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'Perfect swing, perfect shot'

Tiger Woods: The 'single swing thought' that led to one of his best shots ever

November 02, 2022

Of all the incredible shots Tiger Woods has hit over the course of his career, there are a few that stand out above all else.

His 3-wood on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2000 Open Championship at St Andrews, which he would go on to win by eight shots.

"When I made contact, I had the sweetest feeling in golf," Woods wrote. "I felt absolutely nothing. The ball never left its line. Perfect swing, perfect shot, perfect result."

It was that shot which inspired Tiger to write an entire instruction tip about it during the July 2001 edition of Golf Digest, which I found while diving through the Golf Digest archive the other day (you can find that edition and more for yourself right here).

His hope was that by sharing his advice that helped him hit that 3-wood shot so well, it would help other golfers do the same.

Here's how.

Start with your setup

Though the crux of the tip focuses on his swing thought—which we'll get to—it's important to note that he takes time to talk about about the importance of his setup.

"I set up the same as for a driver, with the ball inside my left heel and my upper body slightly tilted behind the ball," he says.

This setup may feel uncomfortable at first, setting up the same as you would with driver with your 3-wood, but once you get over any lingering awkwardness you can take a rip—remembering Tiger's key feel.

Swing thought: "Bottom of your swing at the ball"

In the piece, Tiger says that when the time comes to swing, he keeps it simple.

"I have a single swing thought," Woods wrote. "Make sure the bottom of my swing is where the ball is."

It's an interesting and important thought: Even though Tiger's setting up the same way, he's not hitting up on the ball the same we he would with his driver, when his ball is teed up. He's trying to bottom out his swing exactly where the ball is.

"Make sure the bottom of my swing is where the ball is."

He wants his swing to move relatively level to the ground as it impacts the ball, and trust he'll like the result at the end of it.