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19th Hole

Nicklaus: Tiger’s swing is better now than ever



Jack Nicklaus is teeing it with his grandson, G.T., at the PNC Father/Son Challenge. As has been the case since, well, at least 1997, the Golden Bear was asked about the man closest to his record of 18 major championships.

Beyond weighing in on Woods’ win at the Tour Championship or whether he thinks Tiger has a shot at 18 majors, Nicklaus offered his perspective on Woods post-spinal fusion swing, and he likes what he sees…a lot.

“I think his swing is much better now than it ever was. The reason for that is Tiger was very much up and down with his head and I think that put a lot of pressure on his back.

“The fusion that he had, obviously was something he didn’t want but it was something he needed. … I didn’t think he would ever play golf as well as he’s playing.

“I never dreamed that he would play quite as well as he has and that the operation actually leveled out his head and leveled out his swing.”

High praise, indeed! What do you think about the 18-time major winner’s remarks, GolfWRX members?

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  1. Carolinwe

    Dec 18, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Jack played well……what a joke Love’s win by three strokes and they are both playing on TOUR…3 teams of one Pro Father and Amateur Son’s only 3 strokes back….

  2. geohogan

    Dec 17, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    george knudson also had 10-12 inch lateral move :

    I ignored footwork also because I was stuck on golf’s number one misconception … keep the head still. I later learned that the head has to go where the body carries it. The head has nothing to do with the golf swing, the head has no purpose in the swing”

    • Stewart Graham

      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:22 am

      Just how long Will it take for people
      to understand this?
      George Knudson wonderfull swing I watch his video (late 1980s)often To remind me the golf swing is à simple mouvement expressed in a différent way by each golfer. All Tiger has done he has found his swing when was à kid being coached
      by Butch Harmen.

      Stewart Graham pro Golf de Bondues France.

      • ogo

        Dec 18, 2018 at 11:20 pm

        Knudson self-destructed smoking two packs of cigarettes daily…. and died at 52 from lung and brain cancer. Not a good role model.

        • geohogan

          Dec 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm

          Ben Hogan and many other pga golfers smoked. Does that make them bad role models for a golf swing or is that some suffered from cancer that makes them bad role models.

          We are discussing ideas of great swingers of the golf club.

          Your argument sounds much like the feeble one from the coward who got out of serving in the military due to bone spurs:
          that John McCain wasnt a war hero because he was a POW.

    • freowho

      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:36 am

      The head doesn’t but the eyes do. A right hand golfer who is right eye dominant will turn the head to look at the target and follow the ball. A right hand golfer who is left eye dominant will lift the head to look at the target and follow the ball. If the left eye dominant golfer turns the head they can’t focus on the target well. Turning the head turns the body. Lifting the head lifts the body and creates an over the top move.

      • geohogan

        Dec 18, 2018 at 10:05 am

        @freowho, suggest OTT happens from the top of the swing during the DS.
        Your correct, in that turning the head toward the target before impact, can cause the shoulders to open up too soon and whether hands are OTT or not, the ball will go left.

        No one needs to turn their head to look at the ball flight until well after impact. Impact will be much better and more consistent if golfers would keep looking to the right well after the DS begins.

        Above is much easier if sternum is ahead of the back of the ball in DS just as Ben Hogan and George Knudson.

        • ogo

          Dec 18, 2018 at 11:18 pm

          OTT is chronic amongst portly golfers with protruding pot bellies… swinging OTT to navigate their DS around their pregnant core… 😮

          • geohogan

            Dec 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm

            OTL again, OGO

            OTT tendency is with all golfers, due to genetics. Its the natural move for our hands.

            It has nothing to do with pregnant, smoking, cancer prosthesis or any of your other bias. Go away.

      • Skip

        Dec 18, 2018 at 4:40 pm

        this makes zero sense. care to explain why I can hit a ball with my eyes closed then?

    • ogo

      Dec 18, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      Knudson self-destructed by smoking two packs of cigarettes daily…. and died at 52 from lung and brain cancer.

  3. Ray Bennett

    Dec 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    The squat during transition is dual external rotation plus abduction of both hip joints. Abduction lowers the hip as does right lateral bend in the lower spine. Both are essential elements in the golf swing. Tiger raised his trunk during the backswing so that his weight would be moving down towards the ball during the downswing. There is not an issue if he has space for solid contact.

  4. Ted

    Dec 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Check out the teachings of TN Hall of Fame Golfer Bobby Greenwood to truly understand how the head should move and the body works in order to hit the golfball straight and far.

  5. Steve

    Dec 17, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Alway fun to listen to hacks second guessing arguably the two best golf minds and swings in the history of the game…..

  6. freowho

    Dec 17, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Why does everyone think there is a perfect golf swing!!!! It is completely up to how the individual moves all the time, not just when they are playing golf. Tiger is pidgeon toed and will never turn as well as Adam Scott who is knock kneed. He has to go up and down to generate power. Tiger was ok until they started making the drivers longer lighter and more upright. It’s when he started trying to swing the club around his body that he hurt himself because his posture and movement wasn’t adaptable to that swing. He would have won 40 majors if the titanium drivers had never been made. David Duval was ruined as well.

    • Gerald Teigrob

      Dec 18, 2018 at 1:50 am

      How’s your golf swing working for you? I have to agree, for most of us hacks…questioning Tiger’s swing is about like saying that we can suddenly become scratch golfers. Really? Interesting that over the years Tiger’s swing has been compared to the likes of Ben Hogan. You do remember Ben Hogan, don’t you? For Tiger to work on his own to develop a consistent swing that doesn’t screw up his back as our swing does for most of us, I think kudos to Tiger for reinventing his swing. But go ahead and continue to live in a world of unreality, oblivious to the obvious. And keep struggling to break 100. How’s that working for you?

  7. stevek

    Dec 16, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    If you vigorously straighten you lead leg at Impact, your head will have to come down to compensate for the extra forces…. simple biomechanical logic.

    • stevek

      Dec 16, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      …. and if you don’t drop your head down, you will end up with knee joint replacement surgery, aka knee arthroplasty… and Jack has knee prostheses in both hips…. so free up your head m a s s in the downswing or you will become a cripple and needing spinal surgery too.. like Tiger.

      • ogo

        Dec 18, 2018 at 11:07 pm

        “… knee prostheses in both hips…” ????? LOL

    • geohogan

      Dec 16, 2018 at 11:40 pm

      The hips and head counterbalance in the coronal plane.
      When the hips move back away from the target line, the head has to drop down to maintain balance. Its that simple.

      • ogo

        Dec 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm

        I think you mean “sagittal” plane…. 😉

        • geohogan

          Dec 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm

          Head and hips counterbalance in the coronal plane.
          EE is a problem in coronal , not sagittal plane.

  8. geohogan

    Dec 16, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    A very generous comment by GOAT.

    However IMO Jack is wrong. Tiger’s best golf swing was 2000/2001.

    In their prime Jack N, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino all had their heads closer to the ground at impact, than at address.

  9. Golfer

    Dec 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Jack was perfect about the head position and his game showed it. Grout taught him this for a purpose.

  10. Greb V

    Dec 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Jack is right. Rory needs to be more level as well.

    • The Old Pro

      Dec 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      I totally agree. Dropping the head a little is fine… the motion is dynamic. However, dropping it 8-12 inches requires ridiculous compensations. Most of those are hard on the body.

      • dbrat

        Dec 17, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        Cam champs head moves like 15 inches, he seems to be doing just fine.

        • Johnny Penso

          Dec 18, 2018 at 12:17 am

          How many majors has he won and how long has his career been?

          • Skip

            Dec 18, 2018 at 4:48 pm

            Idiot comment. Dude just started out, and hasn’t even played a Major as a professional. Just a handful of starts and he’s won a tournament, that’s pretty good in my books. Maybe you should revisit this question in 10 years.

            Never ceases to amuse with these online hackers making judgments on far superior players lol.

          • Marc

            Dec 18, 2018 at 4:50 pm

            Ignorant comment. Dude just started out, and hasn’t even played a Major as a professional. Just a handful of starts and he’s won a tournament, that’s pretty good in my books. Maybe you should revisit this question in 10 years.

            Never ceases to amuse with these online hackers making judgments on far superior players lol.

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf



We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.


But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”


We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing




Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.



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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway



In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway


Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.


Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.


Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway


There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.


Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.


As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.


If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.


But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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19th Hole