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
Very good listen. There are some weird choppy audio parts to the story but it's not too distracting. I am an avid golfer, but it gets a little too technical at times. However, it is a good listen and if you're a Tiger Woods fan you will be hooked.
I fully expected to dislike Tiger after reading this book. The opposite is true. He is actually quite pitiful, but so much like all of us. Full of mistakes and confusion. Yet so gifted. This is boring narration, extensive swing language and tedious at times. But you won't have a solid understanding of Tiger without it.
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.
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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