Tiger Woods hasn't been seen hitting a golf ball in public since the Wyndham Championship last August, but the 14-time major champion dropped by the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club (sponsored by Nike) in Graniteville, S.C., Thursday to give a clinic.
Woods – who had two back procedures last fall – has yet to announce his return to the PGA Tour, but he certainly looked in good form during the clinic. In the videos above and below, Woods is seen not only hitting a wedge and driver, but his patented 2-iron stinger.
"It was amazing to be able to see arguably the greatest golfer to ever play this game," U.S. Junior Amateur champion Philip Barbaree Jr., told the Shreveport Times.
"Everyone was so pumped up and excited that we got to the clinic site 45 minutes before it started. It was also a great experience to be able to hit balls alongside him before the clinic. He shared advice about how he practices and I think that is invaluable to us. Compared to Rory [McIlroy], there was so much more hype after we saw Tiger. It seems there is no way Sage Valley can top it next year."Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte reported Tuesday on "Golf Central" that Woods has spent parts of the last two weeks "involved in a series of four- to five-hour practice sessions at Medalist Golf Club … including the playing of some holes."
The Wells Fargo Championship (May 5-8), Players Championship (May 12-15) and Memorial Tournament (June 2-5) are all stops Woods usually has on his schedule, but as his agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN on April 3, he expects Woods to play this year but his client still has no timetable to return.
Woods missed the Masters for the second time in three years. He posted on his website the Friday before Masters week, "I've been hitting balls and training daily, but I'm not physically ready."
While Woods looked good hitting balls at the junior clinic, it remains to be seen when he will be ready to test his game, and surgically repaired back, on the PGA Tour.