Tiger Woods Chunks Two Pitch Shots in Row…how?

By on January 21, 2015


If you follow golf online and on YOUTUBE, then you may have noticed all the commentary on Tiger Woods’ new swing and his recent dubbing episode at Lake Nona during the Hero World Challenge.  So…I will give my 2 cents.

Many of the videos and comments have been concerning and scary.  I will try to stick the facts and the science.  Here are the facts on the chunks seen in the above video:

Fact #1:  The shots were both “into the grain”

Bermuda grass has grain.  Grain, when you are chipping and pitching into it reduces the margin of error.  Making the shot more difficult, and increasing the probability of a stubbed shot.  Shots into the grain will stress test the bottom of anybody’s swing arc.

Fact #2: Tiger stuck the leading edge of the club into the ground.

The leading edge of the club was grabbed by the grain, causing the club to dig.  Too much grass between the club face and the ball caused him the poor results.

My Belief on Why:

  1. Tiger had too much forward shaft lean at impact (i.e. hands were too far ahead), this caused him to stick the club into the ground.
  2. Club Face was too square at impact (relative to the attack angle), thus eliminating any bounce or skid from the bottom of the club
    1. Bounce increases odds of consistent contact when you have grass under the ball and your into the grain
  3. His arms were too straight at impact(relative to shaft lean)
  4. His straight arms failed to arc the club head up SOON enough through impact (softer arms needed! If your going to have that much forward shaft lean) A more Perfect arc may have masked some of the other mistakes.

**These shots may have both worked out just fine if not for the powerful Bermuda grain that Tiger was dealing with.  This is why grainy Bermuda can give so many of us fits.


Phil with a Soft Arms- Arcing the club head up!


sloe of wedge



Rob Bowser, Lead Staff Instructor at the Reynolds Golf Academy, Greensboro, Georgia. Rob works with Golf Digest Top 50 Golf Instructor, Charlie King. Rob has worked with 5 Top 100 Teachers, notably he worked as World #3 Instructor, Jim McLean's Personal Teaching Assistant. A true student of the game. Rob has taught for over 15 years, He was nominated for GOLF Magazine's ”Top 100″ & Golf Digest ”Top in State”. He has worked with Professionals, Developmental, College, and Top Ranked-Juniors. He has competed Professionally on the Gateway Tour, was Captain of the University of Maryland Golf Team, and was ranked as one of the Top 50 Junior Golfers in the United States.

Hometown: Boston, MA
College: University of Maryland, Captain Men's Golf Team
Graduate School: Babson College, MBA
TPI Certified

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  1. Steve Smith

    January 31, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I think your discussions are helpful. Are podcasts all audio or are there videos too.

    • Rob Bowser

      February 3, 2015 at 9:44 am

      Thanks Steve. I get it…So, Yes podcasts can also be video. Although, on this one we posted a video to accompany the audio.

  2. Eric Shillinger

    February 15, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Rob…Great article! I also enjoy listening to you on the podcasts. You are extremely knowledgeable on the game of golf.

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