Spirit of the Game?
At this weekend’s PGA BMW Championship tournament at Cog Hill, Butch Harmon, Tiger Wood’s old swing coach, revealed a few ways that Tiger tries to get the better of his opponent. What do you think of this? We want your opinion. Have a wee look:
- Before large galleries, when on the green, Woods will often putt out first. That means the crowd moves to the next tee while the other player is still finishing the hole, creating an annoying distraction. That ploy wouldn’t have worked very well Sunday. Mickelson kept making putts from everywhere.
- Woods likes to lag back and get to the tee box second, so that the crowd screams loudest, and last, for him.
- Harmon said Woods intentionally walks quickly when playing with slow players and slowly when playing with fast competitors. Most people would never notice.
- Harmon said Woods sometimes hits 3-wood off the tee on driver holes, just to make the other player have to stand around for a few minutes. “You have your momentum and adrenaline going, and he slows down and makes you wait,” the coach said.
As you may recall, we shared David Robertson Forgan’s Golfer’s Credo with you about “acting the gentleman” and “…opportunities for courtesy, kindliness and generosity to an opponent.” Is Tiger acting in the spirit of the game or does competition at this level require this type of gamesmanship? There is no doubt that Tiger is a clever lad who takes his game seriously but is he crossing the line with his behaviour. Would Old Tom, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus be horrified? Were they any different?