For the next few weeks, I am going to discuss the things, that I think make this game so goofy. This week will be famous swing changes. Everybody gets worked up, when a big time player changes equipment, like Rory has just done. I say no big deal. Equpment can be made to any specs these players want. What I find more fasinating, is when great players change their coaches and swings. The guy that started it all, and to me, the only one that really made the right descision, was Nick Faldo. Faldo was nothing more than a middle of the road European tour player who had blown a couple of major championships and had been given the moniker, Nick Foldo by the wonderful British press. Then after a major revamping of his swing, Faldo became the No 1 player in the world and won six major championships. The greatest swing changer of all time of course is Tiger Woods. He has had four swing changes. We will call his first swing his college swing. This swing would only be able to win him one NCAA individual title, three straight U.S. Amateur titles, and one Masters title by a paltry margin of 12 strokes. I have often wondered what would have happened, if he would have just stayed with that swing. However, after the Masters he and Harmen sat down and decided “Hey lets change that screwed up swing”. So off they went and after a couple of slow years,(remember that), Tiger went on a tear. From August of 1999 to the end of 2003 he won 7 majors and 33 total PGA tournaments, duing the Harman era. Then they had a falling out, so sad. Then comes Hank( I’m going to be taking notes for my back stabbing book) Haney. Again, after a couple of slow years when everybody was saying” you should have never left Butch, you should have never left Butch”, Tiger went on to win 6 majors and 32 PGA tournaments, from 2004 until 2009. What a difference a coach makes. Then after Tiger crashed his SUV, and there was the rumor that Haney tampered with the brakes(Just kidding), Tiger has had to go to his fourth swing with Sean Foley. What has happened? Tiger has had a slow couple of years. What a shock. People are still talking about Harmon . Well, let’s look at Harmon, and some other famous players, who have come to him. First off big Phil. Phil has been with Harmon since 2007. How has he done. Twelve wins and one major. The six years before Harmon, twelve wins and three majors. Greg Norman went to Harmon after almost winning 5 major championships in a row but could only muster one, the British Open. After Harmon one major the British Open again and Harmon was his guru during his final round collapse at the 1996 Masters and that was essentially, the end of Greg Norman. Two of the more amazing swing changes in recent years has been Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell. Harrington won the 2007 British Open and then followed that up with a repeat win in 2008 and then won the 2008 PGA. Then you read about him going through a swing change. Same thing with McDowell, he wins the 2010 U.S. Open and beats Tiger in one of those end of season world championship events and then he changes his swing. What the hell is this? It is easier to figure out choking. It is the heat of the moment. But this is a guy sitting down for breakfast with the box of wheaties, with his picture on it, just after winning a major championship and thinks, you know I think I am going to change my swing. If that doesn’t make this game goofy, nothing will, but we are just getting started.
4 Replies to “The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer”
I know it’s impossible to predict the future but what do you think Tiger’s change to Foley brings? He needs four majors to tie Jack. Essentially, he needs a full career like Phil Mickelson has had (four majors) and he needs to do it in the next ten years. I’m thinking he gets one, maybe two, but can’t close the deal. Foley is too mechanically minded and I know Tiger is playing better in the last two years but he still seems too mechanically inclined when things go wrong.
I think this year will tell the tale. With every other instructor that has been Tiger’s break out year. I am willing to give Foley even a little more slack because Tiger has not been able to practice as much with Foley due to injury. I think he will break Nicklaus’s record because he is Tiger. Who knows maybe the 19th major will be with the 5th swing change. I will say this, if Tiger is not making lots of noise, at least 3 majors, by the end of 2014 then the Foley method was not for him. Then it will be interesting to see just what the hell he does.
I still think Tigert will make it but I will change my mind if does not win one this year. I have played for more than 50 years and am working on a swing change now. Need to cut 2 from my handicap to get back to single digets.
A swing change can be big, or little, and the reasons for it numerous. Some players play with injuries and a swing change is inevitable, regardless of what they may have won.