Playing around with Tiger: How to perform like the best golfer in the world
Top tips from the expert on how to cope with the hard grind of the championships: the best grip, how to handle a bad lie, and who to include in your entourage ... as told to David Randall
Sunday 06 December 2009
1. I'm joining the tour and aim to be a success. Who should be in my entourage?
A caddy, security detail, lawyer, agent and coach. But the tour is stressful and you'll need the woman you most trust. Your mom. Plus the odd waitress, nightclub hostess and maybe that cutie you saw in the gallery.
2. What is the right grip?
The grip (or "grope" as it is often mis-pronounced) is fundamental. Some players favour the two-handed grip or the interlocking. My wife prefers the overlapping grip when she puts her hands round my throat.
3. How do you play a dogleg?
It's about strategy. Take the opening par-5 at my home course, a dogleg left, which I played last Friday at 2.30am. I drove down the drive, played across the road into a water hazard. But from there I played it stiff – right into the tree.
4. People sometimes shout 'You're the man!' as you drive. Does this bother you?
The only thing that bothers me is, after a drive, hearing voices saying: "You cheating, two-timing *@*$@**$!" or "Shall I call an ambulance, Mr Woods?"
5. Does your wife own a set of clubs?
No, but she sometimes borrows mine to open a window.
6. Is it common for top golfers to shank?
Personally, I have always had a great weakness for shanks. When I shank I feel that I not only let myself down, but also, in a very real way, I let my family down.
7. Is it true that driving is not the most reliable part of your game?
I guess so. But it's no big deal. I'm not averse to a bit of rough.
8. What stance do I choose when in trouble?
Some people favour the "open" stance, turning towards the cameras and being honest. I think this is for losers like Mickelson. I prefer the closed stance – a stern face and a refusal to answer any of the questions until forced to.
9. How do you impart spin?
You can hit crisply down on the ball, but I've always found it best to hire a good lawyer to impart the desired spin.
10. Is a pull destructive to your score?
No. I've always scored when I've pulled. On the other hand, recent pulls have cost me a million dollars.
11. What about bad lies?
12. How do you deal with unplayable lies?
Every so often you find that you've shanked yourself into some trouble. On the course, you can lift and drop, taking a penalty shot. But off the course, it can cost you a million or more dollars to get yourself out of trouble.
13. Are traps a big problem for you?
They are on a cocktail waitress or nightclub hostess. They have real big traps that can swallow you up just when you think you've got away with a loose shot.
14. What about the address?
This varies, and my own address may – unless my wife and I can resolve differences over my style of play – change in the coming weeks.
15. What balls do you favour?
Any I can get away with.
16. It is said that prescription drugs, like the sleeping pill Ambien, can enhance performance. Have you found this?
My friend Rachel says that after taking Ambien I'm right on top of my game.
17. I've noticed golf is a game best played in silence. Do you agree?
Oh yes. I'd pay someone a million dollars to keep quiet.
18. Should husbands and wives play a round together?
No, it's better if my wife's not there when I'm playing around.
19th Hole: How do you relax after a stressful championship?
I’m lucky enough to have some very good close friends. We often meet up in a hotel, and kinda chill out together. They’re not golfers, they’re from the entertainment world. Well, they entertain me, anyway.
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