This guest blogger is a good friend of The Southern Fried Sports Girl and will be TSFSG Golf Blogger. Charlie “Mothball” Wood is a graduate of UGA ( B.A. Economics ’11) and is the lead guitarist of the up and coming Athens rock band Jeffers Morning.  He will be featured on a weekly basis talking all things golf.

The Big Payday:  The Mothballer’s Analysis on The Big Miss  by Hank Haney

Photo Source Rueters/Matt Sullivan
The Big Miss, the highly anticipated biography into Tiger Woods’ private life by Hank Haney, was released Tuesday March 27.  Haney, Woods’ former swing coach from 2004-2010, exposes the unknown atmosphere of golf’s greatest player throughout the book.  However the end result is a product manifested from contempt, self arrogance, and thinly administered praise of Tiger Woods.  Upon reading the book cover to cover Tuesday morning, I was left with a regretful sense of voyeurism.  These are Tiger’s life memories and idiosyncrasies to be told, not his coach’s regurgitation.

From the book’s opening, Haney’s Masters marketing ploy immediately taints the book considering it’s pre-Masters release date.  Through self promotion via Twitter and other media outlets, Haney attempted to cultivate the notion that this book was primarily a “book about golf”.  Having read his previous golf book, Essentials of the Swing, I have found less than significant comparisons between the two works.  Approximately 25% of The Big Miss pertains strictly to golf related books, the remaining words simple air out Haney’s self-serving interpretation of Tiger’s dirty laundry.  Not even the chapter structures flow as a concise writing effort; almost every few pages Haney finds a way to throw in an irrelevant paragraph complaining about Tiger’s way of life.  These tangents affect the perception of his reader, constantly confusing the intended theme and the main point.

On the other hand, The Big Miss tells a fantasized analysis of Tiger’s behind the scope of media life.  Many things are presented as flaws and negatives, however Haney does pay the minimum amount of tribute to Tiger’s greatness.  But as I summed up in a tweet earlier today: Tiger Woods does not need whiny coaches; he wins regardless because he embodies the essence of a once in a generation athlete at his sport.  From the beginning of the book Haney almost seems to be taking credit of Tiger’s former 1998-2002 success with swing coach Butch Harmon, even referencing side comments he once made to Tiger while under Butch’s teaching about his swing that apparently according to Haney were the necessary adjustments influencing his early career wins.  Throughout the entire book Haney will reference little things like this, followed by a minor praise of Tiger, in attempt to attach his name to Tiger’s.  Ultimately this becomes stale and exposes the selfish intentions of this biography.

Insight gained about Tiger’s private life may be captivating, however that is not a coach’s story to tell.  Haney had no right to describe Tiger’s marriage life, sexual life, and private household life; and this indiscretion to adhere to the teacher-student code furthers Haney’s violation of golf’s unspoken rules.  Several times in the book Haney phrases sentences with “Tiger kept this _________ private”; the mere sentence structure indicates this entire story is not Hank Haney’s to tell.  Haney writes so vindictively to even describe Tiger’s opinions of other PGA Tour Players such as Ian Poulter and Phil Mickelson.  Again, theses are not Haney’s relationships to discuss, they are Tiger Woods’.  Consider this thought as well – there is a reason musicians do not cover other musicians songs until post career: its an unspoken rule to that culture to pay respect and not try to latch onto others success.

Upon finishing the book I felt empty and sad for Tiger Woods.  Not because of the information I had just learned but for the reasons he is plagued by the media.  Negative headlines and dirty little secrets seem to be the only thing produced nowadays, with little attention paid to positive achievements and success.  Next week Tiger Woods sets his sights on the Masters, and I predict he shall emerge victorious; because if Hank was right about one thing in The Big Miss, Tiger relishes in proving his doubters wrong by a Big Win.

~ Mothball

Photos from google.com.  

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