Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Will Happen To Tiger's Swing

I've had a lot of my friends ask me about Tiger's swing changes and what will happen to his swing since he's now working with (or trying out) golf instructor Sean Foley.

First, let's take a look at Woods' old swing under Hank Haney:

The DTL swing is much more concerning and he had been swinging like that for quite some time. As you can see, he's very laid off in that swing. He does make a very good downswing and probably hit this one on the green, but when you start flirting with such a misaligned clubshaft like that at the top, you start flirting with getting 'off plane' on the downswing, leading to disaster.

So while people will pinpoint his off course issues for his struggles, and I don't think they have helped, the golf ball doesn't know if you're cheating on your wife with strippers, reality TV stars and Perkins waitresses.

IMO, it was just a matter of time before his ballstriking went extremely south with swings like this. One of the instances that I thought was an indictment against his swing was in the final round of the PGA Championship against YE Yang. In that round Tiger hit the irons quire well, but was so afraid of using driver that he would have such long approach shots into the green. Again, he hit the approaches well, but when you're hitting them from 190 and Yang is hitting them from 150, it's advantage Yang. In order to start dominating again he needs to become a better driver of the ball and hit good tee shots when he needs it.

Anyway, let's take a look at some of Tiger's 'new swings.'

Sean Foley has utilized a lot of the Stack and Tilt pieces in his golf swing philosophy. It seems like Foley did not want to mention that, but it also seems that S&T 'founders' Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer made it be known that Foley has asked them for quite of bit of advice and their thoughts on the swing.

The one thing we do know that Foley has worked with Tiger on is keeping his head steady in the backswing. As Foley says 'the eyes have to make a calculation (actually, the brain makes the calculations, not the eyes).

This is prevalent in the S&T swing. Although I don't think that this is Tiger's biggest worry.

Another thing that they are working on is a drill where Tiger puts a glove under his right arm. This is to get the hand path more inside (another piece of the S&T swing) and in a round about way, something that Kostis discusses in his video.

I think what we'll see is something a bit more like his swing under Harmon, except it won't be the 'across the line' backswing and more 'on plane' swing.

But, we'll see a much more inside hand path with a more upright shaft. He'll probably have a shorter backswing to keep himself on plane and will also work more to CP Release the club and 'swing left.' Lastly, he'll probably get a bit more upright on the downswing plane so he doesn't have to change his grip.

I think Tiger has already seen some results ballstriking wise that have been better than what he's been doing the past couple of years. But, for now they are flashes in the pan and will continue to work to start a real fire. And while he is Tiger Woods, remember that even for the greats swing changes take some time.



Erik J. Barzeski said...

- Hand path more inward.
- Steeper shoulder plane (tilts, extension)
- Hips forward longer.

Anonymous said...

The Blog is getting better all the time. Impressive work Richie for a very time consuming and difficult subject. I look forward to reading them. Keep up the great work.