Tiger Woods once said his golf swing was at its most powerful from the years of 1995 to 1997.
It makes sense why: Young Tiger didn't have much wear-and-tear on his body at this point, and he swung with total freedom. Yes, he was occasionally wild, but his supreme power helped him to astonishing six consecutive U.S. Junior Am-U.S. Amateur victories, and then of course his iconic 1997 Masters victory.
Tiger sacrificed some of this horsepower in later years for control — and played his best golf because of it — but there was something special about those early years.
And a lot the rest of us can learn from it.
In 1998, Golf Digest asked Tiger Woods for some of his power secrets (you can check out the full article in our archive right here), but one that stuck out to me was his simple, but useful takeaway swing thought...
Takeaway thought: Very wide and lots of shift
As you can see below, Tiger said he had two swing thoughts on his Takeaway: Stretching his arms and club as wide as they could go, while also moving all his weight to his trail side.
It's a great swing thought for the rest of us.
By getting your arms wide on the backswing, you're allowing your muscles to stretch to their full potential, which lengthens your swing and will allows your muscles to forcefully contract on the downswing.
By shifting his weight early and hard to his trail side, Tiger allows himself to start "recentering," which means he starts moving back into his lead side earlier. Amateur golfers aren't very good at this.
Recentering is actually something we talk about on Thursday's episode of the Golf IQ podcast, which you can listen to below (and subscribe to here).
And once again, you can check out the full Golf Digest archive here.