Golf Biomechanics of Tiger Woods Swing

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Published: February 18, 2014

Perhaps no golf swing has ever been studied more than Tiger Woods' swing. I have personally invested atleast 1,000+ hours in the pursuit of understanding more about how he swings the club and uses his body.

Without fail, the one thing that has always stuck out in my mind was the incredibly powerful unwinding of his left hip and core during the transition and downswing. No one appears to use this part of their body to power the downswing more than Tiger and perhaps no one else is as powerful as Tiger, pound for pound. If you want a study golf biomechanics, then Tiger Woods old swing before Sean Foley is a study of near perfection.

Sure, there are some that can swing as fast or faster, but they may either be stronger, taller or simply not as consistent. Tiger's swing has mesmerized millions of people and had thousands of golfers attempt to imitate it, but none have succeeded in understanding the complexity of the motion - until now.

Having spent a great deal of time studying golf biomechanics and anatomy, a greater understanding of Tiger's unique motion came to me.

It was, in fact, an epiphany really. Having tinkered with learning Tiger's body movements over the years, there were things that I felt I just couldn't achieve because I wasn't strong enough, flexible enough or simply not coordinated enough. It turns out, none of the above are true.

The truth was that I wasn't using the core muscles correctly to swing the club. Being a golf instructor known for teaching the use of the core muscles to power the swing, I found this interesting, but I worked to further my understanding of the proper feelings and sequence of the muscles that fire and the results were astounding.

Below, I have posted some screen captures to show you the similarities between a Rotary Swing Tour in progress after only one week and the current swing of Tiger Woods.

tiger woods chuck quinton takeaway

Halfway back, the takeaway movements of the body look very similar. The hips have turned a minimal amount, the turn is being completely controlled by the core and back muscles.

tiger woods swing

At the top of the swing, both of us are fully torqued up and ready to uncoil the body using the muscles of the core.

tiger woods transition

Undeniable evidence here of the transiton and downswing movements being driven by the core and not the shoulders. Note how our backs are still facing the target but we've made a very clear move onto the left foot while the arms are passive and allowed to fall.


A split second after impact, the two positions are very similar once again. The weight is fully on the left heel, the head is back and core is continuing to pull the body around to the left.

In less than a week, my swing now very closely resembles that of Tiger Woods. Obviously, the idea in golf instruction is not to replicate someone else's golf swing, I obviously believe in getting the golfer to achieve a functional swinging motion rather than a cosmetic one, however, this is purely built out of function.

In other words, in working through the biomechanics of the body, I achieved positions that match Tiger's because Tiger uses his body biomechanically correctly in the golf swing! Trying to match Tiger's positions based on what you see on video as so many have tried before is completely futile because you are simply learning to match visible positions and it not possible to match his positions without using and feeling the correct muscles as the motor of the swing.

You must use the correct core muscles in the correct sequence, and that's what the Rotary Swing Tour is all about. Now, for those of you following the Rotary Swing Tour discussions on the golf blog, you may start to piece some things together from my posts:

  • Tiger Woods uses his body better than anyone on the PGA Tour, hands down.
  • The body only has ONE WAY to biomechanically swing the golf club at maximum efficiency and power with minimal perceived effort for generating maximum power.
  • The plane and path of the swinging motion of the club and arms is secondary in nature to the biomechanically correct movements of the body.
  • The Rotary Swing Tour swinging motion is even more core centric than before.
  • The core Rotary Swing fundamentals remain, but are now backed up by medical science.
  • Things in the Rotary Swing that there was no definitive answer on, such as stance width, balance, what starts the backswing, etc. now have definitive answers that are absolutes based on the biomechanics of the body.
  • The Rotary Swing Tour is a swing model that, because it is biomechanically correct, will dramatically lower your risk of injury and reduce or completely eliminate pain that you have in your golf swing currently. (Learn more about my hip and knee pain in the golf blog.)
  • You are very likely to pick up clubhead speed as you have seen in the Golf Blog where I have added 10+ mph to my driver.
  • If you've ever wanted to understand the movements of Tiger Woods, you will now finally understand them!
  • Positions that you never thought achievable due to your flexibility or strength such as making a full shoulder turn ARE TOTALLY ACHIEVABLE when you use the correct muscles. In fact, most everyone can make a full shoulder turn when done correctly!

Of all those interesting points, perhaps the most fascinating of all is injury prevention. It's amazing how many people undergo surgery for golf related injuries each year, and most, if not all could be prevented by swinging the golf club the way the body was designed!

So, if you have golf related injuries, soreness, aches or pains, you will want to pay very close attention to the new content coming to the Member's Vault over the coming months! For now, stay tuned to the Golf Blog as it is often updated several times a day!


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