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  • I Can Fix Tiger Woods Golf Game: But You’re Not Going To Like It

    Tiger’s real problem is not golf: it’s that he’s in the middle — between the Old Tiger and the New Tiger.

    No, I’m not a swing coach — nor a golf analyst: I don’t even play golf — never have. I am only the CEO of Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, so you might ask, how in the hell can I fix Tiger Woods golf game? I’ll explain.

    People are wondering, why Tiger Woods is struggling so much with his golf game – something seemingly, that at one time, he did better than anyone else in the world – maybe better than anyone ever, but now, he doesn’t seem like a pedestrian golfer – he doesn’t even seem like a good enough professional golfer to be considered a  bad professional golfer.

    We all know about Tiger’s infidelities and the breakup of his marriage, which played a stronger role in his demise, more than we think – more than even he thinks or knows.

    I think I know how Tiger can regain his stature, but you’re not going to like it. The real problem – Tiger was built to be a machine, not a man – and now that the man knows his humanness, his vulnerability – he lost the very things that made him Tiger. He lost the ability to be arrogant about his isolation and disconnection to others, which served his concentration – he lost the ability to block out noise, because now he hears everything – his technique was about perfection – and now that we know and he knows –  that he is not perfect – he is questioning everything within his game – and has lost confidence in everything, especially in his swing and “swagger:’ Tiger knows it – but can’t bring himself to admit it.

    Tiger’s real problem is not golf: it’s that he’s in the middle — between the “Old Tiger,” who he knows and trusts — the one that was the machine,  and the “New Tiger,” who everyone expects him to be now — the Tiger that does “no harm.”

    I began this posit after reading the New York Post’s article, Some Advice, Tiger, If You Feel Like Listening,, by Mark Cannizzaro, who was at the PGA Championship — when for the first time, Tiger failed to make the cut, and was eliminated early — and not only that, “he failed to qualify for the Fed-Ex Cup playoff series, meaning that he cannot play in a PGA Tour event for at least the next six weeks,” Cannizzaro pointed out.

    Cannizzaro states some magnanimous advice for Woods: play more, be nice, be honest and one good piece of advice – to reconnect with former swing coach, Butch Harmon.

    I applaud Cannizzaro for trying to make Tiger more human: more amenable to what we think we want from him after the crash, but that’s really the crux of Tiger’s problem: he is trying to become exactly what  Cannizzaro states, but that’s not who he is — not who he ever was: and it’s killed his golf game. Tiger Woods was built to be a fire-breathing dragon on the golf-course, and now he is trying to repurpose himself into a swan, and dragons believe in scorched earth and swan’s compromise — one knows that it has all the power, the other hopes you don’t find out that it has no power at all — this is uncertain middle Tiger finds himself in. Stuck between being a fire breathing dragon, which served him well, or a swan, which is eviscerating him.

    I told you, you might not like it – but Tiger has to go back to yesterday — to dominate tomorrow. He has to again become the self-centered, manically-driven athlete, who took no prisoners – who enjoyed blowing away the competition without apology. Tiger is not winning, because right now, he’s not Tiger — he’s not a dragon — he’s all swan. Yes, he’s had some health issues – but Tiger’s real issue, is that he wants to be number one, but through the softer-gentler way everyone expects: he wants to be accepted and validated, which is antithetical to the real Tiger. The real Tiger prowled, fist-pumped and cut-his-eyes in disdain — that’s who he needs to become again to win big again. I told you, you might not like it — but these are the tradeoffs, at least in this circumstance.

    The bottom-line: if Tiger wants to reach the top again – he has to be an asshole again. He has to be self-serving and ruthless – hard on himself, and harder on others. You can’t change Michal Jordan from being ultra competitive and get the same result, so  Tiger has go back to being a dragon to go forward. I know you don’t like it – but think about it — what’s the alternative — he’s shown this whole swan business is just not working out.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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