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Your golf swing questions answered
Around the Academy:

From the 7 Laws of the Golf Swing
Nick uses revolutionary imagery to teach the game
We asked you to send in your questions to golf coach Nick Bradley.

And judging by the huge response, there's loads of you that need a helping hand.

Nick has kindly decided to answer your queries on a regular basis. So keep your emails coming.

Below he deals with the golf swing. The best question each time will receive a copy of his book, The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing.

Michael, 30, Halstead

As I'm about to take my stroke, would you suggest concentrating on one part of the set up or just to take my swing with a clear head?

Nick Bradley: First get as comfortable as you can with your set up before you start the swing. If you are thinking of one aspect of the set up, whether that's balance, ball position or whatever, you must make sure you are comfortable with it before you make your swing.

It would be utopia if you could hit a great ball without a thought, but 90 percent of players, even pros, have a simple directive. So get comfortable over the ball and then stick to one thought before you hit it.

Hilary, 31, Langholm

What is it about my swing that results in very flat (i.e. low) strokes?

You need to generate more swing speed to get the ball in the air by getting a good amount of "swish" in the club head.

You can do this by practising in the garden or down the range by just using your ears. See how much "swish" you can build up either side of the swing and the ball should get airborne.

Nick, 13, Huddersfield

When I'm on the tee, the ball seems to turn right after going straight for about 50 yards. Why is this and how can I rectify it?

Phil Mickelson
Even Phil knows a thing or two about slicing off the tee

Why? Well the club face is open as you hit the ball and the club is swiping across the ball, so it's coming from out to in. What you need to do is make sure you are gripping the club predominantly with the fingers of the left hand and you can see two, to two and a half, knuckles.

Go down the driving range, get your driver out and experiment with your left hand grip. Then just move your left hand to the right until your ball starts to turn in the air or go straight.

Nick, 16, Redditch

How can I generate power with my swing, without using my driver, which I find hard to use?

For this you need to concentrate on your swing speed and the comparison between your backswing and your downswing. You can visualise swinging it back at say 60mph and then swinging down at 70mph so it's more bang-bang rather than a really slow backswing.

If you swing slowly then you can't build up any momentum and the ball won't go anywhere.

Maryan, 39, Amsterdam

What is the perfect golf swing to learn and why?

For a woman a good swing to look at and learn from is Annika Sorenstam's. She's got lovely rhythm and she's not particularly big, so you can't look at her and think, 'well she's a lot stronger than me.'

The perfect golf swing is the one that is effortless through good technique. If your technique is poor then it's going to be hard work.

Andrew, 34, Stamford

I hit most of my irons quite well, but I sometimes hit everything from an 8-iron to a wedge "fat," catching the ground well before the ball. What causes this?

Nick Faldo
Follow Nick's finishing position

As you're hitting the ball, your weight is going onto your back foot. Therefore the strike of the ball, which is the low point of the swing, is behind where it should be.

Focus on your body motion so that you're staying centred over the ball on the backswing and then practise swinging to a classic finish position.

Ian, 21, Southampton

I can hit my irons reasonably well but struggle with driving. Am I supposed to be using the same swing for all clubs or do I need to change something in order to drive better?

Don't change your swing. It's the same machine for fourteen different clubs. What's happening here is that your swing is naturally more aligned to iron shots which is a downward blow onto the ball.

If it's not transferring to the driver then you've got to watch your set up position. When driving, make sure the ball is aligned with your left armpit. And you must angle your spine so it is leaning slightly away from the target. In other words more of your weight is on the back foot.

Kate, 29.5, London

I am about to start golf lessons before my 30th birthday. I am a total novice from a golfing family and my Dad always says: "swing slowly." What advice would you give to a beginner as the most important thing for developing a good swing ?

Forget the swing slowly bit straightaway. You don't hit the ball anywhere if you swing slowly and you'll discover your own natural rhythm. That's as long as it's a two-beat rhythm like tick-tock rather than tick....tock.

The best thing is to start off by setting up to the ball the best way you can. That means good posture, good grip and then good motion with the body. Also ask the teaching professional what they have in mind for you before you start.

Congratulations Kate you win a copy of Nick's book for the best question.

Matt, 30, Bristol

Is there a recommended technique or trigger which enables club takeaway to be on the correct plane?

Mike Weir
Mike Weir likes a waggle to set up his swing

Firstly practise your swing in the mirror and work out where you want your backswing to be. Then you need to blend in a waggle of the club into your pre-shot routine. By this I mean a short backswing, be it a few inches or a couple of feet.

This will give you a sneak preview of where the club will go in the first part of the backswing.

Brian, 44, Poole

Without getting bogged down by "set up, grip, swing, weight etc," how can I strike the ball more consistently?

Remember that where the ball goes is generally related to your arms, the club and your grip. The strike of the ball is generally related to where the body is during the swing.

So if your strike is inconsistent, then you need to work on your body motion. A good starting point is to hold a consistent spine angle throughout the swing.

If the ball direction is inconsistent then a good starting point is to make sure that you're hinging the club on the way back and then re-hinging on the way through. By that I mean cocking your wrists so that when your arms reach nine o'clock on the backswing, the club points up in the air so it makes a L-shape.

:: Sport Academy has moved

Who is Nick Bradley?
Nick took up golf when he was 16 and qualified as a PGA pro aged 20
He is one of only 35 worldwide David Leadbetter certified golf instructors
Nick uses revolutionary imagery to help master the game
He has coached winning players on the men's and ladies' European Tours


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