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
Hank reveals a lot of the detachment Woods brings into relationships. Hank also shines a light on the toll society takes on a prodigy forced on to center stage. It's a good read.
Very interesting to hear what the real tiger was like. Really interesting story and I enjoyed hank haney narrating the book
Informative, Interesting, Surprising
Hank's candidness about the world that Tiger Wood's lives and operates in.
His tone and perspective
The Rise and Fall of a Lengend
For whatever reason, Hank Haney took sharp criticism for writing this book. Many of the personal items that came from this book were already known or suspected. Many believed that his experiences with Tiger Woods were Tiger's alone and that no one had the right to share those moments, but Hank is giving a first hand account of the inner workings and psychology of one of the top golfers in the history of the game. Much of the book focuses on the quiet courtship as a coach, tournament prep, in-tournament adjustments, and the decision to part ways. He filled in those gaps with stories (often times funny and kept Tiger in a positive light) and touched on some of the darker days for Tiger. This book, in my view, made Tiger a very sympathetic character even during his worst days. The book humanized a man that the world simply viewed as the world's greatest golfing machine. What the book left behind was a bit of a sour taste in that Hank ended the book on a sour note. He spent time at the end defending his record with Tiger as well as putting his record against Tiger's previous coach Butch Harmon. The book and record spoke for itself and was outlined brilliantly throughout the story. I came away feeling like Hank was expecting some push back and has always been compared negatively to Butch Harmon, thus he felt the need to defend himself against an invisible opponent. Hank Haney has professionally coached two tour players and between those two they have eight majors combined during his coaching period with them. Overall, this book is fantastic. I recommend it to anyone who loves the game of golf, or just simply enjoys an excellent story.
This book my have been intended to tell a story about Coaching a genius,Tiger Wood, but it's more about the genius than the coaching. It brought out many emotions. It made me happy, sad, frustrated and and much more. I don't think I'll ever get closer to an athlete with as much super human ability, fierce determination, incomprehensible stubbornness and inferior social skills. Tiger never had a chance, he was a celebrity since he was 8 and never was able to do things mere mortals take for granted like pumping gas.[ See PS below.]
I listened to this book just before the PGA Tournament started at Valhalla in Louisville not knowing if Tiger would play. After he announced he was going to play, based on the authors analysis there was no way Tiger would contend. He played hurt and didn't have enough time to prepare. Haney's words were like that of wise old sage.
Tiger expected to win, fans flocked to see him, hoped for a miracle, even me, didn't happen.
If the author and a healthy Tiger could get back together there's no telling how great he'd be in the future but that's not happening. I pray Tiger gets healthy and contends every time he tees it up, Golf needs him but he needs Golf much more!
PS: I just read an article that showed a picture of a young girl with Rory McIlroy as he got gas after he played 18 holes today. He was portrayed as being friendly and approachable.
I doubt Tiger would or could have been done it. His personality and fame would have been prevented him of being a regular guy. That's so sad. This is a great book, a sports psychological thriller.
Great Eye Opener!
I liked that Hank didn't hold anything back. While at times, I'm sure, he made sure to avoid slander and remains mostly PC, you still get a great insight into what life is like in Tiger's circle. That is, there is no such thing as truly being in Tiger's circle. I have always loved to watch Tiger's game, but hated to watch his antics and attitude both on and off the course (even prior to downfall). This book practically confirmed what we already knew about Tiger. He's not normal. For better or worse, he is not like the rest of us. A great listen for all golf and sports fans.
Not unless he wrote it about another athlete he coached. His "reading out loud" abilities rival that of my 7 year old nephew. Though I must give him credit for "sounding out" the difficult words.
Moved may be the wrong word, but I was definitely very surprised by some of the behind the scenes moments with Tiger and the Navy Seals training. This was a side of him I was unaware of, and shocked to hear.
Slow starter, but you'll be sucked in after a few chapters. Especially if, like me, you love that someone finally had the stones to write some thoroughly critical and sometimes negative insight on the great TW.
The story itself. Although it does make Mr. Haney sound a little insecure with all the comparisons. Interesting to learn about the worlds greatest golfers rise and fall.
Stick to Teaching.
I really enjoyed the story, Hank is narrator though. Good listen overall.
I don't read books. I like to be read to.
Extremely insightful look at one of the biggest celebrities in the world.
I love it when the author reads their own book.
Hank can seem a little petty on the surface (sugar free popsicle) but he was very honest and willing to take blame when it was warranted.
I know a lot of people have said that Haney violated some "bond" by writing this book; I think that he is a grown man and so is Tiger. If Tiger really wants to have privacy then that should be spelled out in his contracts with people or he should treat people with respect. I don't know Tiger but I tend to believe how Haney has portrayed him. Haney doesn't malign his character nor is he vindictive. I believe that this is how their relationship was and that is all. I really didn't have a solid opinion about Tiger one way or another although I've heard less than flattering stories about him from people who've had encounters with him at tournaments. After reading this book I still don't have strong feelings about him one way or another. I just don't care about him as a golfer or a person. I believe he has done some great things on the course but I truly believe that it is over for him as a golfer. He will be remembered as a golfer who could have been the best ever.
The book was engaging and I enjoyed the behind the scenes around the life of a pro golfer. It was worth the read.
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