Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tips From The Tour With Brady Riggs
Learn from the best players in the world
There is, however, a good reason to not only admire, but also study the techniques of Tour pros, and it goes well beyond the impressive natural skills they possess. The best players in the world have reached the top of the game in large part because they’ve mastered the fundamentals and spent untold hours honing their mechanics. Let’s face it, you just don’t see too many guys playing on Tour with homemade grips and funky swings. To be able to hold up under the stress of big-time tournament play, you have to have reliable tools to work with, and these guys have them. For this reason, they’re probably the best people on the planet to study if you hope to get better. Let’s take a good, hard look and see what there is to learn.
Delivery Is The Key
Shigeki Maruyama’s ballstriking prowess is no surprise after taking a close look at his swing. Notice how his left foot is firmly planted on the ground while his body appears to be comfortably balanced as the club gains speed in the delivery. His right heel is off the ground and his right knee is kicked in slightly, pointing at the ball. This shows that Shigeki is leveraging the right side of his body against a firm left side, a great way to produce power. But his quality ballstriking is largely due to his ability to keep his shoulders level while his lower body is rotating out of the way. This is particularly critical with the irons because it helps create a descending blow into the ball. Learning to maintain level shoulders while your hips are rotating to the left of the target is critical for solid strikes.
Maintain Your Angles
Pitching the ball softly around the green is something a lot of amateur players struggle with, but most pros find relatively simple. Here you can see that Charlie Wi has maintained his spine angle and his knee bend as the club has passed through impact. This keeps his body quiet and promotes a solid strike and better distance control. The key is to allow the left elbow and wrist to bend immediately past impact, just as Charlie has. This way, the face of the club will stay open, creating a very soft shot. Want to learn to hit soft pitch shots that stop on a dime? Be sure to let your left elbow bend just after impact.
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