The Big Miss

  • by Hank Haney
  • Narrated by Hank Haney
  • 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Big Miss is Hank Haney's candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history.
Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance: at tournaments; on the practice range; over meals, with his wife, Elin; and relaxing with friends.
The relationship between the two men began in March 2004, when Hank received a call from Tiger in which the golf champion asked him to be his coach. It was a call that would change both men's lives.
Tiger - only 28 at the time - was by then already an icon, judged by the sporting press as not only one of the best golfers ever, but possibly the best athlete ever. Already, he was among the world's highest paid celebrities. There was an air of mystery surrounding him, an aura of invincibility. Unique among athletes, Tiger seemed to be able to shrug off any level of pressure and find a way to win. But Tiger was always looking to improve, and he wanted Hank's help.
What Hank soon came to appreciate was that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he'd ever met, let alone coached. Although Hank had worked with hundreds of elite golfers and was not easily impressed, there were days watching Tiger on the range when Hank couldn't believe what he was witnessing. On those days, it was impossible to imagine another human playing golf so perfectly.
And yet Tiger is human - and Hank's expert eye was adept at spotting where Tiger's perfection ended and an opportunity for improvement existed. Always haunting Tiger was his fear of "the big miss" - the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round - and it was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger's game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.
Hank's most formidable coaching challenge, though, would be solving the riddle of Tiger's personality. Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank - or Tiger's family and friends, for that matter - was spared "the treatment".
Toward the end of Tiger's and Hank's time together, the champion's laser-like focus began to blur, and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing - a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger's behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game. Hints that Tiger hungered to reinvent himself were present in his bizarre infatuation with elite military training, and - in a development Hank didn't see coming - in the scandal that would make headlines in late 2009. It all added up to a big miss that Hank, try as he might, couldn't save Tiger from.
There's never been a book about Tiger Woods that is as intimate and revealing - or one so wise about what it takes to coach a superstar athlete.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very Mixed Feelings

First let me say that I am an ex-professional golfer and totally understood everything Hank says. But, I seriously doubt that the average golfer will understand or comprehend the vast amount of technical swing comments made in this book.

Secondly, I do not agree with the fact that Hank felt the need to write this book. There is so much personal trust in the relationship between athletes and those that surround them that there is an unspoken code that must be respected. I feel that Hank shattered that code and I will never respect him for that... only time will tell how Hank's reputation is effected.

But, thirdly, for those out there who want to get a glimpse of the intense work and pressure that a world class athlete is under, Hank does a nice job of getting that across. Had there not been the stigma of "kiss and tell", I would have thoroughly enjoyed the book. And, of course, this was Hank's opinion and story... I'm sure Tiger's recollection would be much different.

Was the book fair... maybe. Should it have been written... absolutely not.

I would also like to make a technical comment about the narration. Hank did a great job which is unusual for a writer who chooses to narrate. But, there were times in the narration, that there seemed like another voice came in like a voice over... I'm not sure if it was Hank doing a voice over or some other narrator cleaning up mistakes. Whatever, it wasn't annoying.
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- E. L. Robertson "TourOnly"

My review is biased but this book is aggravating

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better book... The book is a self-indulgent attempt to stabilize and uphold Haney’s reputation. It is a golf book I will give him that but it is only a golf book because he is very descriptive of Tigers stroke and his coaching in an effort to cover up the underlying message of the book which runs along the lines of...


What do you think your next listen will be?

Payne Stewarts Biography


How could the performance have been better?

the outtakes and voice dubbing could have been more streamed lined...


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Big Miss?

around chapter 3 or 4 when he starts getting critical of Tigers swing you can tell portions of the audio recording / book were edited for PC reasons...


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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-27-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio