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The announcement came out today:

I'm really trying not to have this as a hot take. It's bad form and ugly to pile on a guy who's hurt, and that isn't my intention here. But I wanted to ask this question, just to get a feel of how people think about this.

There are sports injuries in which it just looks like the athlete was cursed; for me, Grant Hill comes to mind. Transcendentally amazing at his peak, he just kept breaking down, and it didn't make sense.

Other athletes, it seems like their injuries were almost an inevitable outcome of their playing style or training.

Tiger's been hurt a lot:

None of us know the truth on this question, but I imagine many of us have impressions/opinions: how much do you see Tiger's injuries as bad luck vs. being self-inflicted?

[Note: let's not turn this into a debate on the rumors of PEDs. Yes, the rumors exist, including ties to a doctor with issues. But we're not going to get anywhere making accusations based on mere speculation.]

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It's not overly surprising. His swing in his prime was very violent on his body. Add up all the rounds, and range time. The body can only take so much before things break down. 

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I'd say it's a fairly good mixture of both, and Tiger's admitted his part to some extent with all the running he used to do. I wouldn't blame it on the gym (necessarily), and I wouldn't blame it on the swing changes he's tried to make over the years (except for maybe the Sean Foley swing - it really wasn't good for Tiger). I'd blame it on lack of technology, knowledge, and expertise. Tiger simply didn't have the tools available to him that golfers do now - tools that might not exist without Tiger's influence IMO.

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There's an antiquated idea that seems to permeate the golf world that spending a lot of time in the gym is a bad thing... But in the case of Tiger, I think a lot of it has been self-inflicted but I think it has a lot more to do with the way he trained than that he trained too much. Just look at Tom Brady. The guy's 43 and still slinging the football like he was in his early 30s and a lot of it is the way he's trained and looked after his body since his ACL injury in 2008.

I'd be really interested to see how Tiger would do on a TB12 training regiment or the MAT stuff that Bryson is doing.

I follow Mike Carroll, aka Fit For Golf, on Twitter who works with a few Tour guys, and when Tiger was telling Amanda Balionis earlier this year that his training sessions have been so intense that he's ended up puking, Mike was saying that it's just so unnecessary for a golfer to be working to that point. Now I would argue working to that point is unnecessary for any athlete but the overall point stands.

Training a lot isn't a problem but training in the wrong way is and a lot of what Tiger has done training-wise just hasn't been optimal, especially with his tendencies for injury.

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truthfully, he doesn't have anything left to prove.  There is Jack and there is Tiger.  That's the way it shall always be. While I'd love to see the big cat walking the course and going low, I think he has to consider his long term health and take some SERIOUS time off, if not hang it up.  Sad, but there are bigger things in life than just golf. 

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

The announcement came out today:

I'm really trying not to have this as a hot take. It's bad form and ugly to pile on a guy who's hurt, and that isn't my intention here. But I wanted to ask this question, just to get a feel of how people think about this.

There are sports injuries in which it just looks like the athlete was cursed; for me, Grant Hill comes to mind. Transcendentally amazing at his peak, he just kept breaking down, and it didn't make sense.

Other athletes, it seems like their injuries were almost an inevitable outcome of their playing style or training.

Tiger's been hurt a lot:

None of us know the truth on this question, but I imagine many of us have impressions/opinions: how much do you see Tiger's injuries as bad luck vs. being self-inflicted?

[Note: let's not turn this into a debate on the rumors of PEDs. Yes, the rumors exist, including ties to a doctor with issues. But we're not going to get anywhere making accusations based on mere speculation.]

I have always wondered if his rather quick bulk-up is responsible?  It seemed like over a couple year period he did a mini version of Bryson.  Significant changes in physique would seem to change stress on various body parts.  In any case, I hope he balances his quality of life (as in mobility and being able to play the game for pure enjoyment) against what is still no doubt a strong desire to add to the list of achievements.

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I think a lot of it is due to his “bulking” up and constantly chasing his swing.




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As someone who has had to deal with back injuries/issues pretty much my entire adult life, first back injury was at age 28, I can say that once that happens it doesn't take much to make that injury re-appear or worsen.

So, while the argument that it's self-inflicted could be seen as valid, in my opinion its all down to the nature of the injury.  Back injuries are a terrible thing to deal with.

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1 hour ago, IDontGiveAchuck said:

As someone who has had to deal with back injuries/issues pretty much my entire adult life, first back injury was at age 28, I can say that once that happens it doesn't take much to make that injury re-appear or worsen.

So, while the argument that it's self-inflicted could be seen as valid, in my opinion its all down to the nature of the injury.  Back injuries are a terrible thing to deal with.

I agree.  I have seen my dad go through the same.  2 back surgeries and it was never the same.  Its workable for golf now but it definitely is a hinderance.  Nothing a few Bud Lights wont help loosen.  I will say his physique is much different than Tiger's!  

Tiger has put his body through the ringer with just golf and he didn't help himself with the "extra circular" workouts.  

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That is a fair point and I'm sure it's part of the problem but I also think having such intense training sessions that you end up puking when you're at his age with his injury history, it's just hard not to still point to it as largely self-inflicted.

As someone who has had to deal with back injuries/issues pretty much my entire adult life, first back injury was at age 28, I can say that once that happens it doesn't take much to make that injury re-appear or worsen.
So, while the argument that it's self-inflicted could be seen as valid, in my opinion its all down to the nature of the injury.  Back injuries are a terrible thing to deal with.


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1 minute ago, FrogginBullfish said:

That is a fair point and I'm sure it's part of the problem but I also think having such intense training sessions that you end up puking when you're at his age with his injury history, it's just hard not to still point to it as largely self-inflicted.

 


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Couldn't agree more.  When trying to recover from a back injury, the last thing you should do is push yourself that hard.

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I think Lee Trevino said back about 5-6 years ago that Tiger would continue to have problems, and so it comes true.  Trevino had several back surgeries and had to change his swing dramatically.  Tiger can't continue with his current regimen and swing mechanics.  He has to change so less pressure is put on his back, and that will include backing off his swing speed a little.  I think he is gifted enough to do it, but I seriously doubt that is what he wants to do.

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I wonder if the young Tiger was simply too fast for his frame. Golf Digest published a swing sequence of Tiger when he was 17 or 18 years old. I distinctly remember the article mentioning that he had already had a back issue. To avoid injury, your body has to be able to withstand the forces of deceleration at the end of the swing. I suspect that bulking up actually protected him from injury. If he hadn’t done that he may have only lasted a few years. All just speculation of course. 

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He is an elite athlete. Since my life time there has been incredible athletes throughout the gambit of sports who seem to be prone to injury.... THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN.
I just see him as one of those athletes. He has achieved a lifetime of accomplishments in the sport. Anytime he departs now or in the future I'll certainly never ask.... What could have been... he's already done it all.

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2 hours ago, Popeye64 said:

He is an elite athlete. Since my life time there has been incredible athletes throughout the gambit of sports who seem to be prone to injury.... THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN.
I just see him as one of those athletes. He has achieved a lifetime of accomplishments in the sport. Anytime he departs now or in the future I'll certainly never ask.... What could have been... he's already done it all.

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I dont know about all that.  When Tiger was younger, he swung so hard and had a swing that is hard on your knees and back.  Not to mentiion he spent a lot of time bulking up in the weight room and he ran a lot.  All of those things spell joint issue when you get older.

I certainly have to disagree with the "no fault of their own" part.

I also dont know that Id say hes done it all.  Jack still has more majors and the what could have been is just how many majors could Tiger have won if he hadnt been so hard on his body when he was younger and if he hadnt wasted so many years on all of the off-course nonsense that he brought upon himself.  Tiger should have gone down in history as the undesputed greatest golfer ever but I dont see him catching, much less passing Jack in terms of major wins and thats always going to be an argument of those who say Tiger isnt the GOAT.

Ive got the utmost of respect for Tiger but if we're going to tell it like it is, well, there it is. 

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I'm not sure how bulking up... building muscle... or anything else one does to improve physically, is detrimental to any kind of athletic endeavor.... or anything in life, to be honest. Unless one uses steroids or another means that is proven to be harmful, I just disagree totally with the notion that being fit and putting on muscle is a detriment to future health.

I understand how a wrong  swing can put stress on a body. I'm sure that has a lot to do with Tiger's current physical problems but, I don't attribute them to his work out regimen. Just my .02.

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I think it has more to do with how much running he used to do than lifting weights. Add in a violent swing plus how many millions of swings pre - adulthood and there you go. Look at Trevino, Palmer, and Nicklaus: they allow the front foot to move in their swing and relieve all that knee pressure...


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On 1/19/2021 at 6:13 PM, 2puttbogey said:

It's not overly surprising. His swing in his prime was very violent on his body. Add up all the rounds, and range time. The body can only take so much before things break down. 

That's what I'd say too. My Dad was an ortho surgeon and when he watched Tiger (from the early years) he said 'that guy is going to have serious back problems when he gets older.' But it's Tiger's body and his life, so I'm not sure what difference it makes what random fans might think - what do we know? Seems like he's done pretty well for himself.

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2 hours ago, silver & black said:

I'm not sure how bulking up... building muscle... or anything else one does to improve physically, is detrimental to any kind of athletic endeavor.... or anything in life, to be honest. Unless one uses steroids or another means that is proven to be harmful, I just disagree totally with the notion that being fit and putting on muscle is a detriment to future health.

I understand how a wrong  swing can put stress on a body. I'm sure that has a lot to do with Tiger's current physical problems but, I don't attribute them to his work out regimen. Just my .02.

100% correct

building muscle and gaining strength will never be hindrances in athletic endeavors or in long term wellness. they will only help your body handle the stresses of your sport and recover more quickly and fully. 

as for anyone who has back, hip, knee, or shoulder issues who has a doctor that tells you to stay away from strengthening the area: please find a new doctor.

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On 1/23/2021 at 1:02 PM, Micah T said:

I think it has more to do with how much running he used to do than lifting weights. Add in a violent swing plus how many millions of swings pre - adulthood and there you go. Look at Trevino, Palmer, and Nicklaus: they allow the front foot to move in their swing and relieve all that knee pressure...


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