Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tips From The Tour With Brady Riggs
Learn from the best players in the world
Release The Putterhead
Anthony Kim is the youngest player on the PGA Tour this year, but he can roll the ball like a veteran. Check out how he has allowed the blade of the putter to release through impact—this is an absolute key to rolling the ball smoothly. Anthony does this by keeping the butt end of the putter grip pointing at his belt buckle during the entire stroke, which is a technique you should try if you’re not rolling the ball well. Probably the biggest mistake most amateurs make on the putting green is trying to keep the putterhead square to the target line all the way through the stroke. Good putters almost never try to keep the face of the putter square to the target during the stroke.
Know Your Swing
Jesper Parnevik is a good example of a player who knows his swing and shot tendencies well enough to make the proper compensations. Jesper is lanky and very flexible and is able to rotate his hips and shoulders out of the way of his upper body very quickly, which is a great way to produce a powerful release of the clubhead. However, he also has a very strong grip, which will produce a hook when the clubhead is fully released. The answer to this problem for Jesper is to prevent the clubhead from rotating through impact. Put your swing on video and learn how it works—it’ll help you play better. Jesper knows that his strong grip creates a lot of hooks. He combats this by holding off the release.
Flat Feet And A Flat Sole
A very common mistake made by amateur players when chipping is to place the ball too far back in the stance and lean the clubshaft too far forward. Notice how Heath Slocum is keeping the shaft straight up and down through impact without taking any sizable divot. This technique provides considerably more consistent results because it allows the club to strike the ball with its true loft, rather than with the much stronger loft created by forward pressing. Also notice how Slocum keeps his feet close together with his weight evenly distributed. This helps him keep his balance and feel comfortable as he strikes the ball. Remember, these shots are all about touch, and balance is key. don’t forward press when chipping. Instead, try to keep the sole of the club flat on the grass.
Straighten Through Impact
Eric Axley is a relative newcomer to the PGA Tour, but his swing technique is definitely worth a look. Notice how his arms and legs are fully extended through impact, so much that he’s actually standing on his toes. This is a result of a strong push against the ground as he leverages his entire body and “cracks the whip” into the ball. This effectively releases all the energy he’s stored during the swing, creating a ton of clubhead speed and power. Don’t make the mistake of comfortably cruising through impact because it will cost you distance. Launch yourself into the ball! Transfer all your energy into the ball by pushing down against the ground through the impact zone
Get On Top For Added Power
Everybody wants to hit the ball longer off the tee, and Tommy Armour III is a great player to emulate if you’re looking for power. You can see how his body weight has passed into his left heel as his hips have rotated open to the target—this is a very basic power move that just about all good players make. In addition, notice how perfectly his right hand and forearm have been driven on top of his left hand and arm by a powerful drive of his right shoulder. This technique is one that professional golfers have been using just about forever because it’s a great way to produce a lot of clubhead speed as well as a distance-optimizing right-to-left shot shape. Crush the ball by getting your right arm and shoulder on top as you fully release the club
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