Archive: March 2012

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March 27, 2012

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

Posted at 9:47 AM by Brady Riggs

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have question or video link for Brady, leave it in the comments section below!

Welcome to the Tuesday Blog Ask Brady Live! Hope you enjoyed the blog, I will answer the remaining questions later tonight. Check back into the blog tomorrow morning.....

Mark Jones asks 12:50:

I am a 7 handicap and my former instructor advised me that my swing mechanics were fine but to improve my handicap I now need to better my timing. How does one work on and improve our timing?

I have no idea what your former instructor is talking about. If there are ball striking issues then address them in order of importance: clubface first, path then pivot. If ballstriking isn’t the issue and it’s scrambling, up and down percentage, putts per round, putts per green in regulation, etc. You need some specific data as to where you are losing shots. Start keeping track of your statistics and you will be able to diagnose the area of your game that needs the most attention. In my opinion, telling a student to work on rhythm, timing, or tempo is lazy and completely ineffective. Send in some video so I can give you specific advice.

 

Paul asks at 1:20:

Hello Brady, I have a question about connectivity, am I getting trapped at the top of my swing, where my arms are behind my body. Should I try to keep my arms in front of my chest or should I work on acceletrating my arms (right elbow) in front of my body during my downswing and keep my right shoulder back? The elbow should be in front of your hip coming into impact, correct?

my swing:

http://youtu.be/0qK1H_JLbNY

Those are very insightful questions to ask Paul. I don’t see an issue with the top of your backswing. In a perfect world I would prefer the right elbow to be down in front of the right hip approaching impact. I would also like to see more space between the hands, arms and body after impact. You are currently very jammed in the frames all around impact. Working on the right elbow down in front can be very frustrating and difficult but it is worth it. The best advice I have for you is to study the pictures below and begin to pose impact and delivery pictures copying the positions. This will begin to give you the feel you need to make the changes. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

 

T1
T2
The bottom pictures show the right elbow down in front and the hands leading the shaft further into impact.

Furyktiger
Hillarycollide
Hillaryimpact
Extension

Barrett asks at 1:10:

Only played 2x last year but will play a lot more this year. Any tips on how to get my short game back up to speed, especially chipping and pitching?

The obvious answer here is to practice and play significantly more. On the practice side start with the most simple of chips using a pitching wedge from several paces off the green and get the feel for the amount of carry and roll the club is producing. Try to land on a specific target and see how much roll out (flat green with normal speed) is being produced. Once you have the contact and landing spot under control add different clubs with both more and less loft aiming for the same landing spot using the same type of stroke. This will help you reconcile the amount of roll each club is getting from the same landing spot using the same technique. It is far easier to use one technique and change the club you are choosing then changing the shot with the same club.

When it comes to putting start about 3 feet from the hole on a straight putt with little break and work on getting the ball to enter the hole at the correct speed. The ball shouldn’t hit the dirt on the far side of the hole but should fall down into the plastic on the side or bottom of the cup. Once you are consistent with the 3 footer add distance and break working on the speed the ball enters the hole.

When you are playing choose the most simple chip or pitch shot utilizing the full length of the green. In other words, get the ball on the ground as fast as possible to avoid the big mistake. Focus on the speed of your putts entering the hole and less on your stroke to establish some feel and touch.

If you approach the short game with this mentality you will make steady progress towards the goal.

Kris asks at 12:45:

Thanks for the great answer 2 weeks ago. (Un)Fortunately I didn't have to try out the turning the hips not swaying because I got out to the actual grass course and I no longer pull the ball. Weird. Anyway, I have 2 quickies this week (and hope to get a video to show you next week):

1) Why do the pros always seem to hit their irons so much farther on a tee than off? Off fairway they see to hit their mid-short irons just slightly longer than me, but when teeing off they'll hit short irons into 200+ par 3s time after time regardless of the wind.

2) I spent time the other day hitting nothing but driver and 4i at the range (my 2 worst clubs), and about 1/2 way through my bucket I started stripping my driver dead straight every time. The odd thing is that I've started stepping out of my stance backwards after the shot. Backwards as in away from where the ball was sitting, not away from the target. Is this representing some terrible flaw? If not, I don't care b/c it seems to work great (well, 250 yards isn't great, but straight sure is compared to my usual wildness). Thanks a lot!

P.S. I started doing Nick Faldo's tip of fully hinging the wrists then doing the swing and it worked great for my 4i. Was a great day at the range :)

Thanks for the feedback Kris.

When it comes to distances with irons from the tee or ground I don’t see the same phenomenon. In fact, when the ball is on a tee some players hit the ball shorter because the ball makes contact to far up the face where there is less mass behind it. I never tee the ball up on Par 3’s for this very reason but instead give myself a very good lie figuring this is how I practice hitting iron shots and it will give me my normal distances.

When it comes to stepping back away from the ball I’m not sure when during the swing you are doing this but it is obviously unusual. It sounds like one of those things that works well on the range when you have been hitting the same club for 15 minutes straight and “feeling it” but won’t work all that well under the gun on the golf course. I don’t think it is necessarily representing some terrible flaw but I wouldn’t advise you to continue the practice unless the results on the course are amazing. Send in some more video so we can keep up the progress.

James asks at 12:35:

My question is with regards to shaping a shot. I am right handed and would like to know what the arms and body need to do to draw the ball.
I play the ball left to right back to center very well and regularly but would like to have the ball come right to left back to center especially when i need shape around the green.

James, it is less a question of what the arms and body do and more a question of what the clubface and path are doing. If you are trying to hit shots that start right of the target and come back to the left the path must be slightly from the inside, the face must be closed to the path and open to the target line. In other words, the body arms are only important in this equation relative to how they impact the face and path. With that said it is very difficult to create the impact conditions you desire with the body spinning from the top of the backswing as it tends to prevent the weight from moving to the front foot properly and takes the club off the desired track. The arms are generally being moved by the body during the swing and have little ability to “save” or “fix” the problems the pivot creates on their own. Without seeing your swing it is impossible for me to tell you the specific reasons you are unable to create a right to left shot shape. Send in your swing so I can get you on the right track.

JP asks at 12:25:

It been a while since I posted, thanks for continuing to do the blog, it's great reading even when I don't post!!

Face on - I notice that I lack wristcock a lot of times and I'm not sure why, my practice swing doesn't look like this at all!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj2468iTvA4

7I - I did notice I was losing the tush a little coming down. To me the swing plane was a little under coming down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb9QJ_JPfng

SW - This was a sand wedge. I like this swing quite a bit. Much better than the other 2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oeR6k2rfCU


Why do I lose the wristcock so easily? On the last 2 videos I was purposely trying to create more, not sure of the best way to do that??

In my swing, how can I keep from getting under plane?? (It gets really under with the driver)

The other thing I am working on is getting the right wrist flat at impact.
Does bending the right wrist too much at impact cause the club to continue to track in to out and cause a shank? (I am thinking this causes my periodic shanks because when my wrist stays flat I hit it much better)

Any other thoughts you have are appreciated.

Thanks for sending in the videos JP, very helpful. I would like to see you create more depth early in the swing by keeping your hands and arms closer to the body during the takeaway. When the club works out and away from the body during the takeaway the normal fix for a good player is to loop or reroute the club back to the desired track during the transition. This can often produce a downswing path that is excessively inside and when combined with the loss of the tush line produce a shank. I don’t see the hinge as a big issue at this point and wouldn’t be surprised if the improvement in the takeaway doesn’t create a little more than you currently have. I would still like to see less slide towards the target in the lower body during the downswing as it makes it difficult for you to keep your left wrist bent and subsequently right wrist flat at impact. When the hips turn properly through contact the left shoulder will be closer to the ball, left arm will remain more bent and the wrists can maintain their proper impact alignments.

Daniel asks at 12:00:

I'm having problems with my takeaway and it's a major source of frustration every time I see myself on video. I think i'm just lifting my arms and twisting my wrists but I can't fix it. I'm confused on how the wrists and hands move in the swing. Could you explain please? Some teachers say to get the club 'light' early and some say to sweep the club away to keep width. In light of my problems what should my 'feel' be during the takeaway.

Here is my swing:

DTL
http://youtu.be/03as-io0N6s

FO
http://youtu.be/SWzYZaLa81Q

Thanks for sending in the video Daniel. “Feel” is a very difficult thing to convey to a student. When I am teaching someone the takeaway the best approach is to get someone into the right “positions” and have them describe how it feels to be there. When done in this order the student is learning their feel from the proper mechanics instead of mechanics from feel.

With that said I can’t place you there over the internet so here is what I would suggest. When you take your address position you will notice 2 specific bends in your left wrist that must be maintained during the takeaway if you are to improve. The first is the angle from the back of the left hand to the forearm. This will vary slightly based on the relative position of the left hand on the club but you should have some bend present. The next is angle between the very base of your thumb as it extends into the top of your hand vs the forearm. If you pull your thumb towards your forearm you will notice a little depression or “human snuff box”. When you take the club away you need to maintain these two bends in the left wrist as the club works back to parallel to the ground. If you maintain them and keep the clubhead outside your hands slightly you will have the club positioned properly. One last thing to help you is to maintain the connection between the upper left arm and chest during the takeaway. This should be the source of your movement and powers the arms and club away from the ball. Here are a few pictures to help you get the idea.

Insidetake
Clarkeaddress
Clarketake
Clarkeup


March 13, 2012

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

Posted at 9:31 AM by Brady Riggs

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have question or video link for Brady, leave it in the comments section below!

Welcome to the Tuesday Blog Ask Brady Live! Another crazy week on the blog. I answered a few more questions overnight. Wish I could have gotten to all of them. Looking forward to another great week in Southern California at Calabasas CC. See everyone next week on the blog.

Sonny asks:

I have an over the top, outside in swing that of course results in pulls with the short clubs and pull slices with the longer clubs. I have just lived with it for years but have decided I want to fix it. Help! Please. Thanks.

Thanks for the question Sonny. If you look at the answer I just gave to Kris you will know where to begin. The only difference you have expressed is the slice with the longer clubs. This occurs when the face is pointed left of the target line but open to the path that is attacking from the outside. This open face to the path position can be the result of many things but is often a function of the path being out of position enough that the face can’t close at a fast enough rate coming through. Here is the conundrum among teaching professionals. If the clubface is closed to the target line and open to the path why not fix the path and make it more inside. In theory the clubface will remain slightly closed to the target line and the improvement in the path should produce a straight shot and eventually a draw. Can this work? It can. There are others that say make the face more closed to the path and the outside attack will send the ball so far left the student will have no choice but to attack the ball more from the inside. Under this philosophy the student is highly motivated to swing more “right” because the ball is going to far left. Can this work? Absolutely. So what should you do? It depends a bit on how bad the miss is and where the clubface is relative to neutral in your current swing. The fact that I can’t see this without seeing the swing makes it very difficult for me to tell you what to fix. So, I would encourage you to do a little of both, hit some really slow and shorter than full swings to find help yourself decipher how to proceed. Send in the video so I can be more specific.

Kris asks:

I hit the range this week for the first time since November (no snow!!!). Unfortunately I've developed a strong pull. No hook, just a straight pull. About 5 yards on a wedge, but a LOT more as I get to long irons/woods. I have 2 main swing flaws that I'll be working on this spring (and would love some ideas on how to fix); I grip the club way too hard, and I unhinge my wrists early. Would either of those cause a pull? If not what might have cropped up over the winter? I've never pulled before. I've never liked hitting off mats, but I can't see that causing a pull. Thanks a lot, love reading each week!
P.S. My hip/feet/shoulder alignment is good and my grip is neutral.

The pull is a path that is a bit outside and a face that is square to that path. That is the easy part. There are those in the teaching world in love with their technology that would tell you to shift the baseline of your plane by moving your aim to the right and the problem would be solved. I’m not one of those teachers. You need to figure out why the path is faulty and fix it rather than aiming 5 yards right with the wedge and a LOT more with the long irons/woods. Gripping the club too hard can have a negative impact on the sequence of motion during the downswing. However, it isn’t a problem in and of itself. I have worked with many professionals that feel they hold the club very tight and don’t have a problem with coming into the ball above and outside the proper path. Check the alignment of your shoulders in the address position. If they are too open to the target line the turn is negatively impacted causing the arms and club to be to up and not deep enough at the top of the swing. This can make it very easy to attack above the plane coming down. Additionally make sure the right hip isn’t sliding laterally away from the target during the backswing as this has the same negative effect on the turn and depth of the arms at the top. Finally, try to hit some shots that start slightly right of the target line by swinging the club more from the inside coming down. The combination of a deeper top of backswing and a path that is more inside approaching impact is sure to fix the pull. If you get a chance to send in some video I can tell you more specifically what’s up.

Ben Salmonsen asks at 1:30:

Thanks in advance for your help, i find the blog very helpful to my game. Anyways, I have been struggling to make any consistent contact lately. I wish I could give you a consistent miss, but I don't have one. One day I'm pulling it, one day pushing it, and then hitting it thin the next. If you could just look at my swing I would really appreciate any feedback!

Thanks a ton,

Ben Salmonsen

DTL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdc5jUvDghI&feature=youtu.be

Front View:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqqRiE59Gs4&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for sending in the video. There are a few things that I would like to see you improve to help make you more consistent. The left hand grip is a bit too strong which not only leads to some clubface issues but forces too much tilt into your right side at address. If you make the left hand more neutral the shoulders won’t tilt as much and you will get off to a better start. The natural progression of this address position is to have the club work excessively inside during the takeaway, get too far across at the top and attack on an excessively inside path coming down. This is the case with your swing. I would like to see you fix the address position first, send in some video and we will go from there. Here are a couple of pictures of the proper set-up.

Byrd address

Rob Guenther asks at 1:15:

I look forward to reading your blog every week, some of your tips and tricks have helped my game emmensly over the last couple years. I have 2 questions for you today. I dont have video of my swing but I have for the last couple years been developing a swing which is too much in to out. I'm hitting a lot of blocks and hooks with my longer clubs and I have lost the ability to really compress the ball with my irons (havent been taking divots at all) which I'm assuming is becasue I'm coming through the hitting area in more of a sweeping motion instead of a clean striking motion. My iron play has been shaky at best the last few years and I picked up a new set of irons after christmas and I'm hoping to put them to use and revamp my iron game. Do you have any tips to get my swing path straightened back out to a more down the line path or even a slight out to in path so I can start hitting fades again.

Thanks for the question Rob. There are a number of reasons why the path can get excessively inside out. They can range from too wide a stance, ball too far back, too much right side tilt, too strong a grip, excessively inside takeaway, club across at the top, too much hip slide on the downswing, etc. I would rather see you work on the underlying issue of the problem than trying to change the path with a drill. With that said you can work on hitting some shots that simply start left of the target line and work back to the right in the air. This is best worked on with mid irons at a slower than normal speed with a shorter than full swing. The path should change to attacking more down and into the back of the ball with the club going left immediately through impact. Once you have the feel of the different angle on the downswing it should be easier to translate into the full swing. Again, I would recommend you send in some video of your normal swing so we can get to the root of the issue.

Casey asks at 1:00:

I have a different type of question. Could you comment on what you think the best practices are to make your game travel? This is really important to me because I've got a bunch of am tournaments coming up soon.

One of my keys has been trying to focus on the same mental and physical rountines I've been working on (instead of physically just going through the motions but mentally being in a different place). And I've been trying to get in a lot of rounds at away courses. Are there other things you think are keys? Thank you as always for the help, it's noticably helped my game.

Glad to hear you are playing better Casey. I was talking to Tommy Armour III one day about what it takes to play professional golf. He told me the key to playing for a living is learning how to be comfortable when you are uncomfortable. The basic idea is you have to take care of all the variables you can so you are able to handle those you can’t. I would put some time into learning how to map the course properly during the practice rounds to give you another advantage over the field. It is also important for you to keep some detailed statistics of your tournament rounds so you can make your practice sessions more productive and focused on the areas of your game that need the most work. The last thing I would recommend is to work on a go to shot from the tee that is a little different than your standard driver. It may be a stinger with a long iron, a fade with a 3-wood, something to hit with the driver isn’t working great or on tighter holes under pressure. Let me know if you need some more specifics on how to map a course.

Wesflynn2yahoo.com asks at 12:35:

My new iron set has 3, 4 and 5 hybrids. They are much easier to hit than irons but they do pose one problem. How do I hit a low trajectory, long shot with them...for example, if I have tree limb trouble in front of me but a long shot to the green? I've tried ball back in my stance and a slight forward press as I do with my irons but the ball flight is still higher than I would like.

This is a problem many players face with the hybrids. The wider sole of the club makes it very difficult to angle the leading edge down into the turf and not have the club “right itself” through impact. You can experiment with hitting a low draw as the angle of attack is slightly shallower and keeps the club from skipping through impact. The other solution to the problem is to keep one longer iron in your bag to give you a little more versatility through the bag.

Corey Kates asks at 12:20:

I need some major help! I'm 26 years old, and played in high school and college. The summer going into my Senior year in high school I had several rounds in the 60s in tournament play. I felt great! Somewhere around then there was something that happened that has killed my short game from 60 yards and in. My confidence is so bad I have the shakes on pitches and chips anymore. I either chunk the ball and it goes 5ft, or I blade it way over the green. It's embarrassing when I play with friends from back in high school or college, and they ask me "what happened to your game?" and all I can say is "I don't know."

I live in the midwest and thought maybe it's my 60 degree that I've had since high school that has 6 degree of bounce, and that I need more bounce. I've watched videos about different techniques like the hinge and hold method, and nothing seems to help. Any idea to help a desperate player?

You aren’t the first really good player that has had the yips chipping. I have taught many scratch players that are horrified to hit pitch and chip shots, especially from a tight lie with a very lofted wedge. I wrote an article last year called “New School Pitching” that has a video here at golf.com. Here is the link: http://www.golf.com/video/new-school-pitching

The basic idea here is to run away from the hinge and hold methodology and allow the bounce of the club to be used effectively. I am sure you have noticed that many average players can chip significantly better than you would expect. The scoop release they have with their full swing is more effective as it translates to using the bounce of the club than attacking with an excessive amount of forward shaft lean where the leading edge of the club is digging into the turf. Watch the video and give it try, this has worked with players in your position many times.

Stephen asks at 12:00:

In the northeast and just got my first round of the year in this weekend! My ball flight was really low with my driver, 3W and mid-irons. What might be the cause?

Welcome back from hibernation. The most likely cause of hitting the ball too low is ball position. If the ball gets too far back in your stance it is very difficult to get the proper trajectory with the longer clubs. The short irons aren’t impacted negatively as they will tend to fly a bit farther as the club is de-lofted at impact. The second possibility is that you have drifted too far past the ball at impact with your upper body. Getting ahead of the ball makes the effective ball position too far back causing the same problems as starting it in the back of the stance. Here are a couple pictures of the proper ball position and head positions at impact with the driver and irons.

Foximpactdriver
Foximpactiron

March 06, 2012

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

Posted at 9:32 AM by Brady Riggs

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon EST to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have question or video link for Brady, leave it in the comments section below!

Thanks to everyone for your questions, comments, and especially the videos. We had such a huge response again today I will try to answer a few more questions later tonight. Check back in the morning for a few more responses. Thanks again and I'll see you next week.

Mike asks at 2:00:

Have hit a power fade for years teeing the ball up with the traditional half-ball over clubhead set-up. Was suggested during club-fitting for new R11 that I tee it up higher (3/4 above) so I would hit a baby draw. No change in ball position. Sure enough, I'm hitting nothing but baby draws now with my driver (still fading irons). I didn't ask why of my fitter; didn't want to jinx it. So I'll ask you... Why?

If you have ever tried to hit a driver off the ground you will know the answer. It is nearly impossible to hit anything other than a fade/slice with any consistency when a deep faced club is trying to make contact with the ball on the turf. If you try to draw the driver from the ground the usually shot is a “worm burner” rolling down the fairway. Attacking the ball from a more inside path becomes very difficult with the driver on the ground or on a shorter tee. When the ball is teed higher it is easier to hit more up and “out” facilitating the impact conditions necessary to hit the draw. I will save you the pain of listening to me drone on about the D-plane, etc. but encourage you to hit a few drives from the ground to get the idea. The fact is the fitter is right and it is working, you are winning!!

Ken Mcdonald asks at 1:50:

I need a drill for the chicken wing swing and how to quit hitting fat shots off tight fairways?

Without seeing the swing I will give you some generalities about the chicken wing. Hitting “up” on the ball will disturb the desired flat left wrist position and eventually cause the left arm to shorten and chicken wing. Attacking the ball from outside the proper path will take the arms and club out away from the body to start the downswing and closer to the ball during and after impact. When the arms get closer to you they will “jam” and shorten causing the chicken wing. If the right shoulder doesn’t get closer to the ground during the downswing the right arm will straighten too early and force the left arm to fold too quickly leading to the chicken wing. These are a few of the most common causes of the chicken wing that will negatively affect your ball striking. They are not absolutes! Work on attacking the ball on the proper path with the hands leading the clubhead and the right arm and wrist bent and you will get rid of the chicken wing and improve your ball striking. Curiously, a little bit of chicken wing isn’t the end of the world as these pictures of great players show below.

Chicken wing

William Dumont asks at 1:30:

I have watched that video on the tush line which I have been struggling to get correct. I know I come out of posture and tend to hit shots, even solid ones towards the heel about 1/8 to 1/4 inch off center. I have always flipped my hands closed so that could by why and it seems like I dont flip as much with this new tush line fix. Can you please take a look to see if I am doing the drill correctly?? It seems like it is working and my hips are opening finally. I feel like from the top I start by shifting my left knee forward and around to start the downswing but it looks like it spins me out of the shot. One link is face on, the other is from behind.

Thanks as always for you help. Your instruction is fantastic and it is a help to us all! If only you were close to NY!!

Bill D

http://youtu.be/z_3sViQyh_c behind view

http://youtu.be/hVpjo_vzK-k front view

Thanks for the kind words Bill. It’s hard to think of being anywhere other than Southern California with the temp around 80 the last few days. The issue with the Tush line looks fairly good at this point so I want to turn your focus to how the legs are working on the downswing and into the frames just after impact. I agree that the left knee can help the hips get more open during impact. The problem as you stated is this can cause a “spin out” if the weight hasn’t moved far enough over the front foot at impact. I would like to see you move your hips, chest, and shoulders a bit more laterally to the target as the downswing begins to get more weight over your left foot sooner. Once the weight has shifted across then the rotation in your lower body will help you get the hips more open without the “spin” you are currently experiencing. The next step is to work on getting both legs more straight during and after impact. You are currently demonstrating what is referred to as a “caddy dip” during and after impact. This occurs when both knees increase their flex during and after impact. The problem with this move is it makes your upper body more upright shooting the arms and club away from you, a great way to hit the dreaded hosel of the club. To recap, move the weight across to the target to begin the downswing before getting the rotation in the hips. During impact try to get both legs moving to straighter instead of more flexed and you will have both the Tush line and the proper shift of weight in place. Here are a couple of pictures to help you see the legs in action.

Bryce

Brett Warren asks at 1:00:

any tips? trying to squat into the ball more and not come over the top
http://youtu.be/2M3hu5MJUE8

Thanks for the video Brett. I really don’t see the pressing issue of a lack of squat compared to the problems you are having with coming “over the top”. When the arms and club get too deep or “behind” you in the backswing the natural reaction is to route them out and over to start the downswing. It is one of those neat things about the swing we see all the time, too much of something early means too little of it later on. This is true when we look at how the club is tracking during the swing, how the weight is moving, where the head is going, etc. I would love to see get the club more up and in front of you during the takeaway so you aren’t forced to make the adjustment up and over to start the downswing. Leave the work on squatting for another time and focus on the shape of your swing first. Geometry before Physics…

Deep
AKback

Andrew Potter-Irwin asks at 12:45:

I posted last week but can see that you had a busy time with lots of posts to get through. I hope you can spare some time to have a look at my videos. In the first video I feel I make a good start in the back swing in my practice swings but once I go for it, it all falls apart. Can you give me some drills to ingrain the correct movement? Any other tips would be great.

http://youtu.be/q3NC2D8pE2o Filmed at 1/2 speed.

I have a 2nd slightly more recent video although based on the camera angle I couldn't get the ball in view based on where I could place the camera. I hope that it still gives a good idea of what's going on.

http://youtu.be/DkaR2D1nk9Y

 

Thanks for sending in the video again Andrew. Watching the two swings was very interesting. It is obvious that you are working on getting the takeaway more straight back and less inside. The practice swings in the first video were very neutral as the club was coming back directly through the hands. When you hit the shot the club still works back inside but not to the extent as it does during your full speed swing in the second video. I am probably stating the obvious when I tell you the downswing in the second video is much more on track then when you have improved the takeaway on the first video. This scenario plays itself out on the lesson tee every day. When you are working on a specific part of the swing it isn’t uncommon for something else to get worse. The real question you need to answer is if it’s worth it.

This is a decision only you could make based upon the amount of time you have to practice, your current level of happiness with your game, etc.

If you were to say yes this is how I would proceed.

In my opinion the issues with your takeaway are significant. The compensations you have been making to adjust for the poor start in your swing have been many and will need to disappear as you improve. The issues you have through impact with your lower body not working against the ground effectively shouldn’t be dealt with until you have made the improvements going back. The rehearsal takeaways you were doing in the first video are on the right track so I would hit a ton of shots from this position. Take the club back to the desired takeaway location, stop, then swing to the top and through slower than normal trying to keep the club attacking on a more inside path than you were showing in the video. Work on this and send in some new video so we can see what should be done next.  

Layton asks at 12:25:

When I drive, everyone says I have a lot lower body movement. They say I am walking off the ball as I drive. Is there a drill to stop too much lower body movement. Thanks

There is nothing wrong with lower body movement if it is done properly. The lateral motion in the lower body is very problematic when it comes to consistency. As a general rule if you focus on maintaining a 50/50 distribution from left to right and keep the weight towards the balls of your feet you are off to a good start. The hips should rotate during the backswing so the weight moves back towards the right heel and the front of the left foot. During the downswing the weight will shift towards the front foot and be moving in the direction of the left heel during and after impact. Keeping the lateral motion in the lower body during the backswing under control is a huge key to getting the legs quieter and more productive during the swing.

Bill asks at 12:00:

I’ve been working hard on many of the concepts you suggested previously. However, I’m finding it very difficult to get a forward-leaning shaft at impact. I can’t seem to get my hands over my left thigh prior to hitting the ball. Admittedly, I’m more of a picker than a digger but feel I never really compress the ball into the turf. I included a few vids for your consumption.
Thanks,
Bill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD35iXjNoK8&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtwaMtzAdM4&feature=channel

Thanks for the videos Bill. As a point of clarity the ball really never gets compressed into the turf, even with the most de-lofted long iron. While it is a great description of the “feel” of impact, pinching the ball between the club and ground isn’t a reality. There are a few critical things that must be present to get your hands further forward at impact. There are a combination of technical elements at work here that must be understood. The best way to begin is to pose the proper impact position with your hands and body to get a feel for where you are trying to go. This will include your weight predominately over your front foot, your hips slightly open to the target line, your shoulders tilted with the right shoulder closer to the ground than the left and your hands in the correct impact conditions. The flat left wrist, bent right wrist alignments of your hands are the best place to start. Pose the correct impact position and begin to hit short shots, slow shots and constantly check your feel to see they are coming from the proper mechanics. It takes a great deal of time and reps to change your impact but it can be done.



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