Tiger's "Over the Top" Rehearsal: Is It a Cut Swing?


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    One neat thing about compiling swings from all kinds of sources and having them at your disposal is that you can draw them up at will to see the evolution of just about any player's swing.  Of course, the swing that most people are interested in is that of Tiger Woods, and here we discuss Tiger's relatively new "over the top" rehearsal swing.  The announcers seem to think he is trying to groove an out to in motion in order to fade the ball, but his shot patterns and in this specific case the shot tracer suggest that that is not correct.  Johnny Miller claims that Tiger's cut is now his bread and butter and that his draw isn't working as well, while Peter Jacobsen said that it looked like Tiger was trying to put cut spin on the ball by swinging hard left, but that it didn't seem like the ball would go left (if it did he wouldn't have been hitting it so well).  
    
     The truth as I see it is that Tiger is evolving out of what Hank Haney had him doing for years (and Sean Foley had him doing for the first bit of their time together), that is dropping the hands straight down in transition, and moving toward a hand path that is initially more outward toward the ball, much like Ben Hogan and more like Tiger's swing before Haney.  That Foley changed course midstream in what he was teaching Tiger (just watch the huge difference between the rehearsal swings of the 2010 Chevron and those of last week) shows me that he is a ballsy guy and that Tiger trusts him completely.  People can say what they want about Foley's eccentricities (I have to roll my eyes at some of his new age psychobabble, and what's up with those glasses?) but his guys swing great and are winning.  If anyone screwed up it has to Sean O'Hair, and I wouldn't be surprised if he showed back up in Foley's camp.  Anyway, I believe it is one of the most compelling swing changes I have ever seen in any player, (much less the greatest player of his generation), and it took place after already starting down a completely different path with a new instructor.  And the fact that it's working out grandly makes it extra cool.

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    12 Comments

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    1. Hey Wayne, Wouldn't the move to bring the hands more towards the ball leaning the club on the ball as opposed to more of a dropping the hands from the top of the swing to the inside cause a slowing of the leg action just as dropping causes a slowing of the upper body as you mentioned here? In that the leg kick would invariably have less support and spring from the right leg than you would otherwise with a more drop action of the hands? Can this occurrence lend itself to timing and accuracy complications? Thanks, Mike

    2. If Woods wouldve kept that same swing from years back. he'd be retired from golf already. No way his body wouldve been able to handle it. way to violent.

    3. My understanding is this simply brings the hands more around and less down, so the clubhead is on the hand plane and not below it. Below plane tends to lead to blocks and snap hooks so he's simply grooving to ensure that doesnt happen.

    4. I watched your video, and I tried to copy this. I have always hit hard hooks when I play poorly and never understood why. You sent me some info, I watched your videos, and now I am finally understanding golf. Please keep it up.

    5. Rehearsals: what you feel and what is real are usually not the same, BUT they do help change 35 year old fingerprints. Tiger is FINALLY realizing that 'level shoulders…or trying to achieve level shoulders'' and 'cover' at impact is MUCH more efficient than 'hang back' and 'spin/flip'. I strongly believe Butch was working towards this 12 years ago. Good stuff, Wayne D!

    6. Ok, I have only watched the video up to 1:20 but here's my pre-game thoughts. Tiger is making this swing as a simple exaggeration. As we all know Tifer dropped the hands straight down with haney along with his "compression" which with his aggressive move cause the club to get a little behind him sometimes. To make the move that Foley wants he has to feel like he's coming over the top that much. It's a great example of "Feel is not Real"