Inside the mind of Tiger Woods

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Your favourite club?

I’ve been asked this many times, it’s all 14. They have to be. In order to win a golf tournament, you’re going to have to use all 14 of them, and they’d better do exactly what you want. You don’t want to have any surprises out there, like hitting a long iron into a tight pin and it’s 220, but it flies 240. You’ve seen me when I spin the club and start walking. Well, I know right where it’s going to be. If I spin the club and it ends up in the water, then we’ve got a problem.

Tiger Woods 

 

 

Tiger Woods

Who have you learned the most from about your game?

Probably my dad. He was a simple, basic, all-rounder. You look back at my teachings, for example putting. How do you tell a two-year-old what the difference is between a mile and an inch? There’s no dissemination. He came up with this idea of putting to a picture. Whatever you look at to take in a picture, come back to the ball and putt to what you just saw. I’ve seen guys step off putts, a 20-footer, 15-footer… I have no idea why they’re doing that, they must have different strokes for that. I’ve always just putted to the picture and kept it very simple. I go back to a lot of my dad’s teachings when I’m struggling, I go back to the foundations of what I was taught and it’s really worked.

Being a ‘feel’ player…

I never hit a normal, standard shot on the range. I’m always moving something or doing something with it. My hands, my feel, I think the game is fluid that way. You see a lot of kids nowadays just tee it up and hit it as hard as they can, but that’s a different generation. They didn’t grow up with smaller heads and balata balls, when you had to hit the ball in the middle or it was going to dance all over the place with 
the gear effect.

Your advice for amateurs?

It starts from the green back. Most amateurs want to go to the range and hit a bunch of drivers. But chipping and putting, to be able to get up and down, is paramount. You look at most kids when they play golf, a lot of them can hit it far, but it’s amazing how many can’t chip and putt. They don’t have nerves, they’re aggressive, they just don’t have the number of shots 
I think they should, and the feel. You don’t see a whole lot of Phils, or Seves or Oles, guys with great hands hitting different shots. I think a lot 
of amateurs could learn a 
lot from them.

How golf has changed...

When you see Guan Tianlang qualify for the Masters last year; he was born after I won the tournament. That’s just not cool, you know. That’s the next generation. They are big guys who can move it out there. I was No.2 in driving distance for a number of years, only behind John Daly. Now an average of over 300 yards won’t necessarily put you in the Top 10. I’ve had to rely on different parts of my game, my strategy, where to miss it and where not to miss it.

Tiger and Earl