Tiger Woods Swing’ – The Evolution of a Champion

Tiger Woods (long pause and shake of the head). What more can be said about Tiger Woods' swing that hasn't been said by every "expert" and his brother?

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Or in this case around a hundred Tiger Woods swing thoughts.
They say a picture paints a thousand words. Or in this case around a hundred Tiger Woods swing thoughts.

Here's the question that I asked myself after reading a recent article, "Stroke of Madness"by Scott Eden of ESPN The Magazine:

Tiger Woods' swing: Stroke of Madness or Stroke of Genius?

In my opinion, a little of both.

Tiger Woods has done the unthinkable. Heck, I don't think most other tour players even think about thinking about it LOL.

Tiger Woods has torn down one of the greatest swings the game has ever seen and successfully rebuilt it not once, but four times of note (I'm counting one time as an amateur).

Is it because he's a perfectionist? Probably, I think that might be part of it. I also think all of us golfers have a screw loose to some extent.

I think Tiger realizes in order to survive in a highly competitive sport that is constantly changing, his game must evolve. As his body changes, his swing too must change.

Tiger Woods doesn't just make random changes, he makes changes that will make him better and that will prevent re-injury or future injury.  You see, he's a lot like you and me. We strive to get better; we struggle to get better.

Base Changes on Facts and Research

When thinking about this topic, something Rotary Swing Founder Chuck Quinton said really stood out to me:

"Golf instruction should be based on facts and research rather than fads, gimmicks, opinions, or guesswork... The Golf Swing is not rocket science, but sometimes it can feel that way." 

All RST Facts Tend to Center Around These Three Areas

  • Golf Swing Physics: Understanding club plane, path, sequencing, etc. is obviously a must.
  • The Body: Your body was designed to move a certain way or risk injury.
  • The Brain: After learning how to move your body properly, your brain has to ingrain it.

Why is this important? Because I guarantee you Tiger Woods has based every change he has made in his career off a list similar to this. I'm sure when talking to Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, and Sean Foley he wanted to feel certain that each had a deep understanding of these three topics.

Let's Look at The Changes He Made and WHY:

Butch Harmon - Change #1: Tigers' body is changing from boy to man. His career is changing from one of the most decorated amateur golfers ever to PGA Tour rookie.

The Goal? As Tiger's body filled out,  it was time to take him from the long and loose swing of his youth and prepare him for tour-level competition.

"Tighten" up the swing, make more of a three-quarter swing; not a big windup, big release.

Butch Harmon - Change #2: Tiger's hips are firing so fast he feels like his arms "get stuck" behind him. This causes him to miss shots miles to the right or over correct with his hands and miss it to the left.

Basically, Tiger felt he could only play his best golf when his timing was perfect.

The Goal? Get Tiger's arm speed to match the unwind speed of his body.

Hank Haney - Change #3: For the second time now, Tiger's body had changed. He went from looking like a golfer to more like a football player LOL.

He also expressed concern over his left knee he felt had been damaged by the snapping motion he made on the downswing in an effort to gain leverage. (Many doubt this is the case.)

Hank always said: "Everything revolved around saving his knee."

The Goal? Once and for all eliminate the feeling of "getting stuck in the downswing" and rebuild his swing around his injuries.

Tiger said: "I will change everything, It will take tens of thousands of balls on the range to ingrain it."

Note: Rotary Swing Research Shows that these changes start to take place in the brain after roughly 100 perfect repetitions, this process is called myelination. From there it’s roughly 3,000 – 5,000 repetitions in order for the brain to ingrain the new movement pattern.

Sean Foley - Change #4: Arguably the most criticized change of his career, was this where Tiger would finally use science and technology to find the perfect swing? 

Sean Foley was quoted as saying: "What Tiger was doing wasn't efficient. He was losing tons of speed and power, some of the things that used to most separate him. He couldn't hit the fairway because his alignments weren't correct. Simple as that."

The Goal? Use science and technology to make Tigers' movements more efficient, make him more accurate and reintroduce the speed and power that had been lost. Again, all these changes would take into account past injuries as well as injury avoidance.

Will it work? Are the injuries behind him? As far as the injuries are concerned, we here at Rotary Swing have our doubts based on our research.

Is Tiger Woods Done Playing Golf Swing and Ready to Play Golf?

Everyone has different opinions on this, but while watching the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open, golf swing aside, I saw the Tiger Woods of old. The Tiger Woods who had the ability to take the lead, extend the lead and hold the lead. I saw a confident Tiger.

Now, I know he dropped some shots at the end, but I really feel that was more due to the slow pace of play and long days caused by weather delays.

He was hitting fairways and greens and, more importantly, his short game was sharp for the first time in a long time.

I think if I were Tiger Woods, the first thing I would have done is go to my twitter account and post this picture:

Tiger standing on the 18th green at Torrey Pines after a commanding victory in the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open.
Tiger Woods standing on the 18th green at Torrey Pines after a commanding victory in the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open.

 

You're only a click away from finding out the secrets to re-shaping your swing in a way that will prevent injury

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