By Robert Bicknell
Well, I think we can safely say that Tiger Woods, after winning the tour Championship, is back.
I was one of the naysayers who thought that Tiger was completely finished following his second back surgery. To be honest, I always respected Tiger’s ability and achievements, but I was never a fan of Tiger the man. I watched his path of self-destruction from the fire hydrant crash, the shredding of his carefully controlled personal life, the knee and back surgeries, and the eventual DUI, which apparently shook him to his core and forced him to look deep inside himself and confront the demons which resided there.
Without that self-realization, he would never comeback.
It is said that golf is a mirror of life and Tiger’s resurrection seems to be reinforcement of that belief. He rebuilt his personal life somewhat, but it will always be a work in progress. We could all see a “different” Tiger on the course as he was more open to the media and spectators, and he even smiled a lot more. Some (including me) thought this was just a way to cement himself into a position as an “elder spokesman” of the game, but it turned out to be a sign of a different person emerging.
The swing was back, he was armed with new TaylorMade equipment and he dumped all of his swing coaches, who gave him both good and bad advice over the years, to do it himself.
But the missing ingredient was the one thing he had in over-abundance in his earlier years… self confidence.
Before you can win on the course, you first have to be believe in yourself and this was a difficult hurdle for anyone to overcome, especially one who went through what Tiger did.
So, Tiger now has his 80th PGA Tour win and it’s a good bet that the “majors chase” is now on once again. Given his physical health, I’d guess he has around three to five years left to accomplish it. It’s a heady challenge, but I think, all things considered, Tiger is someone who can pull it off.
As I mentioned at the outset, I was one of the naysayers and was proven wrong.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lovely lunch of Barbequed Crow and a dessert of Humble Pie waiting for me.
* * *
As I mentioned last week, Titleist launched their newest driver series, the TS2 and TS3 and I finally had a chance to try them out last Saturday night during a demo day at Him Lam Driving Range.
Also as mentioned, Titleist has the best fitting staff currently in Viet Nam and the boss of it all, Lars Holden, personally worked with me on finding the right combination of head and shafts.
The results were impressive.
I thought for sure that I’d prefer the TS3 which has adjustable weighting to help fine tune the shot, but Lars has known me for over 20 years and knew I like to work the ball, so, after a few shots with the TS3, he loaded up the TS2 with the same shaft and turned me loose.
The Trackman numbers (launch angle, spin rate, approach angle, ball speed and smash factors) were almost perfect and allowed me to reach 278 yards with range balls. If you factor in the usual 10-12 per cent increased distance a high performance ball would give, the distance is back into 305 – 311 yard range, which is a bit more than my normal 300-305.
Not bad for a guy 60 years old…
To make things a bit surreal, I have to admit I was not swinging at full power due to muscle stiffness following a heavy arm workout at the gym the previous day. Nowadays, I don’t recover as quickly as I used to, so I can only wonder what the results would have been otherwise.
Bottom line, I think Titleist has a winner on its hands and, if you’re looking for a new weapon for your golf bag, it’s definitely worth checking out the Titleist TS series.
As for me, I’ll be sticking with my TaylorMade M3 as it’s perfectly fitted for me.
Like I said, not every club is perfect for everyone and the best way to ensure you get maximum performance from any club is to have it professionally fitted for you.VNS