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Teed Off (Aug 2, 2015)

Update: August, 02/2015 - 19:27

with Robert Bicknell

Tiger Woods is at it yet again, this time claiming that his "spin rates" are OK and, having tested his clubs out on Trackman (a Doppler radar used in testing golf equipment, tweaking golf swings and a useful teaching aid in the hands of an expert), found that they were set up properly and do not contribute to his woes.

OK, so if it's not his clubs, and it's not his knees or back, then there is only two possible conclusions to be drawn from this... Either his new swing sucks, or his head just isn't there. Personally, I believe it's both.

His swing is better than it was, but still unstable under pressure. He removed a lot of unnecessary moving parts, but he still has a tendency from the Sean Foley days to dip down then lunge up and forward. With so much vertical and lateral movement, consistency is almost impossible. If you look at his best swings from the old days, his spine angle remains as solid as a steel rod inserted into the ground. He rotated hard and fast around it and the results were unbelievable.

He's not doing that now, except on the practice range. But when he gets onto the course and into a pressure situation, he defaults to his Sean Foley dip. He needs to get rid of it.

Where did the idea of dipping and lunging up come from?

This is a case of a situation looking for a problem. Enter Trackman, Force Plates, Biomechanics and a group of eggheads who think that people should be educated in "how to walk and chew gum at the same time".

Force plates show where a player's weight distribution is during any part of the swing. The problem is "which swing?" There are so many different "styles" of swing that one measurement simply cannot cover them all. Some in the new school start with 60 per cent weight on the forward foot, while the old Sam Snead school had weight starting with 60 per cent on the back foot.

The only correct measurement is the one based on the swing you are using and, it has long been established that there is NO one correct swing for everyone.

The only thing that can be agreed upon is that the clubface must return squarely to and through the ball. Everything else is up for debate.

A few weeks ago, Tiger was blathering on about his "force vectors." Before that, it was loading issues. These are the symptoms of a person who has started to believe the theory is more important than the result and it leads to "paralysis by analysis". When you're so focused on the theory, you lose sight of the big picture - which in this case is to hit the ball, find it and hit it again until it's in the hole.

In short, Tiger forgot how to "play" golf.

Tiger's latest whine is that he "doesn't understand why it's taking so long for his swing to come around this time", and" it was easier to mask the problems with his swing by having a solid short game", but since his short game is crap too, there is no hiding it.

Sorry to burst your bubble Tiger, but we all knew your swing sucked and you were saving yourself time and again with the wedge and putter. Even an alien from another star system could see that.

The cure for Tiger is a very simple one... play more golf and think about the mechanics less.

When I was playing at my absolute best (a +3 handicap), I almost never set foot in a driving range, except when I wanted to practice some short game stuff.

If I want to screw myself up royally (and I have over the last year), I'll hit a lot of balls on the range. This gives my brain time to think too much and make changes that don't need to be made.

Tiger, toss out the machines and just go play golf for a month by yourself. Forget TV, forget video. Just relax and swing. You'll see a positive difference within a few days. — VNS

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