This was the first season Tiger Woods has been winless on the PGA Tour and failed to make the Fed Ex playoffs. It feels a bit strange in a way.
A lot happened mostly in what seemed like a really long year. It felt more like three years combined from where I’m sitting. A couple of guys really stepped up this year mainly Matt Kuchar but I do miss the “pumped-fist” exclaim and Tiger winning on Tour.
Tiger has the Ryder Cup here in a few weeks and that could really work to his advantage as a morale booster if he plays well and helps gives the US Team a boost and a win in Wales. Or it could be another disappointment to a peculiar rather distressing season here.
He then moves onto the international scene with the HSBC Open in Shanghai for a major event there in November. A change of environment might work just fine.
There’s talk of Tiger working on a new golf swing move and working with a new coach as well. Does he really need a new swing coach? Or does he really need a mentor and close friend type person to help shape his future where he’s going in golf and perhaps life.
My take on that is that he could swing a broom and perfect a swing move to make it work and work well. He is an extraordinary talented golfer. One in one hundred years of super skill level.
Lee Trevino really never had a coach because he believed the coach needed to be better than he was as a player or have more knowledge of the motion of the swing, which he was a master of. So does Tiger really need a swing coach for mechanics? Who mentored Palmer, Player and Nicklaus in their prime? I don’t think so.
All great athletes can adopt to many situations with their bodies and equipment and Tiger is no exception. Butch Harmon and Hank Haney did improve his game skills but he has tremendous mental focus and heart. And in my opinion that’s what needs to get fixed the most. Yes, he needs to change a few things in his life and hopefully he will and with new resolve and courage he will in time.
But you can tell he is determined to get it right once again and he has played and shot some really good rounds this past summer. Just not consecutively.
His great mental game has taken a bit of a beating that’s for sure. Other players sense a vulnerability like never before. Tiger can and is getting beaten by his peers. He has weaknesses like the other players now. The invincible aura has been is gone. At least for now.
The ability to remain focused when your universe is shaken or in an upheaval plays more on the mind of a golfer than anything else, and when one is swinging at 125-127 mph in a split second and impact, one’s balance can be just off enough and you hit in the rough too often.
If there ever was a 15 th club in the bag it has to be confidence and that comes from the player’s outlook and view of his game and self. The problems of life have a way of interjecting into the middle of it and when that becomes a bigger problem, then its hard to find your way back and play consistent great golf.
The great Jack Nickluas said in an article I will always remember and I tell to my advance players and pros, is that he wasn’t the greatest because he had better skills but he had his life in balance whereas many other players did not at the time in his era and were affected by relationships and in some cases did not recover. Jack had real support and stability in his family and wife and he didn’t have these concerns or problems and he was able to do what he set out to do in golf and did for many years at end.
I look forward this Ryder Cup in Wales and Tiger contributing to the team and his own esprit de corps. It would be great to see the US team pull of a victory and Tiger sealing the deal and making the difference.
After that, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Maybe watch the Golf Channel and reruns of “The Big Three” (not The Big Break ) and head in that direction and I can find solace there with the rest of us who love golf. Some of those classics too and key matches with Hogan-Snead- Nelson, etc.
2011 could be a real interesting year with the Masters up first in the Spring.
Go US team in the Ryder Cup!
All for now, Bob Cisco, www.allaboutgolf.us
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