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
Insight into TW is incredible..
Slaying the Tiger
more incredulous about some of the s*** Tiger said and did.
At points in the middle of the book, a random voice will take over Haney's and it's really distracting.
Obviously, Tiger woods is the key player for this book. There are Good attitude building stories. We need more performance techniques, technology, technical problems solving skills highlights so on.
Great insight into what it's like to be (one of) the greatest golfer of all time and the pressure to come with it. Hank gives a spot on assessment of the life of a swing coach managing not just the game of a pro but the attitude, mood and ego of one of the greatest winners of all time. The story reads a little technical at times when Hank discusses the swing down to the minuscule detail but all in all one of my favorite books.
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.
"Interesting content, below-par production values"
To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed with this audiobook. It certainly has some interesting and insightful content, but the style with which Hank narrates is monotonously flat, with little intonation or expression, and an idiosyncratic and somewhat distracting rhythm.
There are also sections which have clearly been recorded during a separate session and then added in the edit, which further spoils the listening experience.
So, in summary: Interesting, but not a particularly sparkling 8 hour listen. Basically, this need re-recording by a narrator with more character.
"The Big Miss"
Fantastic Book, Well read by the author making this a must get book for all Golf fans.
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