Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tiger's mental game


I think people are reading way too much in the break-up between Tiger Woods and Hank Haney.

It's not that split that's caused Woods' game to go south. It's more likely that the root of his problems - in addition to his physical ailments - is the break-up between him and his wife, Elin.

You know the old saying: "Golf is a game of inches, and the most important are the 6 between your ears." Of course, if Stewie Griffin or that football head kid from Hey Arnold ever picked up a golf club, I guess you'd have to the 11 or 12 inches between the ears.

Now, I know what you're thinking. This sounds just like the Gil Gerard speech. Wait, never mind. That's not important.

Tiger's competitive golf experience over the past six months has included three tournaments. He finished in the Top 10 at the Masters; he missed the cut at Quail Hollow; and he withdrew from The Players Championship because of a bulging disc. That was disc.

During this time, he's endured intense media scrutiny because of his infidelities. It's no wonder that he's struggling. In addition to being rusty and having a bad back, he's also trying to get his life back on track, deal with an impending divorce, win back fans and sponsors and deal with the media.

I know he dealt with much of this when he was on top of the golf world. But the layoff and injury combined with the stress of a divorce make it difficult to play your best golf.

That's why the split with Haney, I think, is not a big deal. Tiger knows the mechanics of golf. He knows how to play the game. To be sure, a coach helps.

But right now, Woods is in need of a mental coach more than a swing coach.

Photo credit: Reuters

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