I was glued to the television this weekend watching Tiger win the ZoZo Championship (PGA Tour’s First Ever Sanctioned event in Japan). What to me was more impressive than the 3 shot margin of victory which tied Sam Snead for the all-time PGA Victory mark of 82, was the way Tiger started the tournament. Only one month off of another knee surgery, Tiger appeared rusty. He had not performed well in a made-for-TV event on Monday, where his game was so sketchy early on that he missed a par-3 green so badly his ball hit a cart path and rolled halfway back to the tee. He began the ZoZo Championship with 3 straight bogies, and everyone was thinking, “poor Tiger, he’s probably going to miss the cut.” His game appeared rusty and everyone began making excuses for him.
But then, because of Tiger’s ability to assess and correct, he made a small change. Proper impact was restored and he shot 9 under the last 15 holes. The turn-around continued with a second straight 64 and all the way through the end of the tournament. Tiger didn’t divulge what his discovery was nor what tweak he made to restore proper impact, but his fellow competitors took note. “His ball striking was a joke; his distance control was something I’ve never seen,” said Woodland, who played the final two rounds with Woods. “He looked like the best player in the world. It was impressive to watch.”
Tiger is now ranked #6 in the world, and appears back on track to become #1 again with his 5th Style of Swing. He needs to keep making adjustments due to his body’s inability to perform certain movements. The key, he keeps focusing on making these changes to improve his impact.
One could draw a lot of messages from Tiger’s dramatic turn-around this week. Golf journalists agree that no one has ever begun a tournament with three straight bogies and gone on to win a PGA Tour Event. Tiger modeled the value of staying in the moment, addressing the issues of missed shots properly and making the proper corrections. Tiger gives himself the permission to fail, but continues to look at ways to get better. This proper mental balance and foundational understanding of impact is key to game improvement at any level.
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To better impact,