tiger woods iron swing’ problems at the PGA Championship due to a golf swing injury have been revealed.
The indications are minor at first, but they are there. And the nature of covering Tiger Woods iron swing in 2022, when he is still recovering from a near-fatal automobile accident, is you never stop searching for them.
The indications began on the 15th hole of the PGA Championship on Thursday, his sixth of the day. Pulling a 2-iron off the tee, Woods sent a ball squirting down the right side that wasn’t quite a shank, but was obviously hosel-related. Tiger Woods iron swing does not make shots like that. Not then, not now, and never again. By this time, we’ve seen enough heroics to know that when Tiger Woods iron swing nails a shot like that, it’s a warning sign. Something wasn’t quite right.
It occurred again on his 17th hole, the eighth, and this time the problem was apparent. Another clanked shot, this time low, short, and right, yet he slipped back onto his back foot, wincing.
“I simply can’t load it,” he replied, referring to his leg. “It hurts to load, it hurts to push off, it hurts to walk, and it hurts to twist.” It’s just golf. If I don’t do it, I’ll be OK.”
The problem, as Tiger Woods iron swing quickly explains, is that as his body begins to lock down, it severely impacts his ability to load on the backswing, throwing off the timing of his downswing. Loading his trail hip on the backswing is critical for Tiger (and the major reason he no longer wears Nike shoes).
He can’t do it while he’s dealing with an ailment or discomfort. When he can’t correctly load on the backswing, his hips spin out too soon on the downswing, and his body advances toward the ball. On the way through, it leaves his arms trapped behind him, rushing to catch up. This opens up the clubface, causing his pushed shots to come out right. The end product isn’t attractive — and it’s frequently unpleasant.
Even if the camera angles aren’t optimal, you can notice the overall differences between Tiger’s excellent and healthy iron swings and his other shots. On the left, he’s more focused on the shoot. His body has structure, with flex in his knees and shoulders that are more level and closer to the goal — an indication he’s turning in sync. Tiger is standing somewhat more vertically in the right shot, and his left shoulder is higher than his right. His lower body has already released, but his upper body is still holding back because he has to smash the ball.
The distinctions are imperceptible to the human eye, however there are a few telltale signs:
When Tiger quickly falls back onto his right leg after swinging, it indicates that he is unable to bear weight on his wounded front leg.
His ball speed is gradually decreasing, which is also an indication that something is amiss.
Tiger often misses to the right as his body begins to fail him, because his hips spin out too quickly after not loading correctly, leaving his arms behind him on the downswing.
When Tiger is in agony, his arms will be higher on his follow through. Healthier stingers end low left, indicating that he can rotate through completely.