SBD/March 30, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Hank Haney Earns Mixed Reviews For "The Big Miss," His Book About Tiger Woods

HANK HANEY Tuesday released "THE BIG MISS," which chronicles his six years serving as TIGER WOODS' swing coach, and if Haney is “guilty of anything” in the book, it is “holding back" during his time with Woods, according to Rex Hoggard of GOLFCHANNEL.com. Haney said that the book would “offer a snapshot of his time with Woods and would not be a tell-all.” By and large he “followed the letter of that charter.” The book offers an “interesting, if not sometimes wonky and one-sided, glimpse into a complicated relationship and a man thrust into a difficult situation.” GOLFCHANNEL.com's John Hawkins noted Haney details the “extraordinary levels of turbulence and uncertainty that made dealing with Woods such a chore.” Those who question Haney’s motivation for writing the book would “do well to read it before rushing to judgment or offering presumptuous opinions on Haney’s integrity.” Hawkins found the “behind-the-curtain peek quite interesting, notably the chaos so prevalent in Tiger’s world, much of it due to fame and injury, and the eggshells everyone seemed to walk on when things weren’t going well” (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 3/27). GOLFWEEK’s Bradley Klein notes there is a “level of insight into Woods throughout this book that is rare and much overdue.” Haney could have “come across as whiny or as a diva who was trying to get back at Woods.” He instead “offers an incredibly thoughtful and respectful analysis, and a devastating portrayal of a celebrated athlete whose public glories masked a day-to-day existence of profound superficiality” (GOLFWEEK, 3/30 issue). In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda noted the book “does offer a penetrating and insightful study of what makes Woods who he is both as a great athlete and a conflicted human being.” It is an “entertaining read, and a revealing look at a complex superstar.” The technical aspects of what and how Haney taught Woods “will appeal to the swing-nuts.” And the behind-the-scenes prep work and anecdotes “are more than a little interesting.” At its “core is the coach-player relationship, which is fascinating on many levels” (PALM BEACH POST, 3/28).

REVIEWS: In Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. wondered, “Did Haney go too far?” It is “surprising how much Haney shared.” It will “help book sales but it feels like he’s telling stories Woods never imagined would be told publicly.” Haney in the book "tells his side of the story, and it’s an enlightening story." But it is "also Tiger’s story, undoubtedly and understandably more of it than he wanted told" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/25). The GUARDIAN’s Lawrence Donegan wrote there is “no doubt he set out to write a book purely about golf.” Now that it has been published “perhaps he still genuinely believes it is a book purely about golf.” Donegan: “Unfortunately for him, he forgot to tell the publishers. ... The juiciest morsels were all ‘leaked’ in advance.” He wrote the “best that can be said about these ‘revelations’ is that there are not many of them.” The “worst is that they constitute an unforgivable betrayal” (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 3/29). CBSSPORTS.com’s Steve Elling wrote “The Big Miss” is “the most anticipated book in golf history." After reading the entire book last week in one sitting, and "despite a few personal reservations about the disclosure of some delicate inside information, it was obvious that tell-almost-all tome will be zooming straight to the top of the book charts.” Elling noted after he showed up at the PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational last week with an advanced copy, “three different reporters with other media outlets borrowed it on consecutive days and also tore through it before dumping it back on my desk the next morning” (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/27).
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