Tiger Woods – Augusta National Golf Club – The Masters practice round

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As a PGA Teaching Professional, I have always enjoyed watching Tiger Woods swing the club. I've always felt he had one of the most powerful swings on the PGA Tour. Probably the best quality that Tiger has is his mental approach to the game. He works his way around a golf course to near perfection. Golf instructors would call this “course management”. When Tiger was winning all the time, his course management was flawless and his confidence of winning was indestructible.

Because many analyst and golf enthusiast know that Tiger has great course management and thinks his way around the course very well, let's discuss the great changes he's made with his swing, Sean Foley. Since I teach golf for a living on a daily basis and I study golf swings all the time, I admire the things that Tiger has improved with the help of Sean.

One of the first things that Tiger has improved is his ability to control and maintain a better club position at the top of his swing. One of the things I always look for in a first golf lesson with any new student is the position of the club relative to the plane line. The plane line is created from their set-up position before they start the golf swing. Ideally, as the club is swung away from the ball, the club head would never pass behind the hands too early. If it did, I would consider the swing to be flat or under the plane line. If the club head passes level with the hands at the half way back position, it would be considered on plane. If the club head swings slightly above the hands it could be classified as above the plane. Let's get one thing perfectly clear, nearly every great player around the world swings the club on plane or starts slightly above the plane and then works the club into a good position at the top & then transitions to a good plane in the down swing. Tiger now keeps the club swinging slightly outside his hands, but loads the club flawlessly into a superb position at the top. Sean and Tiger also worked on shortening his swing without losing any swing speed or distance. Since he sets the club much better, he's able to hit the plane line quicker and can keep the club swinging on a better plane back to impact.

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The second reason Tiger has been more successful is his ability to maintain better stability with the ground as he transitions into the downswing. Years ago, when he was working with Hank Haney, the club would swing more down the target line and when he transitioned into the down swing the club head would fall into a flat position. As the club transitioned flat of the plane line, his right foot would be off the ground before he made impact with the golf ball. Today, after spending a couple of years working with Sean Foley, he avoids lifting the right foot off the ground and he stays more grounded and turns and clears much better. This movement in his new swing allows him to keep the club swinging much closer to the plane line and compress the ball with a much squarer club face.

I'd like to commend Sean for his great teaching style and also congratulate Tiger for making great changes to his swing.


Brett Warren says:

how does his hands work in and club head work out coming thru impact?

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