The fascinating differences between Tiger Woods’ two wedge swings, explained

The differences are subtle, but look closely, and you'll see how Tiger Woods' swing changes on different wedge shots.

GOLF.com

TULSA, Okla. — Watching Tiger Woods practice wedges on the range ahead of the 2022 PGA Championship was a delight, and in many ways, an insight into what makes Tiger Woods perhaps the greatest of all time.

As I wrote about here, Tiger spent the first 10 minutes of his range session practicing vastly different shots with the same club. At one point, I shared a video of him hitting a high cut wedge and a low draw wedge, with his 56-degree, to the same pin. Look closely, and you can spot the differences.

Let’s break it down.

1. Sweep vs. Trap

On the left is Tiger’s high cut wedge, and on the right, his low draw. Again, the differences are subtle — and yes, the frames aren’t in the exact same position. But nevertheless, you can notice Tiger’s upper body looks slightly more on top of the ball in his lower draw swing, with the club working more steep. He’s getting ready to trap that shot, whereas on the left, he’s making a more sweeping motion.

2. Released vs. Leaned

You can really see the differences in the swings starting here. Tiger’s club remains more to the right of his hands in his low draw swing on the right, because he’s leaning the shaft more ahead of the ball. Whereas the club has released more and caught up to his hands in the left frame. On the right, Tiger is keeping his hands ahead of the ball and delofting the face — which helps the ball go low.

3. High vs. Low

Tiger’s body is more rotated on the right, for the low shot, with his hands finishing low and around him. It sort of reminds me of Shane Lowry’s stock follow through — a notoriously low, trap-cut hitter. But when Tiger wants to hit the ball high, his follow through is one of the first things to change. He’s reaching high for the sky with his hands and arms.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.