Someone recently sent me a link to a Golf.com article on Tiger Woods that started out with that statement. The article was written by one of their “Top 100” instructors who “uses the most sophisticated golf technology in the business and as a result is one of the leading golf professionals”. Apparently that also qualifies him as an expert on intelligence.
Now I have never spent any time talking with Tiger and I have never spent one on one time with Jack Nicklaus, but I have spent one on one time with Ben Hogan and I can tell you that he is one of the smartest and most intelligent people I’ve ever met in or out of golf. For anyone to have the audacity to say that Tiger is unequivocally smarter than Ben Hogan is so absurd that it falls in the category of total bull s**t.
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The writer also refers to him as “the most intelligent, talented athlete to ever play the game”. The thing here that really fascinates me here is the ego of someone that thinks he is in a position to make statement like that.
I will agree that Tiger is both smart and intelligent, but the smartest and most intelligent to ever play the game? I would like to point out that there is a huge difference between smart and intelligent. Some of the smartest people I have ever known were not the most intelligent by any means and some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met were not very smart. It is a rare combination.
My question is that if Tiger is so smart and intelligent why has he been struggling for years with his ability to drive the ball when Hogan would have figured the problem out by himself in a few hours of hitting balls?
The main reason is that Tiger keeps asking other people to tell him what to do and Nicklaus and Hogan would have figured it out for themselves.
There was a comment made the other day on the Golf Chanel that Tiger was experimenting on shortening his driver. If shortening is the solution, he will be on the US Kids Golf staff before long using one of their drivers and putters.
“It’s a battle between his sharp intelligence and his legendary stubbornness. Right now stubbornness is winning”. Golf.com
I agree with Jack Nicklaus that Tiger’s biggest problem is in his head. He has no confidence at all in his ability to hit the driver under pressure. He can go to the range and hit balls until his hands bleed, but he still goes to the first tee and launches it far left and far right. Can anyone remember the last time he hit it in the fairway on his first tee shot?
The really tough thing is that it is a “catch twenty-two” situation. You don’t develop confidence until you perform well and you don’t perform well without confidence.
I don’t know how to fix Tiger, but I do believe that until he stops searching for the answers in other people’s opinion of how to swing the club, he will continue to struggle.