I was amazed to hear that Tiger Wood’s last Major victory was the 2008 US Open. The man who was predicted by so many as the man to beat Jack Nicklaus’s haul of Major wins has become derailed.
Obviously Tigers personal affairs haven’t helped in his quest to become the greatest player who has ever played the game but what else has gone wrong?
We do know that Tiger has had a knee injury that needed surgery and sidelined him for a while. He also changed coach from Hank Haney to Sean Foley. So is it any wonder that his game has lost the lustre it once had and he has become a mere mortal in the world of top professional golf.
We believe that Tiger’s work, originally with Hank Haney, was to change his golf swing to take some of the strain off his injured knee. This took his attention away from playing and more toward the technical side of rebuilding a swing. This was Hank’s swing and how he thought Tiger needed to swing. Not Tiger’s natural swing.
After his well documented personal problems, Tiger switched coaches to Sean Foley, who is a young coach with an ever increasing reputation among the US Tour pros. Again Tiger was receiving information and opinions from someone else about how he should swing the club. More technical thoughts and information taking his attention away from what he used to do better than anyone, PLAYING THE GAME.
Recently Tigers friend and practice mate Bubba Watson came out and said he thought Tiger was taking the wrong road to recovery.
"I'll just go ahead and say it. I think Tiger is going the wrong way,'' said Watson, "I just think he's so mental right now with his swing.
"It's just not the way I go about it. All of us are good at golf. Sometimes I think some of the great players, they get too wrapped up in the mental part ... when you start talking about other people trying to help you with your swing, look at this, look at that, I think they take a step back”.
Again this is only an opinion but Tiger is not the only player who has become worse when working hard at improving. Something doesn’t sound quite right with that last sentence. Surely the more we do something and learn the better we should get.
So is Tiger learning or just listening and taking in opinions?
He certainly appears to be playing at “swings” and not “playing the game” at the moment. When he was unbeatable a number of years ago he hit hundreds of the most amazing shots from some incredibly difficult positions.
What we must learn from this is not to get wrapped up the technical side of finding a perfect swing at the expense of understanding what works for us and playing the game. Remember that they hand out prizes for the lowest score and not the best looking swing.