Paul Azinger believes Tiger Woods has become “over engineered” with his swing, but he believes Woods can be fixed in 10 minutes.
“It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to work on it, but the fix should be able to be explained in minutes,” Azinger told GolfChannel.com. “And then you work on it. You dig it out of the ground yourself.”
Azinger, a 12-time PGA Tour winner whose victories include the 1993 PGA Championship, said he was “a little surprised” Monday that Woods announced he was splitting from Sean Foley as his swing coach while still injured.
“But it doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do,” Azinger said. “It’s pretty obvious the success he was having on the range with Sean wasn’t transferring to the course. Tiger detractors think it’s Sean Foley, and Tiger lovers say it’s Tiger’s back.”
What does Azinger think?
“Foley is a great coach, and he’s had a lot of success, but the combination of he and Tiger together just wasn’t great,” Azinger said. “Saying that, Tiger won five times last year. I think he won in spite of. Tiger finished last in fairways hit and won at Bay Hill.”
Azinger believes Woods’ swing doesn’t require yet another overhaul.
“Tiger doesn’t need to revamp or rework anything but his head and his thought process,” Azinger said. “Really, in the end, great players don’t miss it left. They figure out how not to hook it. They figure out how not to miss it left. When you know you can miss it left, you miss it to the right. That’s simple.
“Tiger’s got a two-way miss. He’s got to have somebody stand there and show him quickly, either physically, by putting his hands on him, or by talking him into not hitting it left anymore. I don’t think you physically have to put your hands on him. You just talk to him about the mental aspect of not hitting it left.”
Azinger said he has no insight into what Woods is going to do about his swing now, but Woods’ history suggests he will find another coach.
“He’s never been on his own,” Azinger said. “I don’t know if he trusts himself to do it on his own.”
Azinger believes today’s instruction has become unnecessarily technical and complicated. He believes the right swing coach will help Woods quickly.
“I would say this to Tiger Woods: `If you work with anybody who doesn’t have you hitting it really, really well in one day, you need to leave that guy. He’s giving you bad information ... unless you want another overhaul.’”
After leaving Butch Harmon in 2003, Woods overhauled his swing under Hank Haney. Four years ago, Woods did the same after going to work with Foley.
Before last month’s British Open, Azinger said he believed Woods had altered the “fingerprints” of his swing by overhauling it so often.
“Tiger has made astronomical changes in a quest to get better,” Azinger said last month. “As a result, Tiger has actually gotten a little bit worse. I think we can all pretty much see that.”
In Azinger's study of the swing, he has come to believe there are fewer fundamentals than most instructors teach.
“There are only three things great players have done the same with their swing, the three fundamentals,” Azinger said. “That’s physically. There’s a mental side. Of the three physical things, Tiger has lost track of one, and he’s got to fix it. It’s a very easy fix.”
What is it?
Azinger says he isn’t sharing that publicly, but he would tell Tiger Woods.