Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tiger Woods 2

It seems like these pundits believe no one understands Ball Flight Laws and all that's associated with them. I think that they can rest assured that Tiger has hit enough balls already in his lifetime to be able to sort these types of things out himself.
What I would suggest to Tiger is to dig it out of the dirt. Neither Hogan, Trevino nor Norman had the benefit of the modern technology available to Tiger. Unbeknown to the internet pundits, Tiger has had access to launch monitors before they became the "in thing". In fact in the Haney project, I believe I saw Hank fitting Ray Romano on Trackman. I'm sure they have Trackman and other sophisticated equipment at "The Oven" (Nike Golf's R&D Lab) where Tiger is king. In fact if Tiger wanted to use Trackman, I guarantee you he'd have one at his door first thing in the morning, along with as many technicians as he wanted; of course this would all arrive free of charge or the people at Trackman may even pay him.

When going through crisis, the hardest place to be is inside your own head. Ben Hogan escaped from the world by cocooning himself on the practice range. He found a place where all he needed to worry about was trajectory, shape and impact. Tiger is going to need a place similar to that. The only difference between Tiger and Hogan is that Tiger doesn't have to rely solely on divots and ball flight. Tiger has the resources to build a state of the art training/practice facility, something with every bell and whistle ever imaginable. A place where he can find solace and peace, a place where he can be one with the ball. Where he can swing without a care in the world, just like when he was a kid:

And BTW he really is that Good:

Hit em Straight


  1. Tiger seems to understand the big facet of the ball flight laws, that the clubface is primarily responsible for the initial ball flight direction. But I'm not certain he knows exactly how path affects the flight and I don't think he has any idea of the effects attack angle have on ball flight.

    He's got a -3* attack angle with the driver, which is pretty steep and moves the path out to the right. His driver swing path is WELL out to the right. He's lost distance, yet still is in the top 5 in clubhead speed. Why? His attack angle is too steep with the woods.

    And while he understands what the face does to the ball flight, IMO he makes the mistake of working on the Clubhead path first when he struggles. Whereas I think the face is far harder to control, regardless of your level of play, and should be addressed first with most golfers with swing issues. Tiger could have a perfectly square to the target path, but if his clubface is wide open at impact, it won't do him any good.

    It's the same reason why Ray Romano struggled mightily so far in 'The Haney Project'....working on the path and ignoring the clubface.

    I think 'digging it out of the dirt' is far easier said than done. Hogan sought the advice of plenty of pros on his swing 'post secret' so he wasn't averse of seeking a different view.

    And if my thoughts on Tiger's lack of understanding D-Plane is correct, it's not a bad thing. It doesn't make him stupid. It makes him like the overwhelming majority of golfers who just didn't *exactly* understand how key parts like the clubpath and the attack angle effect the ball.

    I'd rather see him understand the new ball flight laws down pat, get a few things changed so he can greatly reduce or eliminate his glaring issues, then dig the rest out of the dirt and from time to time take some advice from different instructors/golf pros and use his knowledge to spit out the bad stuff and take in the good stuff.


  2. Hi Rich,
    Thanks for your comments,
    How would you know what Tiger's level of understanding of the ball flight laws is? It seems to me that Tiger works the ball at will and it seems to take the shape he wants and land where it is supposed to.
    Once again Tiger is arguably the best ball striker out there, I've witnessed this first hand, one on one, when we bought him here to Randall's Island for his foundation.
    I think the D-Plane in Tiger's case isn't an issue at all.
    With regard to Hogan, he sought very little advice from anybody. The only two that come to mind are, Henry Picard and Wild Bill Melhorn. What Hogan did was emulate what other pros who were enjoying any sort of success were doing and decide if it was feasible for him. He rarely credited anybody.
    I've already pointed out that Tiger can win despite bad instruction, how can anybody make a statement like: "I don't think he has any idea of the effects attack angle have on ball flight".
    Do you actually believe that?
    Once again, Tiger has hit millions of balls over a lifetime, most "Dead Solid Perfect". He would have to be a total idiot not to be able discern the difference. Or he must have his head in the sand and in total denial. I'm sure he's been scientifically measured every which way but upside down, including the 3d device they used at EA sports to create his video game. And all the geometric possibilities have been explained to him every which way but loose.
    Unfortunately we can't get Tiger to chime in on this, because I'd be interested in hearing his take on it.
    My belief is that is that his steep angle of attack with the Driver is a by-product of poor instruction and something he could have corrected himself if he hadn't had someone on the payroll who was supposed to correct it for him.
    With regards to "digging it out of the dirt being easier said than done" I doubt that's the case with Tiger, he probably knows his swing better than any tour player out there and save for having the "Yips" with the driver, he is far and away one of the best ball strikers on tour despite all the poor instruction he's received.
    Only time will tell.


  3. An addendum to what I said about Hogan, many people credit themselves with having worked with Hogan, among them Byrd and Austin; to what extent?
    Who knows


  4. Byrd and Austin certainly worked with Hogan. I think they gave them their thoughts on the swing and what they do and Hogan fiddled around with it and kept the stuff he thought was valid and could work with and junked the rest.

    Tiger has stated that the initial ball flight is due to the clubface, but has never attacked that problem when it comes to his swing because it's never been fixed and he almost never talks about it with his swing...it's all about 'staying on plane.'

    And the overwhelming majority of PGA Tour pros I've talked to have zero idea what the ball flight laws are and I can think of some instructors who work with these guys that would say the same exact thing.

    I don't get too much into the rehab part with Tiger now because I do believe you can go to rehab and still work on your swing and I believe you can do all of that and find a new coach.

    Hogan may have said he was happy to hit a couple of good shots a round, but he hit an inordinate amount of fairways and greens and shots really close. Tiger *used* to be that way, but no longer was the same under Haney. And Butch Harmon couldn't beat Tiger, but when they were together he was hitting it at a level perhaps nobody has ever seen before.

    I just don't believe that Tiger understands the ball flight laws and I think he has 2 glaring issues with his swing. His grip doesn't allow him to square the face as often as he should and his path with the driver is too far out to the right, partially because his attack angle is too steep.

    He looks confused out there to me and I think D-Plane clears the fog a bit, then he can be like Hogan and dig it some of it out of the dirt and if he wants some advice on how other instructors do things, he can see how it is tune with the *objective* impact conditions.

    And according to a friend of mine who asked Trackman founder Fredrik Tuxen about Trackman and top 100 instructors, he stated that most of the top 100 instructors have Trackman, but only a very select few use it for teaching like Martin Hall. Tuxen also told him that's exactly why Trackman really focuses on marketing its teaching capabilities because the clubmakers will buy it, but they can't get it into the teaching pros heads that it's not just a fitting tool.


  5. That's Okay,
    We can agree to disagree, I can't get myself to believe that Tiger is that oblivious to these things.
    Now what's there to fix? Tiger has one of the Highest winning percentages in PGA Tour history.

    Why does he need a coach? Other than to provide moral support.


  6. Oh and BTW

    Tiger's record with Butch Harmon 1996-2002: 128 events - 34 wins - 8 Majors --33%

    Tiger's record with Hank Haney 2004-2009: 84 events -27 wins- 6 majors--39%

    They look almost identical to me, in fact he had a higher winning percentage with Haney. Goes back to my point about Coaches being overrated, they get too much credit and too much blame.