is a book given to me by a close friend and one of many in my golf library( more on that later). Do I want to play golf like Tiger Woods? Yep, you bet. His worse day on the course is ten times better if not more than my best day on the links.
Now, I'm no sports psychologist, but as most avid golfers and golf fans like to do, they like to chat about golf. So, with Tiger missing the cut yesterday at the PGA Championship, the last major of the season, here's my slice on his performance and my hook on his game in general:
What Tiger needs is to ease up on the pressure he puts on himself and have fun while playing the game. For example, as usual he states it in all his press conferences that he expects to win every tournament he enters and after the day(s) at the beach he had this week, it's a major let down, no pun intended. Now what I mean by days at the beach is not the sandy shores near his gazillion dollar home in Florida. Tiger was in so much sand over the last two days at the PGA Championship, one could confuse him with a cat in a litter box. By Tiger's standards, that's exactly what it was - - two rounds of cat poop!!
Sure he's been injured and we all know the struggles of the aging athlete but he's changed his coach, he's changed his caddy, he's even changed the types of golf shoes he wears, but has he changed his mental approach to the game? Granted, his fierce competitive focus worked in the past, but the past is the past. He's far from successful these days.
Right now, Tiger is just an average PGA pro. Playing one tournament then the PGA Championship expecting to win, ain't making the cut, second pun not intended. How about playing several tournaments each year instead of cherry picking your way to Jack's major record? Your game and the sport will be better for it.
Engage with the crowd, Tiger. Sign autographs, let down the facade of elitism, grand standing and grandiose. You miss an eagle putt by the width of a blade of Zoysiagrass and act like the sky has fell. Look at your peers, they work the crowd and appreciate their fans by shaking hands, signing golf balls, hats, gloves and the like.
Relax, have fun and open the door to all those fans that paid you all that money, cause no denying it they did through buying all those products you endorsed. Until you do, you're just another highly/over paid athlete hoping for that one last bit of glory. Am I one of his fans? Nope; never bought a Tiger product and best that I can recall, no Tiger sponsored product either. But I am a fan of the game.
So what can we expect out of Tiger the remainder of the golf season. He hasn't qualified for the FedEx Cup and last I heard he's not playing next week at the Wyndham Championship so who knows. Probably not much or perhaps its off to the pet store for another bag of kitty litter? Or grab a bushel basket and head to the orchard for more cherry picking next season?
So one last piece of advice for Mr. Woods or one last opine on my part ...read some of the following books, you might re-capture the fun of the sport and some inspiration along the way: (now when you read some of the titles of the books, I know what you may be thinking but yes, they are all real books, real titles, click away to find out more.)
No matter how bad you play on the course (I've played more bad rounds than good) and how frustrating it can be, its still one heck of a fun game!
Who's your Caddy? by Rick Reilly
How To Really Stink at Golf, by Jeff Foxworthy
Golf My Own Damn Way, by John Daly
My Life In and Out of the Rough, by John Daly
A Golfer's Life by Arnold Palmer with James Dodson
Caddy for Life by John Feinstein
Bud, Sweat and Tees, by Alan Shipnick
Confessions of a Hooker, My Lifelong Love Affair with Golf, by Bob Hope
Golf's Short Game for Dummies
I Call the Shots, by Johnny Miller
The Mysterious Montague, by Leigh Montville
A Son of the Game, by James Dodson
Tales from Q School by John Feinstein
A Good Walk Spoiled by John Feinstein
Always by My Side by Jim Nantz
The Majors by John Feinstein
Zinger by Paul Azinger
Golf Dreams by John Updike
The Match by Mark Frost
The Game for a Lifetime; Little Red Book; And if you Play Golf, you're my Friend - all by Harvey Penick
Open by John Feinstein
Payne Stewart by Tracey Stewart
One Magical Sunday by Phil Mickelson
Zen Golf by Dr. Josef Parent
Playing by the Rules by Arnold Palmer
Golf by Alstair Cooke
Cinderella Story by Bill Murray
Golf and Life by Jack Nicklaus
My Story by Jack Nicklaus
The Masters by Curt Sampson
Getting Up and Down by Ken Venturi
One Magical Sunday by various journalists