TIGERâ€™S SHOES! ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Four Seasons Golf Clubâ€™s pros continue their series of hot tips for all skill levels.
Expert pro Jason Froggatt analyses the golf swing of our generation. See what you can learn from it.
Tiger Woods: Swing studio
Bag the same Nike shoes that Woods wore at the Classic. This month, Nike have kindly offered you, our valued readers, the chance to win a pair of Tiger Woods Air Tour TW 8.5 shoes. To enter this competition (which closes on March 30) simply log on to www.itp.net/competitions and answer the following question: When he won the Desert Classic, how many official tournaments had Tiger won in a row? Best of luck!
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RAISEYOURGAME BREAK 100/90/80: PART FOUR
Make more sand saves Post the 70s by becoming an expert in bunker play, says Richard Sheridan. During your golfing career I am sure you will hear many different ideas on bunker play, I myself have experimented with different styles over the years however as with most things in golf I have found that it is the simplest and most easily repeatable technique that works best. The key to good bunker play is being able to consistently hit the sand in the same spot behind the ball, this should be approximately 2 inches (see below).
LINE DRILL Draw a line in the sand, place a ball slightly in front of the line, then hover the clubhead behind the line.
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BUILD CONSISTENCY Make sure that you are standing with the line positioned in the front part of your stance, simliar to a fairway wood or driver. Now make a number of swings trying to consistently hit the sand behind the line. You should find that the club enters the sand behind the line and pops the ball up and out of the bunker.
DISTANCE CONTROL How do you control distance? Simple, think of you golf swing as a speed-o-meter, use the length of backswing to increase or reduce power. Here I have made two swings, one with a shorter backswing for a close range shot and one with a longer backswing for a mid range shot.
SAND IMPACT As long as you are hitting the sand at the same spot behind the ball, you will find it very easy to control distance using this technique.
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RAISEYOURGAME Gain more chipping control Many mid-to-high handicappers I teach would still choose to putt from off the green when a well struck chip would be a far better option. Improving your up-anddown ratio around the greens is a fast way to start shooting in the 80s more regularly. An Impact ball is an excellent training aid and can really
help any player reduce the erratic wrist movement adopted by most amateurs when chipping. The ball allows the golfer to create a united triangle between the arms, wrist and chest. This triangle allows the body to work in unity and keep the clubface squarer and on line to your target when chipping.
SET-UP GUIDELINES Open your stance and have it slightly wider than usual for a chip. Have the hands slightly ahead of the ball to promoted a crisp downward strike. Have weight slightly forward in your stance.
KEEP YOUR SHAPE Using the impact ball (or alternative ball) create a triangle with your hands, arms and shoulders, and chip without changing this position during the shot. This is a whole lot easier for the player to do when the feedback tool (the impact ball) is present.
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RHYTHM For this short chip, try and imagine taking the club back to 8 o’clock and through to 4 o’clock.
VARY CLUB SELECTION Experiment with different clubs to see the ball fly higher or lower and with more or less roll, but remember to keep the movement the same.
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RAISEYOURGAME The 90 second warm up We’ve all done it – arrived on the tee all hot and bothered (only nothing to do with the weather!) after screeching into the carpark a couple of minutes earlier. It’s certainly not ideal preparation for that all-important first drive of the day, when you’re looking to set the tone for a good round early on, but it happens to us all, and inevitably,
it’s the higher handicapper who is most at risk from the consequences of a failure to warm up properly. We all know the best way to prepare for a round of golf is to allow for enough time to hit a few shots on the range and hole a few putts, enabling you to walk up to the 1st tee with confidence and hit one straight down the middle.
Sometimes the best laid plans can fall apart. But don’t despair in the event of a late arrival, because here’s a 90 second routine that will loosen up those vital parts of the body and give you a nice sense of rhythm. Golf is a feel game, and these exercises will help improve yours. Try them when you’re next late for a game and find out.
THE COIL STRETCH Place two clubs on your shoulders and take up a good posture. Make 5-10 rotations to the right. Keep your right knee flexed and feel a good coil building up with your turn. Then repeat on the opposite side.
LATERAL STRETCH Feel your lateral muscles stretch to full extent as you arch from side to side. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and feel the muscles in your torso stretch out.
TORSO STRETCH In the position pictured, ease your head from side to side. Bend from your hips, hold the club beneath the chin and turn your body back and forth.
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TWO CLUB SWING (2) The weight of the two clubs will give you the feeling of club lagging behind the hands.
TWO CLUB SWING Holding two clubs for extra weight, make 5-10 swings, including a short pause at the top of your backswing. Feel yourself pulling the clubs back down with the body and the arms working together, allowing the clubs to swish through. HOSEL SWING Grip your driver at the base of the hosel and make 5-10 swings back and forth without stopping. This exercise will get your arms working, but also help you get a feel for tempo.
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RAISEYOURGAME ADDRESS: Tiger’s set-up is very orthodox – a classic example of body flow lines all pointing parallel with the target. His head position is set with his chin nicely away from his chest, which allows for a free shoulder rotation.
TIGER WOODS Jason Froggatt takes you through the classic action.
According to Tiger Woods himself, there are only two players in the history of the game to ever truly ‘own’ their swings: Ben Hogan and Moe Norman. And as dominant and he is, the American does not yet believe he warrants a place in what must rank as the most exclusive group in golf. But one thing’s for sure, he is getting close.
TRANSITION: The real difference between here and the previous frame is his spinal angle. As he starts back down, the body squats towards the ground, planting his power with a downward press before beginning to unwind. This is the hardest move to perform in the entire golf swing.
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TAKEAWAY: The key secret to long hitters is to create early width on the takeaway. Tiger uses his arms and club shaft together as a long lever, with the clubhead positioned outside his hands.
So what does Woods mean when he talks of wanting to ‘own’ his swing - and presumably reach an even giddier plane of exquisite execution? It is to do with having a complete understanding of his motion, both in feel and mechanics, but more importantly, an innate ability to correct flaws which inevitably creep in, ‘on the fly’. This is what Woods has
HALFWAY DOWN: Tiger unwinds his body at great speed while maintaining his angles. Notice the inside-to-out path of the clubhead at this point, opposite to that in Frame 2.
HALFWAY BACK: The club hinges just above his right forearm halfway back. An extremely quiet lower body, even by tour player standards, is building tremendous resistance. HALFWAY BACK: As Tiger’s swing has become more rotary, his right elbow folds and rotates to become tighter to his right side.
gained from working with Hank Haney, as well as honing the more compact, rotary motion that you see in this sequence. The pair’s end goal is for Tiger to become self-sufficient to the point where he no longer needs Haney’s guidance. And the signs are that he’s nearly there. Woods is becoming even more
EXTENSION: Power is all about timed speed, not flash speed – something that Tiger does brilliantly. His body and arms are fully connected through impact and no balance has been lost despite the speed of the motion.
formidable because he can fix a problem which may lead to an off day faster than anyone else on tour. This was evident in last month’s Desert Classic, when he righted a mid-tournament hiccup to storm the final round with a flawless display of ball striking. He has that rare ability of finding his best form, and his best swing, when he needs it most.
FOLLOWTHROUGH Tiger’s arms are fully extended away from his body – a result of his in-to-out delivery coupled with body clearance. These are the hallmarks of a power player.
AT THE TOP: Fully loaded at the top, the shaft is parallel to his feet, with the clubface and left wrist running parallel to one another. As a result of the rotary motion, the right forearm is almost perpendicular to the ground.
Haney’s end goal is for Tiger to become self-sufficient.
FINISH: Due to the speed of the body unwinding, Woods’ has finished with his body slightly left of target. This balanced finish is a result of every synchronized move that has gone before.
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RAISEYOURGAME LATEST EQUIPMENT
BAG You’re well schooled on the idea of fairway woods, but what about Squareway woods? That’s right, Callaway have brought their FT-i square driver technology to their fairway metals. Enjoy.
FT FAIRWAY WOODS:
Fusion technology has helped Callaway make further improvements to this range of metal woods. A stainless steel face and body combines with a tungsten infused sole plate to allow for a centre of gravity that optimises ball flight and trajectory. Don’t ask how they did it, just be thankful when you plonk a 245 yard shot fom the semi rough on the green. www.callawaygolf.com
NIKE SQ SUMO2 FAIRWAY WOODS:
After going head to head with Callaway on the launch of the square driver, Nike has returned for an angular rematch in the field of fairway woods. The Sumo2 features the same principles behind the original driver, with a hot cryo steel face and repositioned weight in the head boosting your range from the fairway. www.nikegolf.com
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FT-i SQUAREWAY WOODS RANGE:
Surprise, surprise, Callaway has taken the revolutionary FT-i driver’s square design and extended it to fairway metals - which are subsequently the most forgiving set of woods that the manufacturer has ever produced. Straighter shots are produced by shifting weight to the corners of the clubhead and increasing the FT-i’s MOI. www.callawaygolf.com
AIR SUMMER LITE:
With the hot summer looming, this lightweight women’s shoe by Nike ticks all the necessaries. Offering the breathability of mesh with the durability of synthetic leather, cushioning and comfort are provided by the inbuilt Air-Sole unit. The shoe is available in a range of styles, from light blue (pictured) to green with tartan patterning. www.nikegolf.com
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RAISEYOURGAME BIG BERTHA METALS: This new women’s version of the popular Big Bertha range features a smaller, stainless steel head, a larger effective hitting area and internal weighting that sets up for a slight draw bias. An increased offset promotes a greater Moment of Inertia - that all-important, slightly confusing technical term. But we’re assured it makes your ball go further. www.callawaygolf.com
Aim squarely at the midto-low handicapper, these are Callaway’s premium irons in terms of playability and performance. The irons have moved towards a more classical look, designed to appeal to the better player, with a thinner topline, higher toe and slightly less offset. A hot titanium face produces higher ball speeds. www.callawaygolf.com
AIR TOUR TW 8.5:
The idea of walking in Tiger’s shoes holds considerable appeal for the average weekend golfer, especially when they arrive in the form of this sleek new Nike design. An Air-Sole unit provides extra cushioning, while the FootFlex channel allows for a greater range of movement. Don’t forget to check pg55 for your chance to win a pair. www.nikegolf.com
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