Brandel Chamblee Doesn’t Feel Tiger’s Pain

Here’s Brandel Chamblee using Tiger Woods’s 2000 swing as a model for what Woods should be doing today:

As Jaime Diaz reported TEN YEARS AGO, Woods himself has said he had no choice but to modify that 2000 swing due to injury:

In December 2002, after playing in pain for much of the season, Woods underwent knee surgery in Utah to remove fluid and another cyst. This time during the operation, doctors noticed that Woods’ anterior cruciate ligament was significantly stretched. After being informed of the discovery, Woods told friends in the post-operating room that he had to change his swing. “I really had no choice,” he says today.

More from the Diaz article:

But in 2002, a constant ache in Woods’ knee was severe enough to cause him to take pre-round painkillers. It also gave rise to a bad habit of staying back on his right side on the downswing by lowering his upper body and raising his right heel, rather than rotating a more level upper body through impact.

“The more the knee hurt, the more I’d have to make alterations in the swing to try to make solid contact,” he says. “The more alterations I made, the more distance I lost, because I was actually moving away from the ball a lot, slowing down, trying not to make it hurt.”

Now, maybe Bill Clinton can feel Tiger Woods’s pain, but Brandel Chamblee sure as hell can’t.  Chamblee sits there in the Golf Channel studio running his mouth off about how Woods needs to swing, pointing to the swing of a 24-year-old Woods, a swing Woods himself said he had to change due to injury.

More from the Diaz article:

But the injury also stirred Woods to examine possible improvements in his technique to take stress off the knee.

Now, let’s see, Tiger Woods had back surgery just a year ago.  Gee, no way he and Como are looking for a swing that takes stress off Tiger’s back — while also keeping stress off his knee.

One more from Diaz:

“The more the knee hurt, the more I’d have to make alterations in the swing to try to make solid contact,” he [Woods] says.

Chamblee has no access whatsoever to the physical pains and stresses Woods and Como (and Foley during his tenure) have to deal with, but he insists all Woods needs to do is return to Butch Harmon and that 2000 swing.

That that scenario is a fantasy of a fantasy of a fantasy does not slow Chamblee down one bit.

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21 Responses to Brandel Chamblee Doesn’t Feel Tiger’s Pain

  1. JoseyWales says:

    Lanny…sorry to thread jack…but Matt Every rips Shackelford in Shane Ryan’s new book.

    • lannyh says:

      No problem at all, you can discuss whatever you want. Sounds very interesting! Can’t wait to read the book. Are you reading the book, or did you see that somewhere? I’ve been avoiding all reviews, with the exception of Porter’s brief one.

    • lannyh says:

      I just went to Shackelford’s website and read about it. (I didn’t know a chapter had been released; I can start reading that before I get my copy.)

      Every and Ryan are right. Shackelford won’t attack targets with power; he goes after the easy targets, though. Maybe in a theoretical, tangential way, but he goes on Golf Channel and shows Bryan Brother videos instead of talking about rolling the ball back.

      As for easy targets, his criticism of Olesen was pretty over-the-top. Olesen = VERY easy target.

      Shackelford seems miffed or jealous that Shane Ryan’s book is getting such good publicity. But, hey, that Patrick Reed excerpt in February was the first investigative golf writing we’ve seen since that 1997 Esquire article about Tiger Woods, an article that got Charles Pierce blackballed in the golf world.

      I started to leave a comment at Shackelford’s site, but it would be deleted, so I didn’t waste my time.

      • JoseyWales says:

        from Matt Every: m “He’s done it before,” he said intently. “He’s picking me out to be a villain because I’m an easy target.”

        The subject was Geoff Shackelford, a blogger who covers the sport with an irreverent tone. But since this is golf we’re talking about, with all its claims to propriety, Shackelford toes the line, choosing his victims strategically in order not to offend anyone with real influence. For him, Every made a perfect target—here was a player with no power.

        Shackelford pretends to be contrarian, blah, blah, blah…but he is the opposite…he is a pimp for the Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He is a coward who deletes as many as 50% of posts that make him look bad…so now his blog basically made of those who kiss his ass….pathetic phony.

      • lannyh says:

        I went and read that stuff after my first reply. I concur with Ryan/Every. Shack does go after “easy targets.” And he’s unwilling to go after the manufacturers behind the equipment arms race, something Shack in theory opposes rather vehemently.

        Shack did a real hatchet job on Ryan’s book, but you could tell there were some real sour grapes. That said, I tend to think I’m going to (partially) agree with Shack about Ryan’s coverage of Augusta. I’ll know soon enough, as I now have a copy of the book!

      • Kris says:

        Shackelford is a snarky, whiny little punk who wishes he was more famous. Based on the excerpts, Ryan’s writing is hyperbolic and immature with a dash of hero-worship. It looks like a fun read, though.

        If you want to read a knock-down drag-out tear-down of Augusta National, take a look at this:

      • lannyh says:

        I bookmarked the link and will read it post-Ryan’s book. I’m certainly not averse to criticizing the Masters, but I criticize things like the small, weak field (compared to the other majors) and the limited TV time.

        As far as the attacks on the “old rich men” and “oppressive control,” age has taught me “Lord of the Flies” is not a good recipe for societal success. And if spectators are not allowed to run at Augusta, that’s one helluva good tradeoff to also eliminate the imbeciles who scream “In the hole!” Augusta National is an exclusive club I’ll never be invited to join, but Bill Gates and Condi Rice are hardly “old money,” and the stereotypes of a “racist South” represent lazy journalism. (Within the past year, there was a study showing northeastern schools were the most racially segregated in the nation. It was quickly rationalized by many as being the result not of racism, but of economics. Well, duh: the same is true of the South, but it’s always reported as “racism” when that region is involved.)

        I hate to make even that much of a “political” statement (I’m quite apolitical; I just want ACCURACY), but there are a lot of inaccurate narratives all over the place, not just golf. Shane Ryan’s book looks to be somewhat iconoclastic; it will be a shame if it harbors a paint-by-numbers political slant.

        But, hey, I just started reading the book — starting with the Augusta chapter. And I won’t be shy about voicing my opinion. I am not a rapid reader; I hope to finish it before the US Open.

      • Kris says:

        Yeah, that piece is long, but I thought it would be interesting to contrast what Spencer Hall had to say with what Shane Ryan had to say, especially since they live in Georgia and North Carolina respectively. I assume that would mitigate any ignorant “anti-south” sentiment in their assessments.

        My problem with Augusta National is that it’s touted as the epitome of class and perfection when it actuality it’s the epitome of elitism and keeping up appearances. How are there no squirrels or bees or pollen anywhere in April? That’s plain creepy.

      • lannyh says:

        I agree with you about the squirrels and bees; I didn’t know that until now. I’m going to learn something. Squirrels do prefer hardwood forests to pine — I used to hunt them — and it seems Augusta has mainly pine trees; I hope Augusta National isn’t really wiping them out just for cosmetic reasons.

      • Kris says:

        I’ve never heard that squirrels prefer hardwoods. The gray squirrels near me build nests in pine trees and eat the nuts out of the green pine cones. You haven’t lived until a squirrel has plonked you on the head with a pine cone core :-D. I think Augusta National does something to get rid of them.

  2. Ken says:

    It just isn’t done anymore, but I think Nicklaus is right. Forget coaching, just go out and figure it out on your own. All the players now seem to need a support system around them and talk as though golf is a team sport. Most of the players probably can’t conceive of just going it alone, because they never have. Just being alone makes them uncomfortable.

    Go to the range and hit balls. Then go play. Don’t think so much, just hit it. If you don’t think so much, your body will find a comfort zone that it can handle.

    • GolfFan says:

      Right again. Tiger has fallen into the trap of playing golf swing, not golf. See ball, hit ball, repeat. The most notable thing to me, besides the technical issues Chamblee accurately points out, is how natural the old swing looks compared to today’s swing which looks like a lot of unnecessary effort. That doesn’t ever work.

      • lannyh says:

        Let me ask you this. Does Nicklaus’s posture seem to you a little bit stiff and stooped these days? Do you think the key factor is his age or his “method.” Would you say of Jack’s stooped walk, “It’s not time that did that to him. He did it to himself.”

        I don’t know Brandel’s motives — although I can guess one of them is prolonging Woods’s relevance — but he’s pushing a nonsensical “solution.”

      • GolfFan says:

        At some point during the telecast of Jack’s event they showed “young” Jack and “old” Jack and the positions were not all that different. You don’t even have to watch the video you included to see that 2000 Tiger vs current Tiger has a dramatically different set of positions, as Chamblee points out. Looking at the swing on the right, one can easily tell that ball is headed miles right.

        I read the Diaz piece and one thing that jumped out at me was the specific mention of “snapping” the left knee” in an effort to gain more distance. Bottom line is he should be able to make that swing without snapping the knee. Take that back, we’ve seen him do it, if he just reigns it in a touch and doesn’t try to swing out of his shoes so to speak.

        One of the obvious things that happens over time, is players lose distance. That’s when players have to putt ego aside and adjust their games accordingly. An adjustment Tiger could make, that he refuses to, his go back to something more similar (not identical) to his old swing, just at a smoother, somewhat slower, speed.

      • lannyh says:

        Come on, man. You can’t turn back the clock. Woods is one year removed from a back operation. He’s had numerous knee surgeries. Diaz wrote ten years ago that Woods was having to make concessions to the pain of injuries. Ten years and a back operation later, you can be sure injuries and pain are more of a problem, not less.

        If Woods brought in Harmon, it would be no different than Como. You can’t turn back the clock. People seem to like this narrative — perhaps that’s why Chamblee pushes it — because it allows them to maintain the fantasy of “the old Tiger coming back.” That ain’t gonna happen.

      • GolfFan says:

        You clearly don’t get what I’m saying. I am not saying he should go back to the 2000 swing. What I am saying is he needs to get back to a swing that incorporates certain key positions, I call them checkpoints, that you see in that 2000 swing. Whether it’s Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, or Jim Furyk, they all have certain positions/checkpoints that they all get to during their swing even thought they all have very different looking swings. Tiger’s 2000 swing hit these positions/checkpoints. HIs current swing doesn’t even come close to hitting these positions/checkpoints.

      • lannyh says:

        I follow, but my point is that one or more of those key positions causes immense pain or stress to some part of Woods’s body.

      • GolfFan says:

        Only because he’s trying to swing too hard. And on top of that, without those key positions, you can’t play tour level golf. So, if Tiger’s knee and back are that limiting, then it’s in his best interest to hang it up.

        I.e. if his body won’t let him hit these positions, he shouldn’t play golf competitively.

      • lannyh says:

        I think he’s trying to find a swing that will allow him to continue playing. There’s a lot of money on the line, for one thing.

    • lannyh says:

      You remind me, I saw a description of how Nicklaus’s “short game was so bad, he putted around bunkers — then the next year he won two majors.” This was mentioned as a word of encouragement to Woods fan, I suppose.

      Well, I couldn’t remember any big discussion at the time (1979), but it wasn’t like my life revolved around Nicklaus and golf or anything. I decided to look it up. In that year, Nicklaus made 12 of 12 cuts and had 6 top-25 finishes. It was his first winless season in forever, as Nicklaus said, but I don’t think it was so bad as the recent retellings make it sound. Also, on top of that, while Nicklaus did win two majors his 40th year, he only won four or five times total after turning 40.

  3. JoseyWales says:

    The whole thing is just another example of how the golf media CARES NOTHING ABOUT GOLF…only about using golf to make money, ratings, page views, followers, clicks, etc. Chamblee is blowing smoke…Woods can’t turn back the clock…and Harmon cannot make chicken salad out of chicken s**t. If the Golf Channel thinks Brandel Chamblee is the next Johnny Miller I have some swampland in So. Florida to sell you….cheap.

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