Archive for January, 2013

More on Tiger and his swing

Every time I criticize his swing, I get hate mail, so I decided that’s fun and will do it some more after he won.

People point to wins like Torrey Pines and stats to prove me wrong. I say he could care less about regular tour wins…for him anyway. My job is not to bask in the glory of someone not playing to their maximum potential. Getting excited about Tiger winning at Torrey Pines is like me getting excited if I shoot 70 and am sloppy in doing so. Compared to everyone I play with, it’s a great score. However, I am trying to eliminate the flaws in my swing so I can be what I consider a good golfer again.

There are two relevant factors here. Tiger was as bad in the majors as he was at any point in his career on weekends last year. In his mind, that is all he plays for. Winning majors and that happens on the weekend.

So by his standards, last year was the worst year of his career.

The second part that is relevant is the cliche that golf is a game of misses. By that judgement, Tiger is the worst player on tour off the tee by a significant margin.

Find me another guy on tour that both chunks woods and misses balls in the next fairway on a regular basis.

That works at Torrey Pines, it won’t work at the majors on Saturday and Sunday.

There is no debate. He is possibly the greatest manipulator of the club in the history of golf and that’s the only reason he is hitting more than 10% of the fairways with woods.

Being a bad misser off the tee is what kept me from winning on the tour and what kept me from advancing past the second stage of Q-school.

It was not uncommon for me to hit 11 of 14 fairways and have the three misses be a $3 cab ride back to sanity.

On the right course there was no fear and I could go low with anyone.

On the courses they had Q-school, I spent 4 days with my hands on the steering wheel and I was just another dreamer as a result.

I was right when I said Haney made Tiger swing like O’Meara, he wouldn’t win any more majors and would fire Haney.

Until Tiger changes his swing pattern with driver, he ain’t getting any closer to Jack’s record and that is the standard he should be judged by.

People don’t understand how to get better.

I was playing a round of golf recently with a friend. I played poorly, but almost by design. I like to play rounds of golf where I work on the same things I am working on the range and don’t keep score.

Try different feels to achieve results, etc.

During this round, we were paired with a single. I sprayed a couple of drives, hit a wedge from the fairway really fat, had bad distance control, hit a punch out of the trees to a par 5 that ended up in the water trying a hero shot and picked up a few 3-5 footers to hit an additional chip or two while seeing a group or two on the next tee.

I generously shot a 39 or 40 if I take putts I picked up to hit more chips.

Made a scummy par on the par 5 tenth and on 11 tee I asked my buddy to video my swing because I wanted to try something that ended up in a block slice hybrid in the trees.

On 12 tee the guy asks me what I did for a living and told him I taught golf.

His response was he expected golf pros to be better golfers…lol. The irony of that comment has so many levels.

A little put off I said, “It’s not obvious I am trying to work on things? You can’t see the fact I can drive it over 300 yards, haven’t hit a pitch or chip outside of 5 feet and have a decent looking putting stroke?”

“Well, you aren’t going to break 80 and pros should be able to break 80.”

I responded that I was trying to test some things out. He said that’s what the range is for. I said, that’s what practice rounds are for. He said the money is won and lost on the course.

Big mistake.

Our little bet was I would win $10 for every shot I was under par the last 7 holes, he would win $10 for every shot I was over par.

I birdied 12, just missed on 13 and 14, birdied 15 and 16 (After knocking it 20 feet with driver on a 330 yard par 4), routine par on 17 and nearly made eagle on 18.

Moral to the story. Sometimes the golf course is for practice too.

Hamlet…Act 5, Scene 1

“Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well.”

Beautiful Shakespearean verse, right?

Wrong. Butchery!!!

It’s is the most misquoted line in literature.

The line actually goes…

“Alas poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio….”


It reminds me of how poorly golf cliches are tossed around in the wrong way. The driving range is like a game show.

Regular-Me (host)


“Widen the arc.”

(Family Feud buzzer goes off)

Incorrect, thanks for playing, what do we have for our contestant Don Pardo?

Monte…our contestant will be plagued by a disconnected golf swing with erratic ball striking.

Thank you Don, the correct answer is actually maintain the width of the arc. Maintain.

“Hold the Lag”

(Family Feud buzzer goes off)

I’m sorry, that is also incorrect, Don Pardo, what’s the consolation prize?

Well Monte, we have a steep downswing and periodic bouts of the shanks.

Thanks Don, the answer we were looking for is sustain the lag…Sustain. In order to win the trip to the season opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, we need a good transition and proper pivot (turn) to sustain the lag. Yanking the handle to increase lag and the totally ineffective, holding the lag, doesn’t even get you the year’s supply of Carnuba Wax, or a kiss from Richard Dawson.

Dang!!!! I was hoping to win the $10,000 David Leadbetter experience. I should have answered torn shoulder labrum from whacking the yellow impact bag.

I guess I just have to go on listening to Johnny Miller for proper swing understanding. I hope Seppuku is behind door #3. Don?

Down and Out in Beverly Hills

People who struggle with backswings are usually around and up. So feeling up then around would help those individuals.

People who have bad downswings usually are out and down, where they should feel more down and out.

Listening to Tour pros about the golf swing

There are three things at work here.

1. The common theme in the golf media where a great player is imparting his feels and what worked for him that aren’t necessarily correct or even what he actually does. I once heard Jim Furyk say he feels he swings like Hogan. Obviously some hyperbole, but that drives home the point.

2. Those feels are not applicable to most of the public. If I posted here what I try to do when I compete in a long drive contest, everyone who followed that would hopefully quit golf before they injured themselves.

3. I always listen to tour players when they talk about playing golf and learn as much as possible. I also learn many of the misconceptions my students/clients are going to show up with from listening to them. 😀

Tiger and the S&T hybrid of Foley

Call the Foley swing that he is teaching Tiger whatever you want. It stinks.

I see people nearing an excitement level reserved for sexual arousal over how perfect some of his positions are, but being perfectly on the elbow plane at P2-P6 doesn’t mean a thing if body parts don’t match up because you manipulated the club there through repetition. How often do I say you can’t zero out positions because the golf swing is a dynamic, reactive process.

Let’s say a high powered computer decides the optimum way to take turn 3 at Indianapolis is at 223 MPH and the driver must turn his steering wheel to 10:41. How many deaths would there be if each driver decided to manipulate to those numbers by starting at his hands, steering wheel and speedometer?

They would use those numbers and change the way the FEEL out the turn.

S&T and all forms of it are a steep swing designed to get players with little to no skill and athletic ability a proper angle of attack without them having to steepen the club with their hands.

You don’t teach that to guy like Tiger. He is too steep. If the fact he often takes divots large enough to bury Dave Pelz in isn’t enough evidence…how about the fact he just missed his first cut of the year after spending the first two days hitting fat wood shots?!?!?!?!

Tiger needs to take this swing, put it in a paper bag, light it on fire, drop it on the front porch of Hank Haney and ring the doorbell.

Maybe that’s his new name. I can hear the guy on the first tee at Torrey Pines. Nice double entendre.

“Now on the tee, playing out of Desperation, former winner of 4 consecutive majors. Now can only win the Zipper Open…please welcome Chunking Woods.”

Ridding yourself of hooks and slices.