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October 09, 2013

Brandel Chamblee: The 3 Best and Worst Swing Fixes Ever

Golf Magazine columnist and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee ranks the best and worst swing fixes ever.



Chamblee_hogan_gettyBen Hogan at the 1956 Ryder Cup (Getty Images).

Hogan transformed himself from a hook-hitting journeyman into perhaps the greatest player and ballstriker ever. And he did it without video or TrackMan.

2. TIGER WOODS [1998-'99]

Chamblee_tigerTiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open, which he won by a record 15 strokes (AP Photo).

After winning the Masters by 12 strokes in 1997, Woods and Butch Harmon took Tiger's powerful but inconsistent move -- which was slightly shut at the top of the backswing -- and crafted a swing that won four straight majors in 2000-'01.


Nick Faldo at the 1990 Open Championship at St. Andrews (John Iacono/SI)

Early in Faldo's career, his loose, languid swing failed to deliver on Sundays. David Leadbetter helped his man perfect a flatter, early-set Hoganesque technique that led to six majors. He went from surly to Sir Nick.



Chamblee_tiger_2012_pga_DarrenCarrollTiger Woods loses control of his driver at the 2012 PGA Championship (Darren Carroll/SI).

Now majorless since 2008, Woods abandoned a swing that gave him the advantages of length, height and improvisation for a prosaic, rigidly rehearsed move. To borrow Emerson's line, he went from being the mountain from which all drift boulders comeā€¦to being a drift boulder.


Michelle Wie at the 2010 U.S. Open at Oakmont (Carlos M. Saavedra/SI).

With a high-hands technique that took full advantage of her six-foot frame, Wie may have been the greatest teenage golfer ever, male or female. She now swings shorter, quicker, and looks confused on almost every shot. The one-time future of golf appears to be on the brink of the abyss.


Chamblee_weir_apMike Weir at the 2009 Chevron World Challenge (AP Photo).

By chasing the Stack-and-Tilt method -- which takes vigilant rehearsals and assassinates pure talent -- Weir left behind the simple, repeatable swing that accentuated his razor-sharp wedge game and, oh yeah, won him a Masters.


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