The Big Miss is Hank Haney's candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history.
Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance: at tournaments; on the practice range; over meals, with his wife, Elin; and relaxing with friends.
The relationship between the two men began in March 2004, when Hank received a call from Tiger in which the golf champion asked him to be his coach. It was a call that would change both men's lives.
Tiger - only 28 at the time - was by then already an icon, judged by the sporting press as not only one of the best golfers ever, but possibly the best athlete ever. Already, he was among the world's highest paid celebrities. There was an air of mystery surrounding him, an aura of invincibility. Unique among athletes, Tiger seemed to be able to shrug off any level of pressure and find a way to win. But Tiger was always looking to improve, and he wanted Hank's help.
What Hank soon came to appreciate was that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he'd ever met, let alone coached. Although Hank had worked with hundreds of elite golfers and was not easily impressed, there were days watching Tiger on the range when Hank couldn't believe what he was witnessing. On those days, it was impossible to imagine another human playing golf so perfectly.
And yet Tiger is human - and Hank's expert eye was adept at spotting where Tiger's perfection ended and an opportunity for improvement existed. Always haunting Tiger was his fear of "the big miss" - the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round - and it was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger's game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.
Hank's most formidable coaching challenge, though, would be solving the riddle of Tiger's personality. Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank - or Tiger's family and friends, for that matter - was spared "the treatment".
Toward the end of Tiger's and Hank's time together, the champion's laser-like focus began to blur, and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing - a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger's behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game. Hints that Tiger hungered to reinvent himself were present in his bizarre infatuation with elite military training, and - in a development Hank didn't see coming - in the scandal that would make headlines in late 2009. It all added up to a big miss that Hank, try as he might, couldn't save Tiger from.There's never been a book about Tiger Woods that is as intimate and revealing - or one so wise about what it takes to coach a superstar athlete.
©2012 Hank Haney (P)2012 Random House
First let me say that I am an ex-professional golfer and totally understood everything Hank says. But, I seriously doubt that the average golfer will understand or comprehend the vast amount of technical swing comments made in this book.
Secondly, I do not agree with the fact that Hank felt the need to write this book. There is so much personal trust in the relationship between athletes and those that surround them that there is an unspoken code that must be respected. I feel that Hank shattered that code and I will never respect him for that... only time will tell how Hank's reputation is effected.
But, thirdly, for those out there who want to get a glimpse of the intense work and pressure that a world class athlete is under, Hank does a nice job of getting that across. Had there not been the stigma of "kiss and tell", I would have thoroughly enjoyed the book. And, of course, this was Hank's opinion and story... I'm sure Tiger's recollection would be much different.
Was the book fair... maybe. Should it have been written... absolutely not.
I would also like to make a technical comment about the narration. Hank did a great job which is unusual for a writer who chooses to narrate. But, there were times in the narration, that there seemed like another voice came in like a voice over... I'm not sure if it was Hank doing a voice over or some other narrator cleaning up mistakes. Whatever, it wasn't annoying.
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
You pretty much have to like golf to enjoy this book, but if you do, it is a good listen. Some of the technical aspects of the swing discussed are beyond my understanding, but it is nevertheless a fascinating look at the character of a golf genius, and a legend. Tiger isn't always a nice person, but in this book Tiger's tendency to be unsociable is forgivable, because it is seen as an integral part of his obsessive focus on just one thing - being a winner
It is so rare for him to want to read anything that I willingly obliged, plus I am fascinated by Tiger and Hank. This was remarkable insight into Tiger's character, even if only from a couple of peoples' perspectives. I would like to read the same story from his viewpoint, but know that is highly unlikely since Tiger is far from being an open book or the type of person to tell his (real) story. It's part of what makes him a champion, an addict, an icon. Even during the parts that were golf-technical, I remained interested and it produced good conversation.
I grew up watching Tiger during his prime, but fell out of love with golf during his scandal period. This book is perfect in detailing Tiger's life and the lessons he's had to learn throughout his life. Even if you're not an avid golf fan this story truly tells the story of what life as a famous sports icon is like and what it takes to compete at a high level.
How Hank doesn't leave anything out in his opinion. He didn't hold back in describing Tiger's personality and detailing the decisions that preludes many famous events of Tiger's career.
One of the best parts is how Hank tells his story about his falling out with Tiger. How all the things he wished that could have been better in their friendship and partnership could have been improved upon.
The book didn't really have one particular moment that "moved" me. I'd say does a great job showing the parts of Tiger the public never really has gotten to see, and explained his inner circles story relating to the scandal that still follows him around.
Other reviewers have commented a lot about the voice overs and dub type parts. It didn't really bother me all that much, and I was far too invested in hearing Hank's telling of his relationship with Tiger and the challenges Tiger has faced to care.
Yes, because Hank Haney, himself, does the audio.
Tiger. For anyone who has wondered what is going on behind the scenes with Tiger, this book reveals a lot.
A better book... The book is a self-indulgent attempt to stabilize and uphold Haney’s reputation. It is a golf book I will give him that but it is only a golf book because he is very descriptive of Tigers stroke and his coaching in an effort to cover up the underlying message of the book which runs along the lines of...
Payne Stewarts Biography
the outtakes and voice dubbing could have been more streamed lined...
around chapter 3 or 4 when he starts getting critical of Tigers swing you can tell portions of the audio recording / book were edited for PC reasons...
Unless you have lived in a dark cave for the last 20 years, you have heard about Tiger. I have always wondered: Why is he so good? Why is he so much better than everyone else? Why is he so muscular (for a golfer)? Why did he have all those affairs? Why does he seem so odd?
This book provides potential answers to all those questions. This is a book about personality, not golf, so you don???t need to be an avid golfer to enjoy this book. It???s fast paced. It addresses other golfers which is interesting. If you have ever wondered about Tiger, this book is for you! I highly recommend it!
I thought this book would be Haney complaining about being fired and therefore I stayed away from it for a long time. But it is not like that at all. It is obvious Haney has great respect for Tiger and wrote a great book about their time together. It truly is an enjoyable read.
I'm really enjoying this. It is a great insight into Tiger Woods and specifically how he plays golf. It is not the tell tale expose people might expect and although there are some colourful details about Tiger's character in the main these are things people already know, he's sullen, super focused etc etc.
There is brilliant stuff about how Tiger learns, how he adapts to change and how he prepares to play. His relationship with Haney and how Haney felt during his association with Tiger is fascinating stuff.
There are few account of golfers playing in their prime that are written from such a close perspective. Golfers themselves are not necessarily able to disengage enough to write such a detailed and insightful account of what made them play the way they played or act the way they acted (Mark James' book on the Ryder Cup for example...). Haney's position as coach makes him a brilliant observer of Tiger and the account he gives feels remarkably authentic.
It would be churlish to say that Haney's narration lets the book down, however his narration is very much in the good not great category. Also, some of the editing of the audio is clunky and should really have been better.
Overall, if you are interested in Tiger this is a fantastic book. If you interested in gossip and tittle tattle about his lifestyle then there are other places to get that info.
"Fascinating insight to the world of a genius"
Great great story. A must listen!!! I would recommend this to ALL golf fans, Tiger fan or not.
"An Insight Into a Complex Genius"
As well as a fascinating insight into the World of TW, this book provides inspiration to improve your golf game and get teaching. Great listen.
"very engaging if only for the authors greedy choic"
I really enjoyed the book and found it very hard to put down but my only issue was the narrator. the narrator is the writer and he chose to narrate and I think it was to possible damage of the book. I feel if you are going to yuse such eloquent and fluid language then you should be able to speak that way and he is unable to speak with such fluidity and it really showed as he struggled and even slurred his way through the chapters. I would have stopped listening and asked for my money back only for I enjoyed it so much.
I'll forgive him for it, if only for the fact it was a very thorough and we'll structured book and kept me enthralled till the end.
(especially because I think tiger Woods is a spoilt little baby brat and I wanted to see the inner Sancton).
well worth a read/listen 4/5
We often put champions on a pedestal but this book reminds us that we are human and we all have flaws that prevent us from achieving our true potential.
"Interesting insight into top level sport"
I purchased this book as it was recommended by many golf pals who said it was a great insight into the world of Tiger Woods.
After listening to the book I have to say it offers much more than just an insight into the circus around Tiger. Haney provides an introduction to top level coaching, how he got where he got to and what kept him motivated throughout his career.
Haney does a good job narrating his story. I think maybe listening to it rather than reading it leaves me with a different impression of the twos (Haney & Woods) relationship than my pals who read the book.
Definitely worth a listen.
"In depth behind the scenes view on a sporting enigma"
As close as you'll get to a fly on the wall documentary of the rise and fall of Tiger Woods. Excellent.
A fascinating insight in to the world of Tiger Woods through the eyes of his coach. A must read (listen!) for anyone with an interest in golf and elite level sport.
"Interesting view of Tiger Woods"
Not as insightful about the golf swing as I'd have hoped. Interesting insight into Tiger Woods though. Hank's narration is ok but he doesn't have the most engaging voice so can be sleep inducing if you're feeling a little tired when you listen. Worth a listen if you are a keen golf fan. Not as good as Ian Poulter's No Limits though IMO.
"Wonderful insight into being a top coach"
Coaching Tiger Woods.
Tiger's wife banning tv from the dinner table to encourage conversations, resulting in silent dinners.
Great insight into what it is like to coach such a high achieving athlete as Tiger Woods, as well as insight into Tiger Woods as a person. If you play golf then there is good insight into technique and ways of thinking about both golf, and practice.
If you don't play golf then the insight into the life of a multimillionaire, world class athlete, is fascinating. Also his relationships, and his attitude to other people.
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