Tiger Woods returns to the golf course: Here are 7 key questions

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods last April at the Masters.

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It was a short course. And they were short-iron swings. 

But it was a course. And they were swings. 

So celebrate, Tiger Woods fans. Your man is back! 

Or not. Your guy is just a 15-time-major-winner … in-progress. 

Honestly, the takeaway is probably somewhere in the middle. Here’s what we do know. This weekend, as part of the TGR Jr Invitational held at the Hay and the Links at Spanish Bay on the Pebble Beach property, Woods was filmed playing holes with his son, Charlie, at the Hay, a course he designed. After a scan, there appear to be four videos of his first-known golf since withdrawing during the third round of the Masters in April, and undergoing another procedure on his right leg days later. 

Again, the videos weren’t much, but they were something. And they’re at least worth asking some questions about, so let’s do that.

The first one is obvious. 

1. How did Woods look?

Good. In one video, released by TaylorMade (one of his sponsors) on Saturday and lasting 9 seconds, Woods stepped to his ball, waited five seconds and hit. 

In another video released by TaylorMade, this one lasting 10 seconds, Woods’ swing is similar. Here, someone in the background asks for the ball to “kick left.” Afterward, Woods gently thumps his club into the turf. 

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On Sunday, the NUCLR Golf site tracked down four more videos — two of Woods and two of his son — and shared them. One video of the elder Woods showed similar action to the first two videos. In that video, a voice in the background narrates, saying: “Out here live on location at the Hay. Tiger Woods on hole 7. We got Charlie Woods. Tiger Woods Foundation. [Woods swings.] Tigerrrr. Short.” The other video of the elder Woods is shot greenside as he’s on the tee. He hits to about 8 feet. 

In reaction to the second TaylorMade video, swing instructor Travis Fulton said this on Twitter: “Of all the swings Tiger Woods has made and his numerous comebacks…..this is my least favorite.”

2. How did Woods’ right leg look?

We slowed the three tee-box videos, and each showed this:

On the follow-through, his right foot comes up a little, moves forward, then moves back. 

On Twitter, Golf Digest’s Luke Kerr-Dineen also noticed this:

“Look closely at Tiger’s right leg. Seems like he’s struggling to get his weight off his trail side, which is why you can spot his right leg buckling slightly on the way through. (this is not a criticism, btw, just an observation)

“This is, of course, to be expected based on all he’s been through. Tiger himself has talked about this being an ongoing issue in his swing. One thing that remains true: Tiger is Tiger. No matter what he’s working with, you can’t ever count him out.”

3. Can we see the videos?

You bet. 

Here is the first one from TaylorMade:

Here is the second one from TaylorMade:

Here are the videos from NUCLR Golf:

4. Anything else from the videos?

Woods was wearing a green-and-white patterned shirt, a black-and-white patterned hat and gray pants. GOLF’s Claire Rogers noted this about the fit:

“Breaking news: this is the first time I’ve seen tiger woods wear a patterned hat and a patterned shirt at the same time”

5. So … is Woods playing tournaments anytime soon?

On the PGA Tour, likely not. The Tour is currently playing its fall events. 

But in early December, he does host the Hero World Challenge. Then two weeks later, they’re playing the PNC Championship, a major winner-relative team event that he has played the past three years with Charlie.  

Is there any speculation?

LOL. Of course. But Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis did share this on Saturday night: 

“I believe there is a good chance we will see @TigerWoods tee it up at the Hero World Challenge later this year.”

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As for my humble guess?

He’ll play the PNC. Woods has spoken fondly of the experience in the past — and he wouldn’t risk that by playing in the Hero two weeks earlier. 

After that, we can speculate more. In January, TGL Golf starts, and he’s played a large role in the formation of the indoor golf series. In February, he hosts the Genesis Invitational. In April is the Masters.   

6. Has Woods himself said anything?

For the most part, he’s been mum since April. Notably, he was added to the PGA Tour’s policy board in August as part of a shakeup as the Tour negotiates a partnership with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund — and in a statement shared by the Tour he said just: “I am honored to represent the players of the PGA Tour. This is a critical point for the Tour, and the players will do their best to make certain that any changes that are made in Tour operations are in the best interest of all Tour stakeholders, including fans, sponsors and players. The players thank Commissioner [Jay] Monahan for agreeing to address our concerns, and we look forward to being at the table with him to make the right decisions for the future of the game that we all love. He has my confidence moving forward with these changes.”

Woods was also filmed last month at Liberty National in New Jersey during an event, where in a clinic he was asked for his best tip for amateurs — to which he said: “Don’t watch f—in’ YouTube. Go hit balls. Just beating balls.”

You can watch that video below:

7. Anything else?

Yeah, this is pretty good. 

One of the kids at the TGR Jr Invitational made a hole in one. 

With Woods watching just yards away. 

We’ll end this by sharing the video below:

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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.

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