priority at this point. There are two areas you need to focus on. First, make sure your grip, specifically your left hand, is in a strong enough position on the handle in address. This doesn’t refer to how hard you are holding the club but the actual position of the hands on the handle. If the grip is good, move on to the position of the left wrist at the top of the swing. If the grip is solid and the left wrist is in a FLAT position, the clubface should be somewhere between square and closed. When this is combined with an outside-in attack the ball will definitely be going left. Once you have hit a few left you will be very motivated to attack the ball more from the inside to get the ball going more towards the target. It is the combination of a square to closed clubface and a more inside attack that will get rid of your slice.

Tony asks at 12:00:

following up from my last post a year ago (I know), here's the only recent footage (shot DTL only):

I'm a 8 hcp hoping you could give feedback on my general swing blueprint, with some of the issues (e.g. upper body hammer, lateral sliding, handsy bsw) date way back. I hit it fairly straight, with misses to left of target (or heavy) and not able to hit an intentional hook to save my life. As one of my goals (apart from playing under par, of course) is to shape shots both ways, any suggestion or advice coming from you is good advice.

Thanks for the help,

PS.What is your take on my rediscovered book, Golf Swing Secrets and Lies by Michael Hebron?

Thanks for the videos Tony. Overall the swing is smooth and under control. I would like to see your hands become less involved with the takeaway and you focus on maintaining your posture during the backswing. You can improve your consistency and ability to shape your shots if you are more stable during the backswing. From a technical standpoint, try to maintain the connection between your upper right arm and chest during the backswing while the clubhead stays outside your hands until the club hit parallel to the ground for the first time. Not only will this keep your hands more passive coming back, it will help your right shoulder stay closer to the ground during the takeaway. This is the key to keeping your posture more steady going back.

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