Tom Brady’s Pebble Beach top? Here’s what went wrong

tom brady swings and tops the ball at the pebble beach pro-am

Tom Brady had a little trouble off the tee at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

@MikePette / X

Tom Brady might be best known for his play on the gridiron, but he’s also quite the golf nut. The 46-year-old played in The Match in 2020, and that same year joined prestigious Seminole Golf Club. He carries a handicap index of 8 and this week he’s in the field at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The field typically features quite the list of notable celebs, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished am at Pebble this week than the seven-time Super Bowl champ. But all those Lombardi trophies mean very little when you get between the ropes.

Brady lived every golfer’s worst nightmare during Friday’s second round at Pebble Beach, cold topping his opening tee shot in front of a sizable gallery. The moment was caught on camera by X user Mike Pette and posted to the social platform Friday afternoon. So far, the video has garnered over half a million views.

Brady offered an explanation for the gaffe in a tweet of his own Saturday morning.

“Driver was off the rack,” he wrote. “Turns out they don’t do breakfast balls at Pebble [laughing emoji].”

Despite the reason Brady credits, the actual culprit for the top was a simple breakdown in fundamentals — and we enlisted GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood to explain exactly what went wrong.

What went wrong

While many will blame a cold top on bringing the head up too early, in Brady’s case, it was a simple breakdown in setup.

“A high right hip at address leads to jammed body motion (reverse pivot),” Yarwood says. “So his upper body starts downswing and steepened the plane, moving ball to the heel of club at impact.”

From the very start, Brady didn’t set himself up for success. Instead of beginning the downswing with his lower body, he started down with his torso, causing the shaft to get steep and throwing everything off.

“It’s possible he didn’t warm up which caused some miscordination,” Yarwood says.

How to fix it

If Brady is reading this — or you have a similar problem to the GOAT — worry not, the fix is rather simple. All you need to do is adjust your setup a touch.

“The fix is simple,” Yarwood says. “Get a lower right hip at address.”

Let this be a lesson: If your setup is out of whack, it can ruin your entire swing. Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen at one of the grandest stages in all of golf.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at