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
Good not great
A Good Walk Spoiled
Anyone - Edward Hermann, Scott Brick, Dan Hicks, David Feherty
No, it was best broken up into sections
Writers should write, Narrators should narrate
Hank Haney did a good job of explaining what is was like to be around Tiger.
Hank as the story is told from his viewpoint.
When he realized he was done with coaching Tiger.
No, I have never been able to do that with any book. I need a break from time to time.
After listening to this book you will come away with a whole new perspective on what it is like to be around Tiger and how difficult that can be. You will also get a better idea of what it takes to be a successful professional golfer and how difficult that can be. Even though this book is written from Hanks view point, you will have a better under standing of who Tiger Woods is and maybe gain some insight into his self destructive tendencies and demeanor recently seen on the golf course and TV.
The insight into Tiger's preparation and the dedication it takes to be great was interesting. I was not surprised as to the personal aspects since it always seemed that Tiger was cold and unapproachable.
Hank Haney spent the entire book trying to get credit for Tiger's success. In fact the last chapter was an accounting of Tiger's success with Hank vs. his time with Butch. While he repeatedly stated that Tiger is the best golfer ever, he seems to want you to believe that he would have been nothing without his two coaches.
You know the ending and I don't think it would have mattered if Butch, Hank or Sean were his coach, I think he would stil be sitting on 14 majors today.
I never like when the author narrates the book. The production was suspect as well since it seemed like he constantly was adding or redoing certain sections of the book. Hank's voice would suddenly change volume and cadence.
Other than describing Tiger's work ethic it didn't shed any new light on anything. The whole Thanksgiving crash and subsequent "fall from grace" was basically glossed over with nothing new added.
Not only gives you insight into Hank and Tiger's type of relationship, but goes in depth into the types of swing changes Tiger made with Hank.
Liked that he commentated the book himself.
Yes. Nearly 9 hours of book went quickly when it's all I wanted to listen to.
I am a huge Tiger fan as a golfer. I was afraid I would lose some of that with the insinuation of the title and as Hank pointed out his faults as a person in society, but I actually sided more with Tiger when Hank and him split. Really enjoyed it.
Probably not, no need.
Seeing how Tiger truly acts towards people and what was really going on in his life when he was winning everything.
I listened to this book just to see if I could find out a bit more about the mysterious side of Tiger Woods and why he did some of the things he's done. The majority of this book is more of Hanks relationship with Tiger and how he was treated by Tiger. I don't know if I learned any more than I already knew about the elusive "Tiger" that I already didn't know.
yes I thought it to be interesting
I listen to a few tips he gave Tiger and it seemed to help my own game!
His voice was smooth and had a nice flow
Why Tiger is who he is
This book kept my attention and interest, but there was a lot of detail about Tiger's golf swing (as well as the author's). If you are not an avid golfer you may leave this book wishing for more of Tiger's story.
After a day of looking at a computer all day at work, I would rather listen to a good book.
Enjoyed hearing Hank's insight, but he is a better golf coach than a narrator. He stumbles over many of his own words. There are sections that had to be re-recorded, then spliced back in.
I can honestly say that, except for exceptionally poor editing where the voice changes so much it sounds like another person is reading the book, I enjoyed Hank's version of his interaction with Tiger Woods. Overall, I found his viewpoint balanced and quite complimentary towards his student.
During my listen, I considered this book a rendition of Mr. Haney's experience working with Tiger and the dificulties he had as his coach. But just as a suspense novel reaches it's conclusion in the final chapter, so does this book. In my view, this was not a book written to relate Hank's experiences with Tiger. The final chapter makes it obvious that Hank is very concerned about comparisons of his record with Tiger vs. that of Tiger's record when being taught by Butch Harmon.
The last chapter breaks down Tiger's records in numerous ways and detail just to show that Hank Haney's record with Tiger was just as good, or even bettter, than Tiger experienced with Butch Harmon. Being experienced in finance, I know there are many ways people manipulate information to make it show results the way the want it to. I came away feeling that was what Mr. Haney was doing in order to prove he is every bit as good a coach as Butch Harmon.
Why was this book written? For me, it was more to promote Mr. Haney's legacy as a coach than to relate what it is to work with one of the greatest athletes in history. It makes me wonder if Mr. Haney's coaching methods were less to do about making Tiger Woods the best golfer he could be and more about trying to beat Butch Harmon's records with Tiger. Essentially, just as Tiger Woods was trying to beat Jack Nicklaus's record in Majors, Hank Haney was trying to better Butch Harmon.
As an amateur athlete in baseball and tennis, I competed at levels that required lots of practice and dedication to my sport. Ultimately my success was based on Playing to Win rather than Playing Not to Lose (aka Avoiding the Big Miss). It seems like Hank Haney taught more of the latter and I am curious if that is why Tiger Woods is now struggling.
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