TULSA, Okla. — There’s nothing I enjoy more than going to the driving range of a professional golf tournament. It’s a fun, fascinating, bizarre place.
The driving range was the first place I went when I arrived at Southern Hills on Wednesday at the PGA Championship, and by happy accident, I found myself catching the very end of Tiger Woods’ range session before heading out for his final practice round of the tournament.
Tiger was hitting two irons at a time — a new addition to the bag this week — alternating between low stingers and normal-trajectory shots, both off the tee. As I wrote about on Tuesday, Tiger rarely hits the same two shots in a row on the driving range, and it was no different here.
After a handful of 3-woods, Tiger reached for his driver. It was the final moments before he hit the course, and here’s what happened:
- He started alternating between draws and fades with each shot.
- Then, he stopped working the ball from side-to-side, and started altering his swing speed. His accuracy-focused drives went from carrying in the 270 range to the 290 range, when he sacrificed some accuracy for added speed.
- And then, moments before his tee time, he put the driver back in his bag, reached for a short iron, and made two slow and smooth swings for tempo. He wanted solid contact with smooth tempo — ideal feelings to take to the course.
Watch the video below to see me talking about Tiger’s Wednesday range session: