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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.

THE BEST SWING FIXES

1. BEN HOGAN

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.

3. NICK FALDO

Chamblee_faldo
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.

THE WORST

1. TIGER WOODS [2010-PRESENT]

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.

2. MICHELLE WIE

Chamblee_wie
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.

3. MIKE WEIR

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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