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.