Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tiger Woods and Team Effort

Tom Kelley comments on a time when Tiger Woods was winning the US Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach, dominating the field as never before. He seemed both intense and utterly calm. His dedication was complete, and his swing and putting were nearly perfect.

In spite of what looked like masterful putting in his first round, he insisted that the balls weren’t going into the hole smoothly enough for him. They were just ‘scooting’, he said, not rolling. He stayed on the practice green till they rolled beautifully.

Butch Harmon, his swing guru, said Tiger was playing better than ever. “He’s confident. He’s mature,” said Harmon. “We’ve built his swing together, so it’s pretty easy to tweak if something goes wrong.”

Kelley concluded, “I found that a wonderful, enlightening statement. The greatest golfer in history, who appears to be the ultimate solo performer, is actually the product of a team effort, and when the occasional bumps in the road arrive, the going is easier because of that fact.”

Source: Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman, The Art of Innovation (London: Profile Books, 2001), 5.

Image: “masterful putting in his first round…”