Viet Nam News
by Robert Bicknell
So, if Golf Digest is to believed, Tiger Woods is confident now and can hit every shot in the bag with confidence and with control as he demonstrated at a two-hour practice session in the Bahamas.
Great, he can hit a better variety of shots on the range, but can he do it under pressure on the course when it really counts? There is a huge difference between pulling it off at the range and doing it in a tournament you’re trying to win.
In some ways, this sounds a lot like “whistling past a cemetery”. Is he trying to convince himself (a little self-delusion) or trying to get the other pros to question themselves?
Tiger burst onto the scene a long time ago under similar circumstances. He got everyone to believe he was a billion times better than everyone else and they were foolish enough to stand around and watch. He got right into their heads and he took their lunch money from that day on.
Tiger seems to be sticking with the Nike Irons, but for reasons that escape me. Why he wouldn’t switch to something better is one of those mysteries of the universe.
He has, however, been seen using a TaylorMade driver and fairway woods, but there has been no confirmation if he will stay with them as yet.
Tiger did make a big production about announcing his switch to the Bridgestone 330S golf ball, claiming “the golf ball is the most important club in the bag”.
Sorry, but that is a major load of fertilizer.
At the top level of balls (Tour), they all perform pretty much the same way. It is just a matter of what you feel more comfortable with.
In fact, there was a comparison of one of the tour leading golf balls and the “Kirkland Signature” ball which is sold by volume at Costco and, believe it or not, according to the test done by MyGolfSpy.com, the cheap ball actually out-performed the big name ball.
I play the TaylorMade “Tour Preferred” ball, but I used to play Titleist Pro V1. Heck, I was raised practically eating Titleist Tour balatas. But to be honest, there wasn’t much of an issue changing balls when I joined the TaylorMade team. Sure, it took me a few games to get used to the way it performed, but it wasn’t earth-shattering.
To be honest, I had a bigger problem switching from Titleist Tour balatas to the Tour Edition back in the 80’s. I played it because Greg Norman played it, and he was the coolest player on the Tour, so the ball must be great right?
Unfortunately, like Norman, I found the thing spinning back from everywhere. I always had to take one club more than I would normally use, just so the silly thing could spin back to the pin. Very unnerving. I went back to the Titleist balata very soon.
In my opinion, what makes the Pro V1 better than other balls, for Tour players, is confidence.
Yes, I know more than a few of you thought I would say “sponsorship” but nope. The Tour guys can get free balls from anyone they want, but they choose Titleist because of confidence.
I have not yet tried the Bridgestone 330S but I have heard good things about it.
I am happy that Tiger is ready to make his grand comeback, but only because it will answer a few questions. We will all find out pretty quick if he still has what it takes to win out there. It’s a different kettle of fish than when he was dominating and winning any event he wanted to before.
There is no real way to know how both Tiger and the other players will react. Some will take great delight in going toe-to-toe with him, others might roll over and play dead out of habit.
The only thing I am sure of is that Tiger Woods will have to demonstrate he belongs out there again and, if he is to get back on top, he’s gonna have to do it by winning. Nobody is going to hand him anything, not anymore.
But it does look like things are gonna get very interesting for a while… VNS