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The Big Miss

My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

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Paperback published by Three Rivers Press (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book

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 bestathlete 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 anotherhuman 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 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 Hankdidn’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.

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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 bestathlete 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 anotherhuman 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 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 Hankdidn’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.

Product Details
Paperback (272 pages)
Published: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Three Rivers Press
ISBN: 9780307986009
Other books byHank Haney
  • Hank Haney's Essentials of the Swing

    Hank Haney's Essentials of the Swing
    A 7-Point Plan for Building a Better Swing and...
    "Hank knows more about ball flight and what controls it than anyone in the game." —Masters and British Open champion Mark O'Meara Get back to basics and build your best possible golf swing Lots of golf instructors can show you tricks to correct a hook or to stop hitting the ball fat, but these are just quick fixes that leave you with a swing built on mistakes. In Hank Haney's Essentials of the Swing, the world's premier expert on the golf swing takes you back to step one to master the essentials and build a complete, powerful, and consistent swing that will improve your game quickly and keep you playing better for years to come. This step-by-step guide brings you the same careful analytical approach that Hank has shared with the hundreds of touring pros who have been his students — including the world's #1 golfer. It walks you through every aspect of your swing, from grip to contact to follow-through, and shows you how to analyze ball flight to shape your shots and put the ball where you want it more frequently and with much more consistency. Packed with helpful pictures, invaluable practice tips, and insightful pointers on everything from club selection to the difference between a good miss and a bad miss, Hank Haney's Essentials of the Swing is the resource you need to hit the top of your game and stay there.

    The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need

    The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need
    Easy Solutions to Problem Golf Swings
    The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need, Hank Haney, one of the most respected and soughtafter golf instructors in the world, shares the secrets he's learned by observing hundreds of thousands of students--from top PGA Tour pros to high-handicappers. He explains how intelligent observation of your ball-flight tendencies--the way your shot behaves in the air--provides the answers to helping you develop a consistent repeating swing that will lower your scores. You'll also pick up valuable pointers on how to precisely match your equipment to your game. Hank Haney believes that a "flawed swing" that still produces a good shot is a good swing. By focusing on the outcome of your swing first, rather than on the swing itself, he believes you can often avoid making the awkward and unnatural changes to grip, stance, posture and alignment that many golf instructors ask of their students. The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need will help you straighten your hook or slice, add distance to your drives, identify and fix the flaws in your swing, and become a wizard around the greens. "I'm proud of the way my swing holds up ion all kinds of conditions and under the severest pressure. Both are a tribute to Hank Haney and his teaching. Hank knows more about ballflight and what controls it than anyone in the game. And if you understand that, you're on your way." -- Mark O'Meara from the Foreword to The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need

    Tiger Woods in Black and White

    Tiger Woods in Black and White
    Tiger Woods is not only the world's most recognized athlete, but its leading exemplar of excellence. His breathtaking athleticism, superb technique, grace under pressure, and the sheer scope of his ever-expanding record have combined to make him - at age 32 - widely regarded as the greatest golfer to ever play the game. Like other physical geniuses, his very movement commands out attention. But despite the millions of words and images put forth in the pursuit of Tiger, Woods remains a largely mysterious figure. In spite of his exalted acts on the golf course and ubiquitous presence as an endorser, he gives very little of himself away. Naturally, his enigmatic nature has only increased our fascination.

    No More Bad Shots

    No More Bad Shots

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