Tiger’s Woes

The “needs more time” argument is played out. That’s all we heard during 4 years of Foley and now after a DFL in his own event and needing to go 3 under the last 1/3 into the clubhouse to avoid being in the bottom four in the whole event…Tiger’s game is in trouble.

He is on the verge of full blown chip yips. I know, I’ve been there and he is in the final stages of an imminent disaster.

I liked Tiger’s teenage swing, I liked his Butch swing more. I was not a big fan of the Haney swing, but it was better than the latest incarnations. It had some issues I thought would be difficult to deal with as he got older.

When Tiger played in his first event under Foley I said the swing did not suit him, he would not win a major and would likely end in a back injury. Me saying this is not in dispute, so you have to at least give me credit for a good guess.

So far I don’t like the Como swing, as it is affecting his short game. It is often too upper body dominant in the backswing and his left knee cannot produce the action that used to accommodated his vertical downswing shoulder turn.

I see him by the end of the year possibly developing a left chicken wing if he doesn’t make a few changes.

He is so used to leaning his hands too far forward, it steepened his AoA and leading with the leading edge on his pitches. Now he doesn’t have his spine so far forward, but still has the feel of wanting to lean the hands too much. This has his swing bottom all messed up.

On a full shot you can kind of accelerate through that and use skill. On a soft pitch, it’s yippy.

Tiger needs someone who has played the game at some level and has been in this hole, not someone who is an expert in ground forces. Someone with practical experience, versus clinical. It’s like having a medical researcher do surgery. I have been in this hole and know the way out, I’d be ideal, but since I’m not a flashy name, let’s talk realistic solutions. He needs a narrower backswing with more wrist set and a wider downswing with the wrists unsetting sooner. Get that AoA shallower and expose that bounce. The first step is getting that ball position forward, way forward. You can’t be anything but steep with that back position he has. This will also force his right shoulder to work out more and not down so much. That is the key to his full swing at this point. It’s the only way he can get his hand path more left without manipulating it there.

If we hear Tiger is going to see Pelz, we can put a fork in him. Since Pelz is tied to Mickelson, it’s not likely. Utley or Siekmann might be able to help him and then have him work that move into his full swing.

That is my solution. Get someone who knows what they are doing to straighten out his AoA and release on pitching and work that motion up the bag.

…and BTW, it’s the physical manifesting the mental, not the other way around.




  1. TH

    It’s very interesting this post Monte; it resonates with me greatly. I’ve been there…the yips. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy – it’s horrible. I was told to put the ball way back, come in steep with hands forwards. That’s when it happened. A few chunks, then a skull across the green into a bunker on the 18th hole. Awful! Then you remember…and flat can’t pitch or chip.

    It wasn’t until I started learning from someone that knew what they were doing and explained the physics to me that I got my short game back. I was told to do pretty much everything opposite of what I was initially taught. I put the ball off my front foot, weight fairly neutral and a hair to the front foot, and then kept the shaft vertical. Just this set up alone helped me sooo much. Then I gained in confidence. I was essentially shallowing out my stroke and using the bounce of the club….but I didn’t need to knowlwdge that, it happened on its own.

    The yips are horrible, but they can be conquered…but you have to change…even a profound set up change in the correct way can do wonders.

    This Monte fella..he’s a clever guy. Tiger could do a lot worse than listen to this…it’s bang on the money!

  2. Jim McGeer

    Good stuff Monte.

    I am going to watch your video about 100X before spring. Need to exorcise all these negative thoughts after thinking about Tiger’s woes. I hope Tiger can work it out. Would hate to see him in the broadcast booth.

  3. James G

    I think Tiger should go see you Monte. He has gotten into this mode of chasing the latest swing theory fad and totally away from what made him great. Maybe it is an inner lack of confidence or belief in himself. Maybe it is an inner pursuit of something perfect which in reality doesn’t exist. Either way, he is chasing wrong things. He needs to simplify and he is making it much more complicated. I also think that since his dad passed he has lost a steadying force in his life. Someone that can give him proper advice and he trusts. Tiger seems to me to need a strong father figure in his life. He appears lost without it.

    In the end, he needs to quit swinging like Haney or like Foley or like Como. He needs to swing like Tiger. Tiger needs to realize what it is he does that wins him titles. He’s gotten away from it. As you said, he is close to the chipping yips. Your method is simple, reliable and consistent and it is correct.

  4. James G

    Tiger has gone off the rails trying to fit himself into some swing some guy thinks is the best way to play. In all that, he lost what works for himself. He has tried to become Haney, Foley and now Como when he should simply be Tiger. No doubt he is facing the short game yips because he is trying to do something totally different, and in my view not right, with his short game as well as his full swing. No doubt Monte could help him but first thing it would take getting Tiger’s head out of his backside. He needs a strong father figure. Someone to keep him on the right path. He is lost and is searching for the path back without knowing it is already there. He simply needs a strong mentor to show him that.

  5. pcb_duffer

    Speaking of Monte as a teacher: What’s your prize pupil’s schedule for this year?

  6. toby

    Great comment but only lightly touches on what I think is the main point. What made Tiger so dominant? He was mentally tougher than anyone perhaps the most mentally dominant player of all time. The Tiger of old would not succumb to the yips because he was so strong in the space between the ears. Whatever happened that Thanksgiving night and the subsequent public fiasco that followed changed his mental DNA. He no longer has that unwavering belief in himself. He was on his way back to getting there after the 5 win season but the injury has reignited the self doubt.

  7. Carl Whyte

    WTF this is a joke right? He just needs to phone Richie3Hack and get him in the Tiger Team. I’m taking bets on who gets to be lucky pierre Tiger , Como or Richie

  8. Don Lissen

    “the physical manifesting the mental, not the other way around.”

    I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but let’s look at another possibility. You can probably still find a Tiger video on Youtube, about 3-4 years-old on the Mike Douglas TV show. Good swing?

    Now, fast-forward through 4 instructors who have questionable qualifications–remember Haney & Barkley? Remember Butch endorsing the left-knee snap? Was Foley quasi-stack-and-tilt? Tiger probably has sooooo much instruction battling in his head that he is jamming the way that nature intended him to swing a club.

  9. Peepee

    I’ve had the putting yips. Heres how it played out. My handicap came down a lot in two years. I started to feel more pressure on putts. It started out slowly missing shorter ones. Before I knew it I was pushing and pulling everything. Eventually I couldn’t control my hands. It was surreal. Electric shock type jerks over long and short putts. Id have laughed at it myself. I could go out on my own and putt fine. Once I was in comp it was back.

    Even if he fixes the technique now its debatable if it can be solved by that alone. We shall see.

  10. Kip

    When the student is ready the master will reveal himself. I don’t know who he should go see to help him, but it sure is a good show to watch!


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