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Thread: Tiger and Butch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Tiger and Butch

    The topic is Tiger Woods. In 1997, he won the Masters by 12 shots in a thoroughly dominating performance. Oddly, he decided to revamp his swing, going winless in the majors for over two years, until the 1999 PGA championship.

    Were the changes worth the majors dry spell? Tiger didn't seem to think so. Despite claims by Butch that these swing changes were for "the long haul", Tiger was already tinkering with them by 2002, when he announced he was "distancing" his relationship with Butch. By 2004, he'd moved on to Hank Haney.

    It's true Tiger won the 2000 US Open by 15 strokes, but Frank Nobilo wrote recently that was during a brief period when Tiger had a significant equipment advantage: he was playing a more consistent solid core ball than the rest of the field, making the 12 shot win at the 1997 Masters all the more impressive. Although he won the 2000 British by 8 shots, his closest pursuer in the final round, David Duval, took four shots to get out of the Road bunker. The days of Tiger dominating majors were pretty much gone. Instead, we saw close matches against the likes of Bob May, Chris Demarco, Shaun Micheel, Woody Austin and Rocco Mediate, who have a total of one major among them.

    So, what were the changes Tiger felt were critical to make after obliterating the field and the course at Augusta in 1997? This is what Tiger wrote in his book "How I Play Golf":

    "I had struck the ball great that week [the 1997 Masters], but by my standard 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 than I should have with my irons 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."

    Hmmmm... During his post-round interviews, Tiger was ecstatic about his ball striking, both his driving distance and accuracy, as well the distance control with his wedges. So, where did Tiger get the idea that a shaft that was across the line, a shut face at the top and an upright plane were undesirable? He reveals who in the next paragraph:

    "Even before the tape ended, I committed myself to making some big changes in my swing. Butch had pointed out some of these flaws before, and we had been working on them slowly, but I decided right then and there to pick up the pace. I got on the phone and called Butch and let him know what I was thinking. He was all for the swing overhaul I had in mind."

    So, Butch planted the seeds of doubt. Club across the line at the top? Well, let's see: Jack, Byron Nelson, Snead, Jones, off the top of my head.

    Shut face at the top? Let's see: Byron Nelson, Palmer, Trevino, Sarazen, young Snead, Casper, Peter Thompson come to mind.

    Steep arm plane? Jack, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller were steeper and Tiger was no steeper than Byron Nelson, Snead, Palmer, or Middlecoff.

    And what was the payoff? We see that his play didn't really get any better in the majors. Did his swing become more "efficient"? Well, no: he said he had to put on 22 pounds of muscle to lose only 10 to 15 yards on his stock drive! And Butch seemed proud of it!

    So, were the changes worth it? I vote no.

    Here is the full segment:


  2. #2
    Tiger heard Butch call him a dumb nigger, thats why he'll never go anywhere near Butch

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


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