Tiger Woods is on the move now
The new swing from Tiger Woods
Tiger was number one in the world for 683 weeks and dominated the golf world for nearly two decades. Due to injuries and various operations on his back, he had to pause for over ten months. After a total of five changes to the golf swing, Woods returned to the professional sport stage at the Hero Wold Challenge at the end of November 2017. The new swing from Tiger Woods works and we exclusively show what makes it so efficient.
When Tiger Woods started the Hero World Challenge 2017 in the Bahamas at the end of November, it was his first tournament start in 301 days. Woods was beset by injuries. The back, left knee and right Achilles tendon are the three biggest problem areas in Tiger Woods. His last back operation had been eight months at the time.
Tiger Woods at the Hero World Challenge 2017. His first tournament in 301 days. (Photo: Getty Images)
The sad climax of Tiger Woods injury break was probably the police photo, which went around the world in May 2017, and showed a drawn Woods. At that time nobody would have thought that Tiger would be able to compete in a professional tournament again in the same year, let alone ever win a major again.
But Tiger Woods is a fighter. Despite his four back operations, he not only returned to professional golf, but also to the top of the world. In the high-class field of participants of the Hero World Challenge 2017, Woods played his way up to 15th place with rounds of 73, 65, 70, 76 - a total of four under par.
The new swing from Tiger Woods
His former coaches, Hank Haney and Sean Foley, extol the efficiency of Tiger's new swing. The golf trainer Jim McLean was voted one of the top 5 American golf instructors in 2018. McLean says: “I've seen some pro turns, but not nearly as often and with as much success as with Tiger. And this new swing looks really good. "
A Tiger Woods is also working on his golf swing. Here with his caddy Steve Williams at the 2010 PGA Championship. (Photo: Getty Images)
Here's how McLean explains how Tiger's new swing works:
The address position - preparation for takeoff
"If I can count correctly, this is Tiger's fifth major swing change," explains McLean. Feet, hips, and shoulders are all aligned parallel to the target. This is where Tiger Woods hits an iron. During a golf swing with the driver, Woods stands on the ball with his legs apart and plays the ball off the big toe of his left foot. "It's different from what you see in tour players," explains McLean. “Most of them play the ball at heel level, a shade further to the right than with Tiger. But the further you play the ball from the front, the higher it flies; which is ideal if you want to hit longer drives. "
If you want to copy something from Tiger, you should pay attention to the posture of your back. The new swing from Tiger Woods looks very casual, but there is still a lot of power in it. “If you want more power for your golf swing, you can't stand crouching over the ball,” recalls Coach McLean.
The new golf swing from Tiger Woods. Address position. The PLAYERS Championship 2019. (Photo: Getty Images)
The new backswing - swing flat and wide
In older images of Tiger's golf swing, his back swing was steeper than in this current photo. Tiger used to lead the club head back behind his rib cage within the finish line. “Now his arms are in front of his body and everything is turning as a unit,” explains Jim McLean.
Tiger Woods golf swing. Backswing. At The PLAYERS Championship. (Photo: Getty Images)
Swinging the club back like this will keep it flat on the ground longer, resulting in vertical clubhead movement. Especially with the drive, the following applies: the ball is hit later in the upswing. When hitting your irons and your driver, keep the swing radius in mind to get more power out of your golf swing.
The end of the backswing - recharging for the blow
“By the time Tiger completes his back swing, he has moved several inches to the right. You wouldn't have seen that with Tiger a few years ago, ”says McLean, who has of course closely followed Woods’s swing development over the years. “This is definitely a strength move, but it's also good for people with back problems. Significantly less lateral curvature is noticeable; this way, Tiger's lower spine is not subjected to additional pressure. I like this change. Just think of golfers who were great at driving like Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman; they got that extra portion of strength behind and not over the ball. "
Tiger Woods swing back at The PLAYERS Championship 2019 (Photo: Getty Images).
The picture shows that Tiger Woods' new swing has completely rotated his shoulders. “The left shoulder is turned far behind the ball. It's the movement of a healthy golfer, ”emphasizes Jim McLean.
When striking with the driver, Tiger strikes a little more, but Tiger Woods' new swing is much less stressful for his back. When doing this movement, be careful not to shift your weight too far to the right. Tiger avoids this by turning against a stable right leg. "Otherwise he would lack the necessary consistency," explains McLean.
The energy transfer in the new swing from Tiger Woods
Jim McLean: “Impressive! This man has had several back operations and is swinging aggressively to the ball! "
Woods has long been known to bend his knees when initiating the backswing. He uses the ground as a lever for a powerful swing. Jim McLean is of the opinion that the inclination is no longer as clear as it used to be. It is important, however, that Tiger leaves enough space to whip the bat towards the ball.
Tiger Woods swinging to the ball. The PLAYERS Championship 2019. (Photos: Getty Images)
“That's the trick,” says McLean. “If you lower yourself compared to your address position, you need to make sure that the club stays in front of your sternum so that you can move freely towards the ball. That is what Tiger is doing really well right now.
Into the moment of impact - generating power
Assuming that Tiger's freedom of movement is restricted after the fourth operation on the damaged vertebral bone, it would be unrealistic to believe that he could still produce his 290-meter tees in the same way as before. So Woods has to get the speed for his golf swing in a different way.
Tiger Woods' hit moment at The PLAYERS Championship 2019 (Photos: Getty Images)
Now he generates the power with the help of his arms. “Tiger definitely swings more out of his arms than before. The arms move extremely quickly, ”says Jim McLean. Like Greg Norman in his prime. Although the shaft leans toward the target, a split second later it is perpendicular to the ground.
Tiger Woods golf swing after impact. At The PLAYERS Championship 2019 (Photos: Getty Images)
“Tiger frees the bat hard. He brings it in front of his body and hits the ball as the swing continues. Tiger doesn't drag the bat through the impact, but lets his right arm dictate and dictate the movement, ”explains McLean.
The through swing - new freedom for the club head
If you were to compare Tiger Woods' backswing with Jordan Spieth's, you should notice a significant difference in the positions of the arms and hands: “You would see that Jordan's left elbow is still flexed while Tiger's left arm is straight and the club head swings freely, ”explains swing expert McLean.
“Jordan tears the bat from the moment it hits, Tiger throws it. - Tiger's movement resembles a ball thrown hard with his right hand. Tiger's chest rotates towards the target, but is not nearly as rotated in relation to his arms and hands. In the time from the moment of impact until the racket is parallel to the ground, arms and hands have moved a lot more. "
The backswing of Tiger Woods. (Photo: Getty Images)
“If the slice is your typical ball flight, you should imitate this movement. Rotate your right hand over your left in the downswing, ”advises teaching professional Jim McLean.
The new swing from Tiger Woods - back-friendly in the finish
Let's be honest: Many golfers have problems with their lumbar spine, and they don't just affect professional players! "Knowing this in the back of your mind, you must do everything possible to protect your back," warns Jim McLean. Copying Tiger Woods' new finish is a start. “This finish is great. Especially for a guy with a bad back. ”Look how straight he stands.
The finish of Tiger Woods (Photo: Getty Images)
At the end of his backswing - a second later - his right shoulder is higher than his left. And if you - from the side view - were to draw a line from his right ear to the inside of his left foot, the result would be a straight line. His spine no longer bends in the shape of an "inverted C". “That means there is no additional pressure on the intervertebral discs,” explains McLean.
With no one getting any younger, this upright and balanced finish means time and money saved
Health for your personal golf career. "When you finish, let the club rest on your neck or shoulders," advises McLean.
“Tiger stands so upright. It is great to see that he is swinging like a true champion again. ”- and is now a champion again after his fifth Masters victory.
The studied cultural scientist has been playing in the Bundesliga for 20 years and is a licensed A-trainer. Her experience as a trainer and player make her an expert in all aspects of golf. She also oversees all special golf issues such as the Porsche program booklet and the regional titles in the Golf Club magazine.
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