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Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Classic Tiger and Butch Lesson

Golf Channel has re-posted some tips from back in 2000 when Tiger and Butch were working together. This particular clip is a general summary of the variety of changes they made to Tiger's swing after he won the 1997 Masters.

I want to point out a couple of the key changes that I talk about frequently on this blog and in my books.

It's interesting to note how many 'faults' that trip up weekend golfers Tiger was still using when he won the Masters.

One of them was that he took the club back to the inside too quickly. Butch taught him a one-piece takeaway to counteract that move. In my mind, that was his biggest backswing flaw. It made it easier for him to keep the club out in front of him -- something else I've written about -- when he made the other changes.

The other big flaw was in his downswing, what he calls the "Ole Swing." Tiger drove his legs way too hard to start his downswing. Sometimes I feel I'm on a crusade to stop exaggerated leg drive! I've written about the problem a number of times, but this post included a video where Martin Hall teaches about using gravity to move down into the ball. In that video Sara Brown tried it and ended up using less leg drive -- despite Martin's continued emphasis on leg drive -- and it stopped her from pulling her shots. Compare Sara's smaller leg drive with Tiger's 'ole swing' and the difference will be clearer.

Anyway, the Tiger and Butch video above is an interesting reminder that even the greatest golfer in recent history made the same mistakes that the average weekend golfer does. The difference is that Tiger had hours and hours of daily practice, repeated over years and years, to make it work... and Butch still says in the video that it was a swing that wouldn't last.

And remember, it was AFTER he made these changes that he ripped off the four major streak we now call 'the Tiger Slam.' Clearly Butch was on to something!

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