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
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.
Loved hearing about the inside world of Tiger.
Loved to get an insiders view on Tigers world
It was nice to hear it directly from him
Yes, Great book on golf and people.
Hank had to ask for a popsicle.
Over indulged, narcissist, star athletes often fall under the weight of there aggrandizement!
Great book, Hank Haney is a class guy who gives an accurate account of what it was like to train one of the greatest athletes of our time.
I would in a year or so but not tomorrow, hopefully the time away will let me pick up on something I missed the first time.
Don't have a comparison at this time due to the fact that I'm new to Audio books.
I would say it was Hank himself, it was a pleasure to hear the book read from him, it was like he was telling just to me.
I don't have the time for that but if I could I just might. I listened in my car going to work and back.
Glad I picked it. I thought it would just be a rip on Tiger but it really was just the facts and I think Hank treated Tiger with respect, maybe more than he gave Hank.
It is obvious that Haney was trying to get a little revenge and also make some money with his kiss and tell story.
faction not fiction.
I suspect they are about equal.
I was mainly interested in Hank as a coach since I have his books. "The Big Miss" gave me great insight into his objectives and methods. The information about Tiger was interesting but not my main interest. I can now work Hank's plan for golf development much more easily.
It didn't make me laugh or cry but it sure helped my golf.
If you are a serious golfer, this book will show you how it's done, from beginner to Tiger.
Some books are hard to get through but couldn't stop listening. This Made the hours I spend practicing golf go quick.
Loved the audio done by Hank himself.
I didn't think that Hank was being cutting to Tiger and made me think more of all involved.
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