Has Tiger lost his bite?
I’ve suffered from severe back pain for most of my adult life. In my case a nerve pinches in my lower spine, then it is a week of stabbing pain which brings me to my knees. Hurts so bad I can’t even tie my own shoes. Back pain is no joke and I feel for Tiger Woods, who withdrew yesterday at Torrey Pines due to back pain related to his glutes not “activating.” That WD followed his worst score as a professional golfer last week, an 11-over 82 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Here’s his explanation:
It’s just my glutes are shutting off. Then they don’t activate and then, hence, it goes into my lower back. So, I tried to activate my glutes as best I could, in between, but it just they never stayed activated. ~Tiger Woods
This is a strange comment and has already been the “butt” of many jokes. I find it hard to resist the “glutile dysfunction” jokes myself. My wife is about ready to kill me.
The back problems come after Woods’s supposed successful surgery to fix his back last year. Remember he sat out at the Masters following the surgery?
The last 12 months have been horrid for Tiger:
- Best finish: T25 at the WGC Cadillac, a limited field, no-cut event
- T80 2014 Farmers (Torrey Pines)
- T69 2014 Open Championship
- Three withdrawals
- Three missed cuts
Former world #1 Tiger has dropped to 56th, and he will continue to drop without a doubt. His eligibility for some events now becomes a question. He’s a lifer at Augusta so that’s no worry, but other events like World Golf Championships take the top 50.
I’m quite puzzled by Tiger the last couple of years. In every interview he tells the press and the fans that he feels great. He’s 100%. At the Waste Management Phoenix Open he told the press he was as healthy as he has been in years. Before Torrey he said he was hitting the ball as good as he was back in 2000, at the peak of his career. That period of time was possibly the best ball striking of any golfer, ever…in history… Ben Hogan included.
At the same Time he says he’s hitting it as good as ever, he can’t hit a fairway and his chipping is worse than mine. So what’s the deal? Is he what he calls a “Ranger Rick” now? Ranger Rick is the guy who kills it on the range but can’t bring that game to the course. Or is he trying to use the mind-over-matter theory to convince himself that he’s hitting it good? If that’s the case, the matter is not listening to the mind.
Perhaps his mind is still what it was, but his body doesn’t, or can’t listen anymore. In the early 2000’s he could will the ball into the hole. He could will his young body to do anything. But his body isn’t young anymore. He’s 39 his body isn’t. As USA Today’s Steve DiMeglio said:
“His birth certificate reveals he’s 39, but his body language makes it look like it’s going on 60.”
Another thing I find very puzzling is Tiger’s comments in just about every post-round interview when he’s struggling. Between his finishing hole and his courtesy car he’s already told the press what his issue is and how he’s going to fix it. If he knew it, why didn’t he fix it before? The issues and solutions are always these bizarre and overly-technical and overly-analytical things. Case in point yesterday with the glute activation comment. So is Tiger saying that he’s already got a solution? Just activate the glutes?
I really think it might be a case of analysis paralysis. Once again he’s trying to be in complete control, and use his mind to overcome whatever issues. It also may be a byproduct of having too many cooks in the kitchen from trainers to coaches to massage therapists to nutritionists to witch doctors, all producing a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo, so they can get paid. Jack Nicklaus didn’t have any of that. He just played golf. I would have much rather heard this in the post round interview:
Press: Tiger what happened out there?
Tiger: My back went out.
End of story.
Oh boy the pundits were buzzing last week with all the expert solutions to Tiger’s chip-yips. They are already spouting their expert analysis and solutions for Tiger and his back. It makes me want to disconnect entirely from golf media. If Tiger would just listen to them he’d be winning majors again! The press are like abused dogs that keep coming back to their abuser.
Then there’s this guy who gets kicked off of Tiger’s withdraw cart, then chases it. If I ever become that guy, kill me.
I don’t comment on the PGA Tour or Tiger Woods much, but I just can’t resist. Tiger Woods shot his worst round as professional this past week in Phoenix at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, an 11-over 82. I witnessed none of it. Let me know when it’s Masters week.
It was strange that he was even in the field given the fact that many years ago he said he would never play in the event again. I thought Woods was doing it to get back in the feel of competitive tournament golf, but later I thought perhaps it was more of a public relations move. A few articles lately claim the reasoning might be much more intriguing, that Tiger may have a large lump sum payment due to ex-wife Elin Nordegren next year and he’s trying to make some hay. Whichever of the three reasons above it might be, it was mission not accomplished.
It was especially entertaining to me that in the pre-tournament interviews Tiger said he is hitting it as good as he did in the peak of his career back in 2000. Is he really or is he trying to convince himself he is? Mind over matter or something? Or maybe he’s hitting it that well on the range but not on the course? His “Ranger Rick” gig I suppose.
Whenever Tiger struggles the experts all come out of the woodwork. GolfWeek Magazine had two back to back articles about what it will take to fix Woods’s problems. One said “no quick fix for Woods,” and the next one said his problems could be “fixed in minutes.” Which one is it?
Every wannabe golf instructor and Twitter golf geek has his solution and has been writing, tweeting, facebooking, google-plusing, instagraming, pinteresting, linkedining… about it. There’s so much out there it would take years to digest it all.
The Only Two People Who Don’t Know How to Fix Tiger Woods are Tiger Woods and His Coach
Obviously Tiger and his new swing coach don’t read any of the experts’ solutions, or Tiger would have won last week instead of missing the cut and finishing DFL.
If he really feels he’s hitting it as good as back in 2000 then the only thing I can come up with is WTF? There’s my expert commentary. Such a pro.
Tiger is in action again this week at Torrey Pines, a course he has won EIGHT times on, including his last major championship back in 2008. 2008, about SEVEN years ago. That nugget of history is awesome. The Tiger fans believe playing Torrey means a guaranteed victory. The rest of the field should just stay home I guess. It is already a lock, despite the fact that Woods is completely lost and may even have the chip-yips.
My short game is terrible but it just might be better than Tiger’s right now. That’s a very bad thing, for Woods.
This week should have more entertainment value. Can’t wait to hear what the experts come up with if Tiger struggles. If Tiger plays well and makes the cut, or even wins (50-1 odds in vegas), the experts will surely know exactly what Tiger did to fix the problem.
I’ve not commented about the latest strange happenings in the golf world as of yet. I’m sort of sitting on my proverbial couch, eating proverbial popcorn, and watching the freakshow unfold.
Toothless Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods: Tough and Ruthless or Rough and Toothless?
First off we have the toothless Tiger Woods. Apparently he was in Italy to watch his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn compete in a ski race. In the hustle to get positioning, a camera man knocked out Tiger’s front tooth, the discolored one. Tiger is no fan of the media at all. I can imagine there was a nice, pleasant discussion following said de-toothing.
For the record by the way, the discolored tooth Tiger had was not as a result of his ex wife Elin Nordegren knocking it out on that crazy Thanksgiving night. The tooth was discolored for years before that. Many uninformed news outlets and golf social networks have claimed that the discolored tooth was because of Elin, but it is not. Get your facts straight.
Tiger is playing in Phoenix at the Phoenix Open next week, a tournament he said he would not play in again. It will be interesting to see if he has had the tooth fixed by then, and if the media will have the balls to inquire about what happened. Maybe he’s waiting for Obamacare to kick in.
Robert Allenby’s story gets more and more strange
Robert Allenby Kidnapping
At the Sony Open Robert Allenby missed the cut. That would be the best thing to happen to him that weekend. News came out that he had been kidnapped, robbed, beaten, put in the trunk of a car, and dumped in a park six miles from the wine bar he had been patronizing. Over the last week the story has gotten more and more fishy, and eyewitnesses are coming forward with different stories. The latest stories are saying he was drunk and fell on his face, on a rock. One story even includes a strip club, not a wine bar.
Odd things which stand out to me: Allenby did not contact the police immediately after the kidnapping. Also, he’s never appeared with any bandages. Seems strange.
I’d better pop more popcorn for this one.
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky
DJ and Paulina Gretzky are now parents. Dustin is gearing up for a return to golf, and denies any rumors of cocaine use.
My question is, will Paulina be breast feeding? Golf Digest could get some even bigger boob photos for their next “fitness” article if so!
Is this photo about golf or Paulina Gretzky’s boobs? You be the judge.
More popcorn please, with butter.
Will Tiger Break Jack’s record? I might break your jaw if you ask that question one more time…
December 30 is a very important birthday for someone. Yeah, you’re probably thinking this is another of the 47.2 billion Tiger Woods birthday posts. It does happen to be Tiger’s 39th birthday, but I’m no bandwagon jumper. There are enough other sites doing that post so I don’t need to do it here.
No, more importantly today is my grandma Myrle’s birthday.
Happy birthday to my awesome grandma. May she rest in peace.
Ah what a time of year. Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas on the horizon… Golf season has concluded, except for those who live in warmer climates than I do. The best part of this time of year though, is that I get to put together my annual Hooked On Golf Blog Turkey of the Year awards. The Turkey of the Year awards recognizes the biggest boneheads in golf for the past year. Previous winners include John Daly for, well, being John Daly. Sergio Garcia for spitting in the cup and then denying doing it despite watching it on video, Tiger Woods for, you know…
This year was a little bit of a slower year for boneheads and blunders. Nothing huge. Not too many scandals. I thought of even awarding myself a TOY award for making two doubles and a triple in the city amateur, and still taking 2nd place a mere three shots behind the winner…
Enough pillow talk. Let’s get down and dirty. Here are the 2014 golf Turkeys of the Year, and a little ranting to go along with them!
Drum roll… the envelope please…
Talk about “blowing” the season. Dustin Johnson took a self imposed leave of absence from the PGA Tour to work on “personal issues” which he did not care to discuss. The rest of the golf world knew what was up. It would seem that DJ had to take the leave because of failing drug tests, one allegedly for pot and two others for cocaine.
Along with the drug issues, many stories floated around about DJ having affairs with more than one wife of fellow PGA Tour members. Not sure when those alleged affairs took place, but it would be puzzling to think that this may have happened while he was with Paulina Gretzky. Despite having plenty of gourmet food, it is tough to resist an all-you-can-eat buffet.
To cap it all off, Dustin Johnson and Paulia Gretzky announced that she was pregnant.
Johnson was in very good position with regards to FeEx Cup points, and playing well. He had a very good shot at the $10,000,000 first prize. Had. For “blowing” that opportunity, DJ earns a Turkey of the Year award.
Many theorized the Tour gave DJ an ultimatum, take a leave of absence or be kicked off the tour for six months. The PGA Tour would not discuss Dustin Johnson’s situation to confirm or deny that. But when media outlets started postulating what was going on, the Tour then decided to clarify what they were not going to discuss. For that, the PGA Tour gets a Turkey Award.
15 inch golf holes and other changes to the core of the game were ideas from the newly formed organization “Hack Golf.” Hack Golf was a child of now former CEO of TaylorMade, Mark King. Hack Golf’s goal seemed to be an honorable one, “grow the game.” The reality was they knew their driver sales were dropping faster than a tour groupie drops her panties. Hack Golf was a bad attempt at bastardizing a great game with the hopes that it would grow their bottom line, not the game itself.
Speaking of hacking, Greg Norman nearly hacked his arm off with a chainsaw. There are many interesting angles to this story. First Greg tweeted seconds before about doing the job himself and showed a picture of himself with the chainsaw. The next photo was him n the hospital.
The real reason he tried to hack his arm off? He had lunch AND dinner with me the day before. Apparently nothing tops meeting me. Nothing more in life to accomplish. Not worth living at that point. I’m glad that Greg made a full recovery.
Along the “grow the game” line of things is another boneheaded idea which earns a Turkey of the Year: Foot Golf. Foot Golf is played on a golf course with large holes and soccer balls. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Foot Golf does not grow golf. Courses who introduce Foot Golf will lose their golf patrons. Footgolf produces no equipment sales, no lesson revenue, no range revenue.
Equipment Release Cycles
2014 may go down as the year golfers finally rebelled against TaylorMade and Callaway and their ridiculous equipment release cycles. Each company has released NINETEEN drivers since 2010! NINETEEN. 19. I find it amazing too that the marketing campaign for each driver always seems to guarantee gaining more yards. If that’s the case why am I not hitting my drives 500 yards now? WTF? False advertising!!
TaylorMade’s sales tanked in 2014. Golfers stopped believing the hype and realized that all the knobs, sliders, weights, and other “technology” wasn’t giving them more yardage or lowering their scores. It was only lowering their bank account.
For causing more damage than good to the golf industry through overzealous product release cycles, the likes of TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike and Cobra all get Turkey of the Year awards.
2014 was statistically the worst year Tiger Woods has ever had as a professional golfer. Tiger’s best finish in calendar year 2014 was the WGC Cadillac Championship, a non-cut event where he tied for 25th. In the other six starts for 2014 he was cut twice, withdrew twice, placed 69th at the Open Championship and tied for 80th place at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Total winnings on Tour for 2014 was barely over $108,000, probably not enough to keep the private jet or yacht fueled for a week.
At the end of the season Tiger announced the change of swing coaches to unknown Chris Como. I can’t wait for another year of watching his swing change and hearing him say “its a process.” What will be even worse is how the media will lap it up like a starving cat lapping up a cup of milk.
USA Ryder Cup Team
A Turkey of the Year leg goes to the USA Ryder Cup team. Every RC it amazes me that a team with so much individual talent can manage to lose so dramatically. But that’s the point, they’re all individuals who are not used to, or interested in playing as a team. They’re all independent contractors.
For getting their asses kicked in the 2014 Ryder Cup, then throwing captain Tom Watson under the bus after the loss, the USA Ryder Cup Team wins a Turkey of the Year award.
Ryder Cup Task Force
A big bonehead of the year goes to the “Ryder Cup Task Force.” The whole idea is really dumb. No task force is needed. Here’s the what the USA Team has to do to win the Ryder Cup, and I’m giving this advice away free:
Ted Bishop -Former President of the PGA of America
While I can’t say I disagree with Ted Bishop’s assessment of Ian Poulter and his sniveling about Nick Faldo in Poulter’s autobiography, it was not something the PGA of America president should have said. Still, hats off to him for saying it. Unfortunately we do not live in a world where one can be that candid anymore, without offending someone.
His comments? “Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” I’m surprised this was thought of as offensive and sexist against girls. I would have thought that little girls would have been more offended being compared to Ian Poulter.
I must admit, I need a barf bag at the ready whenever I see anything produced by the Back9Network. Their attempt at mixing lifestyle with golf is off-the-charts-bad. Obviously in desperation the “network” has dumbed down to simply posting pictures of slutty, scantily clad women who don’t necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with golf. Some of their “articles” are twitter and instagram streams of Amanda Dufner. I swear if Amanda Dufner left the limelight B9N might have to close permanently.
I’m especially not fond of their series, “The Caddy Girls.” This is where they post a picture of some slut in a bunker or bending over a on a golf cart. Nice job. You can’t even spell “caddie” correctly you morons.
I prefer the name “Trash9Network.”
Is this photo about golf or Paulina Gretzky’s boobs? You be the judge.
Golf.com, Golf Digest, Sexist Photo Galleries
Speaking of scantily clad women, sluts, and bad golf journalism, I’m very disappointed to see the direction that Golf.com and Golf Digest are heading. They’ve dumbed down to Back9Network levels by posting slutty pictures of Paulina Gretzky, Amanda Dufner, “Hot tour wives” or whatever they call them.
Oh, but this is about “fitness” isn’t it? No. To be candid, it is about tits and ass and the traffic they generate.
Um, where’s the golf journalism? I’ll tell you where… It is gone. These slutty pictures are simple link-bait so they can report to their advertisers that they have X number of hits and page-views per month. Posting Natalie Gulbis’s nude body paint photos or Paulina Gretzky in a G-String generates traffic; much more than the millionth “fix your slice” article.
Doesn’t it seem hypocritical that the golf media went nuts over Ted Bishop’s little girl comment about Poulter, calling that sexist? In the meantime they’re posting the latest slutty photos of some “model” or hot tour wife?
There are a lot of boneheads and turkeys for 2014. Nothing stands out to me as a clear winner above the rest. They’re all bad. I lean toward the hypocrisy and sexist ways golf “journalism” has gone. Am I against looking at pictures of hot women? Hell no. But not under the guise of golf journalism. Are you a soft porn site or golf site?