July 2016

Is Tiger Done? ///

Have we seen the last of Tiger Woods? Who know’s. I have an inside source who said he’s close to coming back and obviously that would be a boost to golf as everyone gets more interested when Tiger is in the news. One thing we can all agree on is that Tiger’s best golf is behind him. When people ask me if Tiger will ever be back to where he was in 2000, I simply answer no way. Just think. Can the current older injured Tiger compete with the healthy mentally strong Tiger of 2000? That’s basically what Tiger faces with the likes of Jason Day, Rori McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and more other young and up an comers. None of them will be as dominant as Tiger once was but all of them together make it impossible for Tiger to reclaim dominance.

It’s time for Tiger to move gracefully into the next phase of his contribution to golf. He's arguably played the best golf ever played and whether he is the best ever remains a debate. There is no doubt he was the dominant player of his era. There is also the obvious scandal that will forever tarnish his legacy but I think Tiger has a chance to redeem himself. He has become a mentor to Jason Day and that seems to be working out pretty well. He needs to do this with more players and give back to the sport which has brought him so much. Earl Woods once said that Tiger will transcend golf and maybe that could be the case but I think helping golf should be his next priority. If it transcends beyond that then that is the cherry on top of the sundae.

I have been a Tiger fan for a long time. When he was in college, I got a chance to play in an alumni match against him. We got to the old fourth hole at Stanford and we both had roughly 120 yards in. I was away and he looked at me and said “ OK Zander, show me what you got”. I took out my wedge and flew it 10 feet past the hole and spun it back to about 10 feet short. I then looked over at him and didn’t say anything but inside I was feeling pretty proud of myself. He then took out what looked like an 8 or 9 iron. He hit what looked like a long chip shot which landed in the middle of the green and took a couple of hops right past my ball and stopped a couple of feet from the pin. He turned to me and grinned. What a player. Tiger, thank you for providing us with so much fun golf to watch and I’m rooting for you to do the right thing for golf going forward.




We’ve all had situations where outside factors put us in a bad mood which in turn affects your golf. Whether its bad weather, playing partners with lousy attitudes, slow golfers or even bad breaks on the course, we need to realize that they are out of our control. What we can’t do is let them affect our performance or our fun. The first step is to recognize that they are the reason you are unhappy. With this awareness, you can now understand your frustration and do something about it. You can only control what you can control. Knowing this will relieve you of the frustration and help you focus on your performance and you enjoyment of the day. One of my strategies is to tell a joke and ask my playing partners for one of their favorites. After all, who doesn’t like a good joke. If they are not into it, focus on the beautiful scenery or hum a tune. In short, do something that makes you happy and helps you perform better. Take control of your own day in whatever fashion suits you. True champions at the competitive level are the ones who react in a positive manner to challenging situations. It’s easy to play well when the outside elements suit you. The true performer plays well despite elements beyond their control.


It is difficult to judge how much a ball will curve from an uneven lie. It is also difficult to hold a green when the ball is coming in with so much sidespin. A good general rule is that the curve of the ball will increase the longer the club and the more severe the ball is above or below your feet. If you forget what direction the ball will curve, it is in the same direction as a ball would roll along the slope. Also, a ball will tend to curve less or not at all out of the rough so take that into account as well. There is no substitute for playing to learn how to predict what your ball will do. Since practicing uneven lies is not always possible on the range, I would recommend getting out onto the course at slow times and dropping a few balls on uneven lies to see how the ball reacts.It is also a mental challenge to aim away from your intended target and even more challenging if you have to aim over a hazard and trust that your ball will curve back into play. Let’s say the ball is above your feet for a right handed player which means the ball will hook. There is water on the right. My trick here is to aim at the target but open the clubface a bit to offset the curve. I do not like aiming over hazards. As Nicklaus once said, never let a straight ball hurt you!


Do you have the correct bottom of the swing on your short game shots? If you are hitting it fat or thin, there is a good chance that the bottom of your swing is too far behind the ball. I see this often because players drop their trail shoulder on their downswings in order to get the ball up in the air. Remember, that's is the job of the loft of your club so stop helping it. A good tip to stop this bad habit is to finish with your eyes level to the ground. Finish position thoughts allow the body to do the right thing during the swing without having to think of all the parts along the way. This frees your mind up to let the swing go and even concentrate on the target. After all, the goal is to hole it or get it close. Level eyes at the finish will help your contact which leads to better distance control.



The ankle and foot play a very important role In the golf swing. It is the only part of the body that comes in contact with the ground and therefore must sustain huge loads during the golf swing. The ability to Dorsiflex the ankle is elemental in maintaining our golf posture throughout the entire swing. Without this movement ability, we can see decreases in power and consistency as well as increased injury potentials. Learning about this movement is vital for your golfing success.
A couple minutes a day can be all that is needed to produce better ankle movement patterns and help increase your ability to Dorsiflex your ankles. Take the time out of your day to focus on your movement patterns as they are what allow us to do all of our activities.

Zander Golf // 71 Cuvier St SF, CA 94112 // 415.810.9764 // www.zandergolf.com