Jimenez: Tiger needs to enjoy himself

Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez on Woods's woes, playing to the crowd and, yes, working out

Charlie Lemay's picture
Fri, 22 May 2015
Jimenez: Tiger needs to enjoy himself

Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, 51, is one if life's characters and is known for his love of fine wine, fat cigars and fun times.

GolfMagic caught up with the Maui Jim sunglass brand ambassador at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship. 

Tiger Woods is approaching 40 - how can he rediscover his best form?

All he needs to do is enjoy himself.  Go to the golf course and focus the way he is doing all his life – that’s all he has to do. Nothing else.

He’s obviously still got some problems, which is a pity and I would love him to come back. He’s a great player and it means a lot for golf if he can come back. I saw the swing at the Masters, and it looks like he’s coming back. Give him time and we’ll see what happens. 

The game is changing - power has seemingly become more important than finesse. As more of a "thinking player", what do you make of that?

That’s what happened. Everything is going more into the power, golf courses are getting longer and people are hitting it straighter.

Even if you hit it well before the ball could be moving everywhere but now because of the equipment, it does nothing. It’s all about hitting it long and sinking the putt now. But this is also an art.

While we're talking about how the game has changed, what do you make of the youngsters hitting the gym all the time?

That’s something Tiger brought in also. He was probably the first athlete in golf. Around 15, 20 years ago the way he hit the ball it was a huge difference to the rest of the guys and he was in the middle of all the new players that were coming through that are exploding now.

Rory’s making a lot of success and he is very fit – you can see from the way he move the body and the way he hit the ball. We all work out – even me! You have to in order to keep up. 

Are some players going overboard with their gym routines?

People for many years said "gym is no good for golf" now you see the new way which is that the gym is good for golf. It’s more professional now, we have people telling us how to work and our mechanics and everything and that helps, it’s a plus not minus. But you can damage yourself – you need to get the balance.

You seem like a happy-go-lucky character, and are perceived as a joker in the pack. Are you always like that?

Yes, that's just me. When you’re playing on the golf course and you make a hole-in-one or an eagle and hole a long putt, people are coming to see golf and they want to see players enjoying themselves.

They don’t want to see people with sad faces - it’s a theatre. We have to make a show and people like it. You don’t want to see a player miss a shot and banging his club because he’s pissed off. No...happiness - its part of the game. You may want to be upset but you have to show the other face and when you do something good, share it. 

You're still playing great golf post-50 - what's the secret?

There is no secret. I love what I do in my life. I love golf, competing and that keeps you waking up every morning and gets you going to practice every day.

You've amassed an impressive 21 wins on the European Tours so are no stranger to winning. Why do you think you haven't been able to triumph at a major?

That’s life. I’d give a lot to have a major in my career. It hasn’t happened yet but you have to get everything in the right for it to happen – playing well, feeling good in yourself, everything has to be right to win a major. Even then it’s tough because everyone is playing well at the majors – it’s a lot of competition. 

Darren Clarke was chosen as the 2016 Ryder Cup captain but you were thought to be in the running also...

I don’t know what’s going to happen. I put my name forward and Darren (Clarke) was chosen and when the votes were in I went to him and said here you have myself for support and 100% of my loyalty to do anything for the Ryder Cup.

In 2018 I will put my name there and I will hope I can get picked. 

What would you bring to the role?

Just myself, with the perfect attitude and the emotions to win or to retain the trophy. 

Will your compatriot Sergio Garcia win a major?

I hope he can because he has played very well for many years. I think it’s a pity he doesn’t have one already or maybe two, but that’s the game. 

Finally, why have you decided to align yourself with Maui Jim?

They gave me some product to try last year and it was brilliant the image and everything, it’s fantastic – the best. They have a lot of technology behind the glasses and they’re great at protecting your eyes.

They’re also great at showing up all the undulations on the greens – they’re perfect. 

To learn more about Maui Jim, visit the company's website.