Tiger Woods says one of his biggest regrets ‘destroyed’ his body

Tiger Woods during his 2008 U.S. Open victory. A few days later, he underwent left knee surgery.

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For the first part of his career, Tiger Woods would start his day with a four-mile run. Next, he’d lift at the gym, play golf for two to three hours and work on his short game. Woods would end his day with another four-miler and possibly some basketball or tennis.  

The running “destroyed” him, he said. 

“Yeah, not to run so much,” Woods said on GolfTV when asked by a fan: “If you had one thing you could go back in time and tell your younger self, what would it be?”

“Running over 30 miles a week for probably my first five, six years on Tour pretty much destroyed my body and my knees,” Woods said.

Indeed. Woods has nearly as many major championships (15) as he’s had either injuries, flare-ups or procedures (27), according to compilations done by the Associated Press and the Golf Channel. Among them are seven left knee injuries, flare-ups or procedures (five of which came before 2009); three Achilles injuries; and 12 back injuries, flare-ups or procedures, including four surgeries and the latest injury, which kept him out of the Players Championship, the final tournament before the coronavirus hiatus.

There may be some explanation for the exertion. 

“When I first came out here, I was the only guy in the gym,” Woods recently on CBS’ “Tiger Tales.” “There was nobody else. Generally, that’s when athletes peak, around 25. Fortunately for me, I was able to take advantage of my peak years.”

Woods won 14 of his majors before he turned 33.  

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.