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« Tweaks To Harbour Town | Main | "They fly across oceans. It's grand, which is what describes the shot." »

Tiger: "He makes the golf ball move a lot, which in this day and age is really hard to do because the golf balls just don't move that much."

Tiger Woods, on his website, apologizing for his behavior and writing about Bubba Watson's win:

Congratulations to Bubba Watson for winning. We used to play a lot of practice rounds together. If you think about it, for a lefty, that shot on No. 10 didn't sit up too badly for him. It was a hook lie, and on top of that, he's firing it into the hill, because that green goes from right to left. So whatever type of hook he hits is actually going to be killed into the slope.

Now, some of you emailed and felt that was out of line. I could go either way. Maybe because it's just nice to read some insights about the game in one of these posts.

Anyway, this was interesting:

The only thing I was curious to see was how far down there he drove it and whether he was going to have to hit a short iron or mid-iron. If he hits a mid-iron in there, he can't stop it because it's coming in there too hot. If it's a short iron, he can spin it even if you hook it that much. He makes the golf ball move a lot, which in this day and age is really hard to do because the golf balls just don't move that much. For him to curve it as much as he does, obviously he's got a tremendous feel for his shots. He plays a way that a lot of the older players used to do it, but they did it with a ball that moved a lot more. It's a lot harder to move the ball the way he does with this ball now. The golf ball just doesn't spin as much. You have to have tremendous club-head speed, and he's got that.

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Reader Comments (19)

Tiger shouldn't have said but he is right, being a lefty made that shot easier. Easier to control trajectory on a big hook than a big slice.
Thought it was an informative blog post that beat his usual drivel.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSari
I'm no Tiger apologist but there was nothing wrong with that post, it is nice to read something insightful from the guy. He really can't win either way.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Z
The hyper-criticism of Tiger just never seems to stop. He offers an opnion that a shot sets up well for a lefty due to the slope of the lie and the target, and that's out of line?!! Come on! In Tiger's post, there wasn't a hint of criticism or disrespect to Bubba, in fact just the opposite. It's gotten to the point where whatever Tiger says or does, a certain number of people are going to bash him for it. It's gotten ridiculous.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Any reason why they "used" to play a lot of practice rounds together, and don't any longer?
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrysil
The first part is interesting. Bubba has said his goal was to just get it on. That it stopped close to the hole was surprising, even to Bubba. Tiger is providing some insight on why it happened. Lest you think he's saying that the shot wasn't that hard, the second part demonstrates respect for his skill if not the technique.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Seriously? People complained about that? I guess the initial implication might be that Tiger was saying it was an easy shot, but nowhere does actually say that. It's funny, we routinely roll our eyes at players who just give standard platitudes and rote responses, but when someone provides actual insight, he gets ripped. What if Faldo had said the exact same thing BEFORE Bubba had hit the shot? Would people complain about that too?

Though I probably would have said that the shot didn't "set" up too badly, instead of "sit" up, but that may have been a typo.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeitz
This is interesting.

Geoff, do you recall the passage in the Haney book where Haney laments how I&B deskilled the game for most pro golfers *but* didn't give Tiger the same benefit? I actually thought that was the most thought-provoking aspect of the book and Bubba's shot is just one more reminder that we golf fans have been cheated.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark B
Tiger's a golf geek, he broke down Zach's chip at Chevron, and did a way better job breaking down the "bear trap" (and Rory's chances going through it) at Honda then Johny and Jack. If he wasn't Tiger (doesn't offer opinions, want to go in the tv booth, show personality, has a bazillion dollars), he'd be a good analyst. it's an interesting breakdown of the shot. He has a lot of respect for Bubba's game, and has said so on many occasions.

@Trysil, Tiger doesn't really play a ton of practice rds outside of pro-ams, and Bubba has a better understanding of the courses etc now (he used to pick Tiger's brain), Bubba now plays his practice rds with Rickie.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
@Mark B -

What's "I&B"?
@Mark B I&B?
04.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
It is virtually certain that Mark Steinberg and his interns wrote that.

Also, when Tiger was giving his psuedo-apology at Augusta on CBS, Steinberg was in the middle of the frame nodding in the affirmative to every syllable that Woods uttered. Totally coached!!!!
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHole in Three
The difference between "sit" -- which is what he said -- and "set" is that "sit" implies that the shot wasn't as hard as it looked. This is vintage Tiger semantics. He can always come off like the good sport while either sliding a subtle implication about it being some other source's fault, or offer a compliment that it jut ever so slightly qualified.

Not a bad analysis, for all that. Probably came out of a conversation he was having with whoever gets into his circle while theywatched the end of the Masters. Tiger, or someone else, might easily have said "That's sitting pretty good -- remember, he's a lefty. If he hits a hook shot into the hill..."

And when the script is drafted for his approval, he reminds the writer "I said it was sitting up good for him."
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCapSize
And we are officially waaaaaay over-analyzing a blog post, not everything has a dozen ulterior motives, or is thinking that carefully about word choice, he's just analyzing a golf shot
04.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Some of you forget, Tiger was not only an excellent student, he also carried good grad point averages at Stanford. I'm sure he could write for himself, as he did here and beautifully explain the golf scenario.

Well done, and yes, the insight was great. As great as Geoff article on the mowing pattern and mud balls.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuddha
@Trysil and elf: I read somewhere recently that Bubba would just show up for Tiger's early morning tee times and be "reluctantly welcomed" to join in. I was a marshall at the 2009 PGA and when they came through in practice rounds Bubba seemed like an appendage. And on the 240-yeard 13th he took a divot the size of a Minnesota lake :) But I am so glad for our new Masters champ!
Remember, Tiger is 110% conscious of himself in everything he does and everything he says. He is practically devoid of sincerity.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
I'm not sure about the "apologizing" part. Apart from admitting that kicking your club on the ground in a tantrum is "wrong", Woods engaged almost exclusively in an exercise of justification. One is driven to the conclusion that his sense of entitlement is so absolute that he is utterly devoid of remorse and will therefore never modify his behaviour.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTed Purdy
@Elf and Tony Lema..."I&B" is Rules of Golf geek-speak for "Implements and Balls", i.e. equipment and balls (and here, he means advancements in both).
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

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