Archive: July 2012
I’ve been very busy this year and I apologize since it’s been a while since I’ve attended to my blog. Today I would like to talk about Kevin Na. Check out Kevin's incredible 2011 season putting stats:
9th - strokes gained-putting
8th - total putting
4th - putting average
2nd - 1 putt percentage
1st - putts per round
Na only hit 61.04 percent of greens in regulation (180th on the PGA Tour), which tells me he made a lot of par-saving putts. What does he contribute a big part of this putting success to? Something I’m a huge advocate of: tempo. As Kevin puts it in an interview with the "Inside the PGA Tour": “I just try to feel the speed. For me to feel the speed is all about tempo. I feel like I putt my best when I have a good tempo and it’s the same tempo every time over and over.”
Kevin says that his putting pre-shot routine is always the same, within a few seconds. Unfortunately for him, some changes in his full swing caused his already slow routine to become even slower and inconsistent with a few back-offs thrown in, too. These problems clearly leaked into his putting stroke, and Kevin missed a three-footer at the Players for the first time in more than 1,000 attempts. Let’s hope Kevin can get rid of the demons.
The tip to take home? Hit putts of different lengths with the same tempo, changing only the size of your swing. To calibrate that tempo, check out my previous video blog in which I explain how hitting putts with the same length stroke and same tempo will go the same distance: WATCH DRILL HERE.
[Associated Press photo of Kevin Na at 2012 Players Championship]
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs is online every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern to answer your swing questions and analyze your swing videos. If you have a question or a video link for Brady, leave it in the comments section below!
Welcome to the Tuesday Instruction Blog Ask Brady Live! Thanks to everyone for the videos and questions. I am off to the US Women's Open today in Wisconsin. I will be posting pics and trying to answer a few more questions over the next couple of days. Check back in as the week progresses...
Ryan asks at 1:00:
0-40 yard shots that require loft are either shut face pulls that go forever or little flares out to the right that are 3 or 4 yards right of the target. I typically use a 60 degree wedge with the face slightly open with an open set up. Without seeing the swing can you give some pitching advice?
Great question Ryan. This is a fairly common issue among good players when they are struggling with the intermediate wedges or long pitch shots. The problem is the club is attacking on too steep an angle requiring you to hold off the release of the club or the ball will go left. Try to hit what feels like an intentional hook with the face still open at address. This will shallow out the angle of attack and allow you to release the club freely during impact. The ball may actually turn a yard or so in the air but the contact will be much more consistent and the misses you are currently seeing will be eliminated. Let me know how it works for you…
Bill asks at 12:40:
Thanks again for all of your great swing instruction! I have been working on my "caddie dip" move where my legs dip and my upper body raises up from the shot. I have been trying to move laterally and up from what you sent me but the length of my backswing is bugging me. It seems to short and too flat. I am trying to get more distance out of my swing and have been trying to keep my hands going left through the strike to stop flipping the clubhead. Any help is much appreicated !! Happy 4th!
Thanks for sending in the video Bill. I couldn’t agree more about the issues through impact. The hips are sliding too much making it impossible for your right arm to stay bent at impact. When the hips open properly the upper body will actually open to the target as well putting the right shoulder closer to the ball than it was at address. This keeps the right arm bent, a key to great ballstriking that you are currently lacking as your upper body stands up to make room during impact. You need to work hard on the rotation of your body during the downswing and through the ball to improve your impact conditions. When it comes to the backswing I wouldn’t give it much thought. Your pivot is strong and the length of the swing is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. You will see far greater improvement in you distance and contact if your better through the ball than you will by increasing the length of your swing.Check out the pictures below to help you see where you should be.
Benjamin asks at 12:20:
Last time I sent you a swing video you told me my grip was too strong so my shoulders have too much tilt. Grip looking any better now? Also, I have a severe case of the shanks. Not sure why. But its very bad right now. I think on 9 holes I hit 7 shanks yesterday. Any idea about this? Or you could just tell me what I should work on first. Both would be greatly appreciated.
Down the line:
Thanks for sending in the video Ben, sorry to hear about the laterals, no fun. The clubface looks square and the grip, from what I can see, looks to be in a good spot so I would move on from that issue. Your swing is very typical of someone who can hit some very good shots but can also be terribly inconsistent from time to time. The reason for this is the shape of your swing. Here is how it breaks down: When the club works inside immediately during the takeaway it will get too flat during the backswing forcing it to lift up and work across the line at the top of the backswing. This makes the club too steep in the transition from backswing to downswing forcing you to make a major save approaching impact. This save requires you to stand up and lean back to drop the club into a lane approaching impact that will work. As you make the change in posture you expose the hosel of the club to the ball making a shank a very real possibility. To change the pattern of misses you have to change the entire shape of the swing, beginning with the takeaway. Once the club begins to work up the plane better it will stop crossing the line at the top and get on plane in the transition. This is obviously a bit more complicated than just fixing the takeaway but hopefully you get the idea that an early mistake or wobble in the swing must be compensated for later. If it is a small compensation that is fixed before the transition it usually isn’t a big deal, if it hasn’t been adjusted for until after the transition you will have issues. Here are a couple of pictures of the takeaway that should help get you started.
Chris asks at 12:00:
Hi Brady, a few weeks ago I posted a couple of videos and you had me work on reducing my lateral shift to help get my weight shifting more properly and free up my right foot on the downswing. In the new video my right foot is more free than previously (here the previous video showing my extremely stuck foot: http://youtu.be/WH3OW9x1ww8). My most common misses right now are well hit pulls and weakly hit push fades. While continuing to work on getting my weight shifted properly, what is the next area I should begin to focus on? Thanks!
Thanks for sending in the updated video. The posture is a bit too upright at impact which will require a drop at some point during the swing. In the video you can see this drop through impact and into the release. Having a drop during the transition from backswing to downswing is a positive move that can produce a great deal of power (like Tiger) as long as the body is stretching up lengthwise during impact. Your drop is later and working in the opposite direction. If you improve the address position and create a little more forward bend you won’t need to drop down at impact. Once this is corrected I would like to see you work on both legs pushing away from the ground as if you were jumping through the strike of the ball. This can be subtle at first to remove the drop or what is often called a “caddie dip” and then eventually move into a noticeable pop of the legs. Here are a couple of pictures that should help.