The Big Miss is Hank Haney’s candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history. Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance: at tournaments, on the practice range, over meals, with his wife, Elin, and relaxing with friends.
The relationship between the two men began in March 2004 when Hank received a call from Tiger in which the golf champion asked him to be his coach. It was a call that would change both men’s lives.
Tiger—only 28 at the time—was by then already an icon, judged by the sporting press as not only one of the best golfers ever, but possibly the best athlete ever. Already he was among the world’s highest paid celebrities. There was an air of mystery surrounding him, an aura of invincibility. Unique among athletes, Tiger seemed to be able to shrug off any level of pressure and find a way to win.
But Tiger was always looking to improve, and he wanted Hank’s help.
What Hank soon came to appreciate was that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he’d ever met, let alone coached. Although Hank had worked with hundreds of elite golfers and was not easily impressed, there were days watching Tiger on the range when Hank couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. On those days, it was impossible to imagine another human playing golf so perfectly.
And yet Tiger is human—and Hank’s expert eye was adept at spotting where Tiger’s perfection ended and an opportunity for improvement existed. Always haunting Tiger was his fear of “the big miss”—the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round—and it was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger’s game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.
Hank’s most formidable coaching challenge, though, would be solving the riddle of Tiger’s personality. Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank—or Tiger’s family and friends, for that matter—was spared “the treatment.”
Toward the end of Tiger and Hank’s time together, the champion’s laser-like focus began to blur and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing—a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger’s behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game. Hints that Tiger hungered to reinvent himself were present in his bizarre infatuation with elite military training, and—in a development Hank didn’t see coming—in the scandal that would make headlines in late 2009. It all added up to a big miss that Hank, try as he might, couldn’t save Tiger from.
There’s never been a book about Tiger Woods that is as intimate and revealing—or one so wise about what it takes to coach a superstar athlete.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I am the biggest fan of tiger, and this inside view was by far one of my best tiger reads. Hank did a great job and it raised my respect for tiger, he went through so much and has a long way to go, recommend to anyone!
Hank Haney Doesn't Know His Place
As a 2 handicap who grew up idolizing Tiger this book was extremely disappointing. The best part about Tiger is his ability to come off as a stoic being that you didn't know much about. The mystery was part of the fun and joy of Tiger and now ....it's not. it's clear that Hank thinks way too highly of himself and takes way too much credit for things that Tiger accomplished and skewed them to make it seem like it was all his doing. Hank did not hit the shots....Tiger did. He also comes off as an overly emotional baby Complaining about Tiger not giving him enough attention. Dude you are a swing instructor not an NFL or NBA coach leading a team...it's way different. In golf you simply shouldn't get the credit that legendary coaches get in other sports. You are simply just a bystander to Tigers ability to motivate himself...you teach mechanics ...you don't draw up comprehensive game plans...tiger is and was clearly capable of doing that on his own...something you want credit for. Hank also dives into so much personal stuff about tiger and his personality but NEVER admits that he has any of his own personality problems. Sure admitting drinking is one thing but how about talking about your over sensitivity and your own insecurities which you clearly have a lot of. You refer to yourself habing family matters to attend but you leave it at that but can go into details about tigers personal problems...what a cowardly move that is. As Tiger put it in his text back to you...you took something's way too seriously and became an over emotional baby about them. You also say Tiger didn't respond to your emails...in my opinion they didn't warrant a response...he didn't ask you for life or attitude help...youre supposed to fix swing mechanics not solve personality issues.
This book is about Hank seeking revenge because he is an overly emotional baby who wanted Tiger to hug him every day and tell him how great of a coach he was ....this book is totally self serving and a complete betrayal of trust. These aren't just "your memories too" Hank these are memories and situations skewed to position tiger as some evil guy who you desperately wanted to get close too but obviously he didn't want the same from day 1....can't you take a hint and just focus on mechanics?
Hank Haney is an insecure -----.
Media is Rediculous
This is a fantastic read for any avid golfer. I like all Feinstein books and this is right up there. The media took a few parts of the book and made it look like Haney was writing a book to make money off inside secrets of Tiger. This is very educational book on what it takes to get to Tiger and Hanks level. A lot of interesting golf ideas. Great golf book.