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Tiger Woods breaks down his famous ‘Nine Window’ warm-up drill

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Tiger Woods is widely considered to be the best iron player of all time, and the magic behind his ‘Nine Window’ warm-up drill has long intrigued golf fans.

In a video uploaded recently by TaylorMade, the 15-time major champion gave a fantastic in-depth breakdown of the routine to TM Rep Chris Trott.

In the vid, Woods demonstrates how he pulls off the shots, which comprises of three straight iron shots, three draws, and three fades, all with a low, mid and high trajectory. 

Here are a few highlights, but make sure to check out the video in full below.

How to hit the ball low, medium and high (2:38)

TW: “Obviously, the easiest thing to do is play the ball back in your stance (for the low trajectory). That adds an element of a draw to it, so for me to hit a low-straight one like that, I move the ball maybe half a ball back in my stance. But I do stand closer to it to get me on top of the golf ball. And then, from there, I really concentrate on my follow-through to determine how high I want to hit it.

So my dad used to say, want to hit one low? Have your hands stop around rib high. Want to hit it a little higher? Have them stop about shoulder height. Want to hit the highest shot you possibly can? Make sure your hands finish above your head.”

On the shaped shots (3:55)

CT: “Do you ever manipulate handle position in relation to ball position? So, handle forward for draw, handle back for fade?”

TW: “Absolutely not. I do it all with my hands and my clubface. I’ve never even thought about hand and shaft angle and all that stuff; I don’t understand it.”

Tiger also stressed how each shot, regardless of whether it’s a draw or fade, is always center strike.

On Visualisation and how Nine Windows helps in competition (5:35)

CT: This is a range session, but the visualisation you will go through, I’ve heard you talk about red flag and turn it, we’re into the cut shots now, would you go middle of the green and turn it, and pick a start line and pick a defined finish line?

TW (Points to small ball on edge of green): “So I’ll start this golf ball at that little ball there and then cut it to the right palm tree. 

When I get into a tournament situation, under the gun, I don’t think of anything but that (Nine windows). Now, do I do a hell of a lot of position work? Yes. In front of a mirror or on the range? Yes. But if I have to hit a shot now, to play this shot in a tournament, how I talked you through that little cut, where I need that ball to start off at that little ball and end at the tree, that’s all how I’m looking at this golf shot and feeling it.”

How the Nine Windows drill relates to his putting (8:04)

TW: “That’s how I putt. I put to the picture. All this information, I’m taking it into account, and then I’m putting to a picture, or I’m hitting my shot to my picture. So that gets rid of all mechanical thoughts. I just put all the information in, and the shot I want to hit, and how far I want it to go, what trajectory you want and then it’s all on my feel.” 

Watch the full video below.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. T-Bone

    Nov 17, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    For all that, Tiger is essentially saying, “I just see a shot and hit it. I don’t even know how I do it.” Thanks, Tiger. I think.

  2. Peter Reich

    Nov 17, 2021 at 11:12 am

    You need to check out the Golf Digest my game videos with tiger season 2. He goes into much greater detail on that video and is a joy to watch!

  3. Pingback: Tiger’s scoring average by year shows the key statistic to how he dominated golf – GolfWRX

  4. Pingback: Nick Faldo’s ‘perfect player’ list; explains Tiger omission to unhappy golf fans – GolfWRX

  5. Pingback: Sir Nick Faldo’s ‘perfect player’ list; explains Tiger omission to unhappy golf fans – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

Why Nelly Korda has hired a new swing coach despite season of dominance

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Even though she is currently in the midst of her best season as a professional golfer, Nelly Korda recently brought in a new swing coach.

As the AP reported, Korda brought in Jamie Mulligan a few weeks ago, and it paid immediate dividends as she just won her fourth LPGA victory of the season last week at the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Mulligan was introduced to Nelly by her sister, Jessica, and she also knew that he had worked with PGA star Patrick Cantlay in the past, so he came highly recommended.

Korda spoke about how she has been looking for the right fit for a new coach and why she believes the two have gelled thus far:

“I’ve kind of surfed around [for coaches]. I thought about a couple coaches here and there, and I liked [Mulligan’s] demeanor, I like the way he’s super positive. I think we’ve just clicked kind of since the first day and I really enjoy being around him.”

The 23-year-old will still be working with her longtime short-game coach David Whelan.

Korda hasn’t made any swing alterations since the new hire, but explained how even knowing her swing as well as she does, how vital it is to still have some guidance as well as someone to lean on – hence the new hire.

“I definitely do know my golf swing. I’ve kind of gotten really obsessed with it in the past couple of years. I think it’s very important since you’re kind of by yourself week in and week out to be your own coach in a sense and kind of know some stuff about it.

“But I think it’s super important also to have the guidance and to have someone to lean on.”

Korda has emerged as a true superstar on the LPGA Tour, having won the gold medal for the United States at the Tokyo Olympics and also won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship back in June.

Despite such a remarkable season, the Rolex Player of the Year insists she isn’t done yet as she looks to win the CME Group Tour Championship and the $1.5 million check that accompanies the trophy: “Everyone [in the family] would get a really nice Christmas present,” she said.

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19th Hole

2021 DP World Championship Picks: Former Masters champ can land European Tour finale

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If you thought the FedEx play-offs made little sense, how about this?

53 players face the final test on this year’s European Tour at the Earth course to decide not only the winner of the ludicrous prize money but also the title of European Tour number one. Heading the list is Collin Morikawa. Yes, the player that has turned up in three tour events and finished T71, T68 and The (British) Open champion. We’ve even got James Morrison having to go off solo due to the odd numbers starting. Grow the game, eh?

Enough politics. Here we are looking at a long 7650+ yard track with two of the four par-fives of over 620 yards, and whilst length is clearly an advantage there is an equal emphasis on a quality tee-to-green game that gives the best chances on these large Bermuda greens.

In its 12 runnings, the championship has seen four players win twice, and most of the more prominent combatants repeat form here and in the desert overall.

With the oddsmakers going around 2-1 that either Rory McIlroy or Collin Morikawa win there has to be value around somewhere, and whilst both are hugely respected, odds of around +550 and +750 have no appeal.

Here follows my idea of the best value in Dubai this week:

Danny Willett Win/Top 5 +5000/+800 (DraftKings)

As discussed, repeat winners ahoy here, and the 34-year-old can be the fifth in seven years to lift the trophy again.

The 2016 Masters Champion (bizarrely easily forgotten) has been beset with injury issues over the last couple of years but spoke positively during the Alfred Dunhill Links, an event he went on to win from the front and celebrate alongside his birthday.

Willett’s form in the desert is of the highest class, with two top-five finishes sitting alongside his win round here and a victory in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2016. A similar record is held in the Dunhill Links – 2md/5th and this season’s win – whilst his win at the top class BMW at Wentworth shows he can do it when the track is tougher.

Two recent top-30 finishes on the PGA tour read well enough, and whilst intertwined with missed-cuts, this is a player that turns up at the right course at the right time.

Sean Crocker Top 5/Top 10 +900/+350 (DraftKings)

Before the American’s unfortunate accident at St. Andrews (tripped in a hole), Crocker was one of the shining lights on the tour.

Since Lockdown, the 25-year-old has lit up the tee-to-green stats failing only by that well-known obstacle, the putter, and whilst the injury took its toll for a couple of weeks in Spain, he has come back to form in time for the big one.

In Portugal and Dubai, perfectly reasonable wind-affected open tracks like the one they face this week, Crocker has been top-20 in approach and tee-to-green, all helping to make his seasonal stats keep up with the best.

Take a look at these from the 2021 season – 5th off-the-tee, 6th in approach, 5th tee-to-green and in par-fives – he is now back to full health, has a long course that will suit, and it is purely down to whether he keeps bogeys off his card. Ranking 35th for birdies, I certainly expect him to improve past the 14th placed finish last year (second round 76), and he did look as though he left a few shots behind at the sister Fire course last week.

Francesco Laporta Win/Top 5/Top 10 +6000/+1100/+400 (DraftKings)

It is doubtful that Laporta will get a better chance to win than he had last week, but that wasn’t entirely down to himself.

Whilst he was banging in approaches to give himself a chance and was a tad tentative with many of his putt, there was little he could do as eventual winner JB Hansen kept saving par from difficult positions, always just keeping his nose in front.

Put simply, the Italian has never been better, surpassing his excellent two Challenge Tour wins with a run of four top-seven finishes in as many starts, including at his home Open, at Wentworth, Portugal and just six days ago.

During that time, we have top-10 efforts for all the main attributes in a full field, including four putting displays ranking no worse than 23rd and as good as 7th and 12th the last twice.

He may not be able to show any repeat form here at the Earth course, but he’s now gone 2/2 around the Fire and spoke very enthusiastically about his game. This is a huge moment for the improver, having almost been without his card until Italy in September.

Incidentally, if we are ever going to catch him on his day, all of Laporta’s best five finishes as a professional have been from September onwards. Biorhythms? Maybe. Or maybe he’s just very good.

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19th Hole

2021 RSM Classic: Best prop bets

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A nice result for this column as both Adam Long and Aaron Rai landed top-20 bets last week in Houston, but we want more!

As always, this column stays away from the win element of the market, well covered by Matt Vincenzi, looking for those prop bets that keep giving small profits each week and allowing you to back Matt’s selections!

Top prop bets for the RSM Classic:

Matt Kuchar Top 20 +275 (DraftKings)

Matt Vincenzi makes a cracking case for the 43-year-old here, and I’ll row along.

Whilst the odds for a top-10 finish seem very fair, I’ll take a safer punt that the wily veteran can continue recent progressive form of 22/35/36 and finish a couple of places higher than in Mexico.

No secrets to Kooch; he will likely plod his way around finding fairways and greens and finish somewhere a few shots behind the winner. He loves a short Bermuda track; the course screams ‘Matt Kuchar’ (thanks, Matt V), and the windier it gets, the more his one-paced effort will prove the most lucrative method.

Seamus Power Top 10/Top 20 +500/+250 (DraftKings)

I’m in with the Irishman again this week as one missed cut doth not make a bad player.

Before what was an admittedly poor Houston Open, the world number 89 (from 429 at the turn of the year) had 32 rounds in the 60s in his past 48 completed efforts, and last Thursday’s 75 was his first over 72 over the same period.

17th in scrambling off a top-10 for greens in Mexico followed 13th and 12th for the same sectors in Bermuda, and he ranks top-30 for the tour in par-fours over a twelve-week period.

Tied-sixth in 2019 at the RBC Heritage, a course with similar characteristics, reads much better than the four consecutive missed-cuts here but neither were awful tournaments, with at least a round of 69 or less at each running.

My figures make him somewhere between 15-20 for the week, so I’ll take the chance he finds another shot a round and lands a place on the front page.

Aaron Rai Top 20 +350 (DraftKings)

The 26-year-old Englishman has, in four short years, gone from the best player on the Challenge Tour to a two-time winner on the European Tour, and now he’s settling in as a PGA player.

As fastidious as anyone in his approach to each shot, Rai’s modus operandi is to keep it tidy around short courses and allow his excellent accuracy and steel to launch himself up the board.

Determined winner over Tommy Fleetwood at the Scottish Open in 2020, he really should have been looking at a back-to-back record having been gazumped by John Catlin (final round 64) in the Irish equivalent just seven days previous.

Whilst there is little wrong with a settling-in 26th at St.Jude last August, perhaps his runner-up finish in Idaho was a more telling sign that he had plenty more to offer.

Recent efforts are very progressive, a pair of top-20 finishes in Texas and Mexico highlighting the excellent approach and short game he is known for on this side of the pond. This course will suit down to the ground if it blows a bit over the weekend, but when you are offered just +1400 about a non-winner up front, surely notice must be taken of an improving proven winner at seven times the price.

Rory Sabbatini Top 20 +500 (DraftKings)

I’m not opposed to backing Slovakia’s number one in any market this week, but with a course record that reads seven starts, six cuts made and finishes of 12th, 22nd and 27th he’s worth the higher stakes in the specialist markets.

Sabba’s record shows where he plays best with wins at the Honda, at Colonial and the Byron Nelson reading well enough without the high finishes at the Sony in Hawaii. This season he’s been his usual in-and-out but the flying finish at the Olympics spurred on a following top-10 at Sedgefield (see Webb Simpson et al for correlative form) and a third-place at the Shriner’s.

That latest effort may skew his figures, but he ranks third for scrambling and fifth in par-four performance over the past three months, factors that appear highly relevant when studying the stats over the past five years.

This field is no harder than any of those three good efforts since August and whilst hard to predict, we are getting good rewards for him to perform again.

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