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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 April 2012
Celebs come and celebs go while some are always top news, which is the case with tiger woods as evidenced by the interest in Hank Haney's book and Tiger's tourneys. Haney who has tutored more than 200 touring golf professionals and considered a topnotch golf instructor coached Tiger Woods from 2004 to 2010.

THE BIG MISS is a mix of golf and gossip. Haney relates that he was having dinner with his father the night he received a phone call from Woods. That call was received with a mixture of surprise, happiness, and the knowledge that his life was about to change - little did he know how much. Haney was one of the few in Woods' inner circle, privy to the golfer's moods, comments, and reactions. Hence, there's much new in Haney's story.

Haney devotes much of his story to Woods' swing, however for this listener and so-so golfer at best much of it was beyond my understanding. As for the revelation of comments made by Woods, his opinions of others, etc. - those are all too easily understood.

If you want another look at the life and times of Tiger Woods, The Big Miss is your book.

- Gail Cooke
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on 8 June 2012
This is an engrossing read for a golfer who understands golfing terms and particularly issues around the golf swing. A non golfer may find it too technical in many areas.

It's a fascinating insight into a man who has dominated golf for years and who has set himself apart from others in many ways. It's very clear that Tiger is totally fixed on golf ... and as a result many of the issues that we regard as friendship have passed him by. There is no doubt that he is the most single minded golfer out there ... and this has had its costs.

It's also comforting to know, as an amateur golfer, that the very best pro's have to battle their own fears and mind games in order to win in this fantastic game we call golf.

Love him or hate him I'd recommend this as a good read for any golfer.
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on 17 April 2012
I was always going to read this book, because I'm a golf fanatic, and it involves Tiger Woods. I also follow the author on Twitter and find his views on golf deeply interesting. This book was therefore pre-ordered, and eagerly awaited.

It gives a stunning glimpse into what makes Tiger the greatest golfer that has lived, but it also points towards the reasons behind the swing changes and the fact that even Tiger, standing on the tee with a driver in his hand, had a shot that he feared (the book's title - The Big Miss). It points towards his motivations and his desire to continually be better. It tells some humorous stories about his life on tour, and relations with other golfers.

It doesn't delve into the scandals that put his career on hold. It does however give great insight into the injuries that have caused his career to stop-start. It talks (sometimes quite technically) about the golf swing, but the book is no less enjoyable for the reader whose head this will fly over.

This is not Hank Haney sticking the knife into Tiger. This is not a warts and all account. This genuinely is about the golf played by the world's greatest golfer, and the scandal, while mentioned, is pretty much glossed over.

Well worth a read.
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on 10 May 2012
It is an interesting book to read, no doubt. But it assumes a lot. It assumes you know a lot about golf already and you know everything about the scandal about Tiger already, too. The book is basically about the relationship of the author with Tiger Woods for the six years that he was his coach. It shows their very strange (by normal standards) "friendship" and the extraordinarily strange way Tiger relates to human beings in general. In the last chapter the author seems to be focused only on proving that he was Tigers best coach and that he did everything correctly. Boring. About half of the book are long passages describing exactly how to hit a ball or describing at which hole of which tournament Tiger did exactly what. The other half describes the way Tiger Woods lets nobody come close to him as a person. Very strange indeed.
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on 17 June 2012
To anyone interested in golf this is a fantastic insight to one of the greatest players ever to grace the fairways of the world. Even for all his misgivings he has brought a new dimension to the game of golf.Might not be a very nice person but a hell of a golfer. this book is a fantastic read.
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on 29 June 2012
As the author of Who is the Greatest Sportsman of the Modern Era? which features Tiger Woods as one of the book's subjects I was fascinated by this inside glimpse into his life. It is very rare that you get the opportunity to see behind the carefully crafted and protected corporate image that is Tiger Woods, and this book reveals a flesh and bone person with limitations and weaknesses. From his privileged position the author is able to offer more insight than anyone else has been able to date. Tiger's work ethic and training routines have always been kept a closely guarded secret by himself and his team, so to hear how the world's greatest golfer goes about his business is a genuine treat.
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on 2 May 2012
A lot was said about this book. A lot of people claimed it was a breach of some non existent code of conduct.

But this book is a celebration of all things Tiger. It's about what made him a world beater. Even more interesting, it's an account of the physical and mental issues that might stop him catching Jack's record (although Hank does not state whether he thinks he will, or won't, make that milestone).

A brilliant insight into one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. Maybe could have left the self promoting chapter about Tiger's win %'s at the end, but still, it's all interesting stuff.
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on 17 April 2013
For anyone interested in Tiger Woods there is very little in Hank Haney's book that is new or particularly interesting.

Tiger Woods is recounted by Haney as being very focused on winning (antisocially so), extremely selfish and often distant, and ultimately tragic (with Haney concluding that Woods may never fully recover from the scandal). Well, all these things are known already, from reading newspapers and watching TV. In fact, I don't think Haney realizes just how much readers of his book already know about Tiger Woods' background and his fall from grace.

Irritatingly, much of the book is also taken up with Haney's defense of his teaching methods. Indeed, he is very sensitive to criticism, particularly of the swing he tried to teach Woods (which he says Woods never quite mastered). Had he mastered the swing, Haney insists, Woods could have been the greatest striker of the golf ball in history. That said, on the occasions Woods wins Haney says he nearly got it. When Woods performs badly it is because the method Haney taught wasn't being properly implemented. My view is that you can't win everything, no matter how great you are, and it has very little to do with the minutiae of Woods' swing, which Haney obsesses over. Whereas I think Woods is only human and had off days, Haney will say it was because Woods' dropped his head an eighth of an inch on the down swing.

But the worst thing about the book is that Haney constantly complains that he never got to know Woods personally, that Woods was always guarded around him. Well, the reason for that is that Woods clearly doesn't fully trust anyone and after reading Haney's tell-all account who could blame him! Haney was hired to help Woods with his golf swing, not to be his best friend and confidant, but that fact does not seem to have chimed with Haney who feels very 'let down' by Woods.

Ultimately, Haney's book confirms the things we already know about Woods but sheds light on almost nothing new. It inadvertently tells the story of what happens to people who are around great and famous sports stars, even more than it tells of those sports stars.
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on 28 January 2013
Almost inevitably, Hank Haney's book about his years of coaching Tiger Woods reads rather like a defensive justification of himself, although I am sure that is not the writer's intention. However, this is a very good and thoughtful book, I would even say an important book.
Haney gives a detailed analysis of what he was trying to achieve with Woods, and reminds us that contrary to common beliefs, Woods had some very successful years while being coached by Haney, including 6 of his 14 majors. All of this is very interesting for golf lovers (such as myself), including the discussion of the eponymous "big miss", which was the wild hook into the rough or the trees on the left of the fairway.
However, what I believe makes the book more interesting is Haney's recurring theme that much of his coaching was aimed not necessarily at perfecting Woods's game, but at making Woods more consistently a winner. Haney argues that he achieved that by improving Woods's course management, and above all by reducing the number of times that Woods played shots that were more likely than not to get him into trouble.
The relationship, such as it was, between Haney and Woods, comes across as being difficult and in many ways paradoxical. At one level, there was of course the employer-employee relationship (although Haney does of course have other sources of employment and income). At another level, we see that both Woods and Haney referred to each other as friends (whether they still do is another matter), but their interactions very rarely seem friendly. Haney depicts Woods's working methods as being almost to provoke his coach into giving the right advice. He also shows that although Woods took on board much of the advice given by Haney, at the end of the day, Woods did what Woods wanted to do, including undergoing physically damaging training with Navy SEALS.
There is a lot to take away from this book. Although it is only Haney's side of the story, it is probably the only decent version we will ever get of those years, and it is a compelling portrait of how a great coach tried to deal with one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.
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on 22 April 2012
OK, I'm a BIG Woods fan and as such will read everything I can get my hands on about him, but this is a review of Haneys book. I was surprised. I was expecting much sticking in of knives and slagging off of Woods but not a bit of it. Haney goes out of his way to express his admiration for him calling a "great athlete", the "best golfer in the history of the game" and lots more in the same vein. Sceptics will find this a bit rich but there's no doubting his sincerity. I was also impressed by Haney NOT making judgements about Wood's conduct in 2009 and the subsequent fallout in sharp contrast to every commentator who made cheap shots and this includes you Billy Payne!! He obviously has a lot of affection for Woods.
However Haney doesn't pull his punches when he shows the emails written to help Tiger and are not even replied to. He was hurt and I don't blame him, Tiger, you are inconsiderate and damned rude sometimes!! But he also describes the endless patience Woods shows when teaching young kids or talking to veterans, I know this is true I've seen it myself.
It seemed to me though that the main point Haney wanted to get across was to set the record straight as to how the relationship between them ended. I won't spoilt it but like the rest of the book it is riveting.
For anyone even mildly interested in Woods this is essential reading. I'm still a BIG Woods fan but I am also a BIG Haney fan as well. Good luck Sean Foley!!!!
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