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Foley Says Kostis Mangled Tiger Swing Analysis

Pete McDaniel talks to instructor Sean Foley, who explains how CBS on-course reporter Peter Kostis got it wrong in breaking down Tiger's swing last weekend when he described Tiger's clubface as being "toed-in'' when it really was the opposite.

Foley went on to explain that the shot was actually executed with an open clubface. Through body rotation Tiger imparted right-to-left spin on the ball and that's what made it curve.

"His clubface was open say three degrees and his body rotation amounted to four degrees. That's what produced the draw.''

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Reader Comments (46)

Beliving that one can impart right to left draw sping with an open club face?

This is what happens when one ignores the laws of physics and embraces theories of neuroplasticity.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeek Tragedy
Tiger is truly in trouble
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Spachler
I think Kostis is correct here. At impact the face was closed in relation to the target line.

Foley seems to be arguing that because of Tiger's over-rotation, the clubface is open relative to Tiger's shoulders. But that is not the common definition of an 'open clubface.'

This is not so much about club positions as it is about Sean Foley's hyper-sensitivity.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGorsegolf
Sounds goofy, at the least. I may be out of my my mind, but if you're hitting a draw, your club face is shut relative to your swing path at impact. Period. Whether it arrives there shut (because you have a Zach Johnson like strong grip), or whether you get it there through additional rotation (like Monty used to do it), it's shut when it hits the ball.

I'll admit that I'm no expert in biomangalactical neuroplastic scientigombopaladensical scientificity like Mr. Foley, but I'd like to see how you draw the ball when the face is open at the moment of impact.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
Foley is saying his clubface was 3 degrees open to the target line, and he was swinging 4 degrees in to out, which would create a push-draw. The club face is toed in to his swing path, but not to his target line.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDP
@DP - I don't think that would create a push draw. If you are 3 degrees open to the target line, there is no amount of in-to-out swing path that would save the shot. You would have to violently flip your hands like Bubba Watson to have any chance of getting it to draw. You might get enough clubface rotation as it is impacting the ball to save the shot - but even this is unlikely.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHard by the Sea
In Buddhism, the clubface knoweth not whether it is open or closed... That is up to the teacher
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCT
Club face controls direction, path controls curve. So, it's pretty easy to hit a draw with a club face open
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbm
bm (and foley) have it correct . . . get on youtube and find seminars on "new" ball flight laws. Kostas is clueless, as usual.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjmr
Ya, but because of the Earth's rotational forces and the position of the moon, the actual degree of closedness was 3.7896. Or when the degree of openess is subtracted ("say 3 degrees") we get a closedness of .7896 degrees.
Foley would be better to keep the degree of closedness of his mouth at 100 % or in other words the amount of openess of his mouth at 0%.
Better to stay silent and have some believe you are an idiot, than to speak up and confirm it for all.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
As others have suggested, in this case Foley is right (pains me to say that), and Kostis has shown himself to be one of many highly paid analysts who don't always have the first clue what he's talking about. As bm said, initial direction is determined by face angle, while path is responsible for the curvature of the ball. As long as the angle of the swing path is greater than the face angle, the ball will move right to left. When the opposite occurs, the ball moves left to right. (assuming we're talking about right-handed golfers). Contrary to what most believe, most draws actually result from a club face that is slightly open at impact.

Essentially ball flight is controlled by the relationship between face angle and path. All this stuff about closing the clubface at impact is nonsense.

Anyone who believes something to the contrary (most likely because that's what we were taught...and sadly it's what is still being taught by many), should probably google "Trackman Maestro" and watch a video or two. They're real eye-openers.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolfSpy T
The ball flight laws "debate" (I put it in quotes because it's really fact vs... not fact) reaches Geoff Shackelford .com?

The clubface points right of the target at impact for EVERY GOOD DRAW hit by a right-handed player.

The ball starts roughly where the clubface is pointing and curves away from the path.

Clubface 3° right ("open" if you want that term), path 4° right, producing a face that's both "open" to the target and closed to the path.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
Folks, it looks like many of you need to learn ball flight laws that were developed after 1970. I highly suggest you google "D-plane" and take a few minutes. Basically, the clubface has majority control over initial line, while path determines the spin. Lastly, make sure you understand that path and plane are separate. With an iron, your plane needs to be left of target b/c the downward path of that plane will be to the right of the target.

If you want to hit a draw that starts right of your intended target, you better have a clubface that is open in relation to your target too. I am a recent convert to this and can't stress enough how great it is to finally understand the TRUE ball flight laws. Instructors should only use Trackman and not video. I have students playing the golf of their well as I am.

Enter with an open mind. You will be better for it!
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpence
Foley has spent a lot of time with Trackman experts so is well up the curve on the ball flight laws and knows what path/face combinations produce a push draw.

Will be interested to see if Peter Kostis back from the dead responds here on this.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
I fail to see how any of this is revolutionary re: the ball flight. To hit a draw, your club face must be shut at impact, relative to your swing path. If your club face is open at impact (again, relative to your swing path), the ball will not, never has, never ever will, cannot go and/or curve left.
If all that Foley and tracking Maestro man are saying is that there are some misconceptions with respect to the club face being shut relative to the *target* line, then yes, I fully agree. I haven't seen the Kostis piece...if he truly says that Tiger's club face was pointing to the left of the target, then yes, he's an idiot. But if he was simply implying that the face was shut relative to the direction the club was moving in, I don't think he should be made fun of.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
My god, so PK is an egotistical lout? Who'd a thunk it?
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjgw
earlier this year when talking about kyle stanley in scottsdale, kostis said "stanley double crossed" when CLEARLY the clubface had yet to turn over after impact. he says, in an article praising trevino that "he doesn't like homemade swings."

sometimes he says some seriously questionable stuff.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterspencer096
Kostis, Faldo, Chamblee, etc. still think the path of the swing governs where the ball starts and that it finishes where the face is pointing.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
Kostis mangles everything, he hasn't checked out the latest ball flight laws
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
I've always liked Kostis analysis, but he has such a bad toupee. I like bald guys, though.

I don't watch Tiger, it hurts to watch him swing. He has no joy playing the game. Pity.

p.s. Take "Field" v. Tiger this week. Bet the house and put up the life insurance, too. No chance in that wind.
Kostis should employ his wonderful Konica Bizhub Minolta to get a real understanding of players swings rather than what he often tells us. I suppose he is no worse than Chamblee and then we get to hear what Faldo FINKS about a swing, really wonderful how he describes a player hitting a stunning FREE Iron :)
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
Not to change the subject, but these debates would be awesome on TV. They could take the "On the Range" show on GC and make it way better (it's okay now, but outsiders telling us what someone is working on...nope). Let's get Foley and Chamblee on set, take a look at his students and.....discuss. Next week...Harmon discusses what DJ, A Scott, Lefty and Watney are really working on and WHY! The finale: two hours with Foley, Harmon, Plummer/Bennett, Jim McClean, Pete Cowen, etc. Seriously, how about some honest sticking up for your ideas. It would be hugely beneficial to the golfing masses.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNC Phyllis
Does anyone have details of Foleys PGA Tour playing record ? :)
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
Too many swing thoughts Tiger no win no more majors
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
"Does anyone have details of Foleys PGA Tour playing record ? :)"

anyone got details on kostis'?

and NC Phyllis...don't you know about golf student/teacher confidentiality! IT'S SO SACRED!!! they can't let us unwashed masses know what they're working on!

/heavy sarcasm
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterspencer096
How can anyone, including both Kostis and Foley, observe a one degree difference between clubface angle and "body rotation"? The whole thing strikes me as totally absurd.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commentercmoore
Hard By The Sea,

Your comments on this issue couldn't be more wrong.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJS
You are very very wrong yourself JS.

Use Wood's chicken stick 2 iron as an example. If he is going to hit a 250 yard shot with 12 yards of draw (half the width of a normal fairway), Wood's initial target "line" would be about 3 degrees to the right of his actual target is still conditions (calculated by (250 x 2 x Pi) / 360). As a result, if his face is 3 degrees open relative to the initial target "line," it is now 6 degrees open to the eventual target. There is just no way the "path" of the club can compensate for 6 degrees. The groves are no help in this since they run horizontal and the in-to-out path is also horizontal.

Can't be done. Your comment is bunk.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHard By The Sea
Additionally JS, the concept of imparting spin based on path works in tennis because the racket has both main strings and cross strings (would be similar to having horizontal AND vertical grooves on a club face) and becaus the tennis ball spends much more time on the strings than a golf ball does on the face of the club because of the relative softness of the tennis ball and because of the trampolining of the strings even at high tensions.

It is a lie to suggest that one can move the golf ball by using the path of of a golf club.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHard By The Sea


Have you ever been analyzed with Trackman? Have you ever seen the results of one?

If so, you'd know your comments are wrong.

It's been proven time and again that a slight draw that starts right of the target line and finishes on the target line is hit with a club path that is 4-6 degrees to the right of the target line with a club face that is 2-3 degrees open to the target. The face is slightly closed to the path but still open in relation to the target. At impact, the ball is only on the face of the club for a small fraction of a second. That's the moment of truth for the shot. All the hand manipulation in the world during that split second of impact won't change a thing.

You mention Bubba...all that hand action you see after the fact is just a result of how he's come through the ball to hit the shot he wants. The rolling or holding off of the hands through impact is the byproduct of his club path. A good player knows how to get the face on the ball in relation to the path to hit the shot he wants. They cannot manipulate the face to make a difference in ballflight during the split second of impact. Path and face angle at impact create the shot.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJS
Who was Tiger's swing coach when he won three US Amatuers in a row? I agree, Tiger's in DEEP S#^+.

Since we're all offering an opinion. I feel Tiger has neglected the intrinsic art of scoring and replaced it with the total conscienceness of seeking the perfect swing. Mr. Hogan reminded us many times that he hit maybe two shots per round exactly like he wanted. When your mind is consumed with golf swing there is no room for playing golf and concentrating on just scoring to exist. You heard it here first, Tiger doesn't win another major until he learns to focus solely on scoring.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJT
HBTS: I felt as u did and made a living teaching it...and now I see that I was mistaken. This video has many of the numbers and video to explain it.

If you watch the above video and disagree with the findings, then to understand better where you are coming from, please tell me your theory on if you were to hit a slight draw (starting right of target, finishing on target) with an 8-iron (left or right of target) where the following should be at impact:
Base of Plane
Angle of Attack (herein lies the secret, btw)
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpence

The ball starts basically where the face is pointed and curves away from the path.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrackmanMaestro
I defer to the Maestro!
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpence
Almost everyone missed the point:

Foley is an incredibly insecure douche bag for feeling the need to call out Kostis on this, he probably banked it away and made a point of talking about it as soon as he had the chance. "Look at me, Look at me, I may be a little over 4 feet tall, but I'm really smart"
I'm surprised he didn't say it was neuroplasticity that made the ball draw.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
The tattoos on his arm made Foley do it. That and his neurospasticity. Anyway, it's all explained here:
Sort of.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
@PA - after reading your comments, I thought you were talking about yourself.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny Boy
Boy, some of you guys are full of yourselves talking about the new swing against the old swing. Harmon is still the best teacher in golf and he doesn't teach the modern nonsense. And our last major winner, Els, swings out to the right with a draw, not to the left. There is no ABSOLUTE in golf guys. As for Kostis vs Foley on the course? Kostis did play the Tour. Foley played collegiate golf at Tennesee State, a historically black college that is in Division II. Pretty sure Kostis would wax Foley, who probably cannot break 80 on a championship golf course.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered Commentera twitty
A twitty...

The ball flight laws aren't a way to teach. They are simply the science of how impact conditions affect initial direction and curvature. Ernie may "swing to the right", but if he hits a draw that starts right of his target line and draws back to his target, his club face is open to his target line and closed to his path at impact no matter what Harmon teaches, no matter if he sees one knuckle or four knuckles at address, one-planes it or two-planes it, swings the handle, swings the club head, wags the dog, wags the tail, flips it, compresses it, stack and tilts it or square-to-squares it. Facts are facts. They aren't up for debate.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRES

It doesn't matter where you went to school, it doesn't matter the level of your play, it just takes knowledge and understanding.

You don't have to be a tour player to understand the golf swing, the principles of ball flight or to teach golf. There are absolutes that make the ball do what it does in the air. There are many various ways to get to impact but the factors that affect the flight of the ball don't change.
08.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJS

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