The Return of Tiger Woods

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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I’m not sure why I feel compelled to weigh in on this subject, although the more I thought, the more I realized the path back for TW applies to almost anyone who plays golf. Not that any of us are the best player to have ever played the game, but what he is feeling now is no different than what any of us feel about our own games, so here goes.

Extinguish Expectations
We all feel the pressure of expectations at one point or another in our golfing life. Whether a first time golfer feeling like they’re being a burden to their playing partners, playing well with your buddies in a club tournament, or in TW’s case, feeling the expectations of an entire planet, they all have nothing to do with executing the shot in front of you. Be willing and able to be an absolute disaster and own it. Who cares if you shoot 120 or 140 or in TW’s case 80, no one cares. Our day will continue on, the sun will come up tomorrow, we’ll be bummed and feel bad for him or not, but really, who cares. Did you learn something? Are you adapting? Are you enjoying the process of getting better each day? Be ok with being bad and LEARN!

Play Often
Doing something over and over we all get more comfortable, and not surprisingly get better. If you’re aware of why you’re playing the way you are and have a solid plan for getting better, you’re in great shape. You’ll know when you’re in the middle of the process, you’ll see an outlier good shot, maybe a new personal best for nine holes. The caveat for TW will be if his body can handle the strain of competitive golf over the next 5 to 10 years.

Small Victories
In the case of TW claiming his performance isn’t up to his standard, well welcome to the club, and read the above paragraph, no one really cares. If he really is considering a final great run to close his career, he›s got to start somewhere, just like the rest of us. Get in there, get ugly, fall on your face, make a fool of yourself, whatever it is, but just get in there. Once you’re in, the process starts, and my guess with TW, will work very quickly. You build by hitting one good shot, then a good hole, maybe a good nine, etc., bit by bit. “Improving is like driving a car at night, you can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way”, –anonymous 

I’ll be following his progress with all of you, wishing him the best.