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Your golf questions answered
Justin Rose has credited his new coach Nick Bradley as the reason he has returned to winning ways.

Justin Rose
Rose says Nick Bradley has helped him simplify his game

But Nick has also been on hand to help you with your golfing problems.

Below are the questions he answered on 606 in January. Nick will return in February to answer more of your queries.

You can see his previous answers linked on the right hand side of this page and you can pose your questions in advance using the form at the bottom of the page.

Do you have any quick-fix tip that will stop me from chunking virtually all of my chip shots? It's getting to the point where I'm pulling out my putter from 30 yards in.

Nick Bradley: Generally poor chipping and pitching stems from a poor angle of attack into the ball. Chunking it as opposed to thinning it sounds to me as though you could check four things to stop this problem.
1. Steepen the shaft at address - this will create that better angle of attack
2. Have 70% of your weight on your front foot
3. Have the right knee (if you are right handed) touch the left leg - like it is kicked in a little
4. Open you shoulders at address by about 20 deg....this should really help....let me know, Nick!

Jimmy Gilmore:
Hi Nick, I'm a 17 handicapper, with a tendency to slice and my shots also lack distance (maybe part of my slicing problem) can you suggest any drills that would help with these two problems please? I think my swing path maybe out and my divots sometimes point to the left of the target.

Nick Bradley: Slicing is a geometry thing and here's what I want you to do. First of all go to your driving range and position yourself to the far left of the range and aim to shoot at the top right hand corner. This will help immediately. Secondly make sure that your left hand grip holds the handle of the club in the FINGERS not the palm, you should also see three knuckles (for you). Lastly as you move the club away watch the face of the club, sense that the face looks at the ball i.e. does not fan open for the first 12 inches. Combine these three things and the ball flight WILL change.

Nick Bradley
Nick is from Surrey, England and took up golf when he was 16, qualifying as a PGA pro aged 20
He currently coaches Justin Rose on the PGA Tour
He is author of the book The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing and has his own golf school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Chrish 73
I have consistently struggled with over-swinging, and even after lessons have shown limited improvement here. Think it is more mental that I want to send the ball as far as I can - practice swings are a whole lot better than the real thing! What tips do you have to overcome this issue?

Nick Bradley: You have to deal with two things in this swing challenge 1. Your concept of the swing 2. Your perception of your swing. In number one you can note that the modern tour players swing has gotten shorter in the last 15 years. This is due to the fact that they are using their bodies (their core) more effectively and their arms less. Check your body motion though. In my book I talk about the 'SQUAT HIT EXERCISE' this tightens up the body motion in a great way. 2. You need a friend or a PGA Pro to do a 'Observational Session' (they might have heard of this!?!) in which you rate the length of your backswing out of ten, then they tell you the length you actually did. The key is to match your feel with their visual. Hope it helps.

I'm a big fan of Justin's - could this finally be the year he hits the big time???

Nick Bradley: Yep hopefully we can continue in the same vein. We have very specific goals for 2007. I think everybody will be surprised apart from us!

Hi Nick. Can you give a simple explanation of how the swing should work? I get so confused with ideas of arms and shoulders turning, weight shifts etc that I never really know what to do. Is there a more simplified approach that can improve a common duffer like me!?

Nick Bradley: Hi Lutone - great question! The golf swing is always a blend of arm swing and body motion. Before this happens you have to 'dial in' at the address position. For someone like yourself who struggles conceptually I bet you read every magazine tip going! Limit your information coming in, get my book 'The 7 Laws of The Golf Swing' and work your way through a system, but do not go looking at every article it will kill you! Just look at Seve and Sandy Lyle - God bless them ;(

Hi nick, I am a 10 handicapper. I struggle with what seems to be an uncommon problem that I have too much lag in my swing on the way down. This causes an overly steep downswing arc and an inconsistent release, often leading to blocked shots to the right. What drills can I do to maintain my width throughout the downswing to create a shallower angle of attack?

Nick Bradley: Before you start to swing I want you to check one thing: Make sure your left thumb is short on the handle of the club - scrunch it up until the tip of the thumb is level with the knuckle of the glove hand. There are two key drills: 1. Hit drivers off of the deck or a very high tee until you can 'pick the ball' clean as a whistle. 2. Try to keep some symmetry into your motion. At nine o'clock in your backswing have the club up on its end. At three o'clock the other side reset the club until it's up on its side again - this should really help you shelve the title of 'LAGMAN!'

Hi Nick, I am a golfer who cannot seem to hit down on the ball. I always sweep the ball off the turf. This may be every green keepers dream swing however I feel I lose distance and control of the ball. Are there any techniques you can recommend and how do I practice hitting down on the ball on a practice mat at the range? Appreciate the help. Thanks, Chris

Nick Bradley: No divots hey! Well simply watch a couple of things in your set-up position. Ensure that your sternum is directly (at 12 o'clock) over the ball whenever you are playing an iron shot. This will ensure your centre is positioned on the ball or slightly ahead when the strike happens. Secondly 'casting' is a great way NOT to take a divot. Watch your grip pressure through the swing. If you do not create lag on the way down you cannot create an angle into the ball. Good luck!!!!

I am just wondering what tips you could recommend for me as I tend to get too tense at address and this feeds right through from my shoulders to my fingers causing me to grip the club too tightly, it started in medals but now seems to happen 80% of the time I play.

Nick Bradley: Hi oohmyfoot, what happened? Getting tight on the golf course generally stems from the unknown!! You are fearful of something (normally the swing). Use the power of hindsight my friend. Make a practise swing feeling the exact motion you would like to use with the ball in the way....then, if you liked that practise swing replicate it with the ball in the way. In doing this you will focus more inwardly rather than what people are thinking about you!

Justin hit one of the most famous pitch shots of all time. I play off three handicap but do so in spite of my chipping and pitching rather than because of it. I often get very nervous when I play certain shots - mainly half shots and real 'feel' stuff - and the results can be truly shocking - fats, thins .. you name it. Never had a problem with my putting (strangely?!) but almost feel I have the 'yips' at times. Often debate with my mates whether this is because of a poor mental approach or poor technique. Could you give me your 3 top tips for good chipping/pitching, please. : - )

Nick Bradley: DawbsRASortLad - thanks for your question. Here's the top three.
1. Rehearse you chip next to the ball. Take a 'pincy divot'!
2. Steepen the shaft at address, to do this you must go way down it until your right index finger touches the shaft.
3. No Peeking! Poor chippers ALWAYS peek for the result. Stay in the process!!
This will help, NB

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