Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs on Tuesday at noon EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you missed Brady this time, check back next week for an all-new edition!
Thanks for following Ask Brady Live! If I didn't get to your question please resubmit it next week and get it in early so I can get to it. Hope everyone has a great week of practice and playing.
Jeff asks at 1:30:
What are your thoughts on the right elbow/arm in the downswing....Furyk traps his behind his body (Jim Hardy) and others get it in front of their right hip. It seems if I trap it behind my body more like Furyk it forces more turn and keeps the shaft steeper. If the right elbow leads the shaft tends to get too flat with a lot of upper body hang back and the face stays open. Just curious as to what you think.
Furyk is the extreme example of getting the right elbows stuck behind the right hip on the downswing. There are many other players that get the right elbow out in front of the right hip including Tiger Woods. My personal preference is to have the right elbow down in front of you in what is referred to as a “pitch” position. I disagree that the right elbow in front of the hip tends to get the shaft too flat or forces the upper body to hang back with the face open. When the right elbow collides or is trapped by the right hip the left wrist tends to break down too quickly and forces the club to flip through impact. When the right elbow is down in front of the hip the hands lead the club shaft into impact creating the proper wrist conditions of a flat left wrist and a bent right wrist. I've included a few pictures to show you the differences between those elbow positions you referenced. It is obvious that you can play Major Championship golf from either position, this is a preference of both player and coach.
Casey asks at 1:00:
Could you please talk about the process of bringing a new swing to the course? I've changed my swing quiet a bit and my practice sessions have been a lot better but the course were sometimes be more hit and miss but now I think I'm on to something.
I've been trying really hard to practice like I play and play like I practice. By this, I mean I try to use fewer and more concise swing thoughts while practicing and I do the same on the course. I also try to not pay too much attention to ball flight. Instead, I try to focus on getting my setup and alignments right, then focusing on executing my feelings/thoughts with good tempo (both on the course and while practicing).
Would you say this is heading in the right direction? I ask mainly because I often hear people saying just to focus on target on the golf course, but I feel like I'm not ready to do that yet as. Thank you very much for the insight. Here is an update video too - I've practiced for 21 days and it's feeling great! I challenged myself to not miss a day in the next 3 years (because I'm afraid my myelin will deteriorate)!
Watching that video almost makes me feel bad that it was 80* last week in Los Angeles.
I think you are on the right track Casey. I have played golf for over 30 years and have never played well thinking about more than one thing in my swing or focusing exclusively on the target. When I have been at my best as a player the focus was on both the shape and trajectory of the shot I was trying to play. Trying to incorporate multiple changes to the swing and play is very difficult. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to go through some difficult times when making a change, it’s very normal. It takes a great many reps to build the trust and the pathways necessary to have the change become thoughtless. It appears to me that you are getting closer to less thought about fewer keys in the swing, congrats.
Keep your expectations low and stick with the adjustments you have made and you will get there.
Still hate the belt BTW…
T asks at 12:45:
My question is about pitching and chipping. I see the PGA players mixing up there shots between shots that stick, that bounce once or twice and stop, and shots that release and roll 25 feet. How are they changing setup and swing to accomplish the different shot reaction? It all looks the same on TV but the results are drastic.
They have spent thousands of hours hitting all types of shots from various lies for decades. In a way it is that simple. Changing the face position, bounce, ball position, hinge, angle of attack, roll through impact, speed of swing, length of swing, acceleration, etc. will all affect the type of shot you are hitting. The best advice I can give you is to work on one shot at a time and build an arsenal of weapons that will give you options in every situation. Start with the most basic of shots like a chip and run. Use all the various clubs to figure out how much roll out you are getting with a LW vs a PW and so on.
Sam asks at 12:30:
Thanks as always for your time to help golf.com readers.
I've been experimenting lately with setting up open and hitting the outside of the ball with the driver to play a fade (almost an intentional slice). The past few weeks I've been finding the fairway alot as that ball fight is predictable, playable and doesn't hook with that setup. Others in my group, have said that playing the drive that way will adversely effect my iron game and swing. What is your expert opinion?
It sounds like you have made an adjustment that has produced a more effective and reliable ball flight. You wouldn’t be the first player that has tried to exaggerate the shape of their shots only to find the ball flying straighter than anticipated. There is absolutely no reason the adjustment shouldn’t work for the irons as well. In fact, most professionals you will see will be more open with the stance hitting an iron than the driver and attack on a slightly steeper angle. Here is a quick picture of Davis Love III hitting a driver vs. an iron for comparison.
Michael asks at 12:00:
Thank you in advance for look at my swing, it is greatly appreciated. I just have a couple of questions regarding my address position and early extension. I used to stand very far from the ball, and when I had a lesson they moved me to my current address position. My only question regarding this is why do my hands sit so close to me at address when compared to PGA pros? I feel like I stand the correct distance to the ball, and I don’t lose the tush line going back (except when I don’t transfer my weight completely back to my right heel, yet I don’t have any lateral movement). I was also told that I have fast hips, more likely a slow upper body, most likely causing my early extension, making my bad shot a hook. What are some drills that I can do to feel like I’m covering the ball at impact or so that my downswing is in sync? I also tend to hit the ball high on the face, is this due to a steep angle of attack, caused from early extension? One more question, I’ve only been playing golf for 2 years, but is there anything else major that I have to focus/work on beside this early extension?
Here’s a video of my swing (Sorry my head is cut off in the first few- the last two swings you can see my whole body):
Thanks for sending in the video Michael. I think your set-up position is still a bit off. If you look at where your tush begins at address and where it is at impact you will notice it has moved towards the ball several inches. I would like to see you move your toes back away from the ball and allow your weight to sit in the balls of your feet. This should put the end of the handle in line with the front of your shoes at address and make it much easier for you to maintain the Tush line during the swing. I have attached a picture of the proper look so you can get a visual.
The second issue I would work on is the flatness in the shaft as the club works from the takeaway to the top of the swing. When the club points well outside the target line on the way up to the top it well inevitably bounce across the line when you are finishing the backswing. As a result, there are several frames at the top of the swing where the only thing moving is the club across the line. There is no increase in potential power, no dynamic change of direction and no reason whatsoever to have so much excessive motion in the shaft. This will obviously lead to inconsistency but also create the steeper transition and angle of attack you were mentioning in your question. Get the shaft pointed more vertically immediately after takeaway and you will get rid of the excessive motion in the shaft at the top and make it much easier to get the club tracking properly as you begin the downswing. Here are a couple more pictures to help you.