Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Tiger’s major problem? It may be bigger than anyone thinks

Published

on

These days everyone’s a know-it-all in regard to Tiger Woods’ 0-for-17 slump in major championships.

Tiger’s struggles in major championships continued yesterday in the final round of The Open Championship at Muirfield, prompting ESPN Golf Broadcaster and 1993 PGA Championship winner Paul Azinger to say:

“This is not the Tiger Woods we’re used to seeing. Maybe it is the Tiger Woods we’re getting used to seeing.”

And the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee, one of Woods’ most vocal critics, took a veiled shot at Woods’ swing instructor Sean Foley after Woods T-6 British Open finish saying,

“What I hate more than anything is [Foley’s] turned [Woods] into a technical junkie. There’s so much pressure on him to be technically perfect, and it distracts him. He makes mental mistakes now that he never used to make. At 37 years old, he’s got all this experience and he’s not relying on it. [Instead] he’s playing with his golf swing.”

Even before the 142nd Open began, Woods took criticism from another golf broadcast heavyweight — 6-time major winner and CBS Sports analyst Nick Faldo. He said that Woods “is in a different mode when he’s winning regular tournaments, but he gets to the majors and something happens. The self-belief you have to have, maybe there’s a little dent in there.”

Woods is now more than five years removed from his last major championship, and is 25-over par in his last seven major weekends. But listening to Tiger, you wouldn’t think that he’s a guy with any weekend woes at all.

Tiger Woods 2013 British Open TheGreekGrind Pappas 1

“I feel very good about my game,” Woods said before play began on Thursday.  “I feel very, very good going into major championships.”

Assessing his performance after the Open, Woods said,

“I had a hard time adjusting to the [green] speeds, but I didn’t really play that poorly. I really hit the ball well today.”

And without prompting, Woods went on to also address his major dry spell, saying, “I’ve been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch. I just haven’t done it yet.”

Sounds like the confident, fist-pumping, fairway-marching, 14-time major winner we all know, right?

The problem is that Tiger’s been giving this exact same speech before and after nearly every major for the past five years, and the results aren’t changing. Going back to April and Augusta, Woods said, “I feel like I’m playing well. I was pretty close and I had the lead at one point. Unfortunately, I just haven’t gotten it done.”

And after the U.S. Open at Merion, Woods said,

“I did a lot of things right, unfortunately I did a few things wrong.”

Tiger’s overall numbers at Muirfield were impressive certainly, hitting nearly 70 percent of the greens and 75 percent of the fairways, both well above the field averages.

But on Sunday, Woods hit numerous approach shots poorly, staring incredulously as shots veered off in various directions. Woods missed one green far right, came up miserably short on another, and flew the green on yet another. Despite missing more greens on Sunday than he did in the first three rounds, it’s perplexing that Woods would say he “hit the ball really well.”

Tiger Woods 2013 British Open TheGreekGrind Pappas 3

Even when Woods did admit he couldn’t get the speed right on Muirfield’s greens, the statement came with a caveat:

“They were much slower today, much softer.”

That begs the question: If Tiger knew the greens were playing soft, why didn’t he adjust early on, or at least mid-round? That seems like something even a weekend golfer would know to do, let alone the greatest player of this generation.

Whatever Woods might say, there’s no mistaking Tiger’s demeanor on the course tells a completely different tale than what he presents in his press conferences. Enough even to at least question if Woods actually believes what he’s saying.

After Woods’ 13-over finish at the U.S. Open at Merion last month, former instructor Hank Haney called out Woods preparation for majors on FOX Sports, adding

“Tiger’s having a real hard time winning the easiest major he’s going to win – No. 15.  No. 18 to tie Jack (Nicklaus) and 19 to beat Jack, those are going to be the hard ones.”

And Sunday at Muirfield, Tiger wasn’t charging with the verve and vitality of someone confident and playing well. He stood with shoulders slumped on multiple holes, with dazed resignation in his eyes. As early as his ugly three-putt on the first hole, Woods appeared tired — not in a physical sense, but emotionally. The kind that comes with the unrelenting pressure of watching yet another major championship slip away.

But put aside for a moment discussions of Tiger’s age and injuries, swing styles and scandal, or whether you agree with Azinger’s diminishing skills sentiment, Chamblee’s paralysis by analysis notion, or Faldo’s and Haney’s mental hurdles presumption.

Woods’ biggest problem may very well be a history no one has ever defeated. A five year major drought has been the death knell for every major champion in the history of modern golf. In the last 37 years, no player has ever won more than one final career major after going five years without major victory.

Woods seems to lean on his history of 14 majors as a reason why he’ll win again. And once upon a time that would have been enough. But history says that it’s likely Woods will struggle to get more than 14 or 15 majors, and that the window may have already closed on Tiger’s chase to surpass Jack.

Your Reaction?
  • 22
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW2
  • LOL4
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Pete is a journalist, commentator, and interviewer covering the PGA Tour, new equipment releases, and the latest golf fashions. Pete's also a radio and television personality who's appeared multiple times on ESPN radio, and Fox Sports All Bets Are Off. And when he's not running down a story, he's at the range working on his game. Above all else, Pete's the proud son of a courageous mom who battled pancreatic cancer much longer than anyone expected. You can follow Pete on twitter @PGAPappas

105 Comments

105 Comments

  1. John

    Nov 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I will never understand why tiger woods is the only athlete in the world that has to constantly answer for cheating/getting divorced. At the rate that stuff goes on in everyday life with normal people you really have to be a sheltered little alter boy to be so offended that the highest paid athlete in the game can’t stay married. Golfers who are concerned with who tiger is shacking with or the manor in which he’s doing so clearly never understood why people were drawn to him in the first place. Tiger gave golf a mistique and coolness that boring overweight white guys couldn’t. He most likely won’t ever win another major and might not even be returning to professional golf, but the whole on course off course behavior argument is the most laughable way of dismissing woods yet.

  2. Flip

    Sep 26, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Washed up

  3. videos

    Dec 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    You guys should really look at this web site, they offer the highest quality baseball tubes I’ve stumbled upon up to now.

  4. Jamie

    Aug 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    You guys are funny…yes I’m a Tiger fan, but I’m a Nicklaus, Phil, and Duff fan. So Joe Montana is the greatest QB because he won the most SB’s? Or is Bill Russell the greatest B-ball player because he won the most rings? You’re telling me Robert Horry is better or as good as MJ or Kobe? He’s got the rings. Tiger is the best by far of our generations and many past and future. He will have more wins, most likely over 100. Better overall statistics the Jack, or any other golfer ever to walk the earth will over a career. BTW…he is the only golfer in history to have an average score in the 60’s for his career…THE ONLY. Not Jack, not Lee, not Arnold…Now he is a Type A, anal, focused individual…but so are many geniuses. I don’t condone poor behavior, but I don’t walk in his shoes and will never judge another man/woman before GOD.

    IMHO, Tiger is the best golfer of all time. He may not be the most Majors winner of all time, but he’s no Bill Russell. And BTW, Sam Snead was better then Jack. Jack will tell you that.

  5. Desmond

    Aug 3, 2013 at 6:45 am

    You made the mistake of mentioning Haney.

    • Jim

      Sep 9, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      The over- rated hack that totally mismanaged the prodgeny that fell into his lap. HE did nothing to protect and prevent injury – already recurring at the time and look to the future.

      Anyone changing a grip or backswing – the dude had since he was 3 – that weren’t hurting anything – while he WAS dominating the WORLD (so they could ‘show’ some swing change THEY made should be sued for malpractice.

      Tiger’s problems started as most sheltered prodgenys do. The protectors keeping him from the real world die – or – as often happens in many arenas, the two toughest guys on the block – sooner or later, they’re gonna fight. In this case Earl passed, Tiger & Butch kinda had the ‘toughest guys’ moment…. (he discovered strippers too)…

      whatever

      Here’s the real bottom line. Golf hasn’t been fun for HIM. Not for a while. He may still love it, may still want to play & most certainly win – I can’t believe he could lose his core ‘drive’ – but the scales have tipped. The balance of drive combined with the JOY of it all has tipped to drive – but instead of joy, it’s struggle. Struggling to make the WRONG changes based on a NEW baseline built not apon a sheltered, strong and healthy body and mind, but an injured frame and mind fogged by BAD DECISIONS AND WORSE “COACHING” ….

      IF I were Tigets friend & confidant, I woulda told him look bro, we’re taking this year off (after the 2nd knee surgery). We’re renting a Tour bus, and we’re gonna start in Maine in May, and do a secret ‘Tiger vacation/tour’. No press, no agents, no nuthin. Just golf at a different great club everyday. Eat good food – and yes – hit a titty bar or two every so often… We’re just gonna play golf everyday with no pressure, no BS – until the great catharsis that is golf – cleanses his soul and it’s fun again.

      There can never be ‘another’ Tiger Woods. It’s NOT possible to capture lightning in a bottle twice. No one’s afraid of him – shit, they’re all as strong and as good as they are now BECAUSE OF HIM… he’ll never be ‘Tiger’ again….

      Time for ELDRICK to come out n play….

      ps…he should see me for lessons that’ll keep him injury free. I was able to turn professional AFTER I broke my back. Working with ‘geniuses’ – that never been through it themselves doesn’t seem to be working.

  6. Bill

    Aug 1, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Tiger is starting to talk down the greens for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Yesterday mentioned that they are slow and no thatch. Not sure if aim right about this but doesn’t thatch make them soft which adds resistance which slows down the greens and makes them bumpy.

  7. David

    Jul 31, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Ack…. there’s nothing “wrong” with him. He’s just playing with a little less consistency. It happens to all players now and again. It’s happening to Rory now too. The game comes and goes. The majors are set up hard and it’s reflected in occasional bad scores.

    That’s it in a nutshell. I’m no Tiger fan but all this speculating is silly.

  8. Brian

    Jul 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Performance enhancing drugs ruined Tiger’s body and Sean Foley ruined his swing, NOT a good combination……..

    • Jim

      Sep 10, 2016 at 12:23 am

      Haney ruined his swing FIRST – AND FAILED to impart biomechanical changes to PROTECT him from further injury and stop the two excessively violent moves he did – that even Butch told him would eventually wreck his back and his knee…neither Haney or Foley got it.

      It was about THEM – NOT Tiger. They should both “go to the box and feel shame”

  9. Chris

    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:24 am

    no loss—happy to see him fail in the majors…mark me a hater!

  10. Sean

    Jul 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I’ve observed that this Tiger guy seems rather polarizing. If you say something negative you’re a hater, which seems a bit over the top, because not all negative comments are “hateful”. I never believed that Tiger cared what anyone thought, so I don’t buy the argument that it’s outside influences putting pressure on him. As far as “how many majors have Azinger and Chamblee won” that’s simply specious. Yes, he’s won four times this year, but on courses he’s intimately familiar with, which doesn’t detract from his wins, just a point of observation. Frankly it’s a puzzle why he hasn’t won #15. Maybe he just doesn’t have the same fire. Maybe he needs Stevie back on the bag. What he says in his post round interviews doesn’t jibe with what’s happening on the course. In any case, he’s making too many unforced errors, which he never used to do. Figure why that is and you’ll know why he’s not winning majors.

    • stephenf

      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Maybe it’s just really, really hard to win 15 majors, even in an era of talented-but-soft competition (no Palmer, Player, Trevino, Casper, Watson, etc.), which is why only one guy in history has ever done it.

      In other words, maybe it’s time for writers to stop making every single event about Tiger Woods, and take another look at Nicklaus’s stupendous level of excellence in achieving that record.

      • Tom Murch

        Aug 20, 2013 at 10:32 pm

        From tstephen to stephenf: where were you the past 3 months when I was trying to convey your point regarding Jack vs Tiger on the thread “Greatest male player ever” since you have made so many good points?

  11. Shane Keeley

    Jul 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I do not agree with any of the statements in the article, however my opinion is that Tiger no longer has the joy aspect of the game that he had when he was constantly winning. I honestly believe that he does enjoy the game but not to the extent where he’s excited to go practice and go play to the best of his ability.

    If I could look at Tiger and tell him one thing about the game it would be to simply stop worrying about the titles, the glory, the money, or criticism and just go have fun… go enjoy the game like you did when you were younger and before you had the weight on your shoulders.

  12. M. P. Ohaneson

    Jul 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I think the past problems of his personal life really derailed him for awhile, but he has shown a lot of great golf and a number of tour wins, especially this year. He looks happier than ever since he started seeing Lindsey Vonn so I think his personal life is no longer the problem. I think he is playing with injuries. He’s such a fierce competitor that I think he will play in a major even if he has an injury. Say what you will about him, but he doesn’t make excuses for himself, and I think he plays injured without anyone knowing it.

  13. David

    Jul 25, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I don’t think anything is “wrong” with Tiger. It’s just that he’s gotten older, and it’s clear injuries have effected him in his career. One thing people always forget is that Tiger isn’t 21 years old anymore yet unless he repeats that same level of dominance he had when he was 21 people say “Tiger’s just not right”. When it comes to majors as well the fields become a lot more competitive than they do with the weekly events that he does continue to have success at.

    At this point Tiger reminds me of a great power pitcher in baseball where when they’re 21 or 22 they can just blow everyone away with their nasty stuff. When they age and the stuff becomes more ordinary they have to learn how to actually pitch by changing speeds, and working the inside of the plate.

  14. Johnnythunders

    Jul 25, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I am so happy to see Tigers continued slump in the majors. I never liked Tiger from day one. He had talent but no class. What I find interesting is once he started winning all of the media just fawned all over him and how 5 years into his majors slump they have turned on him. Love it.

    No matter how many majors Tiger wins or how many tournments he wins, he will never be considered “great”. Jack, Be, Sam, Gary and Arnie are great and maybe even Phil someday. Tiger will not be remembered kindly by history.

  15. stephenf

    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:10 am

    Nice piece with some really cogent points, but please, I’m asking as nicely as I can…figure out what “begging the question” actually is, then tell every writer friend you have. It’s a sacred duty not to contribute to the obliteration of a perfectly good, in fact critically important, logical fallacy.

  16. matt

    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    this is really tigers come back year..just because he hasn’t won any majors doesn’t mean he wont next year, or the next, or the next. he has a lot of golf to play, I think him losing these majors will only make him better. take adam scott he blew last years british and came back the next year and wont the masters. he said he learned a lot from losing that tournament. Phil has been runner up 6 times at the us open, what does he do the next major after? shoots 66 in the final day to win. just give the man a break and leave it alone, he will win a major again, maybe the pga, or maybe it wont be until next year.

    • Jim

      Sep 10, 2016 at 1:43 am

      TIGER is dead.

      NO ONE catches lightning in a bottle twice. No one is afraid of him any more – they’re stronger and better BECAUSE of him.

      If ELDRICK finally sheds himself of the worst, most over-rated blowhard coaches – who ARE NOT protecting his injuries and not making changes to his swing based on biomechanical NECESSITY, he may very well win a couple more ‘Majors’. Frankly, that shouldn’t even be part of the equation right now.

      Eldrick will win when he grows up, resets his compass “gets his shit in one sock” as we used to say – and regains the LOVE he had – for just PLAYING THE GAME

  17. Curt

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Ladies, ladies, ladies – Tiger would have to achieve Mickelson’s entire major championship career (5 majors), from this point on, to surpass Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors.

    Face reality, its not going to happen. As I said above in another post, he might win one or maybe even two more majors, but he will not will 5 more from here.

    He has way to much scar tissue between the ears and outside, physical injuries, age, nerves, etc. and the field gets deeper and deeper every year, while just get older and older………………

    • Brick

      Jul 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Funny you mention age. I clearly remember seeing Tom Watson nearly win the 2009 Open Championship at 59 years young. And we should listen to your doubt and criticism of Tiger because he has 14 Major Championships and you have what?…maybe a handful of wins on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14?

      • Curt

        Jul 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm

        I challenge you to TW PGA Tour 14 any day of the week!!!

  18. Raymond Filip

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Tiger has class. Nicklaus is the spoiled son of a pharmacist; he enjoyed a major head start in life. Tiger had to fight for every inch of success as a “Caublasian,” as well as dealing with media pressure and a depth of field that Nicklaus never had to worry about. Give Tiger his due with 14 majors. Nicklaus could never have achieved that many in today’s era. Class is not a numbers game.

    • stephenf

      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

      I wonder how people as ignorant as you are on this subject feel qualified to post at all.

      If you want to believe the “depth of field” nonsense constantly put out there by the PGA Tour (which has no interest in tarnishing its product by admitting that Nicklaus, Hogan, and Snead had better top competition), go ahead and believe your adolescent myth that the current era must be better. In fact, it is provably not. If I thought it would do one bit of good, I’d go into it here. We’ll start with the fact that anytime you want to bring Woods’ top four rivals against Nicklaus’ top four, just say the word. It doesn’t matter how “deep” the field is — how many people around #125 can get rich with a stroke average of 71 or 72 and never sniffing a win — it matters how high it is. And there is no disputing that during both the Nicklaus era and the Hogan-Snead-Nelson era, it was much higher.

      As for “privileged,” Woods had nothing to do all his life but play golf and travel to tournaments. Nicklaus’s family was solidly middle-class; his father owned a pharmacy, which did not make him a rich man, although they were well-off enough for him to play tournaments. But when Nicklaus was in college, he was married and selling insurance to make a living. He was also looking forward to a career as a pharmacist himself (probably) and a high-level amateur career as a player, until he decided to give the Tour a try. Woods was never anything other than completely groomed for professional golf and never for one moment made a living any other way. To act like Woods had some kind of underprivileged background and was prevented from doing anything significant in the game because of his race is just nonsense.

      As for “class,” I mean, you have got to be living in a cave. Woods humiliated and betrayed his wife and children by sleeping with every cocktail waitress and aspiring porn star he could get his hands on. (Hogan, on the other hand, threw himself across his wife’s body to save her life in a head-on collision with a bus. And neither Hogan nor Nicklaus nor any of the other great players in history ever had so much as a hint of marital or sexual scandal.) He curses on camera regularly, despite knowing that millions of kids are watching. (Nicklaus, by contrast, quit smoking the day he saw himself on film, deciding it looked bad and was a bad influence on kids.) Then there was the time he refused to sign a golf ball for charity, or other times when he curses and elbows fans out of the way after a bad shot. Yeah. Nothing but class.

      As for media pressure, cry me a freakin’ river. Media “pressure” doesn’t excuse his behavior, and it doesn’t come for no reason at all. It comes with celebrity, which happens to be the reason he’s the richest athlete on the planet. I don’t see him ducking away from his celebrity. I see him pumping it, or at least he did for most of his career. I see him participating in the ridiculous myth of his own invincibility, which leaves him vulnerable to criticism when he can’t control winning all the time. If he has “pressure,” he brought it on himself, every dollar of it. He could be as private as he wanted to be, but he _doesn’t_ want to be. The idea of “media pressure” for somebody like him is a joke.

      Woods is clearly the “best” player of his generation, if you limit the notion of “good” strictly to striking a ball and scoring low, and erase all questions of character from a game where character is supposed to matter. His skill level is off the charts. His mental and competitive toughness make him a man among boys on that count. But “class”? Woods is emblematic of the vulgar, self-indulgent child, sometimes race-obsessed and race-excusing, that has become the model of the modern pro athlete. Anybody who cares at all about the best traditions of this game will find that intolerable.

  19. Paul

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I fugure the only record Tiger should keep his sights on is Sam Sneads total tournament record. If he passes that mark – he is undisputed in my book. If he squeezes out another major or two in the process that’s still an undisputed record.

    • stephenf

      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Okay. But who are his Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan?

  20. Brick

    Jul 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Tiger WILL win his next Major Championship when Tiger is ready…he broke through and won three times last year and four out of his first eight starts this year. His performance at The Players this year was phenomenal. I, like many others, expected Tiger to sweep The Memorial again this year…however, from the get-go, it was easy to see that his demeanor wasn’t the same as when he was at The Players. Although the world puts Tiger on pedestal…Tiger is a human being and puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me. Stop hating on the greatest golfer of this generation…we all make mistakes and poor choices in life. It is too easy to criticize others while wearing our own shoes…

  21. Bart carter

    Jul 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Can’t help but wonder if Jack really faced the same standard of competition that Tigers faces, the comparisons are a bit silly aren’t they? all things being equal??? I think Tiger in a face off would be a better prospect, but who knows??.

    • Dan

      Jul 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Are you for real? Nicklaus had to compete against the truly greatest players in the game; Palmer, Player, Trevino, Watson, Ballesteros, Kite, Norman, Crenshaw, Irwin, Casper, Floyd, Langer, etc.

      Who was around when Tiger showed up? Mickelson? Els? Singh? Goosen? Harrington? I’ll give you those guys HoF’ers. But beyond that? Garcia, Janzen, Olazabel, Price, Stankowski, Couples?. Lots of guys nearing the end of their PGA best years or guys like Sergio, good but never great.

      The reason Tiger isnt blowing the field away is that there are a lot more young capable players since 2009, maybe not as consistent but guys that have similar amounts of talent and strength.

      • stephenf

        Jul 29, 2013 at 11:34 am

        You said it.

        For further corroboration, just check the average score Woods has had to shoot to win majors — with near-perfect course conditions, a longer and more consistent ball, and game-improvement features in clubs.

        Also look at what scores were shot by others in contention.

        Also look at what people have done in playoffs against him, and what scores he’s had to make in playoffs to win. (If I had time and opportunity, I’d go into that abominable chicken-out at Torrey Pines in the U.S. Open as an extended example of “just glad to be here”-ism.)

        People frequently cite the fact that Woods has been statistically the best frontrunner in history among great players. There’s a reason for that, but hardly any of the people who point to that particular stat as an indication of Woods’ superiority have any idea what that reason is. It is inconceivable that such a thing would’ve happened in the era of Hogan, Snead, Nelson, Demaret, et al., or in the era of Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Trevino, Casper, Miller, Watson, et al.

        Sure, some of the guys you mention (Mickelson and others) are hall-of-famers, and I absolutely love some of them (Mickelson and Els in particular), but among those only Mickelson is starting to approach the level of the top competition faced by Hogan, Snead, and Nicklaus. And frankly, when Mickelson is playing his best, there is no way Woods can dominate him. It’s just that Woods has been tougher and more consistent mentally over his career than Phil has. I have a feeling, though, that if Mickelson keeps his desire, he could be a Snead the Second — smarter than he was in the first two-thirds of his career, still stupendously long and no sign of that diminishing, and cagier about certain strategic situations and how to keep himself in contention. We’ll see.

  22. Ward G. Walkup IV

    Jul 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Was watching old videos of Tiger 2000-2002 era and was surprised at how natural and fluid he was. Even his practice swings for swing keys were smooth and fluid. Fast forward to today, he just looks so technical and jerky. Maybe its just over analysis, but its hard to play and is mentally fatiguing to constantly be working on technical queues instead of just playing golf. His numbers with Foley look good, but it seems to be that when it counts, e.g. Majors, he’s continually coming up short.

    An even bigger issue seems to be his putting under major pressure, as he just doesn’t seem to be the same in pressure situations. Looking back at all the footage of Tiger under pressure in big tournaments, he always nailed the momentum building or momentum killing puts, which he seems to not be doing as much lately. His numbers are still great though, as hes, I believe, in the top 5 in strokes gained putting.

    The other big elephant in the room for Tiger seems to be winning from behind in a Major, as hes never won without having the lead going into Sunday in a Major. While he’s won like crazy, a lot of his wins have come from other guys self destructing or crumbling when Tiger’s leading or near the lead, which isn’t happening like before.

    I’d really like to see him break Jack’s record, in spite of his personality flaws, indiscretions, etc., just because of his sheer athleticism and determination. Do I believe he’ll do it? Less and less so, but can’t say I’m not going to watch or be any less interested.

  23. SN

    Jul 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I see 4 kind of people bashing TW; haters, hypocrites, racists and medias.

    Personally I would love to see him winning at least a major again, not for beating Jack’s record… I dont even understand why people give so much crap about Jack’s record. TW is great enough already, with or without beating Jack’s record…

    Yet, seriously I wanna print all these crap writing and comments of these hater and shove up to their arse when TW win the 15th…

    • Abu Dhabi Golfer

      Jul 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

      That’s funny.

      THOSE are the four same kinds of people that I see praising TW!!!!

  24. purkjason

    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Jack’s 18 Majors won’t be beat for a long, long, time if ever. And Jack’s 19 second place finishes at Majors is more mind boggling to me because it truly shows how consistent he was on the big stage. Tiger may have talent but EVERY HUMAN BEING hits that age when your body says NO MORE. Everybody hits their peak for awhile but you can’t sustain it forever. For some it’s early in life and some a bit later. But to say that Tiger is in the same category as Jack is nonsense due to Jack being a REAL MAN with moral principles like Arnie, Gary, and even the great Phil Mickelson. A good human being means more than athletism, adultary, vulgar speech, etc. We all miss seeing alot of great golf out on the course due to the media shoving Tiger down our throats with each televised tournament. When is enough enough ?

  25. Blanco

    Jul 24, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Tiger, like ALL golfers, runs on confidence. The #1 story in golf is “when will Tiger win his next major?” In the world of social media hell– there’s no way someone wouldn’t be affected by the frequent media assault on his character and skill.

    This is Tiger Woods– when he wins his next major, he will continue to win majors. Kindof like when Brandell said he would NEVER win again and then once he does, he regains #1 and is winning %50 of all tournaments entered.

    To all you saints who can’t handle Tiger showing emotion– realize that you’re making strong judgements on a human being based on what Television is choosing to show you. The only person that should be passing judgement on his merits as a PERSON is Tiger himself. Watch golf for displays of awesome talent– not a displays of superior morality.

  26. HBTrojan77

    Jul 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    The pressure of chasing Jack’s record seems like it’s taking a toll on this guy…his game is nowhere near what it was back in 2000. His short game sucks if you want to compare this Tiger to the same Tiger back in 2000. Seems like that is what everybody is waiting to see. Not gonna happen. That run he had back in 2000 will never come around again.

  27. Jason

    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Tiger is like a boxer that is great when he is the one landing punches, but as soon as he gets punched he folds the tent. When he is the front runner and everyone is chasing him he handles adversity completely differently than he does when he knows he has to make up ground. Tiger has yet to prove he can come from behind on Sunday in a major, and I still say that when Y.E. Yang beat him at Hazeltine that Tiger’s ego and confidence took a hit from which he has yet to recover.

  28. Stu

    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Muirfield was brutal. TV made it look easier than it was. Phil got it done and kudos to him for overcoming the disappointment of Merion and demonstrating that a US Tour player who is a student of the game can prevail in tough links golf conditions.

    I used to be a Tiger-hater. But forgetting all the off-course antics, what he has achieved in his career is phenomenal in the modern era, where many guys are more focused, athletic and better coached in all aspects than they ever have been. He has stiff competition every week and has lost some of the ‘playing for second place’ fear factor.

    I think he’s gonna do 15 minimum. No doubt.

    Golf is really turning into a hater/gossip-fest these days. The thing I have love about golf over the past 30 years ( I’m 40 now) is that it was a sport where there was not the BS and rampant journalistic jingoism that prevailed in other sports (or pastimes as my friends call it until they try and rip one 300 yards…). But that has change and with the new media, the nonsense surrounding golf is no better than that surrounding football in my home UK or football/bball in the US.

    There’s now soooooooo much cash at stake every week on the US Tour that guys in the Top 100 make huge coin every year. $1M plus for the winner every week.

    If I were Tiger, I’d retire and say ‘**** you’ to all the haters. But guess what, because he is an egomaniac / super-driven super- athlete, he won’t. He will pound his battered body until he hits 19. And everyone should be grateful. Especially his fellow golfers as $$$$ in the game is due to the Tiger Effect. When he’s not there, audiences fall, revenues fall…

    So he should be applauded, not for being a perfect human being. Which of us are by definition? But for making the modern game what it is today for spectators, other athletes and even the guys who get to bash him in the press.

    Tiger. I’m not your biggest fan.

    But I also speak for every professional golfer and kid go dreams of emulating your achievements when I say let’s see 15. Hell, make it 20. Jack’s a fan! We should all be for what you’ve done for the game.

  29. reqq

    Jul 23, 2013 at 7:24 am

    “The problem is that Tiger’s been giving this exact same speech before and after nearly every major for the past five years, and the results aren’t changing.”

    Except that all these years he had different types of problems, problems that now start to be solved. He been so close lately in majors its just a matter of time.

  30. yo!

    Jul 23, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Tiger’s the only guy where the expectation is that he wins every time he tees off, and when he doesn’t then there must be something wrong. He’ll eventually break through. I think his best chances are at the Masters and at the PGA championship because conditions are more predictable. The US and British Open requires some lucky bounces which makes Phil’s 66 one of the greatest rounds. Whether you’re routing for or against Tiger getting to 19, it just means that all eyes are on Tiger and no one has had the impact that Tiger has had on the game of golf.

  31. Kyle

    Jul 23, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Just wanted to add that the BEST ever took first or second in 37 Majors. That my friends defines greatness!

  32. Joe

    Jul 22, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    This was a great read! Very good writing and Pete is one of the best on golfwrx.com!

    I believe Tiger will win a few more majors before he hangs up the cleats. Look at the age of some current winners in majors. What makes everyone think one of the greatest player’s of all time can’t win at least one more before he is 50? He will eventually stumble on to # 15 and that will get him over the hump. Then, lookout!!!!

    • AZ Golf

      Jul 23, 2013 at 12:43 am

      All the detractors who say Tiger won’t eclipse Jack are crazy. He has the most wins on tour this year and is number 1 in the world. He’s been in contention in almost half the majors since the scandle, even when his life was in chambles. Yes, he hasn’t closed the deal yet, but he’s knocking on the door a lot – a lot more than anyone else. I personally think the 15th major will be the toughest to win due to the scandle, swing change, injuries and loss of confidence. Once he knocks off the next major, the flood gates will open and his confidence will be back. Watch out! He’s playing with a vendata now which will fuel him even more than before. The only thing that can stop him is injuries.

    • Armen Baghdasarian

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      a normal comment? bless you and not because it was pro tiger but because it was a normal comment.

  33. Steve

    Jul 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Oh, Thank Heaven for Chamblee and Azinger and Miller and the rest of the “I wish I had had half the career Tiger has put together” crowd! This media noise has descended into a ‘who can be the biggest gossip’ fest! So Phil couldn’t put one together, then he did it TWICE in 2 weeks – and one was the Open Championship – for THREE wins THIS YEAR, so they have to lay off him or a few days (til the next US Open I guess)….so what do they talk about now? A Four-time winner THIS YEAR, a guy who constantly approaches his swing and performance in a scientific and professional manner, and is always under the gun from the guys with no game left. So what are they gonna do when Tiger takes the PGA?

    ….Oh, wait, there’s always McIlroy, Westwood, Bradley, and Snedeker, and Simpson, and Dufner, and Fowler, and other PGA golfers with ‘issues’. Give it a rest, boys, and tell your out-of-fashion GC bosses the ‘Fox News Model’ no longer works on the American public.

  34. Double C

    Jul 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    He’s not on steroids anymore. It’s as simple as that. All of his injuries are common for steroid users. Why isn’t anyone talking about this??????

    • Serious

      Jul 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      You are a fool. They are crucifying him in the only way they can. He hasn’t won a Major in 5 years. Believe me, you don’t think the way they trash him they wouldn’t jump at the chance? Tiger was the one who asked the Tour to START initiating drug testing fool!

    • Adam

      Jul 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      This comment is absolutely stupid.

      They’re also common injuries for somebody that puts several hundred ft/lbs of torque on his knees, wrists, elbows, and lower back – with every swing – several hundred times (or probably into the thousand) times a day.

    • Armen Baghdasarian

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      well then lefty must be on steroids as well. hes winning at 43! omg omg lefty on steroids…ya hes not buff but lance armstrong wasnt either or roger clemens…get a life dude…tiger is known to be a hard training athlete. i wonder if theyll start calling him a domestic terrorist in the next 3 years…wouldnt be surprised.

      btw..i was being sarcastic about lefty. just making a point.

    • HBTrojan77

      Jul 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      You know…I have no proof if he has ever taken the “juice” but the fact remains why did get prescription meds from a known doctor who was implicated giving steroids to other athletes…HMMM?

    • naflack

      Jul 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      It makes me chuckle a little when I hear people cry about tiger being attacked by the media when there is clearly a story to be told regarding ped usage and the media is giving him a free pass.

    • Bill

      Jul 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      I’ll bet you are a real athlete since you know all about how one reacts when quitting PED’S.

  35. neil

    Jul 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I don’t really like Tiger at all but do wish everyone would stop over analysing everything he does (and doesn’t)
    He’s probably not mentally as tough as he used to be after his issues and also during that time, a lot of other great golfers got to know what it was like to win.
    I reckon he’s probably just got more competition these days than back in the day when he would scare all opposition come Sunday.

    • Tony Lynam

      Jul 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Great point. He has more competition because in reality, his greatness created the competition, by inspiring multitudes of youngsters to take up the game and get this level.

  36. Curt

    Jul 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Tiger has a lot of scar tissue now; psychological trauma from the scandal and injuries too many to count (both between the ears and out)! I am sure he will win another major or two, but I agree with the author, passing Jack seems out of reach.

    • Serious

      Jul 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      The media is doing all there criticizing on purpose, to get into his head, and make it even harder for him to win any tournament. They have succeeded in making the public get on their bandwagon. Haney’s book, Norman, Faldo and Haney’s comments before Majors? Think they’re not trying to distract him? All these articles mentioning “scandal” almost 4 years later which will be on the Internet forever!!! They say it’s mental, yes, they are sticking the knife in even further every time they get on their high horses and bloviate about him disparagingly.

    • Bill

      Jul 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Gee, I thought Jack was 46 when he won #18. Tiger is 37.

      • Curt

        Jul 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Yeah, and like Jack just said, “Tiger is playing the entire field, not just one or two good players.” The field is much deeper than when Jack was playing, so your argument is not an apples to apples comparison. Matter of fact, the field is so deep now, that we may never see another double digit major champion again! Every week someone different is bringing their A game and that is hard to contend with, even for Tiger, because the margin of difference between TIger and the field is non-existant, unlike times of past! If there is a margin of difference between Tiger and the field its because the pendulum is far in favor of the field, not Tiger, which is why he never wins majors anymore!!! The proof is in the pudding……………….

  37. naflack

    Jul 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Looks like the tiger apologists have had their say…
    I don’t dislike tiger but to the apologists if one isn’t completely enamored with him one is a hater?
    Whatever the reason for his poor play at the majors, the fact remains that he consistently doesn’t play well enough to win them anymore. At this point in his career he is making a killing on a small group of courses he knows like the back of his hand.
    A person can make any and ask claims but by tigers would tell you that the best ever will be whoever had the most majors

  38. Nevo

    Jul 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Ever wonder if Tiger ever misses his old Scotty Cameron putter? Is that one of the seeds of doubt in his mind?

    • Bill

      Jul 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Tiger can go back to his SC putter at any time without NIKE approval. If he thinks it would help, he could make the switch. Obviously, he doesn’t and realizes that the NIKE putter is one that HE HELPED DEVELOP.

      • Tom

        Aug 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm

        Tiger needs to go back to the SC putter. Period. Whether he knows it or not he needs to go back. Someone PLEASE tell him. How many majors did he win w/o that SC putter?

        • Jim

          Sep 10, 2016 at 1:14 am

          While it’s impossible to rule out the psychological aspect, his SC was a ping clone – of slightly different weight, and no doubt they took a micrometer to that one to craft his “Nike”….

          I’ve always gotten a kick out of the blacked out ‘Ping Man’ grip he’s that attached to….

          bein’ that so much of the game IS between the ears, we can’t definitively rule out your diagnosis 🙂

          Tiger’s MAIN problem – Golf simply isn’t FUN for him last few years. Bad decisions, Truly BAD Coaching

  39. Luke Schumann

    Jul 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Foley is one of the most knowledgeable teachers in the game and Tiger is the most talented athlete ever. He is good enough to win 5 more majors if he stays healthy and learns how to putt again.

  40. Allen

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Why does no one talk about how maybe his body is also breaking down. He has worked it very hard and worked it like he was a weight lifter. He is a golfer and plyo and muscle elastisity is the way to go, not becoming a bodybuilder.

  41. cg

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    bad equipment…took down rory and michelle wie also….try real golf clubs by callaway or some other companies….

    • Honmagolfan

      Jul 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Really?!

    • Flip4000

      Jul 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      come on bro, seriously?

    • Jack

      Jul 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Pfft. I hope you realize how stupid you sound. Buying nice clubs is basically just for self satisfaction. All manufacturers make similar products. Plus these guys are fitted to the gills. I always think I have cool clubs until the 60 year old with 20 year old clubs takes me to school.

    • Scott

      Jul 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Totally agree, Look at what this equipment has done to Rory’s game, I believe tiger would be almost there (at 18 majors) if he wasn’t using inferior equipment. Lets face it nike are a shoe and apparel brand. Put Ping, Titleist, Callaway or taylormade gear in his hands I say

    • Jim

      Sep 10, 2016 at 1:23 am

      Bad DRIVERS anyway…His Endo forged irons weren’t a problem – til some dipstick changed his grip & takeaway

  42. Bill

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Pretty poor article that cites all of his critics, who as someone above has already said, are mostly just talking heads. The 5 year stat is interesting, but all it is is a stat, there’s no actual significance to it. I’m done reading these articles full of conjecture and meaningless “analysis”.

  43. MG

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Lets take it easy on the guy. He’s only gone through one of the most difficult things possible for an athlete (broken leg) and one of the most difficult things possible for a human (divorce).
    Plus these are the same people that said he would never win again at all. Now that he’s won (not just won but dominated) the same people are giving him a hard time because he hasn’t won a major in a while. Hypocrites.

    He’s got at least 40 more chances to win 5 majors and surpass jack. His winning percentage tells us he’s going to win at least 20.
    He’s already the greatest golfer ever. Now he just needs to beat Jack’s major record to silence the haters.

    • Gary Murray

      Jul 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Do you think he played with his broken leg without help . Rocco should have been given that championship for drug abuse by Tiger . He was on so much pain killers that he should have been dqed Remember how low he went down on his broken leg ( not possible without pain killers ) but we can not test Tiger WHAT A JOKE

    • Agreed

      Aug 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      I’m sure there are plenty of others on the tour who have cheated on their spouse, used profanity after a bad shot, but you would never know because he’s the guy with every camera on him and 20,000 people following him around the course…I’m sure the majority aren’t watching him hoping for him to fail. Being great puts the majority of focus on him. Why he hasn’t won a major yet, I dunno…but 5 wins in a season which some players will never do in a 20 year career isn’t to shabby in my opinion. There is so much parity on tour with such high skilled players I don’t think you will ever see again the dominance that he displayed early in his career.

  44. Sam

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Why do Azinger and Chamblee continue to harp on TW’s majors and how he hasn’t won one in 5 years? Let’s talk about other players that have never even won a major yet or those that were one hit wonders and have fallen off the face of the earth. Or what about Padraig Harrington, who won 3 in 2 years and can’t even contend in a regular tournament, let alone in a major. He looks like a Nascar driver, with all of his lame sponsors all over his apparel.

    Let’s combine Azinger and Chamblee’s major record and see how they stack up to what TW has done…..oh they both can’t compare since they haven’t really accomplished anything. The one major they both have combined, can’t even compare to when people keep talking about TW’s 2000. So if they don’t have the experience, then why are they so hard to judge a guy that is actually in the record books and will make it to the hall of fame?

    Once he gets (if he does get there), they will jump on the TW bandwagon and praise him and talk about how he will get to Jack’s record, blah blah blah.

    Let’s move on to a new story and let’s come back to this TW story when (or if) he does win another major.

    • Serious

      Jul 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      IF HE GETS THERE? You must be a casual observer of golf. Tiger IS the Golf HOF! Installing 40 year olds is ridiculous, before their careers are over. It onlyl allows the media to say, “Phil Mickelson, HOF’er.” Ridiculous. They are trying to raise the age from 40 to 50 as they know it’s ridiculous. Any other sport you have to wait until you’re retired. Some 5 years. The ones that are getting inducted now are laughable, but they feel they have to have someone each and every year. Tiger could’ve been in over a decade ago, so don’t even ponder “if he gets in.’ He should NOT accept the invitation, and screw the media. He can have his own museum at the facility he chooses. Perhaps his Foundation.

      • Sam

        Jul 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

        I think I stated it incorrectly or my typing was going slower than what I was thinking. When I was saying “once he gets there (of if he does get there), was meant for Jack’s record.

        He is already in the record books and will blow away those that are already in the HOF.

      • Tony Lynam

        Jul 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        Spot on comment. The WGOF is a joke letting people in before they retire. Every time I hear HOFer before an active golfers name I cringe. NFL and MLB are REAL Hall’s of Fame.

        • Sam

          Jul 24, 2013 at 12:26 am

          I agree with you there, why don’t they change the rule to where the person has stopped playing competitive golf and then get into the Hall of Fame?

    • Bill

      Jul 25, 2013 at 3:55 am

      I totally agree Sam. If you think Tiger is over the you know nothing and should rather not comment. When he wins that next major, we will all hear how great he is and how the 18 majors will not be safe anymore.
      Just remember he had a bit of injury problems, he struggles but still 4 wins this year and he contends in every major event though he cannot quite break through yet. Give the guy a break, he’s the world No 1, if theres something wrong with him then maybe some of us know allot less about the game than we think!!

  45. David

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    More over-analysis of Tiger from the media. The guy has four wins this year and was in clean contention this weekend. There is nothing wrong with Tiger. The guy is a machine and will achieve what he’s set out to do. The headlines just sound more interesting when there “appears” to be a problem. You can’t win every tournament. His winning percentage is still out of this universe. Tell it like it really is….The guy is already the best ever. Give him the respect and let him finish getting it done…..

    • naflack

      Jul 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      The best ever has 18 majors!

      • jtopher

        Jul 23, 2013 at 7:02 am

        That is the truth!!

        Until he gets 19 he is NOT the best ever. I am a fan of Tiger, but he is not the same player that won those Majors before. It’s not a lack of respect theses articles are giving. He does not intimidate anymore, cannot get to the top by showing up, and everybody knows there is not one comeback victory on his list of Majors.

    • Gary Murray

      Jul 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      That’s right I don’t see him getting to the greatest as we all know that’s Jack and you never saw Jack cuss and act the way tigger does VERY POOR ROLL MODEL

    • ThumbsUp

      Jul 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      There is not much wrong with Tiger’s game. Four wins this year and in with a chance to win several majors recently prove this. However, it has been 5 years since his last major and it is something he really really wants. However, the longer it goes the greater the pressure and it is interesting that he frequently does well during the first three days of a major only to fail miserably on the last day.It is almost like he has inherited the title of being the best player never to have won a major (during the past 5 years) and he just can’t cope with the expectations. I am a Tiger fan but I don’t think he will win another major let alone beat Jack’s record.

    • stephenf

      Jul 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      By what measure is he the “best ever,” even leaving aside the question of character (which shouldn’t be left aside, in this game)?

      He has fewer majors than Nicklaus and fewer overall wins on the American tour than Snead. He has way, way fewer overall wins than Player or De Vicenzo worldwide. And he’s done this in an era when nobody has come near the quality of Snead’s or Nicklaus’s top competition.

      Go ahead. Make your case. Try to do it without resorting to ridiculous made-up stats like “win rate,” though, since they never existed before the drooling, hyperventilating need to find fake statistics to convince people that Woods was the “best ever.”

  46. Arthur J

    Jul 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Muirfield is a par-71.

  47. Jon

    Jul 22, 2013 at 11:19 am

    What can one say about Tiger? Tiger is what Tiger does on and off the course. Pay back is tough.

    • jamie

      Jul 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      I find this amazing, we got to witness one of the great last rounds ever put together at the open sunday, a great champion, a great golfer, a class human being full stop.
      But still the tiger woods drum keeps beating, I for one was happy to see him come up short, simply because he does have the class of jack Nicklaus and I for one want the 18 target to remain with the greatest of all, who was that on and off the course.

      • Mike

        Jul 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        Well said, I totally agree.

      • Gary Murray

        Jul 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        GREAT COMMENT

        • Dan

          Jul 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

          I agree, Jack is the greatest, on and off the course. Class counts for something in this game. This is a gentleman’s game, not the NBA/NFL/MLB where Tiger’s behavior would be overlooked or celebrated, sadly.

          • stephenf

            Jul 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

            You have just put your finger on exactly what is wrong with the pro game today. In its never-ending obsession for bigger money and bigger ratings, the PGA Tour has thrown in with the rest of pro sports, and so a large percentage of what pass for golf “fans” today expect no better behavior or character out of Tiger Woods than they do out of Kobe Bryant or any other adulterous, vulgar, self-indulgent pro athlete.

            There is no reason in the world why the standards of character, class, and behavior that applied to every other #1 player in the history of the game ought not to apply to Tiger Woods. Period.

      • matt

        Jul 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        May I say that every golfer in world golf is training as wood’s did many years ago . Basically they have caught up . They are on the same fitness levels now .

        • skyler

          Aug 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

          Well said. Tiger single-handedly turned competitive golf into a year-round sport including a weight, aerobics, flexibility, chiropractic and diet regimen. Much like Jerry Rice changed pro football’s off-season training regimen and introduced chiropractic care.

      • Danno

        Jul 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

        You said “he does have the class of Jack Nicklaus”, I’m sure you forgot the “not”. I loved the comment made Sunday and I quote “When Tiger misses he swears, when Mickelson misses he blames himself” Tiger is still a spoiled punk kid and the media is partially responsible for putting him on this ill-deserved pedestal.

      • t120

        Jul 28, 2013 at 1:28 am

        Golf isn’t’ about class, hell, it isn’t even about sportsmanship. It is a game selfish individuals play for ego. Pure and simple. You and I love the game because it’s “the game”, but on a professional level, it’s “the records”. Don’t fault him for trying. Class or not (and I’ll admit he doesn’t make you want to like him) he’s out there to break records. Same as Jack did, same as Jones did, same as some 19 year old will do in 10 years.

        • stephenf

          Jul 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm

          What a sad commentary on the state of the game, that somebody like you can post that the game isn’t and never was about “class.” You could not be more wrong.

          It has nothing to do with whether people “like” Woods or his behavior. It has to do with class and character. A lot of people didn’t find Hogan very friendly, didn’t “like” him in any normal sense of the word. But Hogan saved his wife’s life by throwing himself across her body in a head-on collision, and was faithful to her all his life. Woods had sex with a variety of women while married, thus humiliating and betraying both his wife and his children. He also can’t be bothered to control his on-camera profanity — because, apparently, as his apologists tell us, it’s our job to adjust to him, not his to adjust to the traditional behavioral standards of the game.

          It is certainly “about” class. Those who believe otherwise are missing the point entirely.

    • Jay

      Jul 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

      What an idiotic statement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

The differences between good and bad club fitters—and they’re not what you think

Published

on

Club fitting is still a highly debated topic, with many golfers continuing to believe they’re just not good enough to be fit. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but it’s a topic for another day.

Once you have decided to invest in your game and equipment, however, the next step is figuring out where to get fit, and working with a fitter.  You see, unlike professionals in other industries, club fitting “certification” is still a little like the wild west. While there are certification courses and lesson modules from OEMs on how to fit their specific equipment, from company to company, there is still some slight variance in philosophy.

Then there are agnostic fitting facilities that work with a curated equipment matrix from a number of manufacturers. Some have multiple locations all over the country and others might only have a few smaller centralized locations in a particular city. In some cases, you might even be able to find single-person operations.

So how do you separate the good from the bad? This is the million-dollar question for golfers looking to get fit. Unless you have experience going through a fitting before or have a base knowledge about fitting, it can feel like an intimidating process. This guide is built to help you ask the right questions and pay attention to the right things to make sure you are getting the most out of your fitting.

The signs of a great fitter

  • Launch monitor experience: Having some type of launch monitor certification isn’t a requirement but being able to properly understand the interpret parameters is! A good fitter should be able to explain the parameters they are using to help get the right clubs and understand how to tweak specs to help you get optimized. The exact labeling may vary depending on the type of launch monitor but they all mostly provide the same information….Here is an example of what a fitter should be looking for in an iron fitting: “The most important parameter in an iron fitting” 
  • Communication skills: Being able to explain why and how changes are being made is a telltale sign your fitter is knowledgeable—it should feel like you are learning something along the way. Remember, communication is a two-way street so also being a good listener is another sign your working with a good fitter.
  • Transparency: This involves things like talking about price, budgets, any brand preferences from the start. This prevents getting handed something out of your price range and wasting swings during your fit.
  • A focus on better: Whether it be hitting it further and straighter with your driver or hitting more greens, the fitting should be goal-orientated. This means looking at all kinds of variables to make sure what you are getting is actually better than your current clubs. Having a driver you hit 10 yards farther isn’t helpful if you don’t know where it’s going….A great fitter that knows their stuff should quickly be able to narrow down potential options to 4-5 and then work towards optimizing from there.
  • Honesty and respect: These are so obvious, I shouldn’t even have to put it on the list. I want to see these traits from anybody in a sales position when working with customers that are looking to them for knowledge and information…If you as the golfer is only seeing marginal gains from a new product or an upgrade option, you should be told that and given the proper information to make an informed decision. The great fitters, and I’ve worked with a lot of them, will be quick to tell a golfer, “I don’t think we’re going to beat (X) club today, maybe we should look at another part of your bag where you struggle.” This kind of interaction builds trust and in the end results in happy golfers and respected fitters.

The signs of a bad fitter

  • Pushing an agenda: This can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Whether it be a particular affinity towards certain brands of clubs or even shafts. If you talk to players that have all been to the same fitter and their swings and skill levels vary yet the clubs or brands of shafts they end up with (from a brand agnostic facility) seem to be eerily similar it might be time to ask questions.
  • Poor communications: As you are going through the fitting process and warming up you should feel like you’re being interviewed as a way to collect data and help solve problems in your game. This process helps create a baseline of information for your fitter. If you are not experiencing that, or your fitter isn’t explaining or answering your questions directly, then there is a serious communication problem, or it could show lack of knowledge depth when it comes to their ability.
  • Lack of transparency: If you feel like you’re not getting answers to straightforward questions or a fitter tells you “not to worry about it” then that is a big no-no from me.
    Side note: It is my opinion that golfers should pay for fittings, and in a way consider it a knowledge-gathering session. Of course, the end goal for the golfer is to find newer better fitting clubs, and for the fitter to sell you them (let’s be real here), but you should never feel the information is not being shared openly.
  • Pressure sales tactics: It exists in every industry, I get it, but if you pay for your fitting you are paying for information, use it to your advantage. You shouldn’t feel pressured to buy, and it’s always OK to seek out a knowledgeable second opinion (knowledgeable being a very key word in that sentence!).  If you are getting the hard sell or any combination of the traits above, there is a good chance you’re not working with the right fitter for you.

Final thoughts

Great fitters with great reputations and proper knowledge have long lists, even waiting lists, of golfers waiting to see them. The biggest sign of a great fitter is a long list of repeat customers.

Golf is a game that can be played for an entire lifetime, and just like with teachers and swing coaches, the good ones are in it for the long haul to help you play better and build a rapport—not just sell you the latest and greatest (although we all like new toys—myself included) because they can make a few bucks.

Trust your gut, and ask questions!

 

Your Reaction?
  • 82
  • LEGIT12
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK10

Continue Reading

Podcasts

TG2: TaylorMade P7MB & P7MC Review | Oban CT-115 & CT-125 Steel Shafts

Published

on

Took the new TaylorMade P-7MB and P-7MC irons out on the course and the range. The new P-7MB and P-7MC are really solid forged irons for the skilled iron players. Great soft feel on both, MB flies really low, and the MC is more mid/low launch. Oban’s CT 115 & 125 steel shafts are some of the most consistent out there. Stout but smooth feel with no harsh vibration at impact.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Improve your transition for better wedge play

Published

on

In my opinion, one of the most misunderstood areas of the golf swing is the transition from backswing to downswing, but I don’t read much on this in the golf publications. So, here’s my take on the subject.

Whether it’s a short putt, chip or pitch, half wedge, full iron or driver swing, there is a point where the club’s motion in the backswing has to come to a complete stop–even if for just a nano-second–and reverse direction into the forward swing. What makes this even more difficult is that it is not just the club that is stopping and reversing direction, but on all but putts, the entire body from the feet up through the body core, shoulders, arms and hands.

In my observation, most golfers have a transition that is much too quick and jerky, as they are apparently in a hurry to generate clubhead speed into the downswing and through impact. But, just as you (hopefully) begin your backswing with a slow take-away from the ball, a proper start to the downswing is also a slower move, starting from this complete stop and building to maximum clubhead speed just past impact. If you will work on your transition, your ball striking and distance will improve, as will your accuracy on your short shots and putts. Let’s start there.

In your wedge play, your primary objective is to apply just the exact amount of force to propel the ball the desired distance. In order to do that, it makes sense to move the club slower, as that allows more precision. I like to think of the pendulum on a grandfather clock as a great guide to tempo and transition. As the weight goes back and forth, it comes to a complete stop at each end, and achieves maximum speed at the exact bottom of the arc. If you put that picture in your head when you chip and putt, you will develop a tempo that encourages a smooth transition at the end of the backswing.

The idea is to achieve a gradual acceleration from the end of the backswing to the point of impact, but for most golfers, this type of swing is likely much slower than yours is currently. I encourage you to not be in a hurry to force this acceleration, as that causes a quick jab with the hands, because the shoulder rotation and slight body rotation cannot move that quickly from its end-of-backswing rotation.

Here’s a drill to help you picture this kind of swing pace. Drawing on that grandfather clock visual, hold your wedge at the very end of the grip with two fingers, and get it moving like the clock pendulum–back and through. Watch the tempo and transition for a few moments, and then try to mimic that with your short or half swing tempo. No faster, no slower. You can even change how far you pull the club up to start this motion to see what happens to the pendulum tempo on longer swings.

An even better exercise is to have a friend hold a club in this manner right in front of you while you are practicing your chipping or pitching swing and try to “shadow” that motion with your swings. You will likely find that your transition is much too fast and jerky to give you the results you are after.

If you will practice this, I can practically guarantee your short-range transition will become really solid and repeatable. From there, it’s just a matter of extending the length of the swing to mid-range pitches, full short irons, mid-irons, fairway woods, and driver–all while feeling for that gradual transition that makes for great timing, sequencing, and tempo.

Your Reaction?
  • 29
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending