How did Tiger Woods improve parts of his game? Through this 9-hour drill.
“When you read a lot of the stuff, he would say, OK, 4:30 a.m. workout — I don’t know how true that is — but then it would be like, nine holes, chip balls, putt, play another nine, have lunch,” Immelman said. “So he would do all of that stuff.”
But this? This was different. Or the same, perhaps more accurately.
This week, as he was dishing for just about two hours on Barstool Sports’ Fore Play podcast (which you can — and should — listen to in full here), Immelman was asked what “a legitimate, hard-core practice session” looks like. The 2008 Masters champion flashed back to when he and Woods became closer in the early 2000s.
And this was both legitimate and hard core.
“What he at times, which I found fascinating because I wasn’t doing anything like that at that moment — this is like 2005, 2006 — he at times would dedicate like a day or two days to one part,” Immelman said on the podcast. “And so like he would putt for two days. Or he would chip for two days. Because he thought that he needed to go into an aspect of the game and just get lost for a long period of time, and that’s when he would find the little things that could give him an edge.”
“Just putting for like eight, nine hours a day,” Immelman continued on the podcast. “And then he would do it again the next day. Wouldn’t go and hit a drive. Wouldn’t go and hit a chip. Just putt. Just putt. Get lost in the art of putting, figure stuff out.
“And that’s how I think he would own it back then. He owned it. I never did that until then. I learned that from him.”
And what did Immelman learn from learning it?
“Where I also think it’s smart is a couple reasons,” he said on the podcast. “First of all, what he explained to me was you could get lost in it and maybe have like a eureka moment where you’re just like, that, that’s it, this is it. If I just feel this, then I start them where I want, or I get the right speed, or hit in the middle, whatever it may be.
“And then the other thing, it builds that kind of endurance for him. And I think, it’s not like we’re Navy SEALs or running into brick walls or anything like that, but it gives you that toughness, where if you just stand up there and you’re like, I’m going to make 50 in a row and I’m not going to leave until I’ve done that; I’m going to make 100 in a row, whatever it is, from 5 feet or 3 feet, whatever.
“That toughness to complete the task, keep failing until you get it done, those are the sort of things you can rely on when you’re out on your own, coming down the stretch in a tournament, and you’ve got this putt on like the 17th hole or the 18th hole, and as you’re coming out of your crouch from reading the putt, you’re like, man, for every day for the last two months, I’ve made 50 of these in a row. Like, I’ve put the work in. This is it, I’m making this.”
Not long after the revelation, Immelman won his Masters.
“He’s got an incredible golf mind,” Immelman said of Woods.
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