Ask Brady Riggs Live! Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Will Fix Your Faults
Golf 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! Thanks to BR and the entire staff at Bandon Dunes for an amazing couple of days on the beautiful Oregon coast. If you ever have the chance to head to Bandon don't pass it up!!! Thanks to everyone for your questions and comments. Look forward to hearing from you again next week. GO KINGS GO!!
Jeff asks at 1:45:
Do you have a drill to improve the take away? I bring the club too far on the inside.
Thanks for your feedback.
If the address position isn’t the cause of the problem the fixes are fairly simple. You need to maintain the bend(s) in your left wrist present before you moved the club. In other words the left wrist has both a vertical bend and a horizontal bend at address. If you lose one or both of them during the takeaway the clubhead will go inside during the takeaway. If you focus on keeping the hands closer to the right leg while keeping the bends in the left wrist you are good to go. Here are some pics to help you visualize.
Stewart asks at 1:20:
I think i have the same problem as Tiger. On the downswing I come too much from the inside and the club sometimes gets stuck behind me and I block it. It seems that the longer the club I hit the bigger the problem I have drawing it. Can you help me with any drills for this etc.
I hope that’s the only problem you share with Tiger…
There are multiple reasons why the club gets stuck behind on the downswing ranging from losing the tush line, taking the club back too far to the inside, across the line at the top, sliding the hips too far to the target on the downswing, hanging back, too much tilt at address, etc. Without knowing what the issues are it is hard to give you specific advice as to the cause of the problem. In the interim there are a couple of things you can do to help you get the feel of staying up on top of the plane on the downswing. You can start by hitting some drivers off the ground as it teaches you very quickly how to keep the clubhead higher as it approaches impact. Hitting shots that start left of the target and move right in the air with the irons is another excellent way to change the shape of your swing without dealing with technical information like shaft angle and elbow positions. The basic idea here is to get the facts as to the cause of the problem and then work on the specifics on the range and leave them there. On the golf course I would much rather see my students work on a general feel or direction than an isolated body part.
Casey asks at 12:50:
I think my game is coming around but I have a couple questions I was hoping you can help me with. My left thumb has been feeling a little sore lately on the joint closest to my palm. To you happen to know possible causes for this? I think maybe my grip started getting too weak again.
Also, could you checkout my chipping and putting in this video? On putting I've been trying to keep thinks simple and make sure my setup is solid. On chipping I've been working to shallow the club out and use the bounce better:
If you haven’t hurt the thumb with a specific shot then it is likely you have some inflammation from repetitive use. I would treat it with ice, rest, some anit-inflammatory medication and keep an eye on it. If the grip has gotten to weak it can put some undue stress on that joint. Send me a quick video with a close up of your grip next week so I can see where it is.
The putting stroke looks pretty good with one exception. I would like to see the inside of your left biceps (upper arm) stay closer to the body during impact and into the follow through. It is currently separating too much which can prevent the clubface from releasing properly and cause the ball to be pushed right of the intended line. The amount of contact between the upper arm and side of the upper body at address should remain a constant through the stroke.
The chipping is another matter. I would like to see your body become more stable during the entire chipping motion. This is best achieved by having a bit more weight on your front foot in the address position. Unlike the putting, the arms and body are too connected to you during and after impact. Don’t be afraid to allow the arms and club to work a bit more independently from the body during impact and into the finish. The motion looks too contrived and manipulated. I would also like to see the length of the backswing matching the length of the follow through. Your follow through is much longer than the backswing, if anything I wouldn’t mind seeing it exactly the opposite. Get to work on it and send me the changes!!!
Steve asks at 12:30:
Several readers of your blog have commented on their back issues and adjusting their swing to compensate. I have back issues, muscle related, not disk related. I am in my mid fifties, single digit handicap and my fitness level is very good. But I am making swing changes to lessen the stress on my back and glute area. You had a great reply to a similar question from Cliff on your December 13 blog. I, too, am standing taller to the ball at setup, and focusing less on turning my core and more on just getting from my right side to my left side as Jimmy Ballard advocates. My back swing is a bit steeper than it was before. My goal is to keep my right hip as level as possible throughout the swing. I have been using the walk through drill when on the range, stepping forward with my right leg as I complete the swing. I know that Gary Player used this drill and even swung this way, occasionally, while playing. This is a great drill and has helped me tremendously to get to my left side. But practicing with this drill has added a quirk to my regular swing. My right foot (toe) actually comes off the ground now after impact and resets about 6 inches closer to the target as I have moved forward onto my left side. Is this something I should be concerned about? My ball striking is getting pretty good with this swing adjustment and I have much less back pain.
Great question Steve! Very happy to hear you have found a way for you to swing that is easier on your back. The step through drill is very effective for dealing with hanging back during impact. I have seen the right foot move like this in the past and it often is the result of having the stance a bit too wide at address. Try narrowing the stance to prevent the foot from stepping during the regular swing.
I would also recommend allowing your eyes to rotate out with the ball during impact. This has been done by many players over the years including Annika, Duval, Joe Durant, Charles Warren, and recently Carl Pettersson with great success. It allows your right side to move up and around sooner into the follow through taking more stress off the lower back without having to move the back foot off the ground. Here are a couple of pictures to help you see the difference. Keep up the great work.
Mark asks at 12:00:
Thanks for this great blog.
My backswing used to be way under plane and way across the line at the top. I'm working very hard to fix that to be on plane.
Here, i was trying hard to get my club to strike from an inside path. that gets me under plane and across the line, like my old swing (though not as bad as it used to be), but I can draw the ball. I get snap hooks sometimes though.
Here's the new backswing plane (a little short), but then I think I come over the top a little:
I think my biggest problem now is that my transition to my downswing puts me a bit over the top, causing some slices.
So I'm trying to figure out how to work on a better transition. I can't seem to stop coming over the top.
Of course, I'm no pro, so I could be way off here. take a look and please share your thoughts and any tips/drills.
Thanks for sending in the videos Mark. I think your description of the swings is accurate. The first swing is quite sloppy with the club inside during the takeaway and bouncing across the line at the top of the backswing. This leads to the club working under plane on the downswing producing the hook. The takeaway looks much better on the new swing, the top is under control and the length is a big short. I agree that the downswing is a bit over plane but overall it is a much more playable motion.
In the new swing you are struggling to maintain the tush line. You begin losing the line during the backswing which is indicative of two things. First, you need to make sure the weight is starting in the balls of the feet and not the heels. When you are pivoting during the backswing the weight needs to work towards the left heel and not the toes. One of the problems with losing the tush line is it pushes the left hip closer to the ball before the transition making it impossible to keep the arms and club attacking on the proper angle. I would like to see you keep the improvements in the swing but work on the tush line to fix the over the top issue you are currently struggling with. Here is a picture of your swing during the transition and a couple images of the change to help you see the difference.