New York - It may say just about everything you need to know about
being part of Tiger Woods' inner circle that Hank Haney, his swing coach
from 2004 to 2010, became paralysed with fear over asking the golfer
for a popsicle.
'When we were watching television
after dinner, he'd sometimes go to the refrigerator to get a sugar-free
popsicle,' Haney writes in his book The Big Miss, which comes out next
'But he never offered me one, and one night I
really wanted one of those popsicles. But I found myself sitting kind of
frozen, not knowing what to do next.
'I didn't feel right just going to the
refrigerator. It took me a while to summon the courage to blurt out, 'Do
you think I could have one of those popsicles?''
Woods said he could.
But the story is one of several in Haney's
book that offer glimpses into the former world No. 1's personality,
which has been walled off to the public throughout his career.
The book documents the relationship between
the pair, from the first time they met, when Woods was 17, to when Haney
quit in 2010, just as he was feeling he was about to be fired in the
wake of the player's return to golf after the revelations of his
The book has already received attention for
the chapter titled 'Distraction', which details Woods' 2007 season.
After the death of his father Earl, who served as a green beret in the
US Army, he grew obsessed with military training.
Woods frequently attended three-day sessions
with Navy Seals, which involved parachuting, hand-to-hand combat and
But the excerpts that were released earlier
did not include one of the more damaging assertions by Haney about the
effect of this training. He was told Woods tore his anterior cruciate
ligament in his left knee in an exercise with the Seals, not while
running at home.
Haney grew concerned about Woods' focus on muscle-building, which the coach believed did not help his game and led to injuries.
He says that Woods injured his right Achilles'
tendon doing Olympic-style lifts, not while running during testing for
new Nike shoes, as the golfer publicly stated.
Another distraction that began in 2007 was Woods' cellphone going off more and more.
Instead of turning it off or ignoring it, as
he had before, he took the time to answer it or check his texts. A few
years later, the world found out that the calls and texts were coming
from women he was having affairs with.
That scandal and its aftermath make up the
bulk of one of the book's eight chapters. And the book has a number of
observations about the golfer's failed marriage to Elin Nordegren.
Haney writes: 'Tiger really liked her
competitive streak and seemed to enjoy treating her like one of the
guys, needling her and even telling raunchy jokes, which Elin didn't
seem to mind.
'But, as life became more complicated, I
thought Elin changed. She and Tiger developed a calm, almost cool
relationship in front of other people, and conversations with them
tended to be awkward and strained. They weren't openly affectionate.'
After Woods won the 2005 Buick Invitational,
his first stroke-play victory in nearly 16 months and his first with
Haney as his coach, Nordegren wanted to celebrate. She pointed out that,
when she was a nanny for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, his family
would hold a party whenever he won.
Woods responded: 'E, that's not what we do. I'm not Jesper. We're supposed to win.'
Haney writes that Nordegren was taken aback
and her smile got smaller. He noticed that 'in the future Elin would
keep her emotions under wraps whenever Tiger won'.
The coach also writes that the most revealing
thing Woods said to him came during this time, as he was preparing to
come back to golf.
'I learnt one thing for sure,' Woods said.
'When I play golf again, I'm going to play for myself. I'm not going to
play for my dad, or my mom or Nike or my foundation, or for the fans.
Only for myself.'
Woods, who won six of his 14 Majors with Haney
as his coach, has criticised the book, calling it self-serving and
unprofessional. But the book ends after 247 pages with Haney wishing his
former charge well.