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This Comeback Better Be Different, Tiger

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First of all, let me be the first to say that I am a HUGE Tiger Woods fan and want him back in the game; golf is much better off with him around. That being said, I am growing tired of the talk of his latest “comeback” already, and it hasn’t even begun. Will this really be the time he takes it slow and only competes when he’s physically ready? Or will he be 4-over par at the turn in his next outing and withdraw… then say he needs more time to heal and needs more reps, and then disappear for six more months?

Golf needs Tiger, but I’m not so sure Tiger needs golf any longer, nor do I feel that he is as invested in the sport as he was previously. And who could blame him? He’s made tons of cash, won a bunch of Majors, and has endorsements that will keep him relevant for many years to come. However, I think he knows that his quest for Jack’s 18 Majors is over… really over, and I think it has deflated him. And maybe he’s having fun just being at home, being a father, and being a memory.

This brings me back to my first thought; this comeback better be real and it better last. As usual, he’s cleared by the doctors, he’s back to hitting balls and posting videos, and he says he’s getting ready from a health perspective. But does anyone believe him 100 percent? I don’t. In my opinion, we’ll see the same thing as last time and the time before that; one bad tournament round and he’s out. The fact of the matter is that I don’t think he can handle being second best, or third, or 1164th (his current world ranking), to today’s players and I feel that when he comes back and cannot be the “old” Tiger instantly, he won’t be able to handle it mentally and emotionally. Therefore, I feel that if he cannot be patient, and come back this time at 100 percent, I feel the end of Tiger’s career is approaching quicker than most hope.

Also, from a professional perspective, let’s face it, Chris Como hasn’t had enough time to mold Tiger back into Tournament shape. Anyone can hit the ball well on the range — we all know that. Chris is surely doing the best he can with what he has been given, but he can only do so much if his player isn’t committed or healthy. Tiger’s all but lost his edge and he knows it, but can he deal with being just another good Tour player and not the best any longer? And put in the work required at the pace that’s necessary for his body? I don’t think he can.

So my message to Tiger is this: Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your message to your fans, but most of all DO NOT come back until you are ready. Missing a cut or two does not mean the comeback is a “failure” either, as long as you’re 100 percent committed to the game. We are tired of hearing “I’m back,” only to watch you leave again and again. No one will blame you if you say “enough is enough, my body can’t handle it.” In fact, we’d embrace you more if you just told the truth.

But until then, we’ll hope this time is different…

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

62 Comments

62 Comments

  1. JuNiOR

    Oct 25, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Stay single keep hitting it hard with the midnite hostess at Denny’s new girl every night then be honest about it and you might be in the right frame of mind at that point to be a PLAYER again.

    But if making the cut is the ultimate goal, time to reevaluate the why’s, even if it’s for the all mighty dollar.

  2. Schwartzman

    Oct 21, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Everybody is an expert on golf, clubs, Tiger, politics, religion and sseexx.

  3. Someone

    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Who are you to make demands of Tiger? He has done more for golf than you have done in your lifetime. If Tiger wants to make an attempt to keep coming back, let him. It is his right and he has earned the opportunity to keep trying. Whether he wins or fails is a matter of him getting up there and trying, but not trying at all equals failure, especially when it is in his primary career. You are ridiculous for trying to put stipulations on an athletes comeback. How about we as readers demand your articles actually be written with some quality, tact, and validity? How about we demand that you stop coming back to post on this site until you post something of meaning instead of click bait. You are ridiculous for thinking that you have any stake in whether or not Tiger can come back to golf. He is a grown man and well accomplished in the field of golf, both on and off. Take some time to think about what you write next time. Don’t furnish your personal feelings in an article and try to brandish it as a material. The site isn’t asking for your personal feelings about the happenings of golf, it’s asking you to provide insight that readers can’t get since we all have lives that consist of more than golf. Your article should have been titled, “Tiger’s coming back, but here are a few things that could hold him back from success…” and then at the end you could add on your “personal feelings” about the situation. Other than that, this ‘article’ is a worthless rant with no real golf insight, just all personal feelings about tiger’s comeback, as if he owes you ANYTHING…

  4. Jose Canseco

    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:03 am

    He should just hang it up and admit to HGH and roids that made him, like me, in the 90’s.

  5. Mike

    Oct 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hogan came back and he was really bad. Then again he was a real man

  6. Mr Muira

    Oct 21, 2017 at 6:41 am

    LOL!!!…Amuricans.

  7. Moses

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    You’re starting to sound like Skip Bayless.

  8. Jack Nash

    Oct 20, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Why is Woods coming back?

    $Sponsors$

    • Schwartzman

      Oct 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Icy Hot Back Patches …… together with Shaq?!!

  9. Garry Pierce

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    who is this BOZO? Looks like he is trying to ride TW for 15 minutes of fame. How tRumpian of you Tom.. you’re fired

  10. moses

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Tiger doesn’t owe you a F’ing thing. He can attempt to come back as often as necessary and as long as his body allows it. If his body won’t allow it then that’s just the way it is. Tiger gets to ride off into the sunset any which way he sees fit.

    • Jacked_Loft

      Oct 21, 2017 at 6:32 am

      +1. What an arrogant article. Famous comebacks: Nikki Lauda, Lance Armstrong, Bobby Baun, Jack Youngblood, Michael Jordan…just to mention a few. Remember that Tiger fractured his Tibia and then went out and won the 2008 US Open? 91 holes on a bum leg, and you’re telling him not to play games with his comeback?

      • Jose Canseco

        Oct 21, 2017 at 8:05 am

        But Armstrong was juiced. As was Eldrick.

    • Dr Troy

      Oct 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Well said, Moses.

  11. RP Jacobs II

    Oct 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    “All but lost his edge” ????????

    That edge went out the window the evening that he pasted the fire hydrant.

    The aura of invincibility was gone and with it the “edge.”

    In my eyes he was the Greatest Player ever and the second Greatest Champion.

    Excellent article and thoughts!!

    Very Nicely Played?????

    Cheers????
    RP

  12. Robert Parsons

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Nobody scripts comebacks like we do. Period.

  13. Milton

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I always find it interesting when a person says “let me start off by saying, I’m a big fan of ____” before they rip the person their a big fan of a new one. I like TW, he brings an exciting element to golf. He has the 2nd most majors of anyone that played the game. At his best he revolutionized the game. However I’m not a Tiger fanatic. I like anything that helps our game. My only concern is that the writer of the article acts as if Tiger owes us something. As is TW owes it to us to come back healthy or not come back at all. If he comes back and fails, at least he tried. If he comes back and wins, well cool good for him. The guy says I’m a big Tiger fan then literally rips him to shreds.

    Thats not what we typically do in golf, but sadly it’s becoming the norm.

  14. Jay

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:08 am

    The tough part about the Tiger comeback is that he’s admitted numerous times that he’ll never be able to practice the way that he used to when he was at his peak. So, in that sense, the old Tiger is definitely gone for good. However, if he can have sustained health (physically and mentally) for a 4-5 year period, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d win again because he’s just that good – and if he can do that, he can win majors again for sure.
    BUT, I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think this latest surgery is going to magically fix everything – unless his swing is built to protect his back, he’ll continue to have issues and will fall into the same pattern.

  15. Darryl

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Quick straw poll, how many people on this site will quit the game if Tiger doesn’t return? The result is how badly the game of golf needs him.

    • Andrew

      Oct 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

      They left already. Your idea is correct regardless. Any industry that devolves into relying on the shallow wants of the cool kid bandwagon is already dead. Golf didn’t stoop that low but it tried thanks to the ignorant hype of a few clown children who make a living in golf but never took a real economics class. The game of golf transcends any 1 man, even 100 men, and thank God for that.

  16. OB

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Washed up, finished, kaput, gonzo, no good no mo’ …. believe it

  17. jgpl001

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Tiger was one of the greatest ever and he took golf to a whole new level. This comeback though is nonsense and will not happen. Age and time away means the world of golf has moved on. Even back at full fitness he wouldn’t make a cut on the web dot com tour

    Very sad, he had an astounding career, but he just needs to leave it so now and stop the nonsense

    • Garry Pierce

      Oct 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      who are you to decide what TW does? How about you quit posting!

  18. 8thehardway

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Tiger wants to be golf’s Eldrick (then Elder) Statesman. The job’s open and it’s the perfect role to counterbalance his past, regain role-model status, offer an enduring mea culpa for those into moral judgements, be a hero to his kids and elevate his status beyond the sport the defines him… in all, a very satisfying arrangement.

    There won’t be a lot of tournaments, and the early ones an indication of conditioning more than competition, but the prospect of another Jack-at-the-1986-Masters performance will start gaining traction, which is another way of saying sponsors will shower our Arnie-Jack amalgam with endorsements.

    The quest for Jack’s 18 Majors isn’t a thing anymore… he can’t sell it and nobody’s buying it; but the optics of immortality has more than one focal point and he’s a consummate lenscrafter.

  19. The dude

    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Great Article Tom!…..it’s what almost everyone is thinking… I’ll bet he doesn’t play though…his swing kinda sucks…and his short game peaked 13 years ago… his ego won’t allow bad play…which is inevitable. I predict a showing at the masters followed by a withdraw….citing back issues of course

  20. MB

    Oct 20, 2017 at 3:00 am

    How many millions is he going to make just from appearance fees? That’s all he’s getting ready for! Lets admit it. He’s not going to be playing the Sr circuit, so he’s going to try to collect as much as he can while he’s still able to swing a bit. For the good players and competitive players who were successful during and post-Woods era of extra dollars it may have been nice, but for the rest of us, it was like watching a bus load of unruly children got dropped off and ruined it for everybody else sort of thing, out there on the courses, that had to also had to spend millions more in maintenance and rules keeping, as well keeping the peace about the place as these unruly beginners and non-golfing beer-guzzling poorly behaved behemoths tore up the place.
    It’s best if he just didn’t play but started hanging out with Deepak Chopra and brought about enlightenment and peace to the world on the whole and the world of golf behavior.

  21. TexasSnowman

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Tiger as we knew him is Not coming back. If everything goes right for him on this latest comeback (doubtful), he will return, suffer no major injuries and be a top 40 player. He could win a few tournaments and maybe even catch lightening in a bottle and contend in a major or 2 for old times sake. Odds of this actually happening: ~10%. More likely, his body will not cooperate and he will officially retire and play an occasional tourney for nostalgia value.

  22. JD

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I normally completely enjoy Tom Stickney columns but not this one. Story has been written 100 times, part of me suspects it was only written because of the amout of clicks anything about Tiger gets.
    Here’s my opinion:
    The man has done enough to shoot whatever he wants, wherever they’re lucky enough to have him. It’s not even a debate, at this point it’s like getting a chance to watch Nicklaus or Palmer. How he plays is beside the point, that he’s playing is enough. Ratings will go way up because he’s maybe the best to ever play and he makes people excited about the game. He’s Tiger Woods.

  23. Walt Bismarck

    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

  24. prime21

    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    This comeback better be different? Or else what? You’re going to write a nasty article and follow that with some advice on how to fix his swing? Tiger has 100% EARNED the right to do whatever the heck he wants as it pertains to playing on the PGA Tour and if it weren’t for him, it is highly likely that your business would not be as good as it is if he were to have never played the game. Show the man the proper respect and wish him Good Luck, then stop watching if you already think you know how it is going to play out. But please, do not try to tell Tiger friggin Woods what to do or how to do it, you simply have no right. I realize you’re a big WRX Superstar now, but I think telling Tiger how he should handle his comeback takes arrogance to a whole different level, does it not? I often give you “Likes” for your instruction pieces. If they would create a new vote, this one gets an “EPIC FAIL”!

  25. UnclePhil

    Oct 19, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Comeback?! Comeback to what?! 2001? Or no, maybe 1996 for you nostalgic clowns! 2005? Ain’t nothing comin’ back!! Maybe my latest driver will get taken back if it continues to act a fool! Ceremonial golfer at best, tourney host the most. Dude, hit da bricks, take care of your kids my friend!

  26. TeeBone

    Oct 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Totally unfair. Tiger was healthy enough to play in his recent comebacks, but re-injured his back under the stress of tournament competition. He didn’t just “quit”. Besides, these guys are independent contractors. They only get paid when they perform. They don’t owe anybody anything.

  27. henry

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I agree w everything you said – except that golf needs Tiger. Yeah he might make the casual fan who only knows who Rickie and Jordan are watch a tournament here or there, but unfortunately most of those people have forgotten about Tiger. The PGA Tour is in the best place its been in quite some time.

    • prime21

      Oct 19, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Seriously? Check the ratings from Tigers last two tournaments and compare them to any event thereafter. The reality is that Tiger STILL moves the needle better than ANY player on Tour and will continue to do so until he decides to pack it in. Does the PGA Tour NEED Tiger? No, it doesn’t. It is strong enough to exist without him, but only because of him. Is the PGA Tour better off when Tiger is present, absolutely. Whether you like him or not, Tiger is still THE MAN and there is nothing you can do about it!

    • Jay

      Oct 20, 2017 at 11:20 am

      The tour is DEFINITELY not in “the best place it’s been in quite some time” – no way. As much as the TV folks like to ingrain that in us to change perception – it’s all fraudulent. Ratings are down, sponsors are bailing, and if the trend continues, I’m pretty sure we’re getting to the point where purses will decrease, the TV $ will decrease as well, and tournaments may be eliminated. None of the top young golfers really move the needle, honestly. They’re all supremely talented, but they don’t bring in casual fans, period. All hard core golf fans (WRXers) will always watch no matter who is playing, but this isn’t about that. If golf is truly going to “grow the game” as they claim (or even just maintain), it needs an epic Tiger comeback or make some drastic changes to the game as a whole.

      • henry

        Oct 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        I guess im just stuck in my own mind of how awesome the tour is right now – im one of the obsessed that watches every tournament. And golf-wise, the tour is in a fantastic spot, but I guess that doesnt always equate to the bigger picture of the tour’s success. Cheers.

        • Garry Pierce

          Oct 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm

          awesome in parity? tour sucks. They need an ALPHA male. The group has no BAD GUY or Good Guy. I have a hard time calling Phil a good guy with his MAJOR moral character flaws. He should be in prison for insider trading. But Phil squeals and rats out a guy

  28. farmer

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    The notion that Tiger is going to rework his swing for the next three or four months and then roar back into competitive golf like it’s 2013 is absurd. He will be 42 before the “real” 2018 season starts, coming off a year layoff, with multiple back surgeries since his last relevant year. What has been released tells of him working out twice a day, now he will start also doing serious swing work, this is the same path he’s been down before. There will be tremendous buzz when he reappears, a boost to tv ratings, but he’s going to have to show something for it to last.

  29. MW

    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Golf doesn’t need Tiger. It’s doing just fine without him as it has with all the greats once they leave. Certain people such as the author of the article seem to need him, but golf is bigger than any one player. If he comes back, great, if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. You have to accept that one day he won’t be able to compete again, and that may be now, and other greats will come along. If you can’t accept that you better end up finding another sport. May I suggest bowling?

  30. Methislife

    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Golf is loosing money and more importantly it’s loosing participants. Tiger can only help spark more people’s I treat in golf. If you think otherwise… you a fool. Tiger is the reason money is in golf and that’s pure fact. Tiger brings the numbers.

    Now, will tiger actually come back to being anywhere close to top 10 player? Could happen, would be awesome if happened, but will most likely not happen…

    Saying tiger past off course actions have ruled out any support for his return is funny. He didn’t cheat the game, he cheated his wife… boo hoo, he got divorced and she got a lot of cash. You all are a new breed of internet fools. Not angry trolls but self righteous attention seekers. I bet you all are the ones who complain about minorities at the course ha. You know it’s true. Deep down.

    • Guia

      Oct 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Your mother raise anyone who isn’t a troll?

  31. Mike

    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Pat Perez has won 3 times all in the fall or in Jan/Feb Camryn. He also never had the mental issues of Eldrick.

  32. M. Vegas

    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Golf needs a guy that hits 5 wood off the tee, pulls it left of the green or air mails it, putts cuz he can’t chip, 2 putts for bogey, and then withdraws when’s he plus 6 thru 8….
    Yea we need that

  33. Derek jacks

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    What a dumb post! Woods doesn’t owe anyone anything as far as golf so don’t get the ultimatum that things be better this time around. Who r u????

  34. Chip

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Sorry his body can be as predictable as he wishes, Tom.

    • Mike

      Oct 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      You’re right, it’s just his physical issues keeping him from being the Tiger of old. Nothing mental going on there.

  35. Bruce Ferguson

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    With all the young talent on the tour these days, I’m not optimistic over Tigers return. One thing for sure, if he ends up being frustrated on the course, I don’t want to hear cursing, or see spitting on the green or slamming a club in the ground. Be the man . . . count to ten, relax, regroup, focus.

  36. Andrew

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I was a Tiger fan, then I grew up and learned to be honest. Golf suffers when he is around now. He is a disgrace as a man and a person. Shame on the sell-outs who ignore his history of womanizing and phony remorse. You’re just as phony as Tiger.

    • hays

      Oct 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I’m so glad you know the guy on a personal level. you say you “grew up”…doesn’t sound like it

    • golfreality

      Oct 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      you left out drug addict

  37. Philip

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I think you have it backwards … golf does not need Tiger – sponsors and OEMs liked the increase in revenues associated with Tiger, however, the system of golf is adapting quite well. On the other hand, I think Tiger needs golf! It is his entire life – if he was more balanced during his peak then he could walk away feeling complete … unfortunately, that isn’t what has happened and even if Tiger walks away officially – I don’t think in his head that he would truly be okay with that. It is what it is.

  38. Malcolm Herbert

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I agree with 99% of the article, but strongly disagree that golf needs Tiger and tiger doesn’t need golf. I think golf does not need tiger at all. I agree that it’s better off with him, but the game is healthy enough and we have enough young and exciting talent that golf will be more than ok if we never see tiger touch a club again. Also, I do think that tiger thinks he needs golf. There are things in using life that are more important, like his kids and health, which suggest he doesn’t need golf, but tiger thinks he needs golf. He can’t walk away, it’s become a part of him that he can’t live without. Every time he leaves, he comes back as quick as possible- often too quick- and seems like he takes the first chance he can to come back. While I hope he can separate his life from golf to the extent that is healthy when it isn’t necessary, it seems like golf is always the first thing on his mind, and who can’t blame him. But it feels like he needs golf, and I know, while golf wants him and could use him, we don’t need him.

  39. Andy c

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Golf does not need Tiger….it existed before Tiger and will exist after Tiger, The business of golf ie. those that make a living from the game may need him but the game of golf does not.

    • xjohnx

      Oct 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

      You’re right from an overall standpoint but, I think the interpretation is that golf has been suffering over the last few years and needs a shot in the arm. There is not one single person on this planet except Tiger that can really bring that in the direct way that Tiger can. Nobody is saying golf is going to become obsolete without Tiger, the point is golf needs Tiger RIGHT NOW.

      • Philip

        Oct 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

        Okay, so golf gets a quick shot … and then what? It does not address the long term. Hey, I enjoyed Tiger’s aggressive shots as much as anyone, but if he does that he likely won’t last one tournament and how much fun would it be for everyone to have a “safe” Tiger constantly in the top 10 – nipping at the more aggressive players and occasionally winning a tournament here and there.

      • Andrew

        Oct 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Golf is doing just fine now and does not need a shot in the arm, John. Tiger is less of a shot in the arm and more like a black eye. Golf suffered long-term because of Tiger. He represented a loss of decency and integrity that takes a generation to heal. Golf is better now without him and healing properly. The Tiger bandwagoners who don’t love golf or deserve it are gone, off to the next cool thing. Good luck and good riddance.

        • Dr Troy

          Oct 19, 2017 at 2:32 pm

          Andrew- Golf is doing fine now, yes. However, if you dont think for a second that TW will not entice more people to watch more golf, then you are young and naive sir. Obviously, you have a disdain for him and thats your choice, but there are a TON of Tiger fans that will watch regardless. Most could care less of his personal life, as so many stone throwers on here obviously do. And as far as a “black eye”, how about you ask some TOUR pros how much extra money is in their bank accounts because of Tiger. The sport of golf has no black eye, nor really ever did(I think you are confusing it with the NBA). Your reference to “healing”?? Really?? What happened, did we all go through mental and physical torture?? Ok…Sure.

        • Snowflake

          Oct 20, 2017 at 12:30 am

          You probably don’t think you’re a racist. MAGA. Ignorant.

          • Mat

            Oct 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

            Based purely on what’s written above, I don’t think he’s racist either. You must put in a lot of time in the gym to be strong enough to walk around with that enormous chip on your shoulder.

          • LD

            Oct 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

            I agree with Mat. Care to point out his “racism” in his post? Astute user name, BTW. Absolutely perfect.

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Opinion & Analysis

Prospective NCAA Golfers, are you ready for September 1? Here’s what you should be doing

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In June, I reported changes to the NCAA rules, including new legislation that prevented college coaches from contacting a prospective student athlete before September 1 of their Junior Year. With September 1 just around the corner, the question is: are you ready?

If not, don’t worry. As always, I am here to help you understand the college landscape and find the best opportunity to pursue your passion in college! Here’s what you need to know:

Be Prepared

Over time, you are going to hear from some coaches. It is important that students are prepared to talk to coaches. Before speaking to a coach, it is important to do research about their institution; what are the grades required for admissions? How many players are on the team? How much of the student population lives on campus? Know the basics before your conversation.

It is also important that you are ready to answer a couple questions. Coaches are very likely to ask, why are you interested in my school? Tell me about your grades or academic interests? Or, tell me about your golf game? Be honest and remember a passion for the game goes a long way.

Coaches are also likely to ask if you have any questions. Having a couple questions written down is important. If you are not sure what to ask, here are some questions I recommend:

  • What is your coaching philosophy?
  • What is your favourite part of coaching?
  • What type of student best fits in at your university?
  • What type of athlete best fits in?
  • What are the goals for the golf program?
  • How do you determine who play play in your top 5 at tournaments?
  • Do you ever take more than 5 players to a tournament?
  • What access does the team have to golf courses?
  • Is it expected to have your own vehicle?
  • Do you do any technical swing work with the players?
  • What is your greatest strength as a coach?
  • Do you offer academic support, such as tutors for students?
  • What percent of teachers have terminal degrees?
  • How does my major (X) impact golf? Can I do it and golf?
  • Do you support graduates in getting jobs?
  • What success do people have getting jobs?
  • What success do people have getting into grad schools?

Know the Numbers

With only a couple weeks before September 1, I would recommend you take time and see where you (or your son and daughter) stands on websites such as Junior Golf Scoreboard or Rolex AJGA Rankings. Now that you know the number, consider in several previous articles I have presented how rankings related to college signings. My analysis of the numbers demonstrates that, for boys, the average Division I player is ranked approximately 300 in Junior Golf Scoreboard in their class with a scoring differential of about .5. The average Division II player is ranked about 550 in their class. For girls, it appears that ranking is less important, but there is a strong relationship between scoring differential and college signings. Girls that sign at schools within the top 50 have scoring differentials of at least -3 or better, while the average for any Division I player is approximately 5.

Keep in mind that when you search on Junior Golf Scoreboard for yourself, it will show your ranking overall. This number is going to be much lower for your ranking in your class. Without a subscription, you will not be able to find your exact rank, but I would generally say you can cut the number by about 50 percent to give yourself a fair gauge. So if you are 3750 overall, you are likely close to 1875 in your class.

For many members of the junior class reading this article, they may see that their ranking might be significantly higher than these numbers. Don’t panic; the rankings are over a 1-year period. After a year, old scores drop off and new scores can be counted. Also, on Junior Golf Scoreboard, your worst 25 percent of rounds are not counted. So, you have time to continue to work on your game, improve your ranking and get the attention of coaches!

Do your research

Now that you have an idea about your ranking, start researching. Where did players of similar rank sign last year? What is the rank of that school? What schools are ranked about the same? Answering these questions will require some time and two resources; Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfstat.com. To find out where similar players signed from last year, go to njgs.com, then under the tab “rankings & honors,” the bottom option is college signees. Click there, and then you can order the signees based on class rank by clicking on “scoreboard class ranking as of signing date.” You will notice that last year, players ranked about 1800 in their class signed at such schools as Kenyon, Glenville, Southern Nazarene, Central Alabama Community college and Allegany college. Pretty good considering these schools have produced a president of the United States (Hayes, Kenyon), and a 5-time Major Championship participant (Nathan Smith, Allegany).

Now that you have a list of schools where similar students have signed, look up the golf rankings of these schools on golfstat.com. The rankings of schools are under the “rankings” tab on the home page and segmented by NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA.

First find out where the school is ranked and then consider schools ranked 5-10 spots ahead and behind that school. Are any of these of interest? Any where you think might sound interesting? Take time and build a list, then send an email to those schools introducing yourself, along with a swing video.

Have a Plan

Regardless if you are a Junior in High School or a Senior in High School, come September 1, remember that there is still time and regardless of what people say, coaches are always looking. For High School Juniors, it is likely that next summer will have a critical impact on your opportunities in college golf, so what can you do over the next 9 months? Where are you missing out on the most shots? Take time, talk to people and develop a plan to give yourself the best chance to succeed in the future. And then, put in the time!

For Seniors, although many might be in your ear saying it’s too late, don’t listen to them. You still have some time. Take a careful look at how you can use the next 2-3 months to improve and prepare for events such as the AJGA Senior Showcase in Las Vegas. Remember that data suggests that up to one-third of players sign in the late period (for all levels) and up to 60 percent of players who compete in the AJGA Senior Showcase in December in Las Vegas, go on to get offers.

As always, if you have any feedback on this article or a story idea, please feel free to reach out to me! I always love hearing from people and helping them connect with schools that meet their academic, athletic, social and financial needs! Best of luck to you, or your son/daughter.

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TG2: Would you rather have Brooks or DJ’s career? 30+ more AMA-style Instagram questions

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Brooks Koepka vs. Dustin Johnson? All-time favorite driver? Poker chips as ball markers? Editor Andrew Tursky and Equipment Expert Brian Knudson answer 30+ questions from the @tg2wrx Instagram. They also discuss Joe LaCava (Tiger’s caddie) paying off a heckler to go away.

Enjoy the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Wyndham Championship

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After one of the most exciting Sunday’s of the golfing year, attention now turns towards the race for the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the quest to attain a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup. For the former, this week’s Wyndham Championship is the final opportunity for players to work their way into the top-125 in the FedEx Cup standings and earn a spot in the opening event of the playoffs. Despite many of the world’s elite understandably taking this week off, there are some big names in action here in Greensboro, with Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson all setting their sights on winning at Sedgefield Country Club this week.

Sedgefield CC is a relatively short par-70 golf course. It measures just over 7,100 yards, and it’s a golf course that doesn’t particularly favour the longer hitters. The rough is playable in Greensboro this week, and like most years at the Wyndham Championship, expect players who have their wedge game dialled in to thrive here at this event.

Last year, Henrik Stenson put on a ball striking clinic, posting 22-under par to win the title by one stroke over Ollie Schniederjans.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Webb Simpson 12/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama 16/1
  • Henrik Stenson 18/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello 22/1
  • Brandt Snedeker 22/1
  • Shane Lowry 25/1
  • Billy Horschel 28/1

It’s been a bit of a disappointing year for Daniel Berger (35/1, DK Price $9,300), but the Floridian showed some very promising signs at last week’s PGA Championship. After opening his PGA Championship with a very poor round of 73, Berger then shined over the next three days. The American posted three consecutive rounds under par, two of which were 66 or better. It was enough to give Berger a T12 finish and plenty of momentum heading to Greensboro this week.

In St. Louis last week, Berger lead the field for Strokes Gained-Approaching the Green, gaining an impressive 8.5 strokes over the field. It was the second best performance with his irons in his career, and at Sedgefield, Berger is going to have hole after hole where he can attack pins with his precise iron game. The two-time winner on the PGA Tour has had a quiet year, but in a weakened field, with plenty of question marks surrounding those at the top of the market, he has a superb opportunity for win number three here in Greensboro.

A T31 finish at the PGA Championship last week means that Chris Kirk (80/1, DK Price $7,500) has now made the cut in his last ten events. From these ten events, four have resulted in top-25 finishes, and Kirk has been hitting the ball particularly well as of late. Over his previous 12 rounds, Kirk ranks fifth in the field this week for Strokes Gained-Approaching the Green, 10th in ball striking and eight in Strokes Gained-Total.

Kirk will cost you just $7,500 on DraftKings, and looking at some of the players that are more expensive this week, he appears to be a bargain. Kirk is three for three in cuts made at the Wyndham Championship in his last three visits, and the four-time PGA Tour champion looks in excellent shape to mount his best challenge yet in Greensboro. Over his last 12 rounds, Kirk leads this week’s field for proximity to the hole, and on a golf course where flushing short irons to close range is going to be key, the American looks to offer some of the best value around this week.

With 17 out of 19 made cuts this year, and arriving off the back of a T12 finish in his last outing, Rory Sabbatini (75/1, DK Price $7,100) looks undervalued once again on DraftKings this week. Over his previous 12 rounds, Sabbatini ranks 24th in Strokes Gained-Tee to Green and 10th in Strokes Gained-Total. What’s more, is that Sabbatini is coming to a golf course that he has played very well in the past. In his last two visits to Sedgefield CC, the American has finished in the top-10 twice, with his best result coming last year when he finished T4. Coming off a strong showing in Canada, and with his proficiency in making cuts and excellent course history, Sabbatini looks a great DraftKings option here this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Daniel Berger 35/1, DK Price $9,300
  • Chris Kirk 80/1, DK Price $7,500
  • Rory Sabbatini 75/1, DK Price $7,100
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