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
First let me say that I am an ex-professional golfer and totally understood everything Hank says. But, I seriously doubt that the average golfer will understand or comprehend the vast amount of technical swing comments made in this book.
Secondly, I do not agree with the fact that Hank felt the need to write this book. There is so much personal trust in the relationship between athletes and those that surround them that there is an unspoken code that must be respected. I feel that Hank shattered that code and I will never respect him for that... only time will tell how Hank's reputation is effected.
But, thirdly, for those out there who want to get a glimpse of the intense work and pressure that a world class athlete is under, Hank does a nice job of getting that across. Had there not been the stigma of "kiss and tell", I would have thoroughly enjoyed the book. And, of course, this was Hank's opinion and story... I'm sure Tiger's recollection would be much different.
Was the book fair... maybe. Should it have been written... absolutely not.
I would also like to make a technical comment about the narration. Hank did a great job which is unusual for a writer who chooses to narrate. But, there were times in the narration, that there seemed like another voice came in like a voice over... I'm not sure if it was Hank doing a voice over or some other narrator cleaning up mistakes. Whatever, it wasn't annoying.
Unless you have lived in a dark cave for the last 20 years, you have heard about Tiger. I have always wondered: Why is he so good? Why is he so much better than everyone else? Why is he so muscular (for a golfer)? Why did he have all those affairs? Why does he seem so odd?
This book provides potential answers to all those questions. This is a book about personality, not golf, so you don???t need to be an avid golfer to enjoy this book. It???s fast paced. It addresses other golfers which is interesting. If you have ever wondered about Tiger, this book is for you! I highly recommend it!
You pretty much have to like golf to enjoy this book, but if you do, it is a good listen. Some of the technical aspects of the swing discussed are beyond my understanding, but it is nevertheless a fascinating look at the character of a golf genius, and a legend. Tiger isn't always a nice person, but in this book Tiger's tendency to be unsociable is forgivable, because it is seen as an integral part of his obsessive focus on just one thing - being a winner
It is so rare for him to want to read anything that I willingly obliged, plus I am fascinated by Tiger and Hank. This was remarkable insight into Tiger's character, even if only from a couple of peoples' perspectives. I would like to read the same story from his viewpoint, but know that is highly unlikely since Tiger is far from being an open book or the type of person to tell his (real) story. It's part of what makes him a champion, an addict, an icon. Even during the parts that were golf-technical, I remained interested and it produced good conversation.
Yes, because Hank Haney, himself, does the audio.
Tiger. For anyone who has wondered what is going on behind the scenes with Tiger, this book reveals a lot.
A better book... The book is a self-indulgent attempt to stabilize and uphold Haney’s reputation. It is a golf book I will give him that but it is only a golf book because he is very descriptive of Tigers stroke and his coaching in an effort to cover up the underlying message of the book which runs along the lines of...
Payne Stewarts Biography
the outtakes and voice dubbing could have been more streamed lined...
around chapter 3 or 4 when he starts getting critical of Tigers swing you can tell portions of the audio recording / book were edited for PC reasons...
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.
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