Viet Nam News
Robert Bicknell looks at Tiger’s return and eats a dish of crow while examining his new swing.
After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that “semi-retirement” sucks.
I actually found myself looking at a rocking chair in the furniture store before realizing what I was doing and almost jumped out of my skin. A rocking chair is NOT in my plans, unless its strapped to a Harley Davidson…
Sadly, I haven’t played one round of golf since November 1, but to be honest, I don’t really miss it at the moment. I can see myself getting the itch to play again in the coming weeks, but c’est la vie, I will deal with it when the time comes. For the moment, I am content just hitting the gym every day and giving an occasional golf lesson to former students who as for it.
It’s a big difference not being able to play golf whenever I want. When you manage a club, you can throw your clubs on the golf car and go out after work for a quick nine holes. For me to play golf now, I have to arrange something with whatever club I want to play at, arrange transportation, and hit the ATM.
Anyway, I am getting used to the idea of being able to slow down for a while, but on the other hand, I kinda wish there were some tournaments or some event to play in. Speaking of that, Tiger Woods has been away from tournament golf for 301 days and has been chomping at the bit to get back out there.
Before we go any further, I would like to place an order of “Crow”, cooked medium well, with a side of mashed potatoes and a salad.
This is because Tiger just played in his first event since his chain of debacles and looks like he will be a force to be reckoned with once he shakes off a little more rust.
I honestly didn’t think it would happen, but I am quite impressed with his new attitude. He seems a lot less arrogant and more mature. This could be the Tiger Woods I have been waiting to see and a very different person from the one I never liked.
I always appreciated his abilities, but I was never a fan of Tiger Woods the person. But now he seems more humble, a lot more thankful about the second chance he got and, apparently, he’s had time to reflect and look at himself in the mirror. If he maintains this attitude, I think he will be fit to take over from the late Arnold Palmer as the elder spokesman and conscience of professional golf if he keeps his head on straight. He could make people forget about the negatives which darkened his reputation a while back.
But there are no guarantees in life and certainly not when it comes to professional sports.
The most important thing for Tiger is to stay healthy. If he does that, then there is a very good chance he can make the comeback people were hoping for. His says he’s only interested in playing away from pain. If the swing looks awful, he doesn’t care.
When I saw the swing he’s using, I had to smile because it’s pretty close to the same one I was using a few years ago. It’s a lot of arm and less lower body torque. You get a lot of distance from being more square at impact than with a full rotational type swing and with Tiger’s upper body strength, he is still launching the ball a mile, but some of that is also the TaylorMade M2 driver, which is a cannon.
More importantly, this style of swing doesn’t hurt your back so much and in Tiger’s case, that’s critical. His short game is also vastly improved over the last time we saw him chunking and skulling chips and pitches all over the place.
So, I find myself watching like everyone else to see what will happen. One thing is for sure, the TV channels are happier because viewership was higher than usual for the last event. Many are counting on the “Tiger Effect” hopefully re-igniting event sponsorship, junior golf programmes and maybe help improve the state of US golf, which has been floundering in the last few years.
Ah, my order of Crow has arrived, burnt feathers and all, so excuse me while I chow down… -- VNS