Brandel Chamblee can’t stand Tiger Woods’ golf swing -- an opinion he has shared on numerous occasions since Sean Foley hitched up with the world No. 1 -- but the way the 14-time major champion currently (mis)hits his driver really stinks.
"You know, his driver might as well be a dead mackerel wrapped in newspaper at the moment," the Golf Channel analyst said during a Wednesday conference call. "It's just awful watching him hit that golf club, just awful."
Guys like Graham DeLaet, Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott are "really fun to watch" drive the ball, said Chamblee, but he concluded that Woods’ current woes off the tee come from his strict adherence to coach Foley’s by-the-book technique.
"So yes," Chamblee said, "I definitely think Tiger Woods is over-coached."
An interesting point, considering Woods ranks 74th in driving accuracy -- compared with 86th in 2009, when Hank Haney was still calling the shots as Tiger’s swing coach.
Chamblee joined colleague Johnny Miller in tapping Woods the choice for 2013 player of the year. But, as is his wont, the winner of the 1998 Greater Vancouver Open could not stifle his need to bash Woods’ reliance on mechanics.
"I think he's got way too much going on," Chamblee said. "It's a very complicated golf swing that he's trying to work on, that much fold, shaft lean, the down and the up that he has, the excessive down, the excessive up."
Wednesday was certainly not the first time Chamblee has let it fly with vehement criticism of Woods and his reliance on the tutelage of Foley who, as Golf Digest’s Alex Myers pointed out, instructs three of 14 of the top-ranked golfers.
Chamblee blames Tiger’s robotic approach to his swing rather than on whatever internal fears the 37-year-old winner of 79 tour events may harbor.
"He's so bought into this squat down and jump up," Chamblee said. "It's really hard to hit a draw when you're squatting down and jumping up, because to hit a draw you have to drive your legs down the target line and then you have to chase it with your right shoulder."
As for how Woods will fare in the final cash grab tourneys, Chamblee said he had no idea which golfer -- the Steve Stricker-like putter extraordinaire or the one who nearly bottomed out in the strokes gained-putting stat at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship -- would show up for the BMW and Tour Championships.
"I've never seen a player vary week-to-week in every facet of the game as I have Tiger Woods," said Chamblee before admitting that he thinks Woods is "extraordinary."
"When you consider where Tiger Woods came from and where he is, to regain the No. 1 spot in the world, to contend in major championships, to win the Players [Championship], win five times, second place at Barclays with a bad back, to me, it's not a close race," gushed Chamblee. "To me it's Tiger Woods, what he's done this year is extraordinary."
Now, if only Tiger would delete all that Foley bunk from his hard drive and return to the free-wheeling swing Chamblee admired so much.
"I watched video of him warming up in the 2008 U.S. Open the other day for about 30 minutes, 40 minutes, and it was just a sight to behold, to watch a guy be able to work the ball every direction,"gushed Chamblee. "All nine shots, boom, he had them.
"And to see how limited he is now," he added, "all that down, all that up, hands so far ahead ..."
Chamblee might get a kick out of this blast from the past, when an impossibly youthful Woods, in several "Golf’s not Hard!" instructional videos for Nike, sought to take the mystery out of the swing for the rest of us: