We’ll admit, we’ve been smitten by Tiger Woods’ slow reveal the past month of his work-in-progress swing via a series of social-media posts, leading up to his announcement on Monday that he’ll make his competitive return to golf at the Hero World Challenge later this month. The intriguing part, besides the obvious of whether Woods will be able to make a truly legitimate comeback this time, is that it hints there might be something different about Woods as he gives it another go. Maybe, just maybe, the old, standoffish superstar will finally be willing to drop his guard.
Tiger offered another sign of this with his candid comments as a guest on UConn women’s basketball coach Gino Auriemma’s podcast. Asked about the distance increases seen in pro golf, Woods strayed from the usual, bland response and took an interesting stand.
“We need to do something about the golf ball,” Woods said. “I just think it’s going too far because we’re having to build golf courses, if they want to have a championship venue, they’ve got to be 7,400-7,800 yards long. And if the game keeps progressing the way it is with technology, I think the 8,000-yard golf course is not too far away. And that’s pretty scary because we don’t have enough property to start designing these type of golf courses and it just makes it so much more complicated.”
Wow. Where has this Tiger Woods been all our lives? You know this had to put a smile on the face of Jack Nicklaus when he heard Woods’ comment, the Golden Bear being a vocal critic of the distance the ball flies.
Woods noted that there is some reason for optimism in that the USGA has been researching a reduced-flight golf ball. That said, he also didn’t think this is something that would happen “in the near future, but at least there’s talk about it now.”
More importantly, Tiger Woods was willing to talk about a sensitive issue in the game, taking a stand that seemed highly unlikely in the past. Will this comeback include a more candid Tiger? We can only hope.