Tiger Woods returned on Thursday, but so did an old nemesis, according to some experts. On transition from backswing to downswing his head dips substantially.
This was the cause of his loose tee shots in the first round of the Masters, they said, notably on the ninth hole, when he drove it onto the first fairway at Augusta National Golf Club.
Two tour players, Bob Estes and Woods' good friend John Cook, had this Twitter exchange about the head dip.
Estes: "He can't drop his head that far down prior to impact and expect to be consistent. He'll hit lots of good AND bad shots."
Cook: "He's not trying to drop his head. Happens on occasion w/driver."
Estes: "Doesn't matter if he's trying to or not. It's gotten worse over time. He HAS to correct or minimize it."
Cook: "Agreed. Old habits tough to break."
Brandel Chamblee and Colin Montgomerie expounded on it on Golf Channel.
"When Jordan Spieth pops up on the screen tomorrow, just notice his levels," Chamblee said, juxtaposing Woods with the first-round leader of the Masters. "There's a predominating thought in the world of golf today that you've got to go down on your downswing, that everybody goes down on their downswing. Well, they may, but most everybody is trying to stay tall or feels tall and that's how you pick the ball.
"Or maybe they don't. Maybe they do try to dip and maybe they dip a little bit, but they don't dip to the degree and severity that Tiger Woods does. His levels are bad and he's not going to start hitting the golf ball the way he can until his levels get better.
"Colin, you were one of the best ball strikers from a consistency standpoint. Explain to me in transition did you feel tall or did you feel like you dropped?"
"I was always told by coaches and others to stay tall," Montgomerie replied. "And I cannot believe, in slow motion to see Tiger's swing. It's not just dipping a few inches, it's dipping a foot…He will not contend in this major championship the way he's hitting the ball."