Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Tom Stickney: Tiger relaxed his way back into playing good golf

Published

on

Well, well, well. In the words of one of my favorite people, PGA Tour caddie Kip Henley, “Tiger ain’t done yet!” (Give him a follow on Twitter. You can thank me later). Kip has been on the Tiger train in the worst of times and it seems after this week that he might have been right all along. I have been a long-time Tiger fan and a big proponent of his quest for knowledge over the last few years, but as with anything, you can take it too far.

As I’ve always said, Tiger has the mental strength of ten Tour pros, but as we all know, he also has the body of a WWE Wrestler from an injury standpoint. Would the swings he has been trying to make actually work or was he getting too deep into mechanics and pushing his body into positions that he just could not achieve with his current physiology?

Could Tiger overcome all of this? Only time would tell, but after his performance at the Valspar Championship, it seems like he has stepped into a time machine and re-appeared as a new person with a new body — swinging his driver up to 129.2 mph.

How did this happen? Everyone is asking me and everyone is wondering. In my opinion, I have the answer and it’s one that is different than what you think. Tiger should send a big thank you to Sean Foley and Chris Como for giving him the right information that he could use to identify the swing that works and feels best for him. Now I know you are going to say, “What about Butch Harmon and Hank Haney?” Yes, they were instrumental in helping Tiger improve in the other stages of his career, but they did it with a different body than he has now. And I am not taking anything away from them, but it wasn’t the same Tiger as we see today.

Sean gave Tiger a more scientific way to understand the swing using TrackMan (with special thanks to James Leitz and his D-Plane model.) This is the information Tiger needed to practice more efficiently and more correctly work on the things that were plaguing his ball flight. Chris gave Tiger a better understanding of how the body and swing work as it pertains to the ground reaction forces and the moment of his center of gravity and pressure. It’s this information that helped supply him with more power and with less mechanical work physically. It’s the combination of these things that has put Tiger where he is now, but one thing had been missing…a clear mind on Tiger’s part.

Thus, the secret at the Valspar was using the information that these gentlemen supplied, but doing so subconsciously and just letting it happen. Like all golfers, Tiger was struggling from paralysis by over-analysis. He was hyper focused on the positions that he needed to put his body into and squashing any real “feel” and “flow” that could help him produce better swings — more relaxed swings — that produced more speed.

As indicated by his motion, whenever you get out of your own way you can swing in a way that makes the ball go a mile and it feels like you are hardly moving. This is precisely what happened to Tiger. Informational freedom coupled with a clear mind allowed Tiger to do what Tiger has always been best at: playing the game of golf, not focusing on positions and the golf swing. However, with the breakdown of his body, it was necessary for him to do so with Sean and Chris so he could get to this point he is in today.

The only problem was that Tiger couldn’t let Tiger relax about his mechanics and continued to hyper-focus on things he should have let go of a long time ago. Sometimes you just have to let it all go and just play. He’s practiced enough to put these things into his muscle memory bank, so it was just waiting to come out. When he relaxed, look what happened.

So, a note for all you golfers working on your swings and focusing too hard on your mechanics: It’s great to look at the inner-workings of your swing and focus on making changes, but remember to leave it on the range and just go play golf. It just might work for you like it has for Tiger!

Your Reaction?
  • 26
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB0
  • SHANK21

Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. 3PuttSometimes

    Apr 29, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Pff…. says the guy that wrote “ tiger is done for/finished” back in 2016.

    O geeze, give me a break Tom Stickney.

    It’s hard to take what you wrote in the closing paragraph/conclusion in this article about “tiger needs to be tiger and stop worrying about his swing and just play golf” seriously.

    Considering how you were ripping on him and about how his career as a pro golfer was done in your 2016 article.

    I’m not a super tiger fanboy, just a recent anti Tom Stickney aka “Jumping ship and riding bandwagoner”.

    I guess at the end of the day, the only thing you are fishing for is views l/clicks to your article. Sigh

  2. Sam Boulden

    Mar 13, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Why should we pay any attention to your analysis when in this article: http://www.golfwrx.com/404384/tiger-woods-is-finished-as-a-professional-golfer/ you said he was done, and the way that he ran his own swing with bits and pieces from the coaches’ teaching was a pig part of the problem?

  3. nyguy

    Mar 13, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    I really got into watching golf around 2011. Saw the downfall of tiger. I really liked watching golf post scandal pre tiger comeback. Now it’s not fun… Its all tiger tiger tiger… I like tiger woods and wish him well, but my god… enough with everything Tiger…..

    • Acemandrake

      Mar 13, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      You are not alone.

      Good or bad, there are many for whom Golf = Tiger and Tiger = Golf. It’s their loss.

  4. John

    Mar 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Tom, do you see Tiger employing more of a “trapping” motion at impact, which potentially permits him to squeeze out a bit more yardage? Seems like his driving iron was taking substantial divots, which is a bit different than Tiger of yesteryear.

  5. Ccshop

    Mar 13, 2018 at 11:13 am

    A flaming bag of poo is the only thing Tiger needs to give Sean Foley

    • James T

      Mar 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Tiger could always sign up for Sean Foley’s late night TV ads of Golf Channel via Revolution Golf. I mean, only if he was missing the guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Podcasts

The 19th Hole (Ep 66): Golf’s next great ideas

Published

on

United Inventors Association President Warren Tuttle joins host Michael Willams to talk about the inventions that will be on display at the 2019 PGA. Also features Brian Fox of Inputt.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Podcasts

On Spec: A little about Ryan Barath, Master Club Builder and fitter

Published

on

Ryan-Barath-On-Spec-podcast

On Spec is a new show with Ryan Barath. Ryan has been working in the golf world for over 16 years and been known as everything from cart boy to Master Club Builder and fitter. In his first episode, Ryan talks about his start with GolfWRX and looking forward to the PGA Show.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Your Reaction?
  • 6
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

Podcasts

TG2: What clubs did Instagram pick for Knudson? Let’s talk some PGA Merchandise Show!

Published

on

Instagram picked Knudson’s clubs he has to play with next week. Rob and Knudson discuss what clubs won the Internet’s heart and are they a good fit? The duo also talk about the PGA Merchandise show and what members in the GolfWRX forums want to see this year.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK18

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending