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 link for Brady, be sure to check back on Tuesday, January 3 for an all-new edition!
Thanks to everyone for all of your support this year. It has been a blast. I will see everyone back after the New Year!
Jon asks at 1:45:
Help! the last year I endured the torture of sometimes great (for me) but inconsistent golf all year long. I shoot rounds of; 109, 98, 83, 82, 94, 101, 86, 113, 90, 81, 105, 90, 87, 84, 100, 95, 86, & 87.... I went from hitting the sweet spot to hitting rockets off the hosel. Can you please offer some advise and/or drills to help improve consistency?
Wow! 113 then 81 two rounds later is quite a spread. The fact is that you need to go back to the beginning and check everything. Grip, posture, alignment, ball position, tilt, weight distribution and relaxation before you take the club back. Once those are under control work in this order, clubface, path, then pivot. Get the clubface in a relatively square position at address, make sure the path in neutral, then work on the speed and explosiveness of your swing. I know this may not be the advice you are looking for but it works.
Victor asks at 1:25:
Lately, I have been playing good golf, but my downswing and impact is a mess, due to my hips early extension. Any tips for that please? The shot here is an intentional fade that I pulled slightly, but it faded nicely towards the target. I naturally draw the ball straight, so pulling is not a problem.
I agree with you that you lose your posture through impact and become too vertical. This drives your hands up and away from your body forcing you to lose leverage and overuse your hands during impact. Your tush moves in from the “tush line” immediately during the backswing. This means that your weight is too much in your heels at address and needs to push out more towards the balls of your feet or even your toes before you take the club back. I would work on moving in the exact opposite direction than you are currently going. Start towards the balls of your feet and move towards the right heel during the backswing. Try to get more bent over on the downswing and into impact than you were at address and at the top. Only when you can exaggerate the change will you be able to see it in full speed on the golf course. Here are a couple of pictures to help you visualize.
John asks at 1:05:
Brady.... I think in the past I have read on the blog the the left wrist should be flat at impact. How do I know that I am achieving this when I am hitting balls at the range? How far past impact does the wrist stay flat?
The left wrist should be flat at impact. When you are hitting the ball properly with the irons the club should be bottoming out beyond the ball. If the left wrist is bent backwards at impact this can’t happen. The duration of the flatness in the left wrist is dependent upon the grip at address, the desired ball flight, the pivot through impact, etc. I can tell you that attempting to maintain the flat left wrist too long has ruined many good players, specifically with the driver. The best way to practice this is with short and slow shots where the finish of your motion is just past impact. This will give you some feedback about how to use your body to drive the hands, arms and club through impact without forcing the left wrist into a “position”. The fact is to achieve a flat left wrist at impact you need to be relaxed and sequencing your motion properly. If you make the swing all about the hands you have no chance. Start small and slow and build upon the success of the shorter shots.
Casey asks at 12:35:
I hope you have a great holiday season. I had a quick question on the lower body and pivot in downswing. From face on, my left knee still has the habit of sliding out past the left foot in the downswing, before it clears back behind the foot. I notice a lot of good modern players (AK, Woodland, Hoffman) never get that left knee out in front of the left foot on the downswing like I do, but some old school guys (including Hogan) have a move similar to mine.
My question is should I work on trying to eliminate that slide? or is it OK? My goal is to avoid any body stall through the shot, I want to keep rotating through it like AK Woodland and Hoffman, so my body controls the release of the club more and the toe doesn't flip down after impact. Here is my swing DTL and face on. Thank you!! and PS, is it possible to get lessons in person from you? I'm sure it would be extremely helpful.
Thanks for the Holiday wishes, the same to you and yours. Of course you can come out for lessons, would love to have you although you would have to lose the white belt;)
The left knee’s position on the downswing is determined by the direction the left foot is pointing. For example, AK’s left foot is nearly pigeon toed at address making it impossible for his left knee to rotate past his foot (unless he wants to blow out his MCL). Your left foot (and Hogan’s) is flared out in the address position and becomes more flared during the downswing. This allows your left knee to point in the same direction as your foot creating the possibility for the knee to get further out. The problem with squaring up your left foot is that it requires significant flexibility to rotate the hips through impact. This is something you can experiment with to see if your body will handle it. Here are a couple of pictures to help you see the differences.
Scott Chievers asks at 12:20:
I am thinking of moving to Stack and Tilt, any opinions?
Are you on a fishing expedition to see if I’ll take the bait with this question? Seeing as it’s the Holiday Season I am going to pass on this one. If you have questions about my opinion on this methodology feel free to look at the past blogs. If you are serious and don’t know where I stand send me an email. I have grown as tired of this subject as Mike Weir and Aaron Baddeley were of the swing.
Jdduckhook asks at 12:00
I tend to get stuck on the downswing. My lower body gets way ahead of my arm swing on the downswing. This creates blocks and big hooks. What is your favorite drill to correct this problem?
It is very difficult to work on your golf swing by trying “not” to do something. This is why players have limited success thinking of doing less with their body as the downswing begins to cure being stuck. When I work with my students I am always trying to give them a positive thought to improve their golf swing. With your specific issue I would like to see you “light up” or engage your left quad muscle as you begin the transition. Driving your weight into the left quad will prevent you from spinning out with your lower body and allow your arms to get synced up with your pivot. The rotation of your hips will be delayed with the positive thought of driving into your quad and enable you to work against the ground with your legs through impact.