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What’s Wrong With Tiger Woods

Posted on May 05, 2015

Written by Harry Sewill
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Before I take too much flack for this, remember this is just an opinion and my goal is to encourage some debate without the “same old apple juice” you get on the Golf Channel. To understand Tiger’s recent struggles on the course, we need to discuss the historical changes in the golf swing and the natural effects aging causes on your golfing abilities. We’ll start by comparing the modern “core” swing that developed in the mid 20th century, most notably lead by the walking abdominal muscle, Gary Player, with the “wristy” swing popular before and used by the great Bobby Jones.

The “core” swing puts tremendous stress on the lower body, specifically the knees, and is the swing of athletes in great physical shape. This is a young man’s swing and as such isn’t a common sight among Champions Tour veterans. Classic golf’s “wristie” swing featured much more relaxed and non-athletic movement. It was not uncommon to see Bobby Jones, and many other players of the time, play with a neck-tie on.

So why the has the common golf swing changed and what is Tiger Woods to do? The change is about your hands and how you create power. In the 50’s rubber began to replace leather as the material choice for grips. Several reasons led to this, of which performance is a commonly incorrect guess.

Leather’s tactile properties freed the hands and allowed the wrists to generate power. It’s use allowed non-athletic golfers the ability to create power. Rubber, while inexpensive and easy to produce, has lousy tactile properties and is difficult to hang on to, increasing grip pressure and taking a lot of hand motion out of the swing. These factors eliminated the “wristy” swing’s ability to create club head speed and power. Hence the birth of the “core” swing, which does not use hand motion to create power.

In his prime, Tiger was the ultimate representative and epitome of what the “core” swing can achieve and what a thing that was to watch! However, Tiger’s age caught up to him in the last few years amidst some personal issues and no matter what he does, the clock cannot be turned back. He just doesn’t have the body to maintain the physique needed for the core swing.

While the “core” swing may be shrinking in Tiger’s rearview mirror, he’s far from done. Tiger’s swing, while an advantage against the field, wasn’t what made him great. With Tiger’s knowledge of the mental game, an order from BestGrips (may I suggest the MicroPerf Club Grip?) and some time with Bobby Jones’s “How I Play Golf,” is all he would need to give Rory, Jordan and Father Time a run for their money.


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