Well, it appears Tiger is listening and read my post last week 😉 As I told everyone last year when Tiger first started working with Sean Foley, his misses were going to be very specific and I described in my last post how he could fix them. Watching him at the 2012 Pebble Beach Pro-Am today, it’s clear he’s going the route of trying to change his release which was really the one of the least desirable options.
Right now, Tiger is setting way left and trying to cut everything back to the right by delaying the release of his hands. Now, it’s possible he’s hitting everything left to right because that ball flight fits Pebble well. But I suspect he’s trying to fix his miss rather than just try and change his release for one tournament, but we’ll never know. In any case, setting up at the left rough and then hitting cuts, which has lead to quite a few wipes that go nowhere (240 yard 3 wood off the tee earlier in the day) is quite a big compromise that will come with consequences.
As I mentioned, the weak wipe that spins a ton and floats up and to the right is going to happen, but worse, is when he doesn’t hold off his release enough or he actually does release the club properly that ball is over everyone’s head in the gallery left. One other side note to mention that is exasperating this issue is Woods has way too much shaft lean now at impact. A part from giving him an angle of attack that tends to be too steep, having his hands that far ahead at impact leaves the face open. While it will help him hold the face open enough to hit a cut, when not timed properly, he’s going to come down steep and wipe it short and right.
Good Luck Tiger!
I find it interesting the changes Tiger Woods is making with Sean Foley and that he doesn’t seem to understand that he will continue to pull shots, especially with the driver if he keeps going down this road. Tiger has a great release of the club that works perfectly with the square shoulders he’s had for a long time at impact. It is the very same release I advocate with RST. However, combine that release of the club with an upper torso that is rotating through impact to an open position, and guess what you get? It’s not rocket science. The two don’t mix.
Tiger can either set up closed to the target which is a band-aid fix or stop rotating his torso through impact which is WAY more preferable. The only thing your spine hates more than compression is rotation. And the amount of force Tiger is placing on his spine requires tremendous core strength to decelerate his fast rotating torso and protect his spine. His hip will also receive more stress as he is now trying to rotate faster on that joint rather than decelerate and stabilize his pelvis at impact.
The other option is that he alters his release to more of a “hold-on” through impact to prevent the club face shutting down. This will cost him a great deal of speed and efficiency in his swing, requiring him to rotate even faster with his upper torso to get reasonable club head speed, thus placing more load on his spine and hip. As you can, it’s a never ending spiral. The less he releases the club, the faster he has to rotate, and the faster he rotates the less he can release the club.
Out of these three options, none are desirable. He’s best off stopping the rotation of the torso through impact and allowing the club to release properly. Perhaps he will figure this out before he spends another season “in the wilderness”.
For even more analysis of Tiger Woods’ swing changes with Sean Foley, check out this article (with associated free video!).