The Big Miss by Hank Haney
My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

54%

17 Critic Reviews

Hank Haney's memoir is often compelling but above all it is a betrayal that oversteps common decency
-Guardian

Synopsis

The Big Miss is Hank Haney’s candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history. Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance: at tournaments, on the practice range, over meals, with his wife, Elin, and relaxing with friends.
 
The relationship between the two men began in March 2004 when Hank received a call from Tiger in which the golf champion asked him to be his coach. It was a call that would change both men’s lives.
 
Tiger—only 28 at the time—was by then already an icon, judged by the sporting press as not only one of the best golfers ever, but possibly the best athlete ever. Already he was among the world’s highest paid celebrities. There was an air of mystery surrounding him, an aura of invincibility. Unique among athletes, Tiger seemed to be able to shrug off any level of pressure and find a way to win.
 
But Tiger was always looking to improve, and he wanted Hank’s help.
 
What Hank soon came to appreciate was that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he’d ever met, let alone coached. Although Hank had worked with hundreds of elite golfers and was not easily impressed, there were days watching Tiger on the range when Hank couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. On those days, it was impossible to imagine another human playing golf so perfectly.
 
And yet Tiger is human—and Hank’s expert eye was adept at spotting where Tiger’s perfection ended and an opportunity for improvement existed. Always haunting Tiger was his fear of “the big miss”—the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round—and it was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger’s game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.
 
Hank’s most formidable coaching challenge, though, would be solving the riddle of Tiger’s personality. Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank—or Tiger’s family and friends, for that matter—was spared “the treatment.”
 
Toward the end of Tiger and Hank’s time together, the champion’s laser-like focus began to blur and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing—a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger’s behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game. Hints that Tiger hungered to reinvent himself were present in his bizarre infatuation with elite military training, and—in a development Hank didn’t see coming—in the scandal that would make headlines in late 2009. It all added up to a big miss that Hank, try as he might, couldn’t save Tiger from.
 
There’s never been a book about Tiger Woods that is as intimate and revealing—or one so wise about what it takes to coach a superstar athlete.

 

About Hank Haney

See more books from this Author
HANK HANEY coached Tiger Woods from early 2004 to the spring of 2010 and is considered by many to be the world's number one golf instructor. He has tutored more than 200 touring professionals and runs several teaching facilities around the world. In addition to hosting the top-rated Golf Channel show The Haney Project, Hank also contributes to numerous publications and has appeared on the cover of Golf Digest seven times.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Crown Archetype. 274 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 15 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Big Miss
All: 17 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Below average
Mar 27 2012

...be warned that the indifferently written narrative is stocked with standard sports clichés, though full of junkie-pleasing stats...Woods has won big and lost bigger, and not just on the green, and he probably merits a more insightful book...

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Lawrence Donegan on Mar 29 2012

Hank Haney's memoir is often compelling but above all it is a betrayal that oversteps common decency

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Macleans

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Friscolanti on Mar 26 2012

...he chose to write his tell-all memoir only after Woods’s world collapsed—and to release it during Masters week, the biggest tournament of the year. And at times, he seems even more petty and self-absorbed than his former friend...

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Winnipeg Free Press

Below average
Reviewed by Alan Small on Apr 14 2012

The Big Miss might help your golf game, but it tells little about Tiger Woods and nothing about why he so brazenly cheated on his wife. In that sense, it really is a Big Miss.

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Military.com

Below average
Reviewed by Mark Whicker on Apr 02 2012

In becoming one more mouth to shut, Haney probably has benefited Woods again. The Big Miss is a two-car wreck of a book about a one-man meltdown. The sequel, about the redemption, will have to come from someone else.

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Bleacher Report

Excellent
Reviewed by David Kindervator on Mar 26 2012

It's a great read....I think Haney does a great job of simply telling it like it is.

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The Palm Beach Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Greg Stoda on Mar 27 2012

The Big Miss is an entertaining read, and a revealing look at a complex superstar...At its core is the coach-player relationship, which is fascinating on many levels.

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The Morning Call

Below average
Reviewed by Mike McGovern

Well, the more I read, the more convinced I became that Haney should've found another way to cash in. We really could've done without this...that Haney went public is unfair to Woods and those players.

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Golf Channel

Excellent
Reviewed by Rex Hoggard, John Hawkins, Ryan Ballengee on Mar 27 2012

. ..an interesting, if not sometimes wonky and one-sided, glimpse into a complicated relationship and a man thrust into a difficult situation....Haney probably could have taken things even further if he’d chosen to bemalicious, but the finished product here is revealing, insightful and honest.

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Golf.com

Below average
Reviewed by Jeff Silverman on Mar 22 2012

...whether intended or not, Haney's motivation is evident in his lines and between them, especially in the book's final chapter...Kahn's book reeked of getting even. So does "The Big Miss."

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Golfweek

Excellent
Reviewed by Bradley Klein on Mar 20 2012

How much of this is Haney’s insight and how much of this is due to his writing collaborator, Jaime Diaz, can be only a matter of speculation. The result makes for an alarming look at an athlete whose public glories masked a day-to-day existence of profound superficiality.

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Links Golf Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by James Frank

If you’re a fan of golf, this is a good book. If you’re really interested in golf, especially how it is played and thought about at the highest levels of the game, then it is required reading.

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LinksLifeGolf

Below average
Reviewed by Jeff Skinner on May 10 2012

When Haney isn’t psychoanalyzing Woods he is busy congratulating himself for being such a great coach....After awhile it got to be unbearable.

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The Tour Report

Good
Reviewed by Michael Fitzpatrick on Apr 20 2012

My advice is to simply read The Big Miss before passing judgment. You may be surprised by just how much of the book pertains to golf and how little of it has anything to do with the gossipy details of Woods’ personal life.

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The Golf Blogger

Good
Apr 10 2012

A great read with terrific insights into the game and mind of the best golfer of his generation...The Big Miss succeeds for me because it is nearly entirely about golf.

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Kingdom of Golf

Below average
Reviewed by Paul Cervantes on Apr 10 2012

It's easy to ask why Haney was so willing to write a book like this about Woods, someone who he described as a friend...I also don't know if the proceeds (financial and otherwise) will prove to be worth it for Haney.

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Geoff Shackelford

Good
Reviewed by Geoff Shackelford on Mar 26 2012

If I were asked to recommend a book for an aspiring young golfer, The Big Miss would be the first title I’d select if for no other reason than most of today’s Tiger-wannabes will be motivated to work much harder than they currently do. They’ll also learn how not to treat the people closest to them.

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Reader Rating for The Big Miss
73%

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