Top 25 coach Ged Walters analyses the 15-time Major winner's game...
6 Things You Can Learn From Tiger Woods
1 Textbook address
Tiger creates ideal angles with his body at address, so he’s in the ‘ready’ position for an athletic, consistent movement. He has a slight knee flex, he bends forward from the hips and his arms hang straight down from his shoulders. Often amateurs fail to pay enough attention to these basic elements, but they are the foundation of a good swing!
2 Clear strategy
Tiger always talks about staying with his process – his plan of how to negotiate his way around the course. He seems to have a very clear idea of the shape he wants to create on every shot (taking into account the trouble, the wind direction and other factors). Now, you might not have the ability to mix up fades, draws and punches, but you should at least try to visualise how you expect a good shot to fly, while also taking into account the areas you really don’t want to hit the ball. This helps create a sensible strategy and a positive mindset before you play.
3 Fades: feel is key
We saw at The Masters that under pressure, Tiger tends to favour a fade. Having a go-to shape is important and a fade is a slightly more gentle ball flight so it is a good safety option. Even when he hits a fade, Tiger still has some degree of clubface rotation through impact. The key is to feel like you swing more left (right-hander) and keep the face pointing towards the target for longer through impact. These are simple swing thoughts that you should be able to rely on when you are trying to build a score for real.
4 Don’t aim at danger
Tiger very rarely aims towards any of the danger on a shot he is shaping. He looks to be aiming down the right side for a draw or the left side for a fade, so bear this in mind when you’re trying to move the ball, just in case you don’t get the amount of curve you’ve allowed for. Aim away from the danger and shape the ball back towards your target.
5 Putting: ball position
Tiger always has the blade of his putter in the centre of his stance so the ball is a fraction forward of his sternum. This encourages a slight upward contact and gets the ball rolling earlier in the putt. If your ball position creeps too far back, you’ll hit the ball into the ground, it will jump after impact and you’ll have a weaker roll as a result.
6 Putting: trail-hand drill
One of Tiger’s long-standing putting practice methods is his right-hand-only drill. He uses this when he first steps onto the putting green to help him get the feel for the pace of the green. This drill helps encourage a slight release of the right hand and promotes a good flow to the stroke. The release of the right wrist in particular is a trait he has in his full stroke, helping him control the speed of his putts so well.
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