Tiger Woods' downswing should be considered a "two plane" downswing by Jim Hardy's definitions. During the first half of the downswing, Tiger swings his arms back down in front of him while keeping his shoulders quiet and shut to the target. His lower body makes a lateral move to get more on to his left side with his head moving slightly toward the target, but for the most part, his body remains in the same position during the first step of the downswing to give his arms time to work back down in front of his body. This is critical as it keeps the club and arms moving in sync with the body to avoid the club getting stuck and coming into impact "late."


tiger woods downswing


At the start of the downswing, Tiger works to bring the club and his arms back down in front of him while transferring weight to his left side and keeping his shoulders quiet.


As Tiger continues moving the club back down, he keeps the club parallel and above the original shaft plane established at address. His hips have turned very little by this point ensuring that he doesn't "outrun" the club on the way down. In the next frame, you can see just how aggressively he has moved into his left side. The lateral movement keeps his hips from spinning out and turning too fast, which would leave the club behind him and in the dreaded "stuck" position. You can't really "slide" and "turn" too well at the same time, one will tend to over power the other in most golfers, but in Tiger's case, this slide is a critical aspect of his swing as it serves many purposes. For instance, if he just rotated from the top, he would bring the club down both above the plane and too steep as so many amateur slicers do. The lateral move helps to both shallow out the path of the club and give him time to get the club back in front of him as you can see in the next frame.


tiger woods downswing step 2


Note how much Tiger has moved into his left side as the club is about halfway down. Note also that you can still see his left leg in the down the line view indicating that he has rotated his body very little compared to a one planer such as Ben Hogan.


As Tiger continues the club down, you can see in the down the line view below that the club is just about parallel to the shaft plane at address at this point and his shoulders are still not rotating aggressively to ensure the club comes back down from the inside and in front of his body. Face on is a wonderful view of the spacing Tiger maintains on the downswing. Many golfers admire the look of Hogan or Garcia at this point with a very narrow downswing and tremendous lag and associate that with power. Obviously, Tiger doesn't powder puff the ball around, so he's a pretty good case in point that the swings that are more two planish in nature need the width to generate speed and get the club back in front of the body. The amount of lag Tiger maintains here is optimum for control in this type of golf swing. Any narrower and he would have to do a lot more work with his hands in the downswing such as Hogan's suppination or use a very strong grip such as Sergio's to square the face.


Tiger Woods golf swing


Good width and spacing on the downswing and the shaft through Tiger's right forearm set him up for a simple delivery in to the ball.

At this point, Tiger has the club back exactly on the shaft plane from address and his shoulders are still slightly shut. He's continuing to work his hands in front of the ball and has still maintained a lot of width in the downswing as seen from face on.


tiger woods near impact


Lastly, the impact position. Tiger has his hands ahead of the ball and the shaft returned perfectly to the address position from down the line. His shoulders are square to the target and his hips have not cleared excessively. From face on, you can see that Tiger's right heel works slightly in down the target line. This keeps his body grounded and allows him to generate force from leveraging the ground rather than just spinning out his hips.


tiger woods at impact


Tiger is in an ideal two plane impact position here with his body more square to the target and hands back in front of his chest.


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