Tiger Woods V 2.0
Golf tests you in three ways - mental, spiritual, and physical. The physical element can be conditioned fairly straightforwardly. Many who play, are not in the best physical shape. But a minimum level of muscular coordination and strength is required for shotmaking - and the muscle memory you need, can be won from the practice Tee. In this regard, one should remember - that practice does not make perfect. You can easily ingrain error on the practice tee. When at the tee, you should play as if you are on the course. Perfect practice makes perfect.
The mental element of the test, involves calculation. You resolve windspeed, direction, green conditions, yardage and your own distances against loft, clubhead speed, swingshape and lie. The game requires you to be alert: to think about how a putt will break, or where to put your shot. The golf course architect is evil: it is common for such men to study approach landings for aircraft, where water is present at the end of the runway - and incorporate those elements where airline crashes recur - so as to throw off your perception of distance by illusory means. In golf, there is a saying - that the game is 99% mental, and the other 1% is all in your head. This is because golf course architects such as Robert Trent Jones, and Donald Ross - invest heavily in the concept of 'easy bogey, hard par' - they work hard to make sure that the course, as it is presented to the golfer - is essentially a puzzle that needs to be solved.
The third, and greatest test - of golf - is spiritual. It is said that a few hours on the golf course with a man, will tell you as much about a man's character - as any job interview. This is true. It is because golf presents the unique cross section of so many different sports - in a way that requires a man to face them with very little other than his drive to win, his skill to bear and mental focus applied. I have lost at Chess. It hurt. I've lost a round in Golf. It hurt worse. Because in Chess, you play against a player. In golf, you play a course. The other men are there not to defeat you. They are fellow travellers. And they are witness to your triumph and your fall. There are no judges. No referees. A man can be honest to others, but to be honest to oneself, is truly a test of the spirit.
Such a game requires a great man to play it. That man is Tiger Woods. And there is one challenge in golf - that only one man, has ever met. The Grand Slam.
Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam. The Masters. The British Open. The PGA Championship. And the US Open. Of the four, the US Open will be particularly difficult. Tiger Woods has re-invented his swing, and he is free of the distractions that have plagued him in the last two years. One does not worry, about a Tiger preoccupied with its den. That tiger is not in the hunt.
Hunger keens the senses. It sharpens the mind. It tests the soul. Tiger Woods has now hit version 2.0 , after an incredible run of non-performance, and supposed injury. Woods is no longer a gangly twenty year old. He is a mature, 30 year old man. And he will hit the prime of his golfing career in a way that is unparalleled, before or since - in the history of the sport.