Does Tiger “Know” What He’s Doing?

I came across an interesting post by Cameron Morfit at Golf.com today. He discovered a new book about how we have begun outsourcing aspects of our lives in order to fit it all in.

The publisher’s description of, The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times, by Arlie Russell Hochschild, reads in part:

…everything that was once part of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—is being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to confused, harried Americans.

“Confused and harried” because for years now we have ceded our self-sufficiency to contractors of one sort or another. And once you’ve done that, you have a smaller base from which to evaluate advice you receive from your contractor. As Morfit writes, “How many of us remember how to change our own oil?”

And that got Morfit thinking about Tiger Woods and his search for his golf swing.

He makes the case that Tiger has always wanted to “own his swing,” that is, to have total understanding of it. Yet he has spent virtually all of his golf career working with one coach or another. And rather than strengthening his understanding of his swing, it has muddled it.

It is a very interesting, well-rounded read that intellectually hangs together; he’s not just throwing firebombs. But it did substantially annoy some of Tiger’s fans as you will discover if you also read the comments section. A lot of passion there.

The other reason this is interesting is because of the ascension of Bubba Watson into the firmament of major winners, all without ever having a golf lesson as I discussed in, “Bubba Watson: Savant,” and, “A Beautiful Thing Happened at the Masters.”

So here you have, on the one hand, golf’s greatest irreverent throwback non-conformist in Bubba Watson who got his swing out of the dirt just like Hogan did and proved you can do it without a coach (if you have years to play and play and play). And on the other hand, golf’s greatest current virtuoso in Tiger Woods who can’t seem to find his old magic right now, but has seen glimpses of it in his work with his coach, Sean Foley.

And in this nuanced piece, Morfit suggests one possible reason why the magic has gone missing.

everything that was once part of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—is being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to confused, harried Americans.
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