Tiger regime 'like boot camp'

Why he's such a disciplinarian

Bob Warters
Mon, 16 Mar 2009

Tiger regime 'like boot camp'

Tiger's tree-iron: World No.1 in action at the WGC CA Championship at Doral this week.

    Tiger Woods, ninth place finish behind Phil Mickelson at the weekend wasn't seen as a set back by the World No.1 but serves to underline that he's making rapid progress after his eight months out of action recovering from knee surgery.

Bet your life that Tiger has been on a disciplinarian regime - just as his late dad would have demanded - and will have timed his re-appearance on Tour to fit in a handful of events before he sets out to claim another major at Augusta in early April.

After shooting eight under par over the weekend to finish on 11 under par - eight behind Mickelson - Tiger said his performance was better than he expected and his form improved every day, which is bad news for his rivals.

"I'm surprised that I got the feel for hitting shots so quickly," he said. "I've been away from the game for eight months and to come here and progress every day and get the feel of my short game, seeing shots, hitting shots was satisfying. My distance control got better each."

Tiger's philosophy is built around his ability to discipline his awareness. according the PGA pro and coach Sam Jarman, the former English Amateur championship finalist from Northampton, whose regular newsletters are a rich source of insight into the mental side of the game.

He reveals a key reason why Tiger at his best outshines his rivals by some margin.

Woods using his new Nike SQ Dymo driver at Doral

"A lack of self discipline means you can't trust yourself, because you never know when you're going to let yourself down. Tiger Woods has fantastic self discipline because his father was a military man and by all accounts Tiger had a very disciplined upbringing," says Sam.

He recalls learning from a Tour caddiethat one emerging young pro had the same coach as Woods and went to live and train with him for a couple of weeks in the off season. Allegedly he left after three days complaining that the regime was 'like being in boot camp!

"The player is good, but often described as not living up to his potential," says Sam, explaining that practice without awareness is just exercise and that those, like Tiger, who get the most out of their game are the ones who discipline their awareness enough to focus on the basics.

"We know what a good grip is, we know what good posture and balance is, and we know that our best shots come from a smooth and relaxed rotation around our centre. But problems start on the practice ground where there is no pressure and this causes a lack of discipline and we get sloppy with our basics.

"Discipline," he says "is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."

Well worth remembering next time you're on the range beating balls with no distinct purpose.



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