Need To Know
Renowned golf coach Hank Haney came under a lot of fire for this surprisingly discerning account of his time working with Tiger Woods, a player who as we all know tries to keep as private as he can.
In March 2004, Haney received a call from a then 28-year-old Woods – at the time not only the biggest golfer but the biggest athlete on the planet.
Throughout the book, Haney explains how he was with Woods for around 100 days a year, on the phone to him more than double that, and staying at his house for one month out of 12 to observe reactions at tournaments, in practice, over meals and with now ex-wife Elin.
Haney soon came to appreciate that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he’d ever met, let alone coached.
So why ‘The Big Miss’? In golfing terms, it’s the kind of miss-timed, miss-hit, heavy, skewed or downright shanked shot that can ruin even the best of rounds. And it was the type of shot which haunted Woods, often blighting the great man’s game. It was with this that Haney began to carefully re-design Woods’ swing.
But towards the end of their working relationship, Haney noticed his star pupil’s focus had begun to wane, as too his willingness to put the practice hours in – despite his infatuation with elite military training. (Tiger makes no secret of the fact he almost quit golf to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Navy Seal.)
Alas, we all know what happened to Woods in late 2009. And it turned out to be the big miss even Haney couldn’t prevent.
Whether you’re a fan of Woods or not, The Big Miss is a fascinating read and the kind of book you’ll read in just four or five sittings, such is the desire to find out the next stage of this erratic six-year relationship.
Should Haney have written this book? It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect any of us on a personal level. What we do get, though, is a fascinating insight into a world we could never normally be privy to.
A must read for any golf fan.
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