Tiger's return tomorrow at the Quicken Loans National is back to the future. We've seen this before, Woods coming back from surgery, and we're all once again madly charging headlong into the future, speculating if he can fully recover from microdiscectomy back surgery and chase down the major championship record of Jack Nicklaus (18) and the record number of tour wins (82) by Sam Snead. Woods has 14 and 79, respectively.
Stop it. Turn your back to the future and just enjoy the day. Relish in recovery, the return of a wounded, tragic but revitalized golfer who once again can stand in the sun and swing a club. Those of us who have come back from a surgery or serious illness know that grinning gratitude of just getting back to square one, of embracing a day at a time.
There are ups and downs in recovery, but in the end a recovery is pressing ahead with the positives. Tiger has always been good at that, and we can learn from it, not only for our mental health but also to improve on the golf course. Here are two tips from Tiger's recent press conference quotes:
- Strengthen your glutes and abs, for back health and for power on the course. "One reassuring thing from my medical exam is I have zero arthritic changes whatsoever. I've kept myself in very good shape over the years, and it has paid off. We knew going into this procedure that it really helps to be strong, especially in my glutes and my abs. I was strong in both departments, and that helps with the recovery and rehab, and you're able to come back faster."
- Work on your short game."Now, how rusty am I going to be? The great thing about what I have done so far and all my other previous surgeries is that I worked on my short game. Once I start expanding from there and start competing and playing, if I start spraying it all over the lot and not hitting it that great, at least my short game is solid. That's one of the positives."
At yesterday's session on the driving range, Woods only hit about a dozen drives. It's still a thing of beauty, his swing, but you'll see in this video that his backswing has changed; it's been shortened by this surgery. Try not to read too much into this and what it means to Woods in the future. Just enjoy.