Trouble with the face – Tiger Woods
By T.J. Tomasi
In 2000, when Tiger Woods was almost unbeatable, he dipped his upper body down toward the ground during his downswing, and nobody said a word. Now that same move is being blamed for Tiger’s swing problems. Tiger himself talks about “being trapped,” as if his club path was the problem, but neither of these is the real problem.
So what exactly is wrong with his swing? He is baffled, his swing coach was baffled and so are most golf commentators.
I don’t know what’s wrong, either, but let’s put two and two together and see what we come up with.
I have found that when a player loses it in both directions (left and right) as Tiger currently has, it signals big-time clubface problems. Eighty-five percent of the direction/curve of the ball
is due to the position of the face at impact. The ball pretty much goes in the direction the face is pointing. So let’s look
at the changes between Tiger 2000, who had complete face control, and Tiger 2010, author
of the two-way miss:
1. Tiger has weakened his grip since 2000, and that makes it harder to square the face consis-tently under pressure.
His swing looks more handsy than it did because he must over- control the face.
2. His new knee
has changed his leg/hip action, and with it, his timing.
The knee is part of the front wall or post that releases the face to the ball, but for a rusty Tiger 2010, sometimes the post is on time and the face squares up; sometimes it’s late and the face is open; and sometimes the post is early and the face shuts down, sending the ball left. Thus the dreaded two-way miss so common to high handicappers.
Tiger’s 2000 swing featured a snap release of the left knee. The problem is the snap stressed the knee, and when mistimed, it forced him to back up through the ball, meaning that his front hip spun backward, causing the hands to flip by.
In 2010, Tiger’s knee is more flexed at impact, protecting him from backing up, but under pressure he hasn’t figured out the timing yet.
3. Tiger 2000 was physically healthier than Tiger 2010.
4. Tiger 2000 was mentally healthier than Tiger 2010.
Takeaway: Tiger 2010 vs. Tiger 2000? Warm up the Time Machine and take that new knee back to 2000!