Tiger Woods has consistently tweaked and changed his swing since he went pro.
This drives a lot of golf fans and commentators crazy. In his book, ex-coach Hank Haney described Tiger as “a chronic experimenter” who obsessively tried to improve, even if that meant dismantling the swing that made him the world’s best in the first place.
In light of Tiger hiring new swing coach Chris Como, Luke Kerr-Dineen of Golf Digest unearthed a great anecdote about the 1997 Masters from a book Tiger wrote 13 years ago.
According to Tiger, he “got away with murder” at the Masters because he won by 12 strokes even though his swing was a complete mess (in his mind, at least):
One night, a week or so later, after the elation had started to die down, I decided to sit down and watch a tape of the entire tournament. I was by myself, so I was really able to concentrate on critiquing my full swing to see if there was some flaw I might be able to work on.
I didn’t see one flaw. I saw about 10.
I had struck the ball great that week, but by my standard I felt I had gotten away with murder. My clubshaft was across the line at the top of the backswing and my clubface was closed. My swing plane was too upright. I liked my ball flight, but I was hitting the ball farther with my irons than I should have been because I was delofting the clubface through impact. I didn’t like the look of those things, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised I didn’t like how my swing felt, either. From a ball-striking standpoint, I was playing better than I knew how.
Tiger’s competitiveness is a big part of what makes him so good. It also makes him an incessant tinkerer.
Interesting, Tiger said that he wanted to get back to his “old” swing at a press conference on Tuesday, which sent the golf world into a bit of a tizzy.
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