Thoughts on Tiger
I’ve been asked quite a bit lately about Tiger Woods, and specifically why he is so good.
Not an easy question to answer. I would place him in the ‘freak’ or ‘one in a billion’ category. He is so good that he makes everyone else look like they’re second rate. Not many sports people have been able to do that. Calling him a ‘freak’ is probably a cop out on my part, but I’m not sure how else one could describe him.
I strongly believe that he plays the game entirely instinctively. Sure, he practices hard and spends time working on his swing etc, but when he plays golf he lets his subconscious take over for him. It also seems that the more pressure he is under the more he lets go and allows nature lead the way. With my understanding of learning and performing under pressure, this is the only way to explain his extraordinary ability to keep pulling out those big shots when he needs them most.
Tiger has incredible natural ability, he mixes this with a strong work ethic and ties it all together with a super human ability to play on auto pilot. Unlike many of his competitors, Tiger is able to get into auto mode more often than not and rarely plays a poor round (for Tiger a poor round would be something around par). This ability allows him to play remarkable golf. Remarkable golf for Tiger is something mere mortals can only dream of. Best just to enjoy “Tiger Remarkable” from the lounge room.
So can we learn anything from Tiger?
I wouldn’t try and copy his swing. To me copying anyone’s swing is a disaster waiting to happen, Tiger’s swing is mission impossible. I’m sure many golfers (PGA Tour stars) have tried to copy aspects but they’re not even getting close. I don’t think the average golfer stands a chance.
My opinion is to set yourself to play your own kind of remarkable golf. Learn to trust your swing and perform it on auto pilot under the pressure of competition. Remarkable golf takes more courage than you’d think. It can feel uncomfortable and even scary. When you break through the fear you can come out the other side a different player, a player with the ability to perform his best more of the time.
You might not be able to beat Tiger Woods, but you will become a better player and have the propensity for something special. This makes the game fun and opens a whole new world of possibility.
Y es, Tiger Woods is special, but we can all be special in our own unique way.
Go Tiger! And long live remarkable golf.