January 5, 2009

Tiger Woods: Power up your irons

Set the club short of parallel at the top of your swing

BIG TURN: My left shoulder is under my chin, and my left arm is fairly straight -- both signs of stored power.

BIG TURN: My left shoulder is under my chin, and my left arm is fairly straight -- both signs of stored power.

I'm a proponent of a full shoulder turn -- one of the key sources of power in the swing and necessary for crisp, consistent iron play. It should be accompanied, however, by a proper setting of the club at the top of the backswing.

Some amateurs, when they try to achieve a full shoulder turn, take the club back too far. The shaft drops past parallel, which can compromise timing, clubface position at impact and power.

I allow the club to set naturally at the top of my backswing (right) so the shaft is just short of parallel. Then all I have to do is unleash my stored power on the downswing by rotating through the shot. This thought keeps my swing simple and repeatable.



ASK TIGER

THE NEW PRESIDENT

__Q: How do you feel about Barack Obama becoming president?

--George Anderson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.__

A: I think it's great. He's multi-racial, and I was hoping to see a person of color become president during my lifetime. These are tough times for a lot of people. I hope he can continue to pull us together and tackle these challenges.

TOE TO TOE WITH JETER

__Q: I saw an online clip of you playing a video game against Derek Jeter. Was it just for fun or were you really trying to beat each other?

--Samuel Gilbertie, Bronx, N.Y.__

A: That was a promotion for Gillette EA Sports Champions of Gaming Tournament. We played a video boxing game called FaceBreaker, and we were definitely trying to win. Derek is a good friend. We hang out and have dinner when I'm in New York. We were supposed to play a couple games, but I won the first and he won the second, and we wouldn't leave. No way it was ending in a tie. He won the last game, so he has temporary bragging rights.

DESIGNING COURSES

__Q: How involved are you with your golf-course design business?

--Sally McKenzie, San Diego __

A: We now have three projects, and each has my full attention. I like reading a topographical map and enjoy walking the property, visualizing holes. I'm not going to design many layouts. I want to find great partners and good land and build memorable courses.

Tiger Woods writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest. Ask Tiger a question.

Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest and the editor of TigerWoods.com.