The video starts with a side by side view of Tiger at last year’s Chevron and just last week at the Australian Open in Sydney. What is quite amazing is the difference in the rehearsal swings he takes before each shot, one practicing dropping the hands straight down and almost behind him from the top, and the more recent ones having the hands move well out toward the ball, almost the complete opposite pattern. It has been my contention that since working with Hank Haney Tiger moved towards the vertically dropping hands, and that Foley continued along those lines as they first worked together. The problem with Tiger’s knee has made it difficult to clear his hips in the fashion he has always been accustomed to, and slower leg action makes the dropping hands move problematic in that it discourages upper body rotation. If the lower body is slow and the upper body doesn’t want to open then the chest tends to face the ball more at impact which leads to blocks and flipping hands.
In these swings, which are the best Tiger has made in years, he is, as I mentioned, rehearsing an outward hand move (remember Corey Pavin’s over the top practice swing?) and continuing to swing left through the ball. In his real swing he has gone from having the hands moving straight down from the top to actually having them start down between his feet and the ball, and as a result his left knee is clearing far quicker than even a month ago and his right arm has a ton more room on the approach to impact. This is exciting stuff, and I could see Tiger return to greatness if he stays on this track and keeps improving the technique. It also doesn’t hurt that he seems to be getting the ball up and down again like the Tiger of old. Now, if the putter comes back, watch out.