Tiger Woods’ 2015 season has been a major disappointment thus far.
After a 69th-place finish at the Players’ Championship, Woods shot a career-worst 85 in the third round of the Memorial, finishing at +14 for the tournament.
While some may point to injuries as the problem — Woods pulled out of a tournament in February with a glutes problem and claims he popped a joint back into place at the Masters — many in the golf world think Woods’ constant tinkering with his swing is the real problem.
Lead Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee believes Woods’ decline has been his own fault.
After getting more muscular in recent years and moving onto his fourth swing coach, Chris Como, Chamblee chastised Woods on TV for “destroying the method” that made Woods so dominant early in his career.
“What’s different about this, I don’t know that it’s sad, it’s mysterious. It’s mysterious because time hasn’t robbed Tiger Woods of his game — he’s done this to himself. He’s traded his genius for the ideas of others. He’s changed his body in the gym. That sinewy, perfect body that he had in 2000 that was so explosive, he’s traded for bulk. So everything we see here is the result of what he’s done over the last four, five, six, seven, eight years…
“His complete and utter belief in the ideas of others, turning over this great game of his, I think that’s mysterious to me. His desire to build a great golf game and then destroy it, build another one and destroy it. The gym and the swing, and it’s the perfect combination that robs somebody of the belief and confidence you have to have in your own self.”
Chamblee then argued that there’s never been an athlete at the top of their sport who completely abandoned the method that made them dominant. He noted that Woods has changed his swing coach four times — he won eight grand slam titles with his first coach, Butch Harmon, six with his second, Hank Haney, and zero under his last two coaches.
“He’s been at this for about eight months with Chris Como. I think that’s plenty,” Chamblee continued. “He’s had eight months, Tiger Woods, to move off of the ball and to stay taller and do all of these things that seem pretty simple, and he really hasn’t done it.”
Though Chamblee has been critical of Woods in the past, he’s not the only person to criticise Woods for tinkering with his game and perhaps bulking up too much and changing his body. In 2014, Haney said he thought Tiger had gotten too muscular. Later that year, Harmon said he thought Tiger was over-thinking his game by hiring new coaches and should just hit some shots instead.
However, there is reason to hope that Tiger could turn his slump around. As Chamblee noted, golf has a wide window for success, and Woods is only 39. Additionally, at the Masters, Tiger seemed to be over his case of the yips and improved his short game dramatically before falling back into a slump in recent tournaments.
There isn’t a ton of optimism that Tiger can turn his game around after several disappointing years, but it seems that finding a method of success and sticking to it could be a beginning.
Watch the entire Golf Channel segment below:
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