To promote the positively spellbinding playoff chase looming over the next few weeks, Johnny Miller and Brandel Chamblee took reporter questions Tuesday to hype the upcoming events on NBC and Golf Channel.
After the Denver crowd got in a few questions about the superb Cherry Hills, host to next week's BMW, the talk turned to what else? Tiger. As expected, Johnny and Brandel had plenty of interesting things to say about Tiger Woods parting ways with his third high-profile swing instructor this century.
Randall Mell filed a couple of pieces, starting with this on Tiger's "explosiveness" obsession.
“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.”
And Brandel added this...
“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.”
Yes, but he looks so good in that Jack LaLanne estate sale gear!
I asked a question about the rise of celebrity swing instructors and Mell wrote a separate item on the remarks there, which were equally fascinating.
“It's interesting for all of us to talk about,” Chamblee said. “It's fun for us to sit down and talk to these instructors and listen to their ideas, but I don't know that this helicoptering, this helicopter teacher, this constant hovering, well‑intentioned, well‑informed constant teaching, is doing the player a great service.”
Chamblee believes a player can become too reliant on a teacher.
“I think the very nature of the way golf is taught now has led to a timidity in players, and it's certainly upped the profile of the teacher . . . A lot of theory is being put forth, and golf is in sort of a revolutionary stage, of lots of number, lots of ideas, lots of geometry, lots of science being thrown at these players,” Chamblee said. “It's intriguing, it's interesting, and I think a lot of these teachers have done a great job of promoting themselves. But, unfortunately, I think that there's discovery and there's confidence that's found in solitude."
Chamblee elaborated on these thoughts in a GolfChannel.com column released around the same time:
Tiger at 21 knew enough about his swing to orchestrate the changes that lead to the greatest stretch of golf in history. At 38 he may be golf’s version of Humpty Dumpty and all the king’s men hopeless to place him back into his origins. Perhaps he should tell all the king’s men to take a hike.
Alone in thought, watching the video from the 1997 Masters Tiger was in as powerful a state as any athlete can be. He decided what needed to be done, he had a game plan, he could feel it, taste it, smell it and he executed it.
Who should be his next coach is likely the difference between him breaking Jack’s major record or not and because of what he means to golf, that decision means a lot to the game. This is all precisely why I hope his next teacher’s name is Tiger.