By Ann Liguori
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Tiger Woods needs to write his own book.
After reading Hank Haney’s web site synopsis of his book, “The Big Miss,” (due to be released March 27) and reading Tiger’s reaction to it months ago, then seeing yesterday’s comments from Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, there is only one conclusion: Tiger needs to pen his own book and answer the many questions that his fans have about him.
Tiger could share aspects of his life that only he chooses to reveal and satisfy golf fans by shedding some light on his thought process, his swing changes and a little about what he may have perhaps learned from the scandal which crashed his world.
A book in his own words would set the record straight, provide intriguing insight, could alleviate the mystery and questions about him and take the attention away from other accounts that he will never be happy with. Tiger in his own words would perhaps humanize him to his fans and quench their thirst for some answers. Until he comes out with his own book, those who were given the opportunity to enter his small circle in whatever capacity can benefit from revealing what they know, if that’s the route they chose.
Yesterday, Steinberg was quoted in an AP story saying that Haney’s book is “armchair psychology” and “ridiculous” and that it was clear that Haney “only cares about self-promotion.”
Steinberg continued: “The disruptive timing of this book shows that Haney’s self-promotion is more important to him than any other person or tournament…What’s been written violates the trust between a coach and player and someone also once considered a friend.”
If you read the synopsis of Haney’s book on his web site, it does sound quite ‘self-serving:’
“The Big Miss is Hank Haney’s candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history. Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance: at tournaments, on the practice range, over meals, with his wife, Elin, and relaxing with friends…”
The synopsis continues: “…What Hank soon came to appreciate was that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he’d ever met, let alone coached. Although Hank had worked with hundreds of elite golfers and was not easily impressed, there were days watching Tiger on the range when Hank couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. On those days, it was impossible to imagine another human playing golf so perfectly.
And yet Tiger is human—and Hank’s expert eye was adept at spotting where Tiger’s perfection ended and an opportunity for improvement existed. Always haunting Tiger was his fear of “the big miss”—the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round—and it was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger’s game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.
Hank’s most formidable coaching challenge, though, would be solving the riddle of Tiger’s personality. Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank—or Tiger’s family and friends, for that matter—was spared “the treatment.”
Toward the end of Tiger and Hank’s time together, the champion’s laser-like focus began to blur and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing—a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger’s behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game. Hints that Tiger hungered to reinvent himself were present in his bizarre infatuation with elite military training, and—in a development Hank didn’t see coming—in the scandal that would make headlines in late 2009. It all added up to a big miss that Hank, try as he might, couldn’t save Tiger from.
There’s never been a book about Tiger Woods that is as intimate and revealing—or one so wise about what it takes to coach a superstar athlete.”
Here are excerpts from the book found on Golf Digest’s web site:
Catching Jack Added Pressure:
By 2007, Haney said, the job of coaching Woods got harder. “There was more urgency and less fun…He never mentioned Nicklaus’ record, but it started to weigh more heavily at every major. And Tiger’s actions indicated he believed he had less time to do it than everyone thought.”
Tiger’s Extreme Workouts Risked His Knee:
During four days of special-ops training in Fort Bragg, N.C., “Tiger did two tandem parachute jumps, engaged in hand-to-hand combat exercises, went on four-mile runs wearing combat boots, and did drills in a wind tunnel. Tiger loved it, but his physical therapist, Keith Kleven, went a little crazy worrying about the further damage Tiger might be doing to his left knee…One morning I was in the kitchen when he came back from a long run around Isleworth, and I noticed he was wearing Army boots. Tiger admitted that he’d worn the heavy shoes before on the same route. ‘I beat my best time,’ he said.”
His Fascination with The Military Became Obsession:
“Tiger was seriously considering becoming a Navy SEAL. I didn’t know how he’d go about it, but when he talked about it, it was clear he had a plan….I thought, Wow, here is Tiger Woods, greatest athlete on the planet, maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime, basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.”
The book is just another distraction that Tiger doesn’t need. None of these “revelations” would be “revelations” if Tiger was a bit more open about his own thoughts and the ups and downs of his life.
Do you think a book from Woods himself is long overdue? Sound off below…