The Loop

Tiger really didn't like his 1997 golf swing at the time. Here's what he said about it

December 03, 2014

Tiger Woods is making his competitive return after a prolonged absence due to injury and is doing so under the guidance of his new "swing consultant," Chris Como. And on Tuesday, he got everybody excited with all his talk about reverting back to his older, mid-1990s swing.

"It is new, but it's old ... because I haven't done it in a very long time," Woods said at the Hero World Challenge.

"We looked at a lot of video from when I was in junior and amateur golf," he continued. "And it was quite interesting to see where my swing was then and how much force I could generate with a very skinny frame. How did I do that? That's kind of what we are getting back to."

That's all fine and good, but it seems Tiger might be looking back on his 1997 swing with some rose-colored glasses. In 2001, Tiger sat down with the editors of Golf Digest to write his best-selling book "How I Play Golf." At the start of Chapter 4, he spends the entire introduction running through a bunch of very logical reasons why he didn't like his mid-1990s swing -- the one he's trying to revert to now -- and why it needed to change.


One night, a week or so later, after the elation had started to die down, I decided to sit down and watch a tape of the entire tournament. I was by myself, so I was really able to concentrate on critiquing my full swing to see if there was some flaw I might be able to work on.

I didn't see one flaw. I saw about 10.

I had struck the ball great that week, but by my standard I felt I had gotten away with murder. My clubshaft was across the line at the top of the backswing and my clubface was closed. My swing plane was too upright. I liked my ball flight, but I was hitting the ball farther with my irons than I should have been because I was delofting the clubface through impact. I didn't like the look of those things, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn't like how my swing felt, either. From a ball-striking standpoint, I was playing better than I knew how.