Tiger Woods’ Story In This Golf Magazine Piece

I found the below article posted on Golf.com.

The piece deals with golfers tending to reverse-pivot on the back swing as they get older, due to loss of flexibility, especially in the lower body, and how not to fall victim to it.

The article’s offered solution likely won’t do anyone any good however, but I would humbly offer my own solution, a very simple and obvious one – let the left heel come up if it has to…

But let’s look at the problem first, as described by the article:

Right arm-only swings can help you avoid shifting weight improperly

As you get older and start to lose some of your flexibility, it gets harder to pivot behind the ball on the backswing—and much easier to just “lift” the club.

When you do this, your upper-body weight tends to shift forward toward the target at the top, leading to the dreaded “Reverse C” position and all kinds of poor shots.

O.K. well here’s the problem and I hope you’ll all pardon me for pointing out the painfully obvious paradox – if you’re finding yourself reverse-pivoting because your modern golf swing planted-heel back swing pivot requires more flexibility than you now possesshow is the solution to simply practice swinging with the right arm only?

Think about it – if you can do this drill and then swing without a reverse pivot, then it isn’t a lack of flexibility that was causing the problem to begin with, despite the first sentence in the above quoted section.

If it were… then the drill is useless, because the drill will not make you more flexible…

What it might do however is double your determination to pivot over the right foot even though you no longer have that flexibility to do it, so you’ll end up hurting something, perhaps in the leading knee, or the lower back…

I’ve remarked over the years on Tiger Woods’ ever-changing and increasingly-left biased stance from the very sound right-biased one of his youth:

The Beginning

His only problem before he turned pro was the planted left heel, and while I can’t prove cause and effect, it’s funny that the only physical problems he had early in his career were with the left knee, where the stress of a planted-heel back swing (and the resultant knee-snap through impact) would manifest itself.

He did the rubber-banding, yes, but when he was younger and more flexible, he could perform a good enough turn with the planted heel to not have to twist the lower back so much.

That usually happens as a player ages and loses that natural rubbery aspect to the joints. So, he would have have lower back problems eventually, but not the catastrophic stuff he did to it by both rubber-banding and having a left-biased address under Foley.

TW at his greatest would have been every bit as great had he let the left leg work naturally on the back swing.

Another point – every swing change TW made, in my opinion (with the possible exception of the re-tooling following his ’97 Masters victory), was a result of trying to alleviate the stress on that knee as it deteriorated, and his swing got less and less natural with each iteration.

To put it another way – he kept the flaw that damaged his knee, and kept changing other non-flawed parts of his swing to keep swinging with the original flaw intact.

It was like changing the working parts of an otherwise fine automobile because you refused to change the flat tire on the front driver’s side, and expecting things to work better, when it only got worse with each tinker.

The End

And that, my friends, is the most confusing aspect of Modern Golf Swing vs Classic Golf Swing – how many things will one change, and how far will one go, and how much damage is one willing to inflict on one’s body, all just in order to accomplish one thing, and one thing only – swinging with a planted leading heel?

That’s the issue, and no one wants to admit that all of this would go away with the simple and clear directive when swinging a golf club – do it with your whole body:

And not with just one half:


2 thoughts on “Tiger Woods’ Story In This Golf Magazine Piece

  1. Laser

    “Had he let the left leg work naturally on the back swing.”

    –You know, golf instruction never was any good…even in the Classic era. Yes, pros knew how to make a swing that wouldn’t send them to the hospital. But, instructors were clueless about telling golf students how to do it.

    They’ll never get the left leg working with the modern golf swing because they’re fixated on turning the hips & shoulders, and the left leg doesn’t fit with that. In my opinion, the left leg is more connected with making a golf swing.

    They’d have to figure out how/why the left heel lifts, and how it gets back down…and what that’s connected with. They could use a new model. I don’t think they can solve the lifted left heel mystery with hip & shoulder turn. (You already gave them a clue: don’t turn the shoulders into impact.)

    1. D Watts Post author

      You already gave them a clue…

      I would say I’ve given them a lot more… perhaps they’re just clueless… 😛

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