Doesn’t this all feel familiar?
Videos emerging of Tiger Woods hitting golf balls again, short shots, then longer shots and, most recently, full driver swings posted on a Sunday with the man himself wearing a red shirt.
Making Progress pic.twitter.com/I3MZhJ74kI
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) October 15, 2017
It seems a tad premature to start speculating on when we’ll see Woods tee it up in competition again, but if there’s one thing we’re not good at these days it’s waiting on something we want. Just notice the Christmas decorations already up in stores two weeks before Halloween.
The videos posted by Woods are encouraging, evidence that his recovery from spinal fusion surgery has reached the point that he can swing a club again. But that’s a long way from playing competitive golf again at the level Woods will expect to play it when and if he returns to the PGA Tour.
“Taking it slow,” is how Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg characterizes the process currently unfolding.
That leads to the next question: What does that mean?
We’ll just have to wait and see. Hank Haney, Woods’ former swing coach, chimed in via social media this week on what he saw from his former student and suggested it’s good enough to work for Woods in his return.
It’s clear that Woods wants to play tournament golf again, but before he could focus on that he had to get his body fixed. Don’t underestimate how much discomfort Woods was in for an extended period of time. Daily life was physically unpleasant.
With that behind him, the 41-year-old has been cleared to get back to work on his game.
When will we see him play again?
It’s only a guess because neither Woods nor anyone around him is dropping any hints about a potential timeline. That’s smart. Woods never has liked to set public targets, particularly in regard to his injury issues, and there is no reason to do it now.
He’ll be on hand at the Hero World Challenge he hosts in the Bahamas in early December but it would be a surprise if he plays there.
Maybe Woods will be ready in early 2018. Maybe he plays on the West Coast someplace.
Or maybe he waits until closer to The Masters.
It’s too soon to know.
If there is a lesson to be learned from Woods’ various other injury issues through the years it’s that there is no harm in taking some extra time to make sure everything is as it should be when he returns.
No reason to get in a hurry now.
RELATED STORY: Woods’ Future Still Clouded (September 27, 2017)