With 2014 nearing an end and the golfing calendar winding down in Europe, across the pond excitement still rages as Tiger Woods prepares for another ‘comeback’. Lots of articles are being written; predictions, swing assessments, much of what you’d expect. I’m sure Woods has heard much of it before. I’m interested to see how it pans out, as is everyone, but for me because of who he’s chosen to work with; A bio-mechanic coach called Chris Como. In a world becoming more and more technological and technical especially, Woods’ decision shouldn’t come as a surprise, and early videos of his ‘new swing’ look surprisingly void of technical thoughts and inhibition. It’s obviously too early to say but looking in from the outside, if they can achieve that natural ‘feeling’ Woods has talked about whilst combining some of Como’s expertise in bio-mechanics, I think we’ll see some great stuff.
I read in one article Woods talking about how he wants to go back to swinging it like he did at the beginning of his career. In the same article the author cleverly, (and I’m sure conveniently) pointed out to a paragraph written by Woods in his 2001 book saying how after he won the 1997 US Masters he sat down afterwards and saw 10 things he hated about his swing! He acknowledged it had performed amazingly well but still ridiculed it enough to make changes. I think it shows off not only his genius to do this but also it shows another, more complicated side of professional golfers.
It comes back to one word; feelings. They are as precious as oxygen. And, like oxygen, after a few breaths you begin a journey where only every so often are you reminded of what it feels like to appreciate a breath or rekindle a feeling. Feelings get lost and often forgotten. What I wonder is whether Woods and every other golfer experience the journey of a ‘feeling’ the way I do.
It begins on day 1, on the range most likely, and It’s fresh and unambiguous. That feeling you can’t believe has only just reared its head. Fair to say you flush it for a while. You turn up the next day and it’s still there, like your local corner shop waiting for you to come and take advantage of. But as we enter day 3 and day 4 all of a sudden that ‘feeling’ has meandered off into the darkness, into aisle 47 in Tesco’s shelved alongside the cumin spice in the “World Foods” aisle ready to be confused with and misused.
I’m convinced I’ve discovered the DNA of a feeling. Only, I’m also convinced It’s been discovered many times before. I think what I’ve detailed above happens very often with all golfers at every level. However, the top players must be able to recognise which ‘feeling’ provides the most success over a period of time no shorter than 2 years and never, ever forget it. Some of the most consistent careers in golf have surely been built around 2 or 3 feelings that are sacred to the individual. What happens is when the feeling disappears you naturally resort back to your faults. Let it happen, and be faithful in the knowledge that when the time comes, that ‘feeling’ that is right for you, will reappear and be ready to be utilised once again.
This is why I can see Tiger Woods getting back to some of his best because he will be experiencing old feelings that helped win him 14 majors. He will see old shot patterns redevelop and he’ll soon remember how to figure them out the way he used to. This guy is arguably the smartest and most hard working player to ever play it. The only thing in this game that changes is you. We change with age, experience, fear, all sorts of things but if the DNA of a ‘feeling’ exists, and if it exists like I think it does, then 2015 onwards could be fruity for Mr Woods!
From That Wise Old Owl, cheers.