|Tiger Woods Can Own His Swing
Copyright 2006 EA Tischler - New Horizons Golf Approach. All rights reserved.
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I believe Tiger Woods in on a quest to own his golf swing. I’ve watched him since he was a junior growing up in
Southern California. As a young man, he built sound swing fundamentals, and many of his natural attributes
appeared. As his body matured, he developed many techniques that have suited him well throughout his career –
for example, his famous “Stinger” shot. Along the way, he has said that only a few golfers in history have truly
owned their swings, among them Ben Hogan, Moe Norman and Lee Trevino. Though Tiger has sought out the
instruction of Butch Harmon and Hank Haney in his the quest, I believe he is yet to find the Secrets to Owning His
Most teaching professionals delve in theory and techniques instead of sound biomechanics. And to Own Your
Swing, you need to understand how your body is built and what biomechanical options match your machinery. This
is precisely what Power3Golf does, whether you are Joe Weekend Golfer or Tiger Woods.
In this chapter, I will outline my thoughts of Tiger’s swing, and do so in relation to Power3Golf biomechanics. To be
fair, I have never worked with Tiger Woods and have never been able to test his body mechanics with the
Power3Golf System. But I have been able to develop an understanding of what works for him from closely
observing his swing and tendencies over the years. And when you get right down to it, biomechanics are about
what truly works for the individual.
If you fight your body mechanics, you will struggle with your performance, even if you are one of the greatest ever
to play the game. You will also be confused when your swing is off, which is something Tiger has confessed to
being at times during the past couple of years.
Keep in mind that the observations I am presenting are simply those, observations. It is impossible to be certain of
the exact biomechanical package Tiger needs to Own His Swing until he is tested properly. However, given my
knowledge of and experiences with the Power3 Golf system I feel my analysis is educated, well founded and
Also, remember that when we are observing golfers, we are actually viewing what they are doing as compared to
what they are ideally built to do. Athletic and talented golfers can get away with using body mechanics that are less
than ideally suited to their body types. However, Owning Your Swing requires knowing “what you are” and how to
build a swing with the biomechanical feature/options your body owns.
Throughout the rest of this Chapter, I will tackle Tiger’s swing in relation to each of the 12 Power3Golf features.
During the discussion, I will comment on which options I believe Tiger’s body owns and which ones he has used
even though they are mismatched for his body mechanics. The fact is, Tiger has employed a variety of
biomechanical options while developing his techniques over the years.
I am sure Tiger’s coaches have made a lot of logical arguments for the techniques they recommended. But I
suspect they were often based on theory rather than what Tiger’s body is really built to do best. Coaches like to
study a great player like Hogan and argue how every golfer is wise to copy some aspect of his technique. Other
teachers like to contend that their research has uncovered the one best way of playing, and their plan is to fit each
golfer into that mold. Unfortunately, both approaches fail in the task of helping golfers Own Their Swings.
If you study the great golfers who learned to own their swings, you’ll find they are mainly, if not totally, self-taught. I
have some insight to this matter, for I am primarily self-taught. I found my secrets by understanding my body
mechanics and discovering exactly what worked best for my body type. After doing so, I made a commitment to
figure out how each golfer could come to own his or her own swing, and that has been the goal of Power3 Golf.
If Tiger truly wants to own his swing, I am certain he can discover his secrets with the Power3 Golf approach. The
first step involves testing his body to uncover the feature/options that truly match his biomechanics. Then, the
acquired knowledge needs to be applied in such a way that he can execute the types of shots he wants to play.
OK, let’s get into his biomechanics and start shedding some light on how Tiger can actually do that.
As we study Tiger’s Swing Path, we get some good clues that he owns the Side-On option. Two things in particular
convince me of that. The first comes from Tiger using the term “Arcing” in relation to the type of swing shape he
uses very effectively.
Another clue is a drill that Tiger used for over a year after switching over to Hank Haney. It involved consciously
performing the follow-through into the finish position. That was done while he focused on the club and right arm
riding up the plane of the stroke, and he did so in such a way that nearly mimicked Hogan’s follow-through. To me,
that was a clear sign that Tiger was executing a Side-On action, because it happens to be the exact drill I have
used for years to help Side-On golfers improve that aspect of their biomechanics. While performing that action,
Side-On golfers complete the finish position with the right shoulder higher than the left shoulder.
As Side-On actions are very strong in their horizontal influences, finishing with a high right shoulder adds verticals
into the stroke, helping balance out the Side-On action. I’ve heard TV commentators criticizing Tiger for finishing
with a high right shoulder, and they point to it as a reason for playing poor shots. I disagree. For one thing, Tiger
finishes with his right shoulder higher than his left on his good shots, and every time they point to it as a flaw, I can
see one of the other biomechanical features out of position.
Maybe the most convincing observation about Tiger being Side-On is that it is one of the things he has done since
he was a junior. When he was 16 years old, Golf Digest published a sequence of his swing. And we can see that
during delivery, his dominant forearm faces in the Side-On direction. The impact position is captured clearly in that
sequence as well, and the inside of Tiger’s right forearm is facing horizontally toward the target, a definite Side-On
alignment. If we view Tiger’s swing today, we will still see that Side-On alignment.
As Tiger worked with Butch Harmon, there was a tendency to trend toward an Under Alignment. Even so, Tiger’s
natural tendency was to initiate the stroke Side-On, transition into an Under attitude, and then recover into a Side-
On delivery. As a matter of fact, when Tiger maintained his Side-On alignments during the takeaway and delivery,
he striped his shots – as with his famous “Stinger.” It was when he crept Under too much that his shots lost
accuracy. And that is clear evidence to me that he owns Side-On attributes – at least to some degree
When we study Tiger’s Swing Track, it is clear he is a Mid-Track golfer. For example, his left arm swings across his
shoulder line at the top of the backstroke as compared to being aligned either below, or above, it. Though at times
Tiger’s Swing Track has drifted up into the high side of Mid-Track, it has generally remained a Mid-Track option.
Another telling sign is that his stroke remains on-plane at the top of the backstroke. When it creeps up to the high
side of Mid-Track, the club begins to cross the line at the top. Though it can work for some golfers, Tiger finds it
hard to Slot and Link his stroke effectively when his stroke crosses the line at the top of the backstroke.
By studying Tiger’s Wrist Lever Action, we see that he used Horizontal Hinging when he was younger, then
transitioned to Vertical Hinging for a while and is now using Diagonal Hinging. I believe Tiger plays his best golf
with Horizontal Hinging. He used it all the way through the 1997 Masters and was one of the straightest drivers in
the game. It was evident he used Horizontal Hinging because his clubface faced more to the sky at the top of the
backstroke than what is traditionally taught.
Of course, Tiger occasionally missed drives, as all professionals do. But his misses were always pushes to the
right. After making a bunch of swing changes on a quest to own his swing, his misses now go right AND left.
I believe that is in part because he now manages the clubface in a manner that requires more clubface rotation
through the ball then it did with Horizontal Hinging. In his case, Horizontal Hinging works much better with his Side-
On Swing Path than either Vertical or Diagonal Hinging.
I find it interesting that when Tiger won the 1997 Masters, people criticized him for performing actions that were
biomechanically sound. I believe he was encouraged to move away from some of those because they were either
misunderstood or failed to fit the model of the coaches with whom he was working. The fact is, you can argue
theory all day long, and in the end you just have an argument, one that is either accepted or rejected.
With Power3 Golf, I have strove to find definitive tests so the golfer can actually experience what works best for
their bodies. If he can experience the reality of his or her biomechanical structure, the knowledge is accepted
without argument. Simply put, the tests prove to the individual that the discovered biomechanical options are truly
the ones he or she owns. I would love to have the opportunity to work with Tiger to show him the value of the
Power3 Golf tests and the Secrets of Owning His Swing.
As far as Tiger’s Lever Delivery Action is concerned, I believe he performs best with the Cornering option. It is
something I feel he got away from with Butch Harmon’s coaching - and got back to with Hank Haney. With Harmon,
Tiger’s release became more extending and was completed much higher in the follow-through. With Haney, it
became completed with the clubhead lower, actually below the hands, and then corners up the plane in the follow-
Keep in mind the actions Butch Harmon worked on with Tiger are valid options for those they biomechanically fit.
They are even good for those who have little concern for biomechanics and simply want to manipulate the
As a matter of fact, many of Butch’s principles match my biomechanics, and I use them in my swing. However, my
inclination is to believe that Tiger sought advice from someone else because he struggled with completing the
process of owning his swing with Harmon.
Being arguably the best to ever play the game, Tiger finds ways to win, or at least contend, when swinging poorly.
As Greg Norman once said, Tiger’s greatest strength is his 15th club, his mind. The same was true of Jack
Nicklaus. His most winning years were accomplished with a swing that was the least biomechanically sound.
Though he won with such deficiencies, he ended up experiencing injuries that I believe could have been avoided.
It is also my opinion that under Hank Haney’s coaching, Tiger has regained some of his natural body mechanics. I
get the sense that Tiger instinctively knows so. However, something is still missing – thus, the confusion.
Once Tiger began working with Hank Haney, I’ve seen him regain nine of the 12 Power3 Golf features that suit
Tiger’s body type. Of course, a few of these still fluctuate because they are most likely only partly understood.
The real confusion, though, can be found in the three feature/options that are yet to be discovered and
incorporated by Tiger. They are Swing Linkage, Swing Slotting and Postural Release, and they are simply
overlooked because their importance is yet to be truly understood.
Let’s get back to the biomechanics. As far as Swing Anchor is concerned, it seems Tiger swings his best when
employing Center Anchor techniques. He sheds light on this himself when he talks about playing low shots such as
the “Stinger.” I’ve heard him discuss how he resists the urge to get on his left side to play low shots. It is easy to
play low shots as a Front Anchor golfer.
So many instructors encourage their students to stay more on the front leg to drive shots lower. As far as
fundamentals and techniques are concerned, it is sound advice. However, when applying your biomechanics,
there are better options.
While playing the ball low, Tiger also keeps the ball up in the stance, which encourages him to keep from playing a
Right Anchor version. But Tiger remains Center Anchor, keeping the ball forward and driving his hands ahead of
the ball while delofting the club. Interestingly, he achieves Center Linkage doing that, an option I also believe suits
him best. The way I see it, his “Stinger” shot is one of the few shots that seem to always have a complete
When Tiger was working with Butch Harmon, he often maintained his Center Anchor balance, especially when
playing control shots. And that is one of the things that contributed to his accuracy during the Tiger Slam.
However, throughout that period, Tiger’s anchor often drifted while playing power shots, and that regularly sent
Therefore, I believe he chose to use the strategy of playing more Stingers and control shots. I also believe he
thought that strategy was limiting. He knows he can Own His Swing and he knows doing so will allow him to own
effortless power with maximum precision.
Tiger has always been a Full Torque golfer, playing golf from the ground up. This is one reason why he has
always been one of the most powerful players in the game. He was long as a junior, long in college, and even long
in 2000 and 2001 when he joked about the young kids on Tour starting to power it past him. Tiger grounds his feet
well, coils his shoulders fully and allows everything in between to torque. That is the definition of full torque.
Though at times he has worked on restricting his backstroke hip turn, we can see the active lower body move in the
transition guaranteeing full torque was in play.
As for Clearing, Tiger uses the Tailbone Clear option. This is the same move Sam Snead employed, and in doing
so, they both seem to use a squatting version that is reminiscent of each other. Even so, I believe this is an area
that can be improved. Snead softened that move as he got older because it was harder and harder for the fast
twitch muscles to recover the posture needed to deliver the stroke precisely. Nevertheless, Tailbone Clear golfers
often have such a squatting presence during the clearing action.
Tiger’s Axis of Symmetry seems to be Center Line. Though he sometimes appears to use the Spine Line option
when his Anchor drifts, his head seems to be more stationary when he employs Center Anchor technique with a
sound biomechanical package. Once again, I look to the “Stinger” shot to point it out. Because I believe the
“Stinger” is produced by one of his most biomechanically sound swings.
When we talk about Tiger’s Swing Linkage, we get to see one of the three missing pieces in the process of him
Owning His Swing. Tiger plays best using Center Zone Linkage. When he executes Rear Linkage biomechanics,
he gets, in his own words, “Stuck!” When he gets his arms in front of his body before delivery, he gains
tremendous precision. He started saying so while working with Harmon and continued to say so with Haney.
Thus, in my opinion, there is a black hole of confusion as far as Linkage is concerned and a huge opportunity to
close the gap on Owning His Swing. All he has to do is understand the true workings of Center Zone Linkage and
find a way to incorporate its application into his techniques, and he will be that much closer to Owning His Swing.
Remember, it works wonders in his “Stinger.”
Swing Slotting presents another opportunity to close the gap. Tiger tends to deliver the stroke in the Hip-Plane
Slot. However, I believe he is better off doing so in the Torso-Plane Slot.
It is clear he drives the ball straightest and longest with that Swing Slotting option. He often gets stuck or too steep
when trying to apply power with Hip-Plane. He does, however, manage Hip-Plane Slotting well with control and
trajectory shots. Even so, I believe it is more work than needs be.
Interestingly enough, when Tiger plays the “Stinger,” he supinates with his left wrist and hand through impact. As
he does so, his hands ride higher then when returning in the Hip-Plane Slot. In essence, that move helps him
deliver the stroke in the Torso-Plane Slot.
While viewing Tiger’s Postural Release, it is evident he uses the Post-Up option. Tiger’s left leg posts vigorously
during delivery. He has often been criticized for doing so, and some critics say it is why he hurt his knee. I
disagree. He had existing issues with the knee, some from childhood. Players like Sam Snead and Ben Hogan
also posted vigorously, and they were successful doing so. In Tiger’s case, his left knee hyper-extends when his
Anchor drifts ahead of the proper Center Anchor alignment. Thus, when the posting occurs so vigorously, the
knee snaps back. When Tiger maintains his Center Anchor alignments, the leg simply straightens vigorously
without hyper-extending, and the Post-Up actions is sound.
Once the Post-Up is completed, Tiger’s cornering release achieves its full extension, and his torso releases upward
to a high right shoulder finish. This is the byproduct of the Side-On finishing drill I mentioned earlier. It is also the
completion of the Post-Up Postural Release option.
One additional attribute of that process is the upward stretching of the head and sternum at the end of the delivery
action. That helps counter balance the action and fully stretch the Cornering Release, and Tiger performed that
very well while working with Hank Haney.
Tiger has used both the Wide-Narrow and Deep-Deep Arch Management options. When performing the Wide-
Narrow option, Tiger seems to be less wide in the backstroke than the classic Wide-Narrow users such as Jack
Nicklaus and Davis Love III. Additionally, he seems to be a little wider coming down.
While using the Deep-Deep option, he seems to have a little more width going back than most of the golfers
employing the standard Deep-Deep action. He also appears to be more narrow coming down than the standard
Deep-Deep pattern. This reminds me that everything biomechanical happens in a manner of degrees.
It is clear that when Tiger employs too much of a Wide-Narrow attitude, he gets stuck and/or too steep. It is also
apparent when that when he performs the Deep-Deep option, he is able to Slot and Link more consistently. Even
so, it seems he still struggles with the process when he executes a perfectly Deep-Deep action.
With all that in mind, I see Tiger as owning Deep-Deep biomechanics with slightly wider-than-average depth going
back and slightly more narrow-than-average depth during the down stroke. And that’s alright because everything
happens in a manner of degrees.
In conclusion, I believe if Tiger would maintain a Center Anchor pivot action with Horizontal Hinging, Center Zone
Linkage and Torso-Plane Slotting, he would be well on his way to Owning His Swing. Of course, it would be ideal to
test him for each feature/option and be able to determine for certain exactly which options fit him and to a manner
of what degrees. Tiger Can Own His Swing Too!
Founder of the New Horizons Golf Approach
The following observations about Tiger Woods Swing and how he can Own it are written By EA Tischler, and taken
from his book Secrets of Owning Your Swing. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved.
|New Horizons Golf Approach
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