I’ve recently been reading through Hank Haney’s book The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods, and in one chapter of the book he talks about a commercial that Tiger Woods did for Nike back in 2006, titled “Swing Portrait”. I know the commercial might be a little old, but since the book is relatively new (published in March of 2012), I thought it would be cool to revisit this commercial:

In his book, Hank Haney talks about why he thinks this commercial demonstrates “the greatest swing in history”:

Two weeks after the Masters, he went to a Las Vegas sound studio to film a commercial for Nike. The cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, who won an Academy Award for Schindler’s List, used a super-high-speed camera and shot Tiger hitting a driver. The angle was face-on, and Tiger wore black. As captured in the commercial, Tiger’s swing took a full 53 seconds, from takeaway to follow-through, the entire sequence accompanied by a cello solo. Tiger later told me that he’d made about 25 slow swings for the cameras to make sure he executed all the changes we’d worked on just right, and gave final approval to the one that was chosen. What I loved about it was how quiet his head was, hot tall he stayed on his downswing, and how free and unencumbered he was as he released his upper body and arms. It was the swing I envisioned him making with the driver, which really hadn’t come out in competition. Of course, I’m biased, but I think that commercial is a record of the greatest swing in history. I’m proud to hold that swing up as what I was after.

I’m really enjoying reading through this book. Since I didn’t really start playing golf until late 2008, I never really followed or kept track of Tiger Woods’ and his accomplishments in the early and mid 2000’s, specifically 2000 and 2006, which were, so far, the highest points of his career. The book provides a behind-the-scenes look at Tiger’s golfing mindset, personality, and work ethic, which can be very interesting for many people wanting to look deeper into the world of a golfing great. I highly recommend reading this book.

Also, if you liked the commercial, Nike still has the interactive version available on their website, where you can switch between one of six cameras during the swing. Pretty cool.