By now you've probably seen the GIF contrasting the different swings of Tiger Woods throughout the years — from like three years old to present. It's pretty fantastic, and a good look at the changes Tiger's swing underwent.
If you haven't seen it, take a look:
There's a couple pretty interesting things in this.
- Young Tiger has a better swing than most amateurs. A little upright, but look at that form! Still impressive to this day.
- 1994 and 1997 Tiger: My back really hurts looking at it, especially the '94 version. There's just so much torque, and that spine moves so much. It really is a wonder he was able to do what he did without, you know, breaking in half or something. Still: That's a ton of power.
- The outfit on 1994 Tiger is pretty amazing, especially the hat. Nothing to do with his swing, but look at that ensemble. It's wonderful.
- Tiger calms down a bit in the 2000 and 2004 versions. Where his swing was "noisy" early on, he quiets down a bit in 2000 and even more in 2004. There's less moving parts, less violence, less "holy crap that back motion." This was probably a wise career move.
- Then we get to the present Tiger. He's much, much more calm now, and it stands in stark contrast to his early swing. His work with Sean Foley has focused on taking some of the pressure off his body, as well as creating a nice shot shape. It shows. There's quite a bit less violence in the swing; it's more efficient and less reliant on raw power.
- Also notice how he's more upright as the years progress. That's the most notable difference in the 2013 GIF to me. His address position in particular is quite a bit more upright.
- The constant in this: Watch Tiger's left leg. Even in the present, he still snaps his lead leg through impact — though it looks like it's less violent now. That's his thing — how he generates power through impact. But it also generates a ton of stress on that surgically-repaired knee. Part of his work with Foley has been in an effort to minimize the stress on his knee, but breaking that habit is probably a tad bit difficult.
- This is just really cool. That's all.