Posted March 18, 2014

Azinger on Tiger: Once an Artist, He’s Become an Engineer

News, Tiger
Tiger Woods, Paul Azinger

Tiger Woods and Paul Azinger at the 2000 Presidents Cup. (Credit: Getty Images)

Music had the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. Golf has the Artist-turned-Engineer.

So said Paul Azinger earlier this week in advance of the inaugural Concession Cup at the Concession Golf Club in Florida, which will pit top American amateurs against their counterpars from Great Britain and Ireland. Azinger is serving as honorary chairman of the event.

Asked to assess golf’s younger generation (Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Harris English and their ilk) and how they’ve managed to excel so quickly, Azinger said modern advances have changed the way players approach the game, placing a premium on booming drives and maximized technology.

“I think my generation drove it somewhere between a launch angle of about seven degrees and 12 degrees. But we didn’t know it; we never knew that,” Azinger said. “A javelin thrower launches a javelin at 17 degrees to throw it optimum. Now they’re starting to figure out that you can hit a golf ball at 17 degrees with the right amount of ball speed and spin.”

As a result, Azinger says, golf has “become math.”

“You’ve got these NASA engineers that lost their jobs and now they’re golf engineers and have started to figure this stuff out,” Azinger said. “Golf’s become more of a science for the top players and less of a finesse. Golfers are more engineers now than they are artists. Lee Trevino was an artist. Seve was an artist.”

And then there’s Tiger.

“Tiger wants to be an engineer. Tiger used to be an artist. He’s an engineer now. He has so much going on in his head.”

It’s better, Azinger suggested, to be a combination of the two.

“Mickelson’s an engineer, but he’s still an artist. He has the convergence and the guys that can converge the artist and the engineer; they go to the very top.”

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24 comments
rdpasc
rdpasc

I agree with Zinger. I remember a time when Tiger would rarely change his golf clubs, despite the "better numbers"  newer clubs could potentially provide.He was very reluctant. In fact he really didn't make a significant change until 2004 with the Nike Ignite Driver. (I don't count the NIke irons, since they are blades.) Then it was a couple years until he began winning multiple times with the Sasquatch. His frequency of equipment  change began to increase ever so slightly. What he used worked well, he was deadly accurate; he swung free.Then 2009 hit. Scandal. coach changes. swing changes. Putter change.  Since this point of time, he's been searching. He's been searching for the perfect swing. Searching for the perfect club with the perfect numbers. His overall frequency of  "change" has increased. He needs to move away from the numbers - equipment and Majors. He needs to move away from the coaches. He needs to clear his head and find his swing on his own. Sometimes you can find more answers in solitude.


As Arnie would say, "Swing your swing."

LetaJRhoads
LetaJRhoads

what Sherry answered I am stunned that some one able to earn $6637 in 1 month on the computer . try this 




---------------ZℯℯJob.COM------------GET-work-at-home---



Steve Larson1
Steve Larson1

I, for one, believe the hyper focus on equipment is not good for the game. I would love to see a tournament were these guys play with equipment from the 1970s. I'm not sure they could break par. The ball is so forgiving, they can swing for all they're worth without worrying about excessive spin. Their drivers are huge, their irons are excessively forgiving, and their putters make mishits almost impossible. I'd love to see them put with a blade putter, or hit with a "wood." Smashing a ball 340 yards, then hitting an 8,9, or wedge to the green has taken a lot of the skill out of golf. 


I would love to see some limits placed on the carry of the ball, so that an amazing drive was 300 yards and the average more about 280. I think that would bring back a focus on accuracy and skill with longer irons. Just my personal opinion.

ShutFaceGolf
ShutFaceGolf

And Zinger swung like a lumber jack according to Faldo. Paul seems to like making comments about Tiger for no reason. Chamblee-esque if you will. http://wp.me/p32cTD-mp

JackBriss
JackBriss

In order to be a contender in any tournaments and especially the Majors. One has to be thinking of nothing but where he wants to place the ball on each shot. Tiger has to many other things to think about like his knee his back to name a few. Thinking about back problems whenever he has a twitch is going to cause him to make swing errors. The ONLY way to win on the PGA tour is not to be thinking of anything anything else but where to place the shot. I;m sure Tiger worries about his back on every shot and it shows by how he pushes his tee shots and pushes his Irons. It's  a shame because i have followed him since he was an amateur and the only think on his mind was winning, No injuries to think about. 

Boyke
Boyke

Tiger has 10 more years to win 3 more majors and 4 more PGA wins to become, if not already, the greatest golfer ever walked on this planet. So why people are in such a rush???

Ernie Els won The Open at age 44. Mickelson at age what is it 41? Tom Watson almost won The Open at age 60. 

benseattle
benseattle

Sean Foley students include Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Sean O'Hair and Tiger Woods.    Rose is smooth and lyrical, Mahan solid and flaw-free, O'Hair simply majestic and then there's Woods.... awkward, choppy, dipping and lurching.   He's still good enough to have won five times last year but is this guy swinging like the number one player in the world -- a guy who's just flat-out FREIGHTENED to hit his driver?


I thought so.

kelprod1
kelprod1

Tiger still has much talent, certainly enough for him to still win periodically. However, it is his overwhelming passion to dominate which is gone. Sorry to say, but he has lost the fire inside. Artist or engineer discussion aside, the Tiger is now much more tamed....

macer
macer

Mr. Azinger,

So an "engineer" is the number one ranked player in the world!

It will be interesting to observe the play and results of the "engineer" in the events that comprise the real golf season, the four majors.

Golfaholic
Golfaholic

Tiger plays 'safe' because he doesn't do any of what is necessary to be an "artist" because his competitive fire is burning so low that he no longer makes changes in his game, doesn't play enough on the tour, and probably doesn't practice enough.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Azinger is trying to compare generations and equipment?  Wow.  Just because these new golfers are better than he ever was he needs to try to justify this?  Give me a break Azinger.  Golf has become math?  What? Now we have NASA engineers who started to figure this stuff out?   

It was your generation that came out with the new balls.  Even your sponsor, Titelist.  They didn't have engineers back then?  Of course they did.  Golf has become a science?  It always has been.  

Sour milk for poor Azinger.

AH
AH

@Steve Larson1  


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


The reason none of your great suggestions will never see the light of day. I read a post yesterday that spoke about how  USA business stopped caring about the people in the Country or their workers some time ago. They switched to all out greed mode regardless of how it effects the landscape of the Country around them.  Golf is the same...No matter how much the game gets changed due to the modern advances in equipment, profit margins will trump any obvious damage to the game.

HOFPufnstuf
HOFPufnstuf

@ShutFaceGolf  I'm sure he was asked.."what's wrong w Tiger" and answered.    Not same as Chamblee.

D14
D14

@ShutFaceGolf I guess you missed the paragraph that begins "Asked to assess ..."

macer
macer

@Boyke

And Jack won his 18th major at age 46!  Watson's almost doesn't count for obvious reasons.

alcohaulinass
alcohaulinass

@benseattle OHair majestic Ben? Not sure about that. The guy barely made it back out of the Web.com finals last year...

D14
D14

@macer no. one...this week, next? currently, he's on the bubble.

T5
T5

@Golfaholic

If Phil winning two majors during Tiger's lack of major wins can"t fire him up nothing can. He has got enough game left that he will win more than a few tournaments and probably snag another major. But . . . Jack, sleep easy.


RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@tommyrogo  You don't like his conclusions, but his facts are real.  There is much greater technical expertise employed by equipment manufacturers and golfers as they attempt to optimize equipment for every golfer.  And it grows every year.  Do you think Jack or Arnie knew what the spin rate was off every club in their bag with different types of ball construction?   

Let's give DJ a nice 1970s era persimmon driver and a Titelist 100 compression balata ball and see how his driving looks.   Different golfers have different access to technological resources.  The best golfers have unlimited access.  Anyone who has played for 40 years (like Azinger) has seen dramatic changes in equipment.

Couples averaged 297 off the tee last year as a 53 year old.  Ten years ago, 293  Fifteen years ago, 289.  Twenty years ago, 275. Twenty five years ago, 273.  Thirty years ago, 271.  But I am sure all that new found distance is just a result of Fred getting better and fitter, even as his back troubles worsened.  Technology probably has added 30 yards per drive ... or more.

HOFPufnstuf
HOFPufnstuf

@D14 @benseattle  but athletic.    Palmer was a great athlete.   A pure artist in fact.   When his athleticism declined, so did he.     His wing was awkward but organic.   His dad, a teaching pro, never changed it, having seen the results when it was working

JamesB
JamesB

@D14 @kelprod1  Let's see a few more players with double digit wins (like 20s and 30s) before we say others have caught up.

I mean - he did come from the 50's in the OWGR back to #1.  So he's still a world-beater.

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