Breaking down the positives in Tiger Woods’ game from the 2022 season

Welcome to Play Smart, a game improvement column and podcast from editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.

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We’re all rooting for Tiger Woods. How could you not? No one would’ve begrudged the 15-time major champ to coast into the sunset after his horrifying car accident last year. But Tiger Woods is Tiger Woods. The man loves golf, and he thirsts to push himself to get even better.

2022, considering the context, was a monumental success in that regard: Playing three majors — and making the cut in two — puts his comeback way ahead of schedule. Yet his missed cut performance at the Old Course last month drew his 2022 major season to a slightly gloomy close.

So, on Thursday’s edition of the Play Smart podcast, my co-host Reed Howard and I do a brief breakdown of Tiger’s 2022 major season from a game-improvement perspective.

Let’s start with the positives, of which there are many. But the big ones:

  • He’s physically capable of playing, and walking hilly golf courses.
  • That he’s still boasting average ball speeds around 180 mph.
  • His leg seems to be gradually getting stronger and more mobile with each start.
  • He’s still comfortable and able to work the ball through his “9 windows”

There are some negatives too, which we get into. But as we see it, the main problem is rust. Lack of tournament starts is the biggest thing that holds various parts of Tiger’s game back. This is especially true with the low-left miss that keeps popping up in his game.

But as his leg gets stronger and stronger, it’ll be a problem that becomes easier to solve. It’s why, we’re wonder, hoping and excited about another magical moment, maybe, being yet to come.

Listen to the full 12-minute episode below, and subscribe on Apple here.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.