A tri­umphant re­turn?

Golf Monthly - - Your View -

I was de­lighted to read the an­nounce­ment about Tiger Woods’ re­turn to com­pet­i­tive golf af­ter more than a year away, and I can’t wait to see him in ac­tion again. It will be fas­ci­nat­ing to see how he’ll cope and if his body will hold up. If it doesn’t, I hon­estly think that will be it for his ca­reer. How­ever, if it he man­ages to get six months of com­pet­i­tive ac­tion un­der his belt with­out suf­fer­ing a re­cur­rence, I gen­uinely think he has a good chance of win­ning an­other Ma­jor.

I know it will be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult with all the golf­ing tal­ent on the pro­fes­sional tours at the mo­ment, but my op­ti­mism stems from the fact he ap­peared to take a more dis­ci­plined ap­proach to his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion this time around – per­haps recog­ni­tion that this is last-chance sa­loon.

He des­per­ately needs a long run of com­pet­i­tive golf and we shouldn’t ex­pect good re­sults in his first few events back, but I think he still has more to of­fer. Ei­ther way, it’s a great thing for the pro­fes­sional game, which is ar­guably as strong as it’s ever been. Just imag­ine how great it would be to watch Woods bat­tling it out with Ja­son Day and Rory McIl­roy at next year’s Mas­ters. Un­likely, maybe, but noth­ing would sur­prise me given what Tiger has achieved. Phillip Downs, via email fair­way, why should you be pe­nalised? Com­mon sense says you should be able to im­prove your lie with­out penalty.

Also, with re­gards speed­ing up play: we need more begin­ners’ nine-hole cour­ses, flood­lit to al­low for even­ing golf; we should have seven-club com­pe­ti­tions to limit club se­lec­tion and we should in­crease the size of the hole slightly. Higher-hand­i­cap begin­ners would then be more pre­pared for the 18-hole ex­pe­ri­ence. Peter Richards, Lon­don help­ful, usu­ally older gent come over and of­fer me his sug­ges­tion about what I was do­ing wrong. “You’re lift­ing your head,” they’d say, “hit through the ball.” “Those are the wrong clubs for you,” they’d claim. Then, af­ter they walked off, I would stand there try­ing to ap­ply the ad­vice they gave.

Un­til re­cently, I al­ways took what ‘more ex­pe­ri­enced’ play­ers said as be­ing pearls of wis­dom from bat­tle­hard­ened veter­ans of the game. How­ever, my­self and oth­ers like me ought to be care­ful who we ac­cept ad­vice from. Ob­vi­ously pro­fes­sion­als are the golf­ing gu­rus we should trust and lis­ten to, but it’s hard not to let the words of peo­ple, who are only try­ing to help, dent that frag­ile con­fi­dence we can all pos­sess at times. In­stead of lis­ten­ing to the ‘Just do this’, ‘Just do that’, ‘Just do the other’ peo­ple, we need to re­mem­ber we can’t change our game in an in­stant in the mid­dle of a

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