Archive: May 2012

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May 29, 2012

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

Posted at 9:40 AM by Brady Riggs

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at noon Eastern 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!

I hope everyone enjoyed the blog today. It is 1:00am here in Southern California so I am calling it a night. I will be out at Riviera this week for the NCAA Men's Div. I Championships. If you happen to be out there please stop by and say hello. See you next week.

Back at it after Riviera...

Barrett asks:

Hard to answer I know, but; US Amateur is in my backyard next year (and the second course for qualifying is my home course)and would love to qualify. Currently a 9 have been as low as 2. Hard part - kids, job, etc so limited playing and practice time to get my handicap and game down. Any thoughts on how to implement a plan to try and qualify?

Let me relay a story I heard about 10 years ago that may or may not be 100% true. A man is talking to his head professional in Texas about ten years ago. He is explaining to the pro that at 44 years old he has sold his business and is now independently wealthy to the point of not working the rest of his life. He is already nearly a scratch player and is telling the pro that for the next 6 years all he is going to do every day is hit balls, work on his short game and play golf in an attempt to get ready for the Senior Tour. The pro tells the man that in a strange coincidence there was another guy 44 years old in the restaurant who is also going to spend the next 6 years practicing and playing every day in an attempt to get ready for the Senior Tour. He asked the man if he would like to meet him to which he was more than happy to do. When he walked into the restaurant he was introduced to the other 44 year old, Tom Kite.

Here is what you are up against: for the next year there are hundreds of better than scratch college players who will be spending every single day from now until the qualifier practicing and playing. They will be worked out by highly skilled trainers in the most cutting edge strength and flexibility programs. They will have access to fitting centers at Taylormade, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Cleveland and Cobra golf companies to get the most state of the art equipment fit for them. They will be working with some of the finest golf instructors in the country on refining there technique. They have access to sports psychologists and nutritionists in addition to peers who are constantly challenging them to improve. In addition to these collegiate players there are a large group of fantastic junior golfers equally well prepared and players past college age who either never turned pro but were fully capable of playing on the highest levels or failed as Touring professionals and regained their amateur status.

So, if you take an honest assessment of where you are as a 9 at this particular moment and factor in your ability to practice considering you have a family, a job and a life you may come to the conclusion I would about your chances. The fact is there is nothing wrong with pursuing your dream but be realistic and honest about your chances. Work at it knowing the odds are beyond long against you playing at that level and enjoy the process of improving to whatever level you achieve. Sorry to rain on your parade but I am a big believer in honesty.

Greg Warfel asks:

I used to hang my drives out to the right with no turn over back to the left. Now I've fixed that and have the nice draw I have been working years to get. The problem is now when I mishit the ball I turn over too much and the ball snap hooks to the left. Is there anything I can work on on the range to fix that? This is a whole new issue for me and I have no clue how to fix it.

I have a player competing in the NCAA Championships this week with the exact same issue. With it being the week of the tournament the fix is to work on hitting slight fades on the range to get the feeling of the club attacking more into the back of the ball with the clubface less closed to the path. This is a tournament site adjustment that is completely non-technical so it doesn’t get him thinking too much. If we were on the range without a competition at hand we would work on the specific technical issues that are creating the problem and get more in depth. The fact is without seeing the swing I would have you try to change the shape of your shots through the feel  of how the club is working through impact. This can be achieved with a slight set-up change by putting the ball closer to you and further forward in the stance. If this doesn’t get the ball under control I would suggest you send in your swing so I can give you more specific technical advice.

 

Shannon asks at 1:05:

Hi Brady! What's the best drill that you can work on to eliminate "the flip" and get more lag at impact? Would it be beneficial to feel like I'm hitting the ball with my left hand and just forget about the right hand in the downswing. Thank you!

I am not a big fan of hitting shots with one hand. I think you can make more progress much quicker by understanding a few things about impact and working on short, slow shots that specifically focus on them. People struggle with impact when they try to help the ball into the air by sliding the club under the back of the ball. In many cases they add to the problem by trying to hit the ball straight by making the club track straight down the target line. The fact is the club needs to be working both down and out during impact if you are going to improve lag and subsequently your impact alignments. The first step is to understand what you are trying to do. Once you have wrapped your head around this there are several things that make it significantly easier. For starters, a significantly amount of weight must be in your front leg and foot at impact to achieve the downward strike on the ball. There are some that would have you start with the weight there so you wouldn’t have to move it during the swing, I wouldn’t be one of them. I would rather you move the weight in the direction of the target to start the downswing as it is more athletic and ingrains the proper sequence of motion. That isn’t to say the head or hips should sway away from the target during the backswing but should stay fairly stable.

The drill is fairly simple. Hit shot that are very short, 10-20 yards with an 8 iron. Start in the position you would like to be at impact with the weight forward, hands ahead of the clubhead and the club approaching the inside back quadrant of the ball. Go back to normal address before taking the club back and make a very slow, short swing where you try to achieve the same impact position you were posing in when hitting the ball. As the impact improves make the length of the swing longer and the speed faster until the swing is full. If you lose the impact alignments you are going too fast and too long. Work on the little shot until you own it. If you can send me video of both your normal full swing and your little shot I can give you more specific advice.

Brian asks at 12:40:

Actually I'm a 8-10 hdcp. With such a good game, I still manage to screw up my sandtrap shots around the green and fairway bunkers. I have hit some good shots from both areas before, so I'm not totally lost how to do it. Hoping you could send me some tips to help me with this part of the game. Get more consistent and gain some confidence when these shots come up. Thank you!!

There are significant differences between a fairway bunker and greenside bunker when it comes to technique. The fairway bunker isn’t very different from a normal shot from the fairway. Choking down on the handle and quieting down the legs are normal adjustments to make from a fairway bunker. This will limit the distance your shot will carry opposed to a normal lie so taking an extra club is a good idea. The greenside bunker is completely different. The idea that helps most people understand the shot better is that the ball flies out of the bunker on the sand it sits on. If that sand exits the bunker so to will your ball. The setup adjustments are fairly simple: the weight is more on the front foot than normal with the upper body tilted to the right slightly, the feet are pointed slightly left of the target, the hands are closer to the sand with the shaft flatter and the clubface is “open” or laid back at address to allow the back of the flange or bounce of the club to skip through the sand. Utilizing the bounce of the club is the key to success. It should be practiced on the grass by taking the same set-up as you would from the sand and making full swings. You should be able to swing as hard as possible and hit the ground aggressively with the clubhead without taking a divot. The only way to achieve this is to use the bounce of the club and have it skip off the ground. Here is a picture of the set up from a greenside bunker to help you.

Sand

JP asks at 12:15:

Here is a down the line. I am trying to work on tush line and leg work. Let me know how everything looks and what I need to work on to continue to improve. The ball striking was pretty good this round, my tendency was a slight pull with about a 7 or 8 yard draw with the irons.
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im00IT8WD4U ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im00IT8WD4U

By the way, I helped out my driver drop kicking problem by teeing the ball much lower. (a small part of the small is above the top of the face, in the past, the entire was above the face) This came to mind after you told someone to hit the driver off the deck in a blog a couple of weeks back to fix an inside out swing. I didn't go to that extreme, but the low tee forces me to come in steeper . With the high tee, the club has to get low pretty far back in order to hit up on it. The high tee also seems to make for very wayward drives and it seems tough to keep the wrist flat at impact if you are hitting up on it that much. I don't seem to hit it quite as far or high, but far more accurate. This was a tough thing to do psychologically, but I am no longer drop kicking it and I am much more consistentent and my misses are minor as long as I don't come out of the shot. I am curious if you agree with the things I said about the driver.

Thanks for sending in the video JP. It is very interesting how you have improved the Driver contact with the tee height. I have used the lower tee height on tighter holes that require a fade for years as it keeps the club attacking on a bit steeper angle. Nice work.

When it comes to the swing you have sent in I would like to see more depth during the takeaway and at the top with your arm swing. While it is difficult to see where the clubface is at the top and during the downswing the combination of a face closed to the swingpath is certainly there. The other issue with the more vertical arm swing is the need to reroute both the arms and club to the inside during the downswing. This can often drive the club below plane coming down and create the excessively inside approach at impact. Keeping the upper right arm closer to the body during the takeaway with the hands tighter to the left leg is a good start. This will get the arms and club more “in” early so you won’t have to get the “in” during the transition. Here are a couple of pictures for you to see the difference.

Leftblog

 

Eric asks at 12:00:

Hi Brady,

5I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDTaFsYQln8&list=HL1338174600&feature=mh_lolz

Love reading the blog. I wanted to ask your opinion. In my backswing, I let the club get flat towards the top. I've noticed that I seem to get the club back on plane coming down, but I figure this quirk in my swing could be causing some inconsistency (mostly with driver).

Right now I hit a cut-fade most consistently. My main miss is when I don't square the club face, the shot will leak too far right. I'm generally happy with my ball flight as it's predictable and has good distance and I'm hitting a lot of greens. I've found what I would need to do to keep the club on plane looking in a mirror, but can't decide if I want to fully commit to the change. Do you see any major advantages if I can change my backswing to be more on plane or should I just refine what I already do?

Thanks for sending in your swing Eric. You have brought up some very important questions when it comes to making a swing change. How much do you want to gamble with a swing change when you are fairly happy with your ball flight and are already a good ballstriker? You need to take into consideration what your goals are as a player, the amount of time you will be able to commit to practice and your budget associated with finding a Professional instructor who can help you with the process. If your goal is to become a low singe digit player who can be competitive in amateur events I would encourage you to make a change. The clubface is very fanned open during the takeaway as you roll the club inside. The flat arm swing can lead to inconsistency with your contact and when combined with the open face a definite inability to keep the ball flight down or move it from right to left. Start by working on the takeaway and you will see positive changes to the rest of the backswing happening without much effort. Here are a couple of pictures to get you started.

Clarketake

 


May 22, 2012

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

Posted at 10:54 AM by Brady Riggs

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at 1 p.m. 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!

Weldome to the Tuesday Blog Ask Brady Live! Let's get rolling...

Christian asks at 1:00:

Swing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9jtDft891c&feature=youtu.be
Grip http://imgur.com/5eyOj

Brady,
Thanks for taking the time to take a look at my swing. You're a busy dude and it's appreciated. When I was getting the video ready to send in, I noticed that in my "dark shirt" swing, the takeaway was a bit inside, so "white shirt" swing was my attempt to correct that. I think it improved, but then I noticed how much I seem to hang-on right after impact, which I believe is due to casting and/or coming over the top. But this is where my golf knowledge ends, because the swing in the video is more or less the swing I've always had, and it has never had a strong downswing to the inside. My misses are pushes, pulls, pull-hooks and a low bullet that has decent distance but isn't exactly what I'm aiming for, swing-wise. I work on my short game a good bit more than my full swing, and don't use a full swing inside 100 yards, but it would be so nice if I could move closer to working out the full-swing kinks.
Thanks a million,

Hey, that range looks awfully familiar!! The first thing I would like to see you work on is your posture at address. If you look at where your tush starts relative to a tree off in the distance and then see how far it has moved towards the ball by impact it has traveled a significant distance. When you start with the weight in your heel and your body too upright there will be an adjustment to the posture during the swing in the opposite direction. The out and over move to start the downswing was present in both the swings from Woodley and the other range despite the takeaway differences. There will be some improvement in the downswing move with the changes in the address position but it should be worked on separately. Changing the downswing shape is one of the easiest things to fix when I have you on the range in front of me because it is more of a perception change than anything else. The reason my mortgage is met every month is because people are still trying to hit the ball straight by having the club travel down the target line during impact with the face square. The fact is the club should be several degrees inside the target line as it approaches impact with the face open to the target line and closed to the path if you are going to fix your ball flight issues. While this seems complicated if read during a blog, it is quite easy to illustrate on the range. I would also like to see the gap between your right thumb and index finger closed together in the picture you sent in of your grip. This will give the club more support from the right hand at the top of the swing and prevent the face from becoming closed approaching impact. Here are a couple of pictures to show you the grip difference and posture.

Gripyuck
Grip
Villegassetup

Brad asks at 1:30:

Hello. I am a 15 handicap. Lately I have been getting the shanks with my irons. My driver has been straight but my irons have been very inconsistent. I have been hitting off the hosel and I am sure of it because I put some impact tape on my clubs. Can anyone tell what is causing this based off of my swings below? Anyone have any tips on what i need to do to get rid of it? Any other swing tips would be greatly appreciated as well.

FO Iron
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=MUTgUZ6vTFE

DTL Iron
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=FSl-iulkIfw

I think my swing needs a ton of help and wanted to see what you all think and notice i can change. Thanks! Any advice is welcomed

Brad, unfortunately the links to the swing aren’t working. Try to resend them ASAP and I will get you on the right track.

 

May 15, 2012

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

Posted at 12:14 PM by Brady Riggs

88x88_0002_Brady-RiggsGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs will be online Tuesday at 1 p.m. 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 Instruction Blog Ask Brady Live! Hope everyone enjoyed the blog. See you next week. 

Yong asks:

Love the blog!
I really enjoyed your response last week re: improving the takeaway/bringing the club too inside and addressing vertical/horizontal bend in the wrist.
-Should I try to maintain the horizontal bend as I take the club to the top?
-Can you talk about taking the club from halfway to the top? 3/4 position (when the lead arm is horizontal to the ground) I think my club is too flat and then I across the line at the top-consequently I have problems getting into a good downswing position as my initial move is too steep then I compensate by losing my posture/tush line.......It's almost a miracle that I can hit the ball........

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. While there are many different backswings that win golf tournaments I have found a certain window at the left arm parallel to the ground position that seems to be most effective. Many amateurs get the club in too flat a position halfway back. This tends to force the club across the line at the top of the backswing and leads to numerous problems with consistency. Steep in the transition is a common result that leads to losing the Tush line coming into impact, something you mentioned in your question. If the left wrist loses it’s horizontal bend or cup too early and/or the left arm rotates too much too soon the club will get flat. I most certainly think this is an area of the swing you can focus on to improve your game. The window I mentioned before is best visualized by drawing an extension of the club down towards the ground. The window is between the toes and the target line. Here are a couple of pictures to help you see the options.  

Clarkeup
Vertshaft

DJM asks:

All of my shots tend to push to 11 o'clock.
My alignment is straight. I use shafts at the range and I pick a spot 4 yds in front to hit to. It is a pretty consistent push from driver through 9 iron.

My hips are slightly open at address. (Lead right foot 1/2 step back.)
I have a strong left hand grip, neutral right.

The only time I get the ball going 12 or 1 o'clock is when I force my lower body to going first and it produces a nice slight draw that starts at 1 oclock. Its a lot of work and feels more like timing that something natural.

I tried aligning to right of the flag to offset = lots of ugly hookers, especially off the tee.

I'll throw up a video next time.

As a note for our readers the shot starting left of the target for a right handed player is generally called a pull not a push. The shots starting left of the target is caused by a clubface that is closed to the target line. Check out the answer I gave earlier in the blog regarding the closed clubface in my response to Aman. Starting the downswing with the weight moving towards the target via the lower body is a fundamental of good ballstriking. I would continue to work on the proper sequence of motion and send in some video so I can give you more specific information.

Jonathan asks at 2:00:

First of all I'd like to say Thank you for doing this blog. I'm a big fan of your column on Golf Magazine as well, bit disappointed when you don't have one in there! Recently I decided to make my swing simpler by switching to "One Plane Swing", I am very athletic and have bigger upper body strength. I like to compare my swing to Tour player Zach Johnson. Unfortunately, I Don't have a video to share today. Please tell me what you think about that type of swing, advantages, disadvantages, etc...
I will try to provide a swing video for next week and appreciate your take on the subject.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog and the magazine! I will let the powers that be know they need to get me in there more often;)

If you have been following the blog for a while you probably know my aversion to golf teaching “methods”. This is especially true of some of the more radical and ridiculous styles we have seen over the last few years whose names I will not mention today. The “one plane swing” method has been around for a while and there isn’t anything to bizarre about it. You will find Tour players looking like the borrow parts of nearly all methods which is why their proponents argue their relevance. The fact is that you need to look at your swing on it’s own merits and make the changes necessary to help you be more consistent. These changes may or may not include aspects of the “one plane swing”. Send in some video so I can give you my 2 cents about what the plan should be.

Tom asks at 1:45:

Hy Brady your blog is very nice ! Can you give me advices on my swing please . Thank you for your time .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPsBq9gZS08&feature=youtu.be

 

Thanks for sending in the video Tom but I wish you would have told me a little more about what’s going on with your ballflight. Without knowing the issues it is difficult to advise you to change something. I can tell you that you would be wise to work on improving your contact with the Tush line during the swing. It begins to lose contact with it during the backswing and continues to push towards the ball as you approach impact. This creates problems in numerous areas of your swing from getting the right elbow trapped behind the right hip during the downswing, losing the flat left wrist during impact, difficulty in rotation with the body and a lack of extension. Try to feel a little more weight towards the front of your shoes at address to allow you to move back into the right heel at the top of the swing. This will encourage you to maintain contact with the line on the downswing and improve your ballstriking. Here are a couple of picture of address and the tush line during the swing to help you visualize.

Villegassetup
Posture

and this link to a one of my videos on youtube Brady Tush Line explaination

Aman asks at 1:15:

Aman here again
You had requested for some video of my swing, so I have uploaded two sides along with a few pictures of my stance, grip and follow through
If asked to evaluate my swing, I like my backswing.
On the down I squat too hard, and I think I've just gotten into a bad habit with this jerky movement on the downswing(something like Charles Barkley does!)
I 'm really tired of this and I would want to try and do something different.
As a feel player, I don't like the feel of the swing. I don't like the way I'm swinging the golf club. These videos show me hitting two five yard draws.
But on the course, I revert to other patterns and either duck hook or pull hook all my clubs.
I usually prefer transferring the weight, and that doesn't happen anymore! I end up taking a lazy swing which leads to the dreaded hook.
The whole suggestion of aiming right and bringing it back left, isn't that just a band aid fix?
What I DO like about my swing, is its speed, but again, that doesn't look like its doing me too much good!
Hence, I had asked you for some help with trying to switch to a fade.
Also, I was given some advice by a PGA professional when he was down here, that my shafts which are Project X 5.0, need to be changed (irons)
He claims that my swing speed is very very fast and it needs a heavier shaft. Because of the shafts being so light, they are whippy when I come on the down and pull it left.
Any suggestions here?
I would also want to send you a few videos of my short game techniques the next time.
Thank you for all your time and effort.
Aman Misra from India


Swing videos: (seven iron is the club used)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXilNCJ2s1U&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oomsqmOyQ4Q&feature=youtu.be


Pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42122431@N00/with/71959

It really helps to see the swing Aman. Let’s start with the equipment. While I think a Project X 5.0 is a bit soft for you I don’t think it is going to fix your problem with the hook. Without seeing your numbers regarding clubhead speed, ball speed, etc. it is difficult for me to tell you the correct shaft flex but chances are 6.0 is closer to what you need.

The real question you need clarity on is why does the ball hook? If swinging more to the right was going to fix the problem it would have already. In fact, what you are discovering is swinging more right is only exacerbating your problem. The major issue with your golf swing is the position of the clubface, it’s CLOSED! Remember that the ball will start extremely close to where the clubface is pointing and curve based on the path relative to the face. The duck hook and pull hook shots are hit with the face closed and the path inside out to the face position. The more you try to swing right the more the path is inside to the closed face and the more the ball will hook. If the face is closed enough there is no amount of swinging out that will start the ball right of the target to allow it to curve back. There are some that would have you keep the closed face position and teach you to swing more left to get the two to match and straighten out the ball flight. I am not a big fan of this methodology. I would rather see you get the face in a square position and then make the necessary adjustments to the path to make the ballflight straight. From there you would have the option of playing shots that curve both directions while minimizing the damage done by a poor swing. So, the question becomes where does the face get closed? Since you were smart enough to include a picture of your grip we can eliminate it as a cause as it is fairly neutral. While there are some that say bowing the left wrist actually puts the club is an open position based upon it’s orientation to the ball at the top for practical purposes I completely disagree. In your swing the face is “closed” because the left wrist has lost any semblance of bend it started with at address, has moved beyond flat and is bowed at the top. This closes the clubface and requires you to dip and drop down to get the club inside in an attempt to get the ball right of the target. If you can change the position of the left wrist at the top of the backswing and maintain it a bit on the downswing you will kill the pull hook forever. Check out the pictures and get to work.

Please send in some new videos after you make the changes and feel free to send in some shortgame stuff as well.

Cupped
Topels
Square

Crodgolf asks at 1:00:

I've been struggling with blocking the ball to the right... I know it's because I'm sliding through impact. What can I do to work on this?

There can be a number of issues in your swing that can create a case of the blocks. Sliding the body through impact can trap the club behind you making it difficult to get the face squared up in time. I would like to see you focus on two specific things through impact to help you get rid of the problem. The first is maintaining more height during and post impact in your upper body. It is usually the hips and legs that are sliding towards the target when getting stuck hitting blocks. When this happens the right side (right handed players) can get pinned down and back through impact making it very difficult to square the face without a large amount of hand manipulation. This is why the common overcompensation for the block is a snap hook. If you key on maintaining the height of your head and chest through impact it will significantly help you get the club back out onto the proper path and square up the face. The second key would be to allow your eyes to work out with the ball as the club strikes it. This is similar to the swings of Carl Pettersson, Annika Sorenstam, Joe Durant, and to a certain degree Robert Allenby and Darren Clarke. When the eyes are tracking the ball immediately during and after impat the body rotates much easier. When you replace the sliding of your body with rotation it will also help the club attack on a better angle and require less manipulation with your hands. Again, focus on maintaining your height through impact and allow your eyes to catch up with the ball immediately after contact and you will be on your way to eliminating the block. Here are a couple of pics to help you visualize.

Blockfix
Kermit release

May 08, 2012

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

Posted at 10:12 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! 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.

Clarkeaddress
Clarketake

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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzL8DtGsfWI&list=UUbAQrm62MeRt4pCeJq5twdA&index=2&feature=plcp

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.

Blockfix

Eyes

Mark asks at 12:00:

Hi Brady,
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.
Some vids:
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.
http://www.v1sports.com/swingstore/D199DD9D912E.mp4

Here's the new backswing plane (a little short), but then I think I come over the top a little:
http://www.v1golfacademy.com/SwingStore/E5E346037830.mp4

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. 

Steep and over
Foxleft

May 07, 2012

Top 100 Teachers Poll: Will Sean Foley be Tiger Woods's coach at the end of 2012?

Posted at 1:38 PM by Golf.com

After Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship, we asked Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers if they thought Tiger would stay with swing coach Sean Foley through the end of the year.

Here's what the Top 100 Teachers said:

Top100_seanfoley

Comments:

"Mr. Foley will be another casualty of the wrath of El Tigre. Next up Moe, Larry and Curly. Curly handles the short game." --Tom Patri, Tom Patri Golf Services, Naples, Fla.

"What they are working on is actually 'stuff.' Tiger will get it going again soon." --Mike Adams, Hamilton Farm Golf Club, Gladstone, N.J.

"Tiger has never had a stretch like this and it will lead to their downfall." --Bryan Gathright, Oak Hills Country Club, San Antonio, Texas

"Even for Tiger, golf is like farming, not school. Results come by following a rigorous process and not by cramming. Tiger's current stats, 19th in GIR and 2nd in total driving, are a lot better than his being 167th and 192nd at the end of 2010, and the stats point to his 'crop' being ready to reap before long." --Dom DiJulia, Dom DiJulia School of Golf, New Hope, Pa.

"Sean is dealing with a lot of old issues with Tiger's swing. Give him credit for trying to get Tiger's wrists fractionally cupped and his shaft in better position." --Rick Smith, Treetops Resort, Gaylord, Mich.

"Yes, but may not make it long into 2013." --Krista Dunton, Berkeley Hall, Bluffton, S.C.

"Tiger will give it at least through the Masters 2013 to see if Foley's 'method' can work." --Ed Ibarguen, Duke University Golf Club, Durham, N.C.

"Sean has done his job extremely well. Now it is up to Tiger to get out of his own way." --Bruce Patterson, Butler National Golf Course, Oak Brook, Ill.

"What's working for Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose is not working for Tiger. Tiger needs to make up with Butch and return to getting back to basics. Now, Tiger's mind is way too cluttered to play consistent golf." --Ted Sheftic, Bridges Golf Club, Abbottstown, Pa.

"Woods hasn't fixed the driver, and his distance control with irons is still suspect. The root cause: he's too steep on his downswing." --Kip Puterbaugh, The Aviara Golf Academy, Carlsbad, Calif.

"Yes, but it won't be a good decision unless Foley gets off swing mechanics and starts helping Tiger to play the game." --Keith Lyford, Golf Academy at Old Greenwood, North Lake Tahoe, Calif.

"Frustration will cause him to change." --Jim Murphy, Sugar Creek Country Club, Sugar Land, Texas

"Foley is just not getting the job done. It is crazy to think how many wins Woods would have if he had not changed from near the perfection of the 2000 season." --Eric Johnson, Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

"Nothing against Sean, but Tiger is starting to understand that he needs to play his way back to the top. Nobody can think their way through a two-second motion. Golf by the numbers just doesn't work." --Jim Suttie, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Lemont, Ill.

"Tiger doesn't need a coach. He needs to start playing golf again, instead of playing golf-swing. I personally do not think the 'move' he is trying to do goes with his body or framework." --Chuck Evans, Gold Canyon Golf Resort, Golf Canyon, Ariz.

"Yes. Who would he go to next?" --Mike Bender, Magnolia Plantation Golf Club, Lake Mary, Fla.

"I suppose. Tiger is pretty stubborn, and Foley says that Woods is only two years away from where he wants him." --Jerry Mowlds, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, North Plains, Ore.


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