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The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
 
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The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods [Format Kindle]

Hank Haney
3.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter 1

The Last Time

Finally, a moment of truth.

Less than an hour before he’ll tee off in the final round of the 2010 Masters, Tiger Woods walks onto the far corner of the Augusta National’s vast practice range.

The other players and caddies sneak looks. A cheer rises from the packed grandstands, and the rowdier people squeezed together behind the green gallery ropes yell encouragement from short range. “Go, Tiger! You’re the man!” He might be disgraced, he might be a punch line, but he’s still iconic.

As he puts on his glove, the force of the collective gaze that always makes me feel uncomfortable when I’m walking with Tiger at a major championship is more penetrating. He’s become more than just the greatest player alive. He’s the human being who’s fallen farther faster than anyone else in history. The haters, the sympathizers, the commentators—everyone—want to see what it’s done to him.

So do I. Yes, he’s been different since returning from an addiction-treatment facility six weeks ago—more subdued, possibly shell-shocked—but I’ve been waiting to judge whether he’s changed as a golfer. Tiger has always been able to go to a special place mentally in the majors, and I’m eager to find out if he still can. Will he still be Tiger Woods? Passing golf’s excruciating Sunday tests has always been what he does best. But this one feels most like a reckoning.

Tiger is in third place, four strokes behind Lee Westwood and three behind Phil Mickelson. Without saying so—he’s said little about anything all week—he knows that a good round today will regain him respect. And it’s in the air that a victory would be even bigger than the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, when he won on a broken leg; finishing on top here might legitimately be judged the most dramatic win in golf history. It would mean redemption, a goal that suddenly seems more important than surpassing Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major championships.

Now it’s go time. Tiger’s Sunday warm-ups are traditionally works of art, especially when he’s in contention. After three competitive rounds, he’s usually distilled what is working to its essence, and using a mix of adrenaline and focus, he can go through the whole bag without missing a shot. Despite having watched Tiger hit thousands of balls, I still feel that thrill that comes with seeing him with full command at close quarters. His swing begins with serene poise at address, continues with a smooth gathering of power, and then, with the coordinated explosion that announces a supreme athlete, uncoils in a marriage of speed and control, the ball seemingly collected more than hit by the clubface. As he relaxes into his balanced finish, the look Tiger gets on his face as he watches his ball fly is more peaceful than at any other moment.

But something is wrong. After a few balls, I can see Tiger is strangely detached. He’s taking too little time between swings, barely watching where the balls go, sometimes even taking one hand off the club before completing his follow-through. The flush yet cracking sound of his impact that for years has announced his superiority over other players isn’t quite the same. He’s having a terrible warm-up, almost as if he’s not really trying. Other than a few quick grimaces of disgust, his face remains eerily stoic.

I’m about ten feet away, standing behind him along his target line, checking to see if his club shaft is on plane, marking his head movement, assessing the ball flight, weighing whether to say something or continue to stay quiet. It’s what I’ve done as his coach during countless practice sessions over the past six years, but he’s acting as if I’m not there. I wait for some eye contact from Tiger, some words beyond a mumble, some sense of partnership in this warm-up and this moment. I get nothing. Since emerging from his meal in the clubhouse, he’s switched on that cold-blooded ability to leave a person—even someone close to him—hanging. Amazingly, right here, right now, Tiger is blowing me off.

This is the treatment. I got my initiation the second time I ever officially worked with him, on the practice range at Isleworth in March 2004. I’d stood my ground then, and I’m standing my ground now. Tiger doesn’t respond well when underlings ask him if something’s wrong, or worse, when they’ve done something wrong. His longtime but now former trainer, Keith Kleven, was always fretting about whether Tiger was mad at him. Rather than taking Keith’s concern as a show of loyalty, Tiger saw weakness. In his world of testosterone-fueled heroics and military hardness, that’s unacceptable.

He’s never done this at a major championship when he’s been in contention, so I’m not sure what he’s thinking. My best guess is that he’s carried over his aggravation from the night before, when the raw numbers on the scoreboard forced a realization that winning will be a long shot. He’s probably telling me in a passive-aggressive way that he doesn’t like the golf swing I’ve given him for this week. His swing problems could also be attributable to pain in his chronically injured left knee or some other body part, but he hasn’t complained about anything like that all week. Ultimately, there may be a far simpler reason for the chill I’m feeling from him: He’s firing me in the nonconfrontational way that’s more common to a breakup than a professional relationship.

Whatever is going on, I know one thing: He’s not going to explain.

I react clinically. Tiger is Tiger, in all his complexities, and my job is to adjust and adapt to him and keep finding ways to get his best. That’s always been a lot harder to do than people think. It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. But since he’s returned from the Mississippi clinic where he followed a psychologically brutal program of self-examination, it’s gotten harder still.

He’s playing in this Masters after his most rushed, most erratic, and poorest preparation for a major championship ever. Five days before the first round, his game was so ragged it forced me to suggest a limited swing that has cost him distance and shot-making versatility but kept his misses playable.

It’s been a theme of my work with Tiger for much of our time together. Although it’s commonly thought that Tiger plays go-for-broke golf and tries the most difficult shots with no fear, it’s a false image. Tiger is, above all, a calculating golfer who plays percentages and makes sure to err on the safe side. What he abhors, and has built his career on avoiding, are the kinds of mistakes that produce bogeys or worse and kill both momentum and confidence—wild tee shots that produce penalty strokes, loose approaches that leave no chance to save par, blown short putts. These blunders are the stuff of high scores, and after such a round, a tour player or caddie will often lament “the big miss.” Avoiding the big miss was a big part of what made Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus so great, and it’s a style that Tiger has emulated. Until recently, his entire life seemed free of the big miss. But things change.

It’s why the game Tiger has brought to Augusta has been less powerful, less versatile, and less likely to shoot a low number than his A game. But it’s fulfilled its purpose by producing consistent scores of 68, 70, and 70 to stay in contention.

Now Tiger knows that he’ll almost certainly need something in the mid-60s to have a chance to win, and I’m getting the sense he’s unhappy that the style of play we’ve prepared is going to lack the kind of firepower such a round usually requires. He’s also aware that he’s never come from behind on a Sunday to win any of his 14 major championships. In his current state, the odds are against his making that breakthrough, and it’s not helping his mood.

I have the feeling that Tiger is most aggravated that he’s spotting three strokes to Mickelson. Tiger has always had a chilly relationship with Phil. Some of it is personality, but most of it is that Mickelson possesses the kind of talent that has made him a legitimate threat to Tiger’s supremacy. Phil’s popularity with the fans and gentle treatment from the media add to Tiger’s annoyance. For years Tiger reveled in the idea that Mickelson had trouble playing in his presence. But Phil adjusted, and in recent years he’s outplayed Tiger down the stretch in several tournaments. His increased confidence against Tiger, along with the positive energy of the gallery, has flipped the psychological advantage in their matchup in his favor. Phil has won two of the last six Masters, both victories coming on the lengthened and narrowed Augusta course that has given Tiger—who won three of his four on the earlier design—trouble. I sense that Tiger has begun to press against Mickelson, making today’s mountain that much higher.

Then again, at this Masters, Tiger has already accomplished a great deal. In the first tournament he’s played in five months—a period in which he’s suffered public humiliation, the painful, regimented program designed to look into a psyche he never before questioned, the ordeal of his televised February 19 public apology, which was so anticipated that it preempted network programming, and the certainty that his wife will soon file for divorce—he’s battled furiously and played amazingly well. He’s made more mistakes than usual but nearly offset them with short bursts of truly spectacular golf. By the end of the tournament, he will have made a total of 17 birdies and a record four eagles in 72 holes, a 25-under-par barrage that will exceed his sub-par ho...

Revue de presse

“Insightful...Advance coverage of The Big Miss focused on the sensational...but those revelations misrepresent the primary focus of the book, which is to convey the experience of working with Woods as an instructor and to dissect what makes Tiger Tiger...Golf fans will put the book down feeling as if they were an eyewitness to history, and glad for the experience.”
--Wall Street Journal
 
“An alarming look at an athlete whose public glories masked a day-to-day existence of profound superficiality…Even more revealing than the swing material is evidence of Woods’ emotional blank wall: his indifference to people around him, his inability to empathize, and an obsession with military training and the Navy SEALs that, according to Haney, probably led to the leg injuries which have hampered Woods’ golf career.”
--Golfweek
 
“I learned more about Tiger in The Big Miss than I have in eleven years of covering him on the PGA Tour…
I actually thought the book was very fair, it was honest.”
--Damon Hack, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated

“While The Big Miss is many things -- a coach’s story; an account of a collapse; a deep dive into the swing mechanics and the art of golf – it also offers a welcome and unvarnished look inside.  Books about major athletes are often authorized pabulum or arm’s-length agglomerations.  Haney’s recollections are his own, and subject to dispute, but this is a rich and compelling rendering of a complicated athlete undone less by embarrassing details than by a self-inflicted, unsustainable myth.”
--Jason Gay, The Wall Street Journal
 
“Offers fascinating insights…The biggest strength of The Big Miss is the breadth of its insider view of the Tiger Woods phenomenon, a scrutiny previously unavailable to the public.”
--Kansas City Star

“Incredibly interesting—especially if you play golf...Haney does a great job of simply telling it like it is...The "why" behind the mystery of Tiger's perplexing personality weaves its way through the entire book.”
-David G. Kindervater, Featured Columnist, Bleacher Report
 
“After flying through this 247-page, mostly breezy and fascinating look into the life of a champion, I suspect most readers will ultimately have a newfound respect for Woods. I know I do....For the first time in the history of golf literature, we get a behind-the-scenes look at how an all-time great works. Many times the details are not pretty, but most of the journey Haney takes us on reveals a relentless passion to thrive in an era when so many professionals appear content to occasionally contend and collect healthy checks.  If I were asked to recommend a book for an aspiring young golfer, The Big Miss would be the first title I’d select if for no other reason than most of today’s Tiger-wannabes will be motivated to work much harder than they currently do.”
--GeoffShackelford.com

“Thoughtful…Haney makes his case fairly and honestly, emerging not as a self-serving, tell-all author but as a man who has devoted his working life to the intricacies of the golf swing and who, finally, remains thankful to have spent six years with the best golfer on the planet.”
--Booklist

"The Big Miss is the most extensive and interesting portrait of Woods you're ever likely to read...[it] shines a light on the most opaque celebrity in sports. For that reason alone, it's a can't-miss."
--Orange County Register

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
3.0 étoiles sur 5 the big miss 26 février 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
il faut aimer le golf et s'y interésser vraiment pour lire ce livre et particulièrement Tiger Woods. On reste un peu sur sa faim.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un point de vue sur la vie du Tigre 12 décembre 2012
Par Guillaume
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Hank Haney nous éclaire sur la vie cachée de Tiger, les différentes facettes de son personage pas toujours très recommandable , mais bourré de talent. Livre qui fait polémique dans le milieu du golf, je trouve personnellement que l'auteur contrairement à ce qui a pu être dit, reste plutôt neutre et ne "balance" pas à tout va les sordides petites histoires de Woods.
Il le décrit souvent avec une certaine tendresse et beaucoup de compréhension... Pas facile d'être Tiger!
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  369 commentaires
57 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Solid Hit 18 avril 2012
Par charles peterson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is a difficult book to describe. It is very well written, and it provides what would appear to be a pretty good picture of the real Tiger Woods...both the golf prodigy and the totally self absorbed person.
If you have read reviews or watched interviews with Hank Haney, you already know most of the "juicy" parts (and they really aren't that juicy). If you are not into golf, you will probably find the book excruciatingly dull as Haney goes on at length about the mechanics of Tiger's golf swing and the details of his practice routine and of various tournaments.
If, however, you enjoy the details of golf and/or enjoy reading about the personalities of superachievers, you will probably enjoy the book a lot. I did.
In fact, on the personality side, you get a twofer. You get one man's analysis of superstar/super narcissist Tiger Woods. And you also get to observe what happens when that ego collides with the big but fragile ego of super coach Hank Haney. Very interesting dynamics!!! In the end, Haney hails Tiger as the greatest golfer of all time. But that accolade is tempered by Haney's assessment of Tiger's underdeveloped personal skills. You also get Haney's defense of his own record as Tiger's coach.
Haney does not do this, but I noted parallels between Tiger and what I have read about superstars in other fields--particularly Steve Jobs and the early Bill Gates. It is apparent that super talent and warm, fuzzy personalities are not often combined in one package (although Gates seems to have mellowed).
Haney should have probably not written this book. While he apparently violated no contracts with Tiger, I agree that he violated the implied trust between a teacher and a student. Nonetheless, we readers are better off because he did. Once you filter out Haney's bruised feelings, "The Big Miss" really does appear to be as accurate a view of Tiger Woods as we will ever get.
71 internautes sur 87 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Golf first; gossip second 28 mars 2012
Par James P. Mcdonough, Jr. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Hank Haney is a golf instructor and not a writer, but this book is well written. The focus is on Tiger Woods as a golfer, and to a lesser extent as a person, but Haney is mainly interested in the golf. We learn a lot about golf instruction and the fine line that some of these golfers have to maintain in order to compete. I wondered, before reading the book, why a guy like Tiger even needs a coach, but if his swing gets just a little off, he doesn't have the ability to correct it.

There is a fair amount of information provided about Tiger's life, his family, his personal conduct, but Haney does not dwell on the scandalous behavior that ruined Tiger's reputation; he says he didn't know about any of it. Some of the revelations about how Tiger feels about other players and other athletes border on creepy.

The most surprising information is about how Tiger basically seemed bored with golf and wanted to become a Navy Seal. His body is overbuilt for his frame, which may be causing some of his physical problems. The book concludes with a lengthy and somewhat unpleasant self-justification of how Haney did a good job as Tiger's coach. I think he would have been better off letting the record speak for itself.
17 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a golf book, not a tell-all. And it's fantastic. 31 mars 2012
Par J.A.G. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The pre-release publicity for this book has been fairly misleading, so people looking for a tell-all book about Tiger's personal life should reset their expectations. This is not a tell-all; this is a book about golf.

And it's a fantastic golf book. It often goes into details of swing mechanics that non-golfers won't relate to. For people interested in the differences (and similarities) between Tiger's "Butch" swing vs. Tiger's "Haney" swing, this book is a must read.

But there's also plenty of other content (albeit in a golfing context) for non-golfers and/or those who are simply interested in what Tiger is like. The book deals with the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship, and most interesting of all, the ingredients that make for genuine greatness and the price that comes with it.

Overall, I thought the book was very fair and that Haney was also refreshingly honest about his own insecurities as Tiger's coach. This book is not a hit job. Haney repeatedly communicates his genuine admiration for Tiger's greatness, and defends him on a number of fronts. When the current media controversy over whether or not Haney should have written this subsides, people will be glad this book was written. In doing so, Haney has provided the world with an unrivaled account of one of the most interesting athletes in history. If you love golf and/or are interested about what makes Tiger great, I highly recommend that you read The Big Miss.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Whiner!! 30 mars 2013
Par haymeg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Really disappointed in Hank Haney. I have resisted reading this book for a year, simply because I have issue with a coach turning around and writing a tell-all book. All this book did was show that Hank Haney is a petulant whiner who needs his ego stroked over and over. I especially hated his compairson of himself and Butch Harmon with respect to Tiger's game. Hands down - Butch wins this - no matter how Haney wants to spin the statistics. Under Butch Harmon, Tiger was the most dominant player in the world. Haney is content in the stats that he was "in contention" more with him. Who cares! Haney knew Tiger was about to fire him, so he quit. All this book made me want to do is unlaod a van full of popcicles at one of Haney's schools. You're a grown man - get your own damn popcicle!
37 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Must Read 1 avril 2012
Par TDwoods - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The media tour couldn't have gone any worse for Hank Haney as a bunch of media members who don't play golf and didnt read the book peppered him with questions about breaking a code. Read the book and understand the context of what Haney is trying to say. The relationship was very complicated and if Hank wanted to he could have blasted Tiger but stuck to golf 95% of the time and the other five was off the course stuff that affected his golf. Well worth the read.
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