Episode 97: Training Tiger Woods

A few days before we recorded this episode, I watched the final few holes of the final round of the Masters golf tournament. As I watched, I found myself thinking that what was most notable about this year's tournament was the absence of Tiger Woods. Tiger burst into the world's consciousness back in 1997 with his performance at the Masters, his first Masters as a professional, when we won by a still-astonishing twelve strokes. He quickly established himself as the most dominant golfer in the world. It seemed there was nothing he couldn't do on the golf course.

By the summer of 2015, his dominance was long over. His numerous marital infidelities came to public awareness in 2010, and years of overtraining had led to serious injuries and multiple surgeries. But he remained the most charismatic golfer on the tour, and I was hardly alone in wondering if he'd be able to return to the level of golf he had once played. That summer, I watched his play with interest. He kept missing the cut at major tournaments, and his body language said that he quite evidently hated being out on the course. And yet, in his press conferences, he would say only positive things. I wondered: is he lying to us, or to himself as well?

I'd been working with Jerry for about a year at that point, and I could certainly recognize someone whose energy was out of alignment. I found myself thinking, "I bet Jerry could help him."

That thought led to an idea which led to a project that we called "Training Tiger Woods." Jerry and I worked from the hypothesis that we could use the flow techniques that Jerry taught in order to coach ourselves and each other in golf. If the flow practices that we used had positive results in our own golf games, then surely those same techniques would be able to help Tiger regain his flow as well.

We pursued the TTW project for about a year-and-a-half, and the results were very good. We both improved substantially as golfers, and we learned a great deal about how to put flow into practice in other areas of our lives as well.

In watching the Masters this year and noticing the profound hole in the game caused by Tiger's absence, I felt inspired to talk about the TTW project here on the podcast, and that led to the conversation in this episode. There is some very useful information here about putting flow into practice. We hope you enjoy it.

If you're interested in exploring the Training Tiger Woods project, you can find our writings here.

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