Tag Archives: sports injuries

Copying Tiger’s power move

Look closely at the swings of these young guns next to Tiger and notice what they all have in common except for the last (Luke Donald).  They finish with the club nearly pointing at the target which indicates a tremendous amount of power released through significant torque build up.  Is the human back designed to take this much stress over time?  From left to right and top to bottom, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Ryo Ishikawa, Martin Kaymer, and Nick Watney have clearly modeled their swings off Woods and have developed their bodies to permit the extraordinary ability to twist and finish in balance.  Scott and McIlroy are amazingly close in position and are perfectly in balance; just beautiful.  It’s no surprise that so many young players would copy Tiger and adopt his commitment level to physical training to squeeze every ounce of power out of their bodies.  Unfortunately, Tiger has lost his power advantage over “the field” and is just another pro with a high torque move who used to awe fans and competitors alike.  Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy, and Hunter Mahan also have the same extended finish.  Luke Donald is the exception, with a more classic finish with hands held high and the club appearing to run neatly through his ears.  His restricted follow through by today’s standards provides better control and accuracy, but doesn’t offer up the length off the tee enjoyed by the others.  These young gun moves are very violent and the significant torquing puts a lot of stress on the back and hips.  In short, it’s not natural.  I’m not surprised that Tiger’s body is breaking down from the foundation up.  Players with more unconventional moves like Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson still clobber the ball but don’t finish with the full twist and I’d suspect will be more resistant to injury over the years.  Let’s watch these other power hitters to see if they can sustain under the physical demands over a 15-20 year period, or if they break down in their early- mid 30s like Tiger.