Tiger Woods’ road to recovery


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

Tiger Woods plans on being healthy to play for the Hero World Golf Challenge this December.

With another injury related withdrawal in August at the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods knew it was time to put the clubs down and get back to full strength.

“I haven’t swung a golf club yet,” said Woods. “I’ve just been shadow swinging without a club, but I’ve been busting my butt in the gym pretty hard. I’ve got my strength back, which is nice. Now the next goal is to get my explosiveness and my fast twitch going, and that’s the next phase of my training.”

Woods spoke at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando, Fl this week regarding the move of the World Golf Challenge to Isleworth, and the new title sponsor, Hero MotoCorp. However, the topic of conversation quickly shifted to the health of the 14-time Major champion.

“We have our goals and benchmarks, but it’s also day-to-day,” said Woods. “Some days I’m making bigger gains than others, some days I’m backing off a little bit.”

Woods recently parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley, whom he has been partnered with since 2010. Woods said at this point, he has no plans to hire a new coach in the near future and added that with the state of his game right now, there are things that he needs to improve himself.

“Right now I’m just trying to get physically better, stronger, faster, more explosive,” said Woods. “As far as knowing more than my coaches, I would have to say on the technical side, I probably don’t know as much as some of them, but from a feel standpoint, which is something that I think is innate, because of what we’re able to do at such an elite level, yeah, I think I know a lot more than they do because they’ve never played down the stretch on the back nine of a major championship, never won majors, never felt what do the hands feel, what does the body feel, the things that we as players at this level who have won enough times understand.”

Woods also spoke on his relationship with world number one ranked golfer, and fellow Nike athlete Rory McIlroy, who recently drew criticism for comments regarding Woods, and Phil Mickelson.

“I thought it was funny,” said Woods. “I mean, Phil has less holes to play than I do, though…“It’s a reality, you know? We’re all older, I’m nearing my 20th season on TOUR here coming up pretty soon.”

“It’s just part of the aging process. When I first came out here on TOUR, I remember seeing some of these kids out here that, fellow players and their kids, and now I’m actually playing against their kids. It’s just how time goes on and time goes by,” added Woods.

Woods says the hunger to play again is as strong as it ever is, but knows that when he returns to the course, he wants to be the old Tiger.

“Would I like to play? There’s no doubt, yes. I miss competing, I miss playing, I miss being out here with the guys, I miss all that, but I’m not physically ready for it yet, said Woods. “You know, there’s two components to it. Yeah, you can strong, but I want to be back to where I used to be. I want to have that speed back again.”

(Taken from Sept. 17, 2014 issue)