Tiger Woods’ Hop-Skip & Jump

If you remember your old track & field terminology, the “Triple Jump” used to be known more informally as the “Hop, Skip & Jump.”

Perhaps I’m dating myself, but that’s what I was watching today when I tuned into the Hero World Challenge to see how Tiger Woods’ swing looked.

Not encouraging.

Still very restricted lower body on the pivot, still squatting into the transition (as I’ve said one will often do to try to build leverage & momentum that is not there because of the restricted hip back swing, compared to the leverage you get from the top when you freely move the hips), and a very big leading foot jump through impact.

So basically, the same way he’s been swinging for some time, except that his tempo seemed super-fast (especially the back swing) and now that he’s feeling pain-free from the spinal fusion, he’s able to put more zip into it – for now

So, he’s attacking the ball the way he did before the back problems appeared in late 2013 (first surgery was in early ’14 but the damage was done the previous season), and he’ll likely get away with it for a while.

I wasn’t watching to see how he’d putt (O.K.) or chip (badly) or score (so-so on a course he’s played a million times), I just wanted to see how he swung.

While everyone is excited about his drives and swing speed – remember, he was among the longest and fastest in the game when he was tearing up his knee, and now he’s swinging hard again with that left-biased address:


The angle is not face-on, but anyone can see that this is definitely not a right-biased address, and of course he can’t address the ball right-biased if he’s still planting the leading heel because of his left knee instability.

It seems he’s determined to be a big bomber again, and that heaving, flailing action might be producing decent speed (I saw one of his drives clocked at 180 mph ball speed, which is in the high end), but remember that he didn’t break his back overnight – he did it at 39 years of age after four years of swinging this way with Sean Foley.

Of course, every drive that found the fairway was declared a perfect swing, and of course, there was a little flaw found by the analysts when he blew one so far right he hit a provisional, and here are the “perfect” and the “flawed” swings side-by-side:


If you don’t see a difference, that’s because they’re virtually identical. But since the left swing found the fairway, it was “perfect,” with all sorts of glowing praise, and because the right swing went sideways, there were all sorts of problems with it.

The clip from which I got these swings didn’t have the slo-mo face-on shot that re-played on the right miss, but the “3 To 9” phase was… not good…

I was hoping to have something positive to say about the swing, but it’s the same old thing – a tweak here, or there, but the same restricted hips, violent change of direction, dipping head and jumping foot.

In fact, a couple of drives, he seems to be completely off the ground with both feet.

Don’t Believe Me?


I would say that the way he was going after the ball today was not the way a 42 year old guy with spinal fusion surgery 7 months in the rear-view mirror should be doing it.

So if that’s how he’s going to swing going forward…

Don’t get too comfortable watching him play.

I could be wrong of course…

Time will tell, but there’s my two cents.


Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?


If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Tiger Woods’ Hop-Skip & Jump

    1. D Watts Post author

      Indeed, Peter.

      I’m not too concerned with the jumping at impact for the back’s sake, just pointing out how hard he’s going at it. The real problem is what he’s still doing on the back swing.

      As for Lexi… back issues at 21 (she’s 22 now but the article is a year old)… again, the jumping shows how hard she’s going at it, but with a restricted hip back swing… big surprise, right? 😉

      Reply
  1. peterallenby2013

    Agreed! And here’s the true head scratcher: Tiger had the chance to completely re-tool his swing – a year on the sidelines and no pressure to return to defend this or that. Instead of emulating the greatest golf swings around – vintage Nicklaus, Singh, Casper, Venturi, Snead, etc. etc.. etc, guys who paved the pathway to safe powerful golf swing,he goes back to the body crunching swing that landed him in the hands of the back surgeon and knee surgeon..

    I get it if you’re young and trying to make a pile of money and garner fame, trophies, and glory – However misguided it might be, these youngsters have a swing that works…for now…They will not risk a year of their careers to re-tool…Not a great outlook for the health of the young stars..unless you are a back surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon!

    Reply
    1. D Watts Post author

      And here’s the true head scratcher: Tiger had the chance to completely re-tool his swing – a year on the sidelines and no pressure to return to defend this or that.

      Instead of emulating the greatest golf swings around – vintage Nicklaus, Singh, Casper, Venturi, Snead, etc. etc.. etc, guys who paved the pathway to safe powerful golf swing,he goes back to the body crunching swing that landed him in the hands of the back surgeon and knee surgeon…

      Nothing I can really add to that, Peter. Right on the money, and something that I’ve been wondering for years, actually.

      I’ve asked the same thing about Michelle Wie, and the problem is that one I’ve articulated – they are seeking instruction from people who don’t know proper kinesiology or biomechanics.

      If anyone earned a degree in either of those fields and promote or teach a planted-heel, restricted-hip golf swing, their degrees are not worth the paper upon which they’re printed.

      It’s the modern day equivalent of having earned an astro-physics degree with a thesis that the earth is flat – worthless degree, bogus science, and that is your modern golf swing.

      So, until that changes, we’ll continue to see what we’re seeing on television – otherwise good to great athletes breaking their bodies with junk-science golf swing theory.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s