‘Over the years, Tiger’s swing flaws took a dam­ag­ing toll on his body. But his new swing looks fan­tas­tic.’

Golf World (UK) - - FROM THE EDITOR - Nick Wright, Edi­tor nick.jwright@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @nick­jameswright

Of all the ques­tions I’ve been asked by golf fans dur­ing the past few years, the most com­mon has been, “Do you think Tiger is fin­ished?” Each time, I replied that, in my au­thor­i­ta­tive and trusted opin­ion, he was done and dusted… for sure! I mean, let’s face it, we have never seen a star ath­lete come back to com­pete at the high­est level fol­low­ing an ex­tended break from their sport. It just doesn’t hap­pen.

As we all know, Tiger hasn’t just had se­vere in­juries to over­come, he’s also had to deal with the pub­lic dis­in­te­gra­tion of his im­age. In short, the odds of him mak­ing a suc­cess­ful re­turn to the up­per ech­e­lons of world golf ac­com­pa­nied by such men­tal and phys­i­cal bag­gage were very slim.

All of which makes what Tiger achieved at the re­cent Hero World Chal­lenge in the Ba­hamas all the more im­pres­sive. Granted, a lim­ited field event played in a re­laxed at­mos­phere over a gen­er­ous, re­sort­style lay­out is a far cry from the de­mands pre­sented by a reg­u­lar Tour event, but there was enough ev­i­dence to sug­gest Woods is on track to make a sus­tained and suc­cess­ful come­back.

Un­der­stand­ably, Woods looked a lit­tle ten­ta­tive and anx­ious as he ex­posed his game to the mil­lions of peo­ple watch­ing around the world, but he vis­i­bly grew in stature over the four days to the point where his trade­mark steely-eyed glare had re­turned by Sun­day af­ter­noon. His driv­ing was im­pres­sive, his iron play strong and his putting as­sured. The only ques­tion mark was his short game. He fluffed a cou­ple of chips from the gnarly Ber­muda grass but, in all fair­ness, so did sev­eral other play­ers.

Most en­cour­ag­ingly, Tiger’s full swing looked fan­tas­tic. Through­out his ca­reer, Woods has al­ways played with some tech­ni­cal flaws. Over the years, they have taken a dam­ag­ing toll on his body, but his cur­rent coach Chris Como has him swing­ing in a more or­tho­dox fash­ion. In my opin­ion, he has never swung it bet­ter. But don’t just take my word for it. On page 40, top coach Luther Black­lock re­veals the key changes Woods has made to his swing. Tiger has gone back to ba­sics to re­vamp his game – and that’s a les­son we can all learn. En­joy the is­sue.

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