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The interesting new detail in Tiger Woods' golf swing—why it's important

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February 15, 2024

As the golf world's focus was on Tiger Woods' new apparel line that he launched at the start of the week, I couldn't help but notice something else about his newly-branded footwear: That the way Tiger stood over the golf book looked a little different these days.

Late last year I declared that, by my count, this was the sixth significant golf swing era of Tiger's career. Tiger 6.0. To understand this one, let's do a quick runthrough of how we got here.

  • First was his Young Swing. Shut and across the line for power draws.
  • Next, his wide and zeroed Butch Swing which he used for the Tiger Slam.
  • With a more open clubface and flatter backswing designed to hit fades, The Haney Swing came next.
  • Then, The Foley Swing. Slightly more squat and jumpy, he won five times in 2013 with this.
  • And of course after that, Tiger’s First Comeback Swing. Similar to his Butch Swing but with less lower body mobility, which Tiger himself said he would get around by allowing his "arms to run on" for extra distance.

Now, we've entered the era of his Second Comeback Swing. Tiger has talked about how his upper body and core being more of a power source for him than in previous years—one reason you've seen him bulk up his upper body recently.

Because of his injuries, his lower body simply isn't as mobile as it was. But recently, he's been getting around this in one simple, and clever way that the rest of us can learn from.

To my eye, Tiger's stance looks a little narrower. But, crucially, notice how Tiger flares his lead foot (which is the left foot for right-handed golfers) out more.

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That's important, and can probably help the rest of us, too.

Why more foot flare would probably help you

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By flaring his foot out slightly, Tiger Woods is freeing-up the range of motion in his hips slightly. Simply put, he's making it easier for himself to turn. It's a move many teachers prescribe to the rest of us, who also lack flexibility in their lower body movements.

"Flaring the feet makes it easier to rotate both back and through allowing you to make up for some of the tightness you're actively trying to remedy. The player with tight hips will not only find it difficult to turn, but also a challenge to move within a reasonable axis throughout the swing. Flaring the toes creates a positive chain reaction from the ground up that helps the hips and shoulders move within their proper tilts."

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Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Nick Clearwater told me he recommends flaring out your lead foot somewhere in the region of 20 degrees. It will allow you to turn your hips through more freely, which effectively "makes you more flexible."

If it's a move good enough for Tiger, it's good enough for the rest of us, too.

You can watch a full breakdown of his new golf swing right here: