Other Tiger Topics


Have mercy. I mean, this Woods character is making it tough for the water cooler crowd, let alone us journalists. All that time away from the buffet table, thinking up new things to say.
And thats the issue, isnt it? New things to say. We have all seen, time and again, how Tiger will wake up on a Sunday, yawn, have coffee, and decide on his usual weekend plan: Pick up the leaderboard like a sheet of paper, turn it around, crinkle it, flatten it back out again, make it into a paper Gulfstream, and land it perfectly in his own little Hangar of Glory.
Tiger Woods
We know Tiger can dominate, but what are some of the nuances of his game? (Wire Images).
Dont get me wrong; its still exciting to watch. But its time to stop talking about the guy in terms such as dominance, machine-like, determined, and so on. Its like saying the sky is blue, or that Congress will get nothing done today.
But no one plans to stop talking about Tiger. So here are some topics that will get us past mundane domination and take things one level deeper.
Tee strategy. How has it changed? When did a modicum of restraint creep in? Is it me, or are there more Stingers being hit? I seem to see more 2-irons instead of driver every time. Whats his favorite shot shape? I think he can move it either way, but does that ever go wrong for him? Then what happens? Also, with the driver, whats the best thing to do with the right elbow? If things begin to flare, can you cure it temporarily by jamming that elbow into your hip on the way down? Or would it work for him, but turn me into a pretzel on Advil?
Hangin on. The times Tiger decides to hold on to a mid- or short-iron shot for an extra secondthat fascinates me. Trajectory control, spin control, or both? Anything we golf mortals can learn from this?
Putting. Compare his style on have-to-makes to Nicklaus, who might have been the best ever at that kind of putt. Whats the mental process? How does Tiger quiet his mind on those putts? Does he like putting? Or, as with Hogan, could he do without it?
The Big Kiwi. What do he and Steve talk about, anyway? Is Steve keeping Tiger calm, or the other way around?
Hey, Dad. What will fatherhood be like for Tiger? In that he usually succeeds in whatever he sets out to do, it will be interesting to see how he maintains his golf prowess while having a fulfilling family life. Considering the strong bond he had with his late father, it seems natural that Tiger will be a conscientious dad.
Education. No one who understands modern professional sports can blame Tiger for leaving Stanford when his golf powers came to the fore. He said at the time he planned to finish his education eventually, and he is not one to say such things lightly. Although family life may make his time tighter, I have no doubt hell find a way to finish what he started at Stanford, and well see him in a cap and gown some day. This would be especially important for the example it would set for kids in Tiger Woods Foundation programs, which encourage striving for dreams through work, study and imagination. Other athletes have finished their careers and gone on to school and excellent second jobs (Minnesota Vikings great Alan Page is a state supreme court justice; San Francisco 49ers receiver John Frank became a doctor, to name just two). But Tiger is so high profile that the completion of his education could inspire a lot of kids.
Once the Record Falls. When the 19th major championship comes, then what? Will he get Michael Jordan Disease and have no new worlds to conquer? Or will he keep setting sports goals? Will he design courses full-time one day? Or run the PGA TOUR?
Sotawk amongst yerselves.
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