Tiger Woods announced Wednesday on his website tigerwoods.com that he won’t be returning to competitive golf until his game is “tournament ready.” Said Woods, “Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to spend time with the people that are important to me. My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf.” Woods said he hopes to return for the Honda Classic beginning February 26th in Palm Beach Gardens, but that he won’t play if his game isn’t ready. “I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level,” said Woods. “When I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.” Woods said the injury that caused him to withdraw from the Farmer’s Insurance Open Thursday at Torrey Pines is not related to the back surgery he had last spring.
A couple of days ago, I commented on the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee and his discussion of Tiger Woods’ pursuit of perfection. At the moment it looks like Tiger is lost when he’s out on the golf course. He definitely has major problems with his chipping and his pitching. His ball striking to me is awful considering he’s considered by many to be the greatest player of all time.
What Tiger needs is tough love.
If I was his coach, first I would throw away all the technical gadgets such as TrackMan and video analysis. I would take him out on the course and have him all kinds of shots. This would get him to “play” golf again. Tiger knows how to hit all the shots, but at the moment, he’s in his own way.
Tiger started with Butch Harmon, who helped him become great. Who knows the real reason they departed ways, but on a suggestion from (good friend) Mark O’Meara, he then went to Hank Haney. O’Meara made Hank look good. Tiger then leaves Haney, and who really knows the whole story as to why they departed?
What I find confusing and amazing is that the next two guys who became Tiger’s coach were people, for the most part, that no one had ever heard of, especially new coach Chris Como.
Tiger doesn’t need a coach. He needs to reach out to the greats of the game: Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino, Player, and Watson. Where do you think “Butchy boy,” as I like to call him, learned his craft? His father, Claude, a world class player, let all the Harmon boys hang around the greats of his time: Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and Byron Nelson. If Tiger can get off his own pedestal, then maybe he can return to greatness. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
About the Special Guest Commentator
Jay Friedman teaches Golf Fundamentals and Mechanics of the Short Game at the Golf Academy of America in Phoenix. He became a PGA Member in 1976 and spent that year playing on the PGA Tour. Jay earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma where he played on the golf team and won the Oklahoma State Amateur. For 19 years, Jay was the Head Professional at Meadowlands Country Club in Philadelphia where he was also Director of Instruction on a TV show called “Inside Golf.” In 2001, Jay became a teaching professional and has since played in seven Goldwater Cup matches, a Senior PGA Championship, two PGA National Club Professional Championships, and three National Club Professional Senior Championships.