Tiger Woods’ Back Swing @ The Farmers

I don’t think I have too much that I have to add to the gif. swings I’ve made for this posting, of Tiger Woods at the Farmer Insurance Open last weekend.

For some reason, I’ve been having a devil of a time finding clips of TW from certain angles, as they mostly seem to be down the line views or up the line from down the fairway.

I’m wondering if that’s by design, but when I did find a couple of swings from angles which I wanted, I had to say, “Oh boy…”

And that’s all I’ll say, except to tell you where to watch and what.

On the below gif. watch the footwork coming through impact:

Again, if anyone is wondering what is going on with his fairways hit from the tee, just go out and try to drive a straight ball with all of that foot action, especially the leading one through impact.

I also noticed something above that you can see even better in the below gif. – Tiger’s hip turn and left knee stop halfway through the back swing, and then that violent change of direction…

If you have the stomach, I took another angle on a driver and began the gif. where the hips stop turning.  For good measure, watch the middle back at the top and in the change of direction starting back down.

If you think that back is twisted at the top, wait til the hips start back:

Forgive me for saying that I don’t believe the spine is meant to sustain that type of twisting force.

As I said in a much earlier posting about the spine fusion TW underwent – if you fuse the spot that you injured twisting your back and then subjecting it to violent changes of direction and you continue to swing that way, you’re just transferring the twisting forces to another part of the un-fused spine

And I believe that anyone who proclaimed this swing to be the cat’s pajamas…

… should be forced, under extreme duress if necessary, to hit a bucket of balls doing exactly what you’re seeing above.

Then get back to me…

And how long that above is going to last is anyone’s guess, but my back hurts just looking at that.


12 thoughts on “Tiger Woods’ Back Swing @ The Farmers

    1. D Watts Post author

      Needless to say, I disagree with Chamblee. The swing looks as horrific as it ever did in his back region, and this from the article:

      Last week, Chamblee noted, Woods swung at 118 m.p.h., not that different from the 124 m.p.h. Tiger recorded in 2008, when he won four tour events.

      No need to go back to 2008 – he averaged 118 mph in club speed his last full season in 2013 (and there is a significant difference between 118 and 124 mph club speed, which is a 5% difference) when he won 5 events and POTY:

      He then went on to have his 1st back surgery after the season ended.

      That he’s swinging at 124 mph now does not bode well for his back, 5 years older and off 4 surgeries.

  1. targettom

    I wonder if he is getting shots in his back to numb pain. It’s hard to imagine he can twist like that repeatedly without some kind of pain or inflammation.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Well… considering his former swing coach (Sean Foley) said years ago when TW was with him that pain is part of the pro game… you’ve made an interesting point, Tom.

      I saw some Tweets from the TigerTracker on Twitter where some people felt he was moving a little gingerly at times yesterday, but I haven’t noticed anything myself.

      I just wonder how long a 42 year old guy is going to swing that hard with a twist like that before he snaps in two.

      I can’t predict a timeline as it took years for him to ruin his back in the lower area. Now that it’s fused, he may get to Champions age before he hurts his back again, or maybe he won’t.

      But… watching that move… I wouldn’t be betting on him staying injury-free.

  2. targettom

    Yes, I saw the same thing, the past two days he definitely was walking stiffly esp. early in the rounds. That might just be muscle stiffness though. One of the things that one should get into their morning routine is to stretch, for me it is vital to stretch the hip flexers and legs (because I am sitting at a computer much of the day, when I’m not hitting rocks in the snow like this weekend).

  3. David

    a friend was here in Phoenix two weeks ago with Humbray who had the same surgery as Tiger. He said the first 2 years were great and then the pain started. His word is Tiger has 2 pain free years to go then look out. We shall see.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I would disagree with your friend’s prediction, DK, but only to say that it may be overly optimistic!

      Your friend is not (I assume) a professional golfer, and so isn’t one who will spend as much time practicing and playing golf, nor swing as hard as TW will and does.

      So, if your friend only had 2 years’ relief, TW may have much less time than that.

      I make no predictions other than to say no one can swing like that forever. So, it’s a race against the ticking clock.

      1. targettom

        It’s difficult to watch that downswing without thinking “this can’t last”. As someone who has dealt with back injury due to accidents it makes me wince. Last week IIRC his friend Notah Begay said they had looked at Chamblee’s classic swing suggestions but that the reason TW does not set up with more of a right side bias or lift his lead heel is because of “restrictions he has because of his back problems”. Ponder that – he seems to actually believe, or has convinced himself, that the same restricted hip/planted foot turn that wrecked his body is the solution rather than a free hip turn. SMH

        1. D Watts Post author

          Last week IIRC his friend Notah Begay said they had looked at Chamblee’s classic swing suggestions but that the reason TW does not set up with more of a right side bias or lift his lead heel is because of “restrictions he has because of his back problems.”

          Well, as I’ve written extensively and in our as we discussed in emails, it is my belief that TW can no longer set up right-biased as he did when he was younger because of his left knee, and of course the back issues now won’t allow that extreme twist and full shoulder turn while over the right leg:

          But that means he still has not clued in that there is another way to swing besides nailing his leading foot to the ground and twisting away.

          I’ll assume he hasn’t even bothered to try to let the heel come up naturally because saying back issues prevent a proper pivot but allow extreme twisting is not only laughable but unbelievable.

          TW is cursed with being able to twist his back to that extent to begin with. If he couldn’t, he would have found the proper way to get a full shoulder turn and leverage with the hips, but he swings the way he swings simply because he can, and that’s not a good thing.

          So, Einstein’s definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results) comes into play, imho.

  4. D Watts Post author

    Watching his tee shots today on 2 and 3 – how does a man practice “swinging left” that extremely with his pre-shot routine and then pound his club when the ball…goes left?

    If you’re swinging that direction, the only shots you’re going to be able to hit are fades – if you get it right.

    The rest will be pulls and pull-hooks. Just saying, but keep on “swinging left,” TW!

    1. D Watts Post author

      128 seems rather high, to be honest. You’re looking at over 190 mph ball speed with a Smash of 1.5, so it’s doubtful TW is getting that high. Could be a glitch in the machine or calibration/algorithm thing but…

      If he is swinging that fast at 42 and after four back surgeries, then he has a secret that know one else in the world knows about.

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