Readers React to Tiger Woods’ Trouble in Dubai
Tiger Woods’ Comeback
Issue Date: February 6, 2017
TOPIC: Tiger Woods’ comeback was derailed in Dubai, as he withdrew after 18 holes. Read full issue.
GLOBAL GOLF POST WRITES: “During that round, he had looked like an old man as he moved gingerly down the fairways, often unable to keep up with his playing partners. He played like an old man, too.” Read more from John Hopkins.
GLOBAL GOLF POST WRITES: “Butch Harmon, one of Woods’s past coaches, said he was shocked by the sight of his former pupil in the first round in Dubai.” Read more in Men’s Pro Notebook
The following are letters received from our readers:
Hoping for a Miracle?
It appears that, even if by some miracle, Tiger gets to play again he will not be able to play at a level anywhere near where he once did. One can hope that he will not prolong the journey just hoping for that miracle.
Why Tiger would have flown commercial for that long flight when he has his own jet is baffling. Surely that flight could not have been good on someone with a bad back. It appeared to me in his first round that something was wrong even as he said he was fine. Tiger has never been truthful about much in his life, especially his health, so this was taken with a grain of salt. As Brandel Chamblee said, Tiger looked like the oldest 41-year-old golfer ever to play the tour. Time will tell.
Nice article, very respectful of the greatest player we have ever seen.
But, yes, I believe we have seen the last of the competitive Tiger Woods. He very well may recover to play once again, may even make a few cuts, but I believe he will never win again, let alone win a major. He missed one cut and withdrew from the other tournament in his “comeback.” Beyond sad if this is the direction in which he finishes his career.
But self-inflicted is his own misery. Going back to that fateful Thanksgiving weekend when his extracurricular escapades made headlines…..
Regardless, Mr. Nicklaus has nothing to worry to worry about. His record of major wins is safe. Perfectly safe.
Tiger is Stuck in the Past
As a reader of your publication and aging golfer approaching 55 years of having played the game at many levels, I can relate in some ways to the dilemma facing Tiger Woods. I too have asked the question as to Tiger’s ability to compete on golf’s greatest stage as I have questioned my own ability to continue to play the game as a golfer competitive with my peers. I enjoy several luxuries that Tiger does not, such as being able to move up a set of tees which I have begrudgingly done over the past few years. But I am just a point of reference in the saga of Tiger Woods.
Golf is perhaps the most physically demanding game played on grass. I would maintain, having watched the Super Bowl last night, that even professional football does not extract the toll on the body that golf does. Pro football beats you up badly over perhaps 10-15 years for 16 weeks at a time. Golf wears you down over a lifetime 5 out of 7 days per week. To become the “greatest golfer to ever play the game” and challenge every record in the book, Tiger Woods placed extraordinary stress on his body – it started breaking while he was still at Stanford if not before, and it continued breaking as he amassed his incredible record of victories.
There are some forces that have worked against Tiger which come into play again during what I would suggest is his last attempt at a return. First, he has consistently demonstrated a lack of patience during the healing process, pushing his increasingly fragile and patched up body too far too fast. Second, he seems to be less than forthcoming about what is really going on inside his head. The arrogance of his youth has evolved into a false optimism voiced during his interviews. Third, he has created several new generations of arrogant young golfers just itching to be called the next Tiger Woods raising the level of the game so far that we all can relate to Bobby Jones’ comments about Jack Nicklaus.
Fourth, and perhaps most significant, Tiger seems to be trying to be the golfer that he was 20 years ago rather than reinvent his game and himself. Ben Hogan, after the near fatal car accident and being told he might never walk again, came back and won the U.S. Open, not because he returned to the Hogan of old, but because he completely reinvented everything about his golf game.
If I were advising Tiger, and I understand that he can be quite stubborn about taking any outside advice (that may be number 5), I would advise him to shift his focus. I would tell him to stop using language like “comeback” and start talking about reinventing his game. Instead of comparing himself, or us comparing him, to the Tiger of 15-20 years ago, let’s start comparing him with Hogan. Tiger is stuck in the past, and we all have helped to keep him there. He would be well served to overhaul his self-image and then to express that to the press and the public. He does not cast the dark shadow of intimidation any longer, because his body isn’t what it used to be and because his competition isn’t what it used to be. We used to praise Tiger for his ability to think his way around the golf course. I would remind Tiger of that ability while reminding him that trying to play a game that he no longer has is counter-productive.
He has the skill set, my God, he has the skills. They just need to be age-adjusted and attitude adjusted. If Nolan Ryan could allow himself to use the curve ball; Tiger Woods can learn to hit 285 yards drives in the fairway and 3/4 shots with one more club with all the precision and distance control that he had in his youth. I anticipate the day when one of the announcers describes Tiger Woods as “sneaky long.” The one thing he can recapture is his magical short game and magnificent putting. Finally, I would remind Tiger that, at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is the score and every swing counts as 1.
Please Tiger – change our conversation by changing your conversation. You can still beat any of them, young or old. Perhaps not as often; perhaps not as convincingly. Come to Augusta with a new course strategy for getting to the greens. Once you are there, no one in the field can out-chip or out-putt you. I promise you it will be the most fun you’ve had in a long time.
Port Saint Lucie, FL
Bob Grayson is a lifetime golfer struggling with the decline of his game. He is also a licensed clinical massage therapist who works with clients suffering with chronic pain or persistent disease.
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