Tiger Woods: Is It Time to Try Phil's Claw Grip?

Mike RoozenContributor IISeptember 10, 2012

NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 03:  Tiger Woods reacts after missing a putt for birdie on the 15th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 3, 2012 in Norton, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Five years ago, before whatever happened to derail his incredible career, Tiger Woods ranked third on tour in strokes gained putting.  This year, on the same stat, he's tied for 26th.

In the same period he dropped from being ranked second on tour in eagles made to a dismal 128th in 2012.

Tiger Woods' rankings have plummeted from 2007 to 2012.

The stats don't lie.

What TW doesn't do anymore is take the world by storm in big tournaments on Saturdays and Sundays.  No more draining improbable putts and making eagles like they were not that big of a deal. 

These days, he rarely even birdies par fives.

Certainly, the drop in eagle production isn't all about putting, but it's definitely part of the equation.

It might be hard to imagine, but my only thought for Tiger would be to try a claw grip a la Phil, or get a long stick like Adam Scott. 

I have to believe something major needs to change—something that can't be fixed by further manipulations of his putting stroke. 

He has absolutely zero confidence over the ball, and you can almost see how he's going to keep missing those six-footers on the amateur side unless something very major changes in his approach to that part of his game.

Phil's claw grip is odd-looking, put the putts he made at the BMW Championship sure weren't. 

And the positive momentum a golfer gets from nailing putts instead of being nailed by them—there's just no substitute for it.