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What will Tiger Woods be like when he returns to golf?
The man himself seems to be offering a mix of optimism and caution.
Woods, 41, recently announced he will return to golf at the Hero World Challenge. That came after Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, said his client was cleared to resume full golf activities.
Woods had previously offered his own progress reports via swing videos that included an iron shot, a driver and a stinger.
In a podcast hosted by Geno Auriemma, the legendary head coach of UConn women’s basketball, the 14-time major champion detailed even more where he is physically.
Woods was the guest on the podcast, entitled “Holding Court with Geno Auriemma,” and the interview went down on Oct. 12, per the podcast’s Twitter account.
Of course the question had to come … how was Woods feeling about his health?
Woods relayed that his golf fitness “is starting to come around” and that it’s a huge relief that his back isn’t aching anymore.
In fact, he started the interview by noting he had just finished his lifts and ended it telling Auriemma that he was going to go on a “quick” 40-mile bike ride afterward.
In between, Woods talked about his excitement to again start running, an activity he hasn’t been able to do for five years because of his bad back.
That’s all well and good, Tiger … but how is your swing?
For the Woods fans out there, this will sound like sweet music.
“I can’t believe how far I’m hitting the golf ball,” Woods told Auriemma. “I’m back to hitting it my full numbers and not really trying to do that. I didn’t realize how much I had dropped off because of the pain in my back and from me going at it and hitting it normal just because I just lived it from day to day to day and I really couldn’t tell the difference. But now I can tell the difference.”
Well that’s encouraging! As is this…
“My posture is so much better over the golf ball,” Woods said. “I really couldn’t get into that posture because any time I tried to build a good posture over the golf ball, I get pain down my leg and my right foot wouldn’t work.”
For those about ready to bet on Woods winning majors in 2018, hold on.
The 41-year-old was comparing his current self to the one broken down due to his back.
Woods noted he still probably won’t hit it as far as he used to (in his prime), and that the memory of his injury woes are likely to affect him (at least in the short-term).
While his back is almost fused, Woods said initially when he gets in trouble situations the thought of injury may pop up.
He admitted he’s still concerned, and when he gets in uneven lies or weird swings, the thought may be there, “Is my back going to go out?”
“Still in the back of my mind I remember makings those swings and ending up on the ground, and having people come get me because I couldn’t walk anymore,” Woods said.
It’s exciting to have Woods back, but he’ll remain an enigma until the day he tees it up again.