NBC analyst Johnny Miller would like to see Tiger Woods become less fixated on the perfection of the golf swing and on explosive power when he makes his return to the game later this year.
Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee thinks it will be yet another challenge for Woods to “unlearn” what he learned under Sean Foley while training himself to make another new swing with a battered, older body.
Miller and Chamblee weighed in on the news of the week Tuesday in an NBC/Golf Channel FedEx Cup teleconference that came on the heels of Woods announcing he was parting ways with Foley, his coach over the last four years.
Miller was asked what Woods should be looking for in his next coach.
“If you ask me, Tiger is looking for too much,” Miller said. “I think he should just go play golf. He can be very athletic. There's the target; you swing at the target. You don't swing way left. You swing at the target. It's a very simple thing.”
Miller said Woods used to like to shape more shots when he was at his best. He would hit more draws and fades, stingers and controlled trajectories. Miller isn’t seeing that anymore. He sees a player who “manhandles” his driver and is caught up chasing the younger players and their power games.
“Tiger needs to quit being Ponce de León, looking for that fountain of youth,” Miller said. “He's looking for explosive power. What he really needs to do with the long game is swing a little smoother, instead of exploding into it, and blocking everything right and flipping it left . . . I think it would help his long game if he used a little smoother action, like he does with his irons . . . He’s trying to explode up through it, and his feet are hopping, and he's squatting down and hopping, and he's raising up, instead of just swinging level.”
Miller said he would like to see Woods swing with the balance of a Justin Rose, another Foley pupil.
“Justin is very level and in rhythm,” Miller said. “He’s not trying to explode into it. So that would be what I would work on with him, is trying to just swing with more of his iron tempo. Forget about being explosive . . . He keeps saying, `As soon as I get my explosive power back.’ He's about 15 years late on that.”
“Even on Jimmy Fallon's show, he was talking about how he needed to get more explosive, and in another interview he said he needed to get stronger glutes,” Chamblee said. “He keeps referring to getting stronger and stronger and stronger, which is bizarre to me, because he just needs to be faster. He traded speed for strength.”
Chamblee said Woods’ next swing coach should address how Tiger has become too technical.
“It also has to be a teacher that convinces Tiger that what he's doing in the gym is not helping him on the golf course,” Chamblee said. “If, indeed, he hires another instructor, it's going to have to be somebody with enough gravitas to convince Tiger that all of this work he's doing in the gym has made him so big and thick at the top that there's no way that he could ever go back to swinging anywhere near the way he used to.”