Taking Notes from Tiger: Full Turn, Wide Arc, Great Results
By Keith Stewart, PGA
The biggest story of the week in golf was the return of Tiger Woods. When he spoke at his press conference on Tuesday, he was sure to have us all keep our expectations in check when it comes to his playing return. Following those statements, Tiger spent a large majority of time as the tournament host on the practice tee. Not meeting with players and catching up with the guys but practicing himself.
Most golf fans remember where they were when the industry held its breathe on February 23rd earlier this year. Who could have imagined that less than nine months after his horrific car accident Tiger would be healthy enough to hit a week’s worth of range balls? Not only is the big cat back practicing, but he seems as if he’s really into it. He was witnessed working on all aspects throughout the week. From putting to a chipping contest with Bryson, Tiger is training.
Then yesterday, wearing the traditional Sunday red, he was seen hitting drivers. With all due respect to Viktor Hovland and his amazing back nine eagle barrage, the Sunday coaching moment is brought to us by the man in red and black. Look at this awesome view of Tiger swinging a driver on the back of the practice tee at Albany.
It’s not often we get this view of a great swing. From this angle there’s a couple moves to take note of that will certainly help your swing as well. It’s obvious Tiger has been hitting balls. He’s moving very efficiently and starting to generate some power after his long recovery from the accident. Woods has always been known for his amazing turn and width in his swing arc. It seems as if both of those elements are still there from this video.
The turn is a key move for Tiger as he comes back from a massive right leg injury. Watch as he gets his back to the target in his backswing and then rotates through to a full finish. How far back do you turn? Chances are not far enough. Try this quick demonstration:
Get up and go grab a golf club. Anything but the putter. Get in your golf address position and hold the club across your shoulders. The grip end should be pointing toward an imaginary target. Now turn and start your backswing. The grip should be pointing toward where the ball would be in your stance at the top of your backswing. You may need to lift the lead heel to get there but get there.
That’s our turning goal. Tiger displays it beautifully from this angle. Once your wound up that tight the transition becomes much easier, just let yourself unwind and continue through. The second coaching cue we can see in this video has to do with width. Notice in the backswing how far he holds the grip away from his body. Then again look at the extension his arms have just as he passes through impact. That extension in conjunction with his turn is a powerful combination.
The next time you get to the range, try to hit some shots with your arms extended. Start with a pitching wedge. Don’t lock your elbows, just keep your arms outstretched. Notice how wide your swing can be. Mimic Tiger’s look in the video. Very quickly you will notice a big difference in your consistency.
Tiger is excited to play golf again. Maybe even with his son later this month..? Test yourself like Tiger and stretch your comfort zone. With your back to the target and those arms long and strong who knows, your game might make a comeback of its own.