The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

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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 best athlete 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 another human 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 Hank didn’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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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Archetype
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Published on
Mar 27, 2012
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780307985996
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Rich & Famous
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
Sports & Recreation / Golf
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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There has never been a golfer to rival Arnold Palmer. He's the most aggressive, most exciting player the game has ever known, a dynamo famous for coming from behind to make bold last-minute charges to victory. To the legions of golf fans known around the world as "Arnie's Army," Palmer is a charismatic hero, the winner of sixty-one tournaments on the PGA Tour and still going strong on the Senior PGA Tour. But behind the legend, there is the private Palmer--a man of wit, compassion, loyalty, and true grit in the face of personal adversity.  

Golf-crazy as far back as he can remember, Arnie followed his dad, "Deacon" Palmer, the head greenskeeper, around the Latrobe Country Club fairways; as a youth he played at dawn before the club members arrived (the only time he was allowed on the course); by the time he graduated from high school he was headed for the national circuit. His rise to fame was meteoric, and by the 1960s he had emerged as one of the few American athletes the public truly cared about--a vibrant, daring, handsome sports celebrity who attracted wild crowds and enormous television audiences whenever he played and whose charisma propelled the explosion of enthusiam for golf in the sixties.

Writing with the humor and candor that are as much his trademark as his unique golf swing, Palmer narrates the deeply moving story of his life both on and off the links. He recounts his friendships (and rivalries) with greats of the game, including Jack Nicklaus, his  enduringly happy marriage with Winnie, his legendary charges to triumph and his titanic disasters, and his valiant battle against cancer.  Returning to the Senior PGA Tour with unmatched zeal after his recovery, Palmer reminded fans of his unfaltering heroism--and the world of golf is thankful.

From small-town boy to golfing legend, Arnold Palmer has lived one of the great sporting lives of the twentieth century. Now, with the help of acclaimed golf writer James Dodson, he has created one of the great sports autobiographies of our time.
In this love letter to his father, former professional golfer Nathaniel Crosby shares memories of Bing Crosby on the golf course, and the lessons he taught him about the game and about life. With a Foreword by Jack Nicklaus.

“Bing Crosby was a great ambassador for our game, as well as a great man,” hails longtime friend and golf partner, Jack Nicklaus. The beloved singer and star was also an extraordinary teacher who instilled an abiding passion and mastery of the game in his youngest son, Nathaniel. Winning the US Amateur at nineteen, Nathaniel went on to compete in high-level professional tournaments for his entire life.

In 18 Holes with Bing, Nathaniel introduces us to the Bing Crosby he and his family knew—not the beloved singer who played golf, but a golfer who sang to pay his country club dues. Nathaniel shares exclusive stories about this American icon golfing, working, and playing with some of the most famous people in history—royalty, titans of industry, stars of stage and screen, and champions of the green, including Bob Hope, Dwight Eisenhower, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Louis Armstrong. At the book’s heart is an intimate account of a father and a son—how a mutual love of golf formed an exceptional emotional bond.

Full of anecdotes, vignettes, and recollections of Bing’s time on the course, the tournaments he created and later sponsored, and the constant encouragement he showed his son, 18 Holes with Bing honors this celebrated golfer, entertainer, and father, and illuminates his life as never before.

Tom Callahan has written the seminal book on golfing great Tiger Woods. Woods, who has gone out of his way to protect his privacy, has never allowed himself to get close enough to a writer to be properly examined on the page. And, as a consequence, his fans know relatively little about him except what’s divulged in quick tournament interviews or the scarce information parsed out on occasion by one of his handlers. Which is to say, we know next to nothing about one of the most famous people in the world. Callahan, commonly regarded as one of the best all-round sports writers in the country, has followed Tiger around the world of golf for more than seven years, enjoying a certain access to the man and his family. He even went so far as to travel to Vietnam to learn the fate of the South Vietnamese soldier who was Earl Wood’s best friend during the war—and his son’s namesake.

Tiger is twenty years old when the book opens and twenty-seven when it closes. During those years, Callahan covered Woods at all the Majors, including the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open, culminating in Tiger’s heart-stopping race to make history by clinching the string of Majors affectionately nicknamed the Tiger Slam. As the pulse of golf was measured by the curve of his swing, Tiger made everyone’s heart skip a beat as he attempted to win the Grand Slam a year later.

Along the way, Tom Callahan hears from everyone who is anyone in the world of Tiger Woods, including Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Butch Harmon, Ernie Els, and, of course, Tiger’s rather ubiquitous mother and father. As much as we learn about Tiger—how he sees himself in relation to the courses he plays on and the players he has learned from and competed with—we also enjoy a bird’s-eye view of golf as it is now with Tiger on the scene, and as it was for
centuries before.

In Search of Tiger catalogs and dissects moments and influences in Tiger’s guarded life and unprecedented career—moments that unveil him, his awesome drive, and his enormous talent. Tom Callahan has written a classic of its kind, a book to rank with the best in its genre. He has done what few have even attempted—
he has found the real Tiger Woods.
From the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed The Greatest Game Ever Played comes The Grand Slam, a riveting, in-depth look at the life and times of golf icon Bobby Jones.

In the wake of the stock market crash and the dawn of the Great Depression, a ray of light emerged from the world of sports in the summer of 1930. Bobby Jones, an amateur golfer who had already won nine of the seventeen major championships he'd entered during the last seven years, mounted his final campaign against the record books. In four months, he conquered the British Amateur Championship, the British Open, the United States Open, and finally the United States Amateur Championship, an achievement so extraordinary that writers dubbed it the Grand Slam.

A natural, self-taught player, Jones made his debut at the U.S. Amateur Championship at the age of 14. But for the next seven years, Jones struggled in major championships, and not until he turned 21 in 1923 would he harness his immense talent.

What the world didn't know was that throughout his playing career the intensely private Jones had longed to retreat from fame's glaring spotlight. While the press referred to him as "a golfing machine," the strain of competition exacted a ferocious toll on his physical and emotional well-being. During the season of the Slam he constantly battled exhaustion, nearly lost his life twice, and came perilously close to a total collapse. By the time he completed his unprecedented feat, Bobby Jones was the most famous man not only in golf, but in the history of American sports. Jones followed his crowning achievement with a shocking announcement: his retirement from the game at the age of 28. His abrupt disappearance from the public eye into a closely guarded private life helped create a mythological image of this hero from the Golden Age of sports that endures to this day.
“A confident and substantial book...It has torque and velocity...It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball. I found it exhilarating, depressing, tawdry, and moving in almost equal measure. It’s a big American story.” —The New York Times

Based on years of reporting and interviews with more than 250 people from every corner of Tiger Woods’s life—many of whom have never spoken about him on the record before—a sweeping, revelatory, and defining biography of an American icon.

In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune living what appeared to be the perfect life. Married to a Swedish beauty and the father of two young children, he was the winner of fourteen major golf championships and earning more than $100 million annually. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years—one that unraveled in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving-night car crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional lives over a cliff. Still, the world has always wondered: Who is Tiger Woods, really?

In Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, the team behind the New York Times bestseller The System, look deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to that question. To find out, they conducted hundreds of interviews with people from every facet of Woods’s life—friends, family members, teachers, romantic partners, coaches, business associates, physicians, Tour pros, and members of Woods’s inner circle.

From those interviews, and extensive, carefully sourced research, they have uncovered new, intimate, and surprising details about the man behind the myth. We read an inside account of Tiger’s relationship with his first love, Dina Gravell, and their excruciating breakup at the hands of his parents. We learn that Tiger’s longtime sports agency, International Management Group (IMG), made $50,000 annual payments to Tiger’s father, Earl Woods, as a “talent scout”—years before Tiger was their client. We discover startling new details about Earl, who died in 2006 and to this day lies in an unmarked grave. We come along as Tiger plunges into the Las Vegas and New York nightclub worlds alongside fellow superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. We are whisked behind the scenes during the National Enquirer’s globetrotting hunt to expose Tiger’s infidelity, and we get a rare look inside his subsequent sex-addiction treatment at the Pine Grove facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

But the portrait of Woods that emerges in Tiger Woods is far more rewarding than revelations alone. By tracing his life from its origins as the mixed-race son of an attention-seeking father and the original Tiger Mom—who programmed him to be “the chosen one,” tasked with changing not just the game of golf but the world as well—the authors provide a wealth of new insight into the human being trapped inside his parents’ creation. Most of all, we are reminded, time and time again, of Woods’s singular greatness and the exhilaration we felt watching an athletic genius dominate his sport for nearly twenty years.

But at what cost? Benedict and Keteyian provide the answers in an extraordinary biography that is destined to become the defining book about an authentic American legend—and to linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
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