Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hush Y'all, Tiger Woods Is Back

Tiger Woods is back, kind of.

I consider this Tiger 3.0, the latest reboot in a career filled with changes.

First, there was the original Tiger. That was the brash kid doing impossible things with a flash and swagger not seen since the days of Arnold Palmer. Hello world.

Then Tiger became the youngest player to win The Masters and, naturally, decided to completely rebuild his swing to improve his distance control, consistency and kinesiology.

Who does that?

No one before him analyzed things like the human kinetics of the golf swing. Golfers didn’t work out like maniacs or sign enormous endorsement deals. Tiger changed everything and made the tour the lucrative endeavor it is today.

As he grew older, his body began to strain from the unheard of forces his powerful cuts produced. Kinesiology can only do so much, eh?

His left knee is mush, having caved under the pressures of his 130-MPH swings circa 2000.

He’s tweaked, pulled or torn almost all the tendons and ligaments he has, and oddly enough it may have benefited him.

Tiger has had to change the way he plays. He can no longer rely on his power “reserves” to reach back and launch one. He’s slowly realizing, he doesn’t need to do that.

The more manageable swings still produce lengthy drives, but lo, his accuracy has improved!

It’s a small sample size, but Tiger is currently 18th in driving distance and accuracy, and rated No. 1 in total driving on the PGA Tour.

Not surprisingly, that’s translated to Woods hitting 71.9% of greens in regulation and posting the lowest scoring average on tour.

Hit the ball in the fairway more, get more birdies, win more tournaments. See? Golf is easy!

As it should be for someone like Tiger.

Lots has changed for Mr. Woods. He’s no longer ranked No. 1 in the world, he’s single, on his third caddy and swing coach respectively and slowly rebuilding his portfolio of glossy endorsements.

That being said, he’s still Tiger Woods. There is still something magic in seeing those fist pumps and flashes of red Nike shirts come Sunday. He’s always a threat, even on a tour filled with twenty-something’s who grew up emulating him.

Yes, things are back to the way they used to be. I’d put my money on the fact that Tiger will once again be in the hunt and on the prowl come the back nine at Augusta Sunday.

Look out world.

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