The Big Miss
My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
By Hank Haney
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780307986009, 272pp.)
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
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Hank Haney's candid, 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 very few people allowed behind the curtain and observed Tiger in nearly every circumstance. There's never been a book about Tiger that is as intimate and revealing--or as wise about what it takes to coach a star athlete.
From 2004 to the spring of 2010, Hank Haney was Tiger Woods's coach, and Tiger was Haney's only client. In that period, Tiger won more than a third of the tournaments he entered and six of his fourteen major titles. Haney felt hugely honored to help Tiger with his swing, and he approached the job with intense absorption and attention to detail. Haney was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at Tiger's house up to 30 days a year--sometimes affording him more contact with Tiger than either the athlete's agent or caddy. Haney saw his student in nearly every circumstance: in the locker room; on the course; with his wife, Elin; and relaxing with friends. Haney was there through it all, observing how Tiger's public identity sometimes meshed awkwardly with the roles of husband and friend, and how the former child prodigy came to have a conflicted relationship with the game that made him famous.
HANK HANEY coached Tiger Woods from early 2004 to the spring of 2010 and is considered by many to be the world’s number one golf instructor. He has tutored more than 200 touring professionals and runs several teaching facilities around the world. In addition to hosting the top-rated Golf Channel show The Haney Project, Hank also contributes to numerous publications and has appeared on the cover of Golf Digest seven times.
“Insightful...Advance coverage of The Big Miss focused on the sensational...but those revelations misrepresent the primary focus of the book, which is to convey the experience of working with Woods as an instructor and to dissect what makes Tiger Tiger...Golf fans will put the book down feeling as if they were an eyewitness to history, and glad for the experience.”
--Wall Street Journal
“An alarming look at an athlete whose public glories masked a day-to-day existence of profound superficiality…Even more revealing than the swing material is evidence of Woods’ emotional blank wall: his indifference to people around him, his inability to empathize, and an obsession with military training and the Navy SEALs that, according to Haney, probably led to the leg injuries which have hampered Woods’ golf career.”
“I learned more about Tiger in The Big Miss than I have in eleven years of covering him on the PGA Tour…I actually thought the book was very fair, it was honest.”
--Damon Hack, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated
“While The Big Miss is many things -- a coach’s story; an account of a collapse; a deep dive into the swing mechanics and the art of golf – it also offers a welcome and unvarnished look inside. Books about major athletes are often authorized pabulum or arm’s-length agglomerations. Haney’s recollections are his own, and subject to dispute, but this is a rich and compelling rendering of a complicated athlete undone less by embarrassing details than by a self-inflicted, unsustainable myth.”
--Jason Gay, The Wall Street Journal
“Offers fascinating insights…The biggest strength of The Big Miss is the breadth of its insider view of the Tiger Woods phenomenon, a scrutiny previously unavailable to the public.”
--Kansas City Star
“Incredibly interesting—especially if you play golf...Haney does a great job of simply telling it like it is...The "why" behind the mystery of Tiger's perplexing personality weaves its way through the entire book.”
-David G. Kindervater, Featured Columnist, Bleacher Report
“After flying through this 247-page, mostly breezy and fascinating look into the life of a champion, I suspect most readers will ultimately have a newfound respect for Woods. I know I do....For the first time in the history of golf literature, we get a behind-the-scenes look at how an all-time great works. Many times the details are not pretty, but most of the journey Haney takes us on reveals a relentless passion to thrive in an era when so many professionals appear content to occasionally contend and collect healthy checks. If I were asked to recommend a book for an aspiring young golfer, The Big Miss would be the first title I’d select if for no other reason than most of today’s Tiger-wannabes will be motivated to work much harder than they currently do.”
“Thoughtful…Haney makes his case fairly and honestly, emerging not as a self-serving, tell-all author but as a man who has devoted his working life to the intricacies of the golf swing and who, finally, remains thankful to have spent six years with the best golfer on the planet.”
"The Big Miss is the most extensive and interesting portrait of Woods you're ever likely to read...[it] shines a light on the most opaque celebrity in sports. For that reason alone, it's a can't-miss."
--Orange County Register