SIGOLF+ asked Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers what they think is Tiger Woods's biggest issue. The highest percentage of the Top 100 says Woods's problem is all in his head, but the next four highest-rated trouble areas -- Tiger's bum left knee, his driving, putting and coaching -- are directly related to swing mechanics, and many of the Top 100 offered detailed, and in one case whimsical, fixes to Woods's issues. Here are the best.\n
By Jim Suttie
Tiger has gotten way off track and into a swing method: He is stacking and tilting. This does not fit Tiger's body or the way he was taught as a kid. When we learn something that works and is natural, we shouldn't abandon it in an attempt to be perfect.
In defense of Sean Foley, Tiger is probably hard to teach and a selective listener, but pure and simple, Tiger's new swing doesn't fit the way his body wants to move. A wider, higher swing is better for him and matches his naturally aggressive, fast-turning hips. A higher swing will also give him more room to get his arms past his body on the downswing. A flatter shoulder turn would allow him to make a better weight transfer on the backswing. He also has to get back to releasing the club naturally and not guiding and steering the club through impact. Tiger should trust his athleticism and go back to what works. He will break Jack Nicklaus's record if he goes back to a more natural motion.
By T.J. Tomasi
Listen to what Tiger says: "How I release the putter, how I release the short game, how I release irons, the driver -- they're all related. You can't have one swing [for one phase of the game] and then have another. They're all interrelated."
Woods needs to abandon the idea that all swings -- from chipping and sand shots to the full swing and putting -- are the same. First, the swing planes for the various parts of the game are different. The wrist set is different, the pressure transfers are different, the shoulder action is different, the ball positions differ, the clubface positions at address and throughout the swing are different. It has been documented through radar testing that you generally need two swings: One with the driver and a different one with the irons with the ball on the ground. It's no wonder that neither Butch Harmon nor Hank Haney tried to change Tiger's short game, which would be like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
By Jim Suttie
Tiger was the best putter in the game for years. He never missed an eight-footer when something was on the line. He is now decelerating into the ball. He looks like he is afraid of missing. That deceleration is causing his clubface to open.
Woods should try to take all the hit out of his stroke and go back to making the backstroke and the forward stroke the same speed and the same distance. He used to release the putter with his arms. Now he's not doing that.
By Brady Riggs
In his old swing with Butch Harmon, Tiger allowed his head to move laterally away from the target during the backswing. This shifted weight from his left foot to his right. When looking at the new position, you can see the torque put on his left knee. He is pivoting on the front foot during the backswing, placing an even heavier burden on an already shaky left leg. This is a classic Catch-22: He has a new method that needs a great deal of repetition. Unfortunately, the new method puts more strain on his knee, which limits how much he can practice.
Go back to the future. Tiger needs to work back to the pivot and wider position at the top that saw him dominate the game earlier in his career.
Second Opinion, by T. J. Tomasi
Walk like Bigfoot. It takes practice to walk like a Sasquatch, but you learn to use your thigh muscles to plant the leg and control the motion. Most people overuse their hips and shoulders, causing the knees to hyperextend. The knees are bent as you walk, and there's no locking out the knee. The Sasquatch style looks funny but can save an injured knee.