The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
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The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,549 ratings  ·  222 reviews
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 h...more
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2012)
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Kim Peterson
Boring and Hank Haney comes across as whiny and hurt. Haney is filled with inner turmoil during his time coaching Tiger, most of which didn't make sense. Tiger didn't give him a popsicle. And he really wanted a popsicle. Should he just ask if it's ok to have one or get it out of the refrigerator himself? Seriously.

I felt he wrote this book to give the finger to all the naysayers who said Tiger really suffered under his coaching. There wasn't much humility here, especially at the end when he coun...more
Heidi Britton
Golf and I do not have a good relationship at all. In fact I hate golf – I wish golf would go straight to hell. I tried to like it – heck I even had a short period of time where I became determined to learn how to play golf because my better half likes it so much. It did not end well. My husband, on the other hand, loves golf. He watches golf. He plays golf. He talks about golf. Damn you golf you leave my man alone. Needless to say, I had no intention of ever, ever, ever reading a book about…..g...more
Andrew R.
This book reveals more about Hank Harney than it does about Tiger Woods, who remains a cipher to even those in his closest circles (and possibly even to himself).

Harney seems to have written this book to exonerate himself as a swing coach. The truth is, we'll never know if Tiger's game would have been better had he taken a different coach. This book does reinforce a point -- Tiger's greatest enemy is Tiger.

If you love golf and love Tiger, you'll probably like this book. I am a total non-fan wh...more
Jay Connor
OK, I admit it. I picked up “The Big Miss” expecting a train wreck. Like a voyeur, I was hoping for either the inside dirt on Tiger’s Greek fall or an ego/pitty parade where Haney casts himself as the innocent guide more “sinned against than sinning.”

“The Big Miss” failed to deliver on those counts; rather, it is an excellent exploration of what it takes to be great and the unintended consequences of the effort. The theme of the big miss is expertly woven throughout this very engaging book. Not...more
Clayton
I really enjoyed this book. Even if you're not a big golf fan I think you may find fascinating the relationship between Tiger Woods and coach Hank Haney. If you're not a golf fan though you may find it difficult to sit through all of the miniscule descriptions of holding the club face, hitting the ball, working on longshots. Haney tended to be a bit repetitive in his descriptions and context as related to different golf tournaments but overall I thought he did a good job painting a picture of Ti...more
Drew Danko
In deciding to purchase this book I was mainly motivated by certain questions I've had about Tiger's personality,his relationship with his caddies, his reason for changing a very successful swing and if this book did in fact cross some kind of boundary. I'm a fan of Tiger the golfer, not so much of Tiger the person off the golf course and this book did nothing to change that except increase my sense of tragedy in Tiger's life.

It is tragic that Tiger is such a closed person as I imagine it cuts h...more
Robert Strandquist
Tattle-tales attract us with alleged secrets, and Hank Haney uses a magnetic spectrum of them to do so. Without delving into each tale spanning his six year involvement with Tiger, suffice it to say that my curiosity is satisfied. Haney paints a Picasso-like, cubist portrait where Tiger's complexity grows over time evolving from the parent-guided child prodigy to self-deluded broken father. Especially compelling for me were the insights into Tiger's belief that intense range practice provides th...more
Don Nissen
Very insightful, very interesting book about what it takes, and what it takes from you, to be a legend. Told from the front-row-seat of his teacher, Hank Haney elaborates on the process and the challenges and the frustrations of trying to harness the impatient abilities of the greatest ever to swing a golf club. You'll learn of the many disappointing flaws of the man behind that mask, but Haney balances them with heaps of praise and offers compassionate observations for the flaws. (The big scand...more
LA Carlson
Jul 04, 2012 LA Carlson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: golf junkies
Recommended to LA by: media hype
Shelves: non-fiction
One of the reason Haney wrote the book is probably because he never signed a confidential agreement with Woods. However, after reading insights into Tiger's personality there isn't much to be inspired about. We already know he's rude, self-absorbed and clearly his behavior on and off the golf course isn't how true golf legends conduct themselves. He doesn't care about his young fans or Elin, now his ex-wife. I hope his kids fair better with him.
Tiger had respect, fame, a gorgeous wife with ador...more
Fernando Montenegro
Aug 22, 2012 Fernando Montenegro rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Golfers
An intimate view into the life of Hank Haney as Tiger Woods' swing coach from 2004 to 2010. I liked the book, primarily because it is detailed about the 'true life' of a professional golfer and Haney does a great job of coming across as sincere and respectful. After watching a few of his shows on Golf Channel, I sense that he either conveyed a lot of his genuine emotions or he is a d*mn good actor.

The book covers a little of his early history and then delves into all phases of his relationship w...more
Kush Sikand
Hank Haney, the former swing coach of Tiger Woods, wrote a great novel in The Big Miss; it provided insight into the minds of one of the most dominant athletes of all time. I learned a lot of things about Tiger Woods, and I think my low amount of respect I had for him since his infamous scandal lowered even more. An interesting thing that Haney wrote was that Woods was often self-centered, and this was in great contradiction to the public's view of Tiger who saw him as a genuine man and someone...more
Alan
I was a little surprised at how much Hank retained from personal conversations with Woods. It was almost like he knew he was going to write a book, so he remembered to keep even text messages that were sent to Woods. How does someone 'keep' text messages to quote from later? Unless you send a copy to yourself. Makes me a little uncomfortable.

A lot of technical jargon interspersed in the book, which did not mean a lot to me. Probably confirms why I still shoot in the 90s... on a good day. This ma...more
Jennifer
I read this to find out why he wrote it, why he chose this time to reveal personal things about his former employer and private person. No doubt it is fascinating in a purient way to read the private conversations and observations but feels unsavory to me, even despite the lack of sympathy one has for Tiger. In the last chapter he spends time validating Wood's record with his time vs the prior swing coach and i suspect that is the point of the book, to shut up those that complain Haney's work wa...more
Jeff
The book was fine. I enjoyed the insights into Tiger, I feel like I know him better through his book, though he doesn't sound like the friendliest person in the world. I did have two issues with this book. 1) Parts of the book go into very technical detail about swing mechanics, which I couldn't understand since I am not much of a golfer. 2) Haney spends much of the book defending his record and trying to tell people what a great teacher he is. He goes out of his way to show he has a better reco...more
Krista
My husband made me read it. It is so rare for him to want to read anything that I willingly obliged, plus I am fascinated by Tiger and Hank. This was remarkable insight into Tiger's character, even if only from a couple of peoples' perspectives. I would like to read the same story from his viewpoint, but know that is highly unlikely since Tiger is far from being an open book or the type of person to tell his (real) story. It's part of what makes him a champion, an addict, an icon. Even during th...more
Tom Newman
If you want to learn about golf from Hank Haney, read his book "Essentials of the Swing instead. This book is more like a bad soap opera with some insightful information about some of Tiger's greatest, and worst, performances. Tiger's a great golfer, but with the social skills of a sheltered child, Hank is upset because he isn't offered a popsicle & Steve Williams is mad because Tiger won't talk to him. I don't know if Tiger will catch Jack Nicklaus, and it will be a great drama to watch him...more
Kimberlee
First of all I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads winner. I have to say I liked this book more than I expected. I thought this was just someone trying to get rich off of a famous athletes name. Boy was I wrong! Hank Haney is a terrific narrator and writes with much respect to Tiger Woods and the game of golf. My only downside was how much golf was really in this book. I knew the book is about golfing but I mean the intricacies and all the in depth golf stuff! I recommend this book to...more
Jared Ober
I thought this book was very good. I expected Hank to expose and criticize Tiger Woods but he was brutally honest in his assessment and seemed to go out of his way to not tear down Tiger. Actually, there was FAR more praise for Tiger and his game than expected. Some people have complained that this book was about Haney whining but I couldn't disagree more. Haney really calls it like it is, from the things he fixed to the things he couldn't fix. Others have called Haney a terrible human being for...more
Hilary
I will preface this as you must either have a keen interest in golf or Tiger Woods to read this book. About 65% of the book is golf technique and 45% is about Tiger's meltdown and recovery.

I have a husband who has a 6-7 handicap so I by default know more than I should about golf.

I also happen to love Tiger - because even though he is a cheater which is horrible - he is literally the greatest athlete of all time. I know you are thinking WHAT?! But - no other athlete has as many wins as Tiger in...more
Nicole
I'm a fan of Tiger so reading about his commitment to the game was fascinating. I still find it hard to believe how much of his game (all of it!) he is reinventing - even up to the majors. Can't shake the feeling though that there was too much Hank was trying to take for himself in Tiger's achievements. He seems mostly bruised because he wasn't his confidant- and given his writing of the book-probably wise decision on Tiger's part!
Ryan
What you'd expect. Tiger's really intense, very private, kind of a dick, a great competitor and athlete. Not too much insight here.
Jonny99
More of a hit than it sounds. Psychologists have demonstrated that humans seems to have an inborn sense of ethics. They demonstrate this in experiments where most people see as ethical a decision to save a train-full of passengers by throwing a switch that results in the death of a track worker. Conversely, they see as unethical the shoving of that worker onto a track to save these same passengers. why the difference when the outcome is the same? This sense of morality will be tingling as you re...more
Jack
A very interesting read. I'm not a huge Tiger or golf fan, but my Dad is and I was thinking I might get this for him as a present, so I read it with that in mind. I am a student of sports biomechanics and I did a project on the golf swing when I was in grad school, so I did find the minutiae of Tiger's golf swing and how they worked to change it fascinating. I loved this aspect of the book.

The part I found troubling was Haney's thoughts on Tiger's personality. While Tiger is certainly no picnic...more
Malvin
Looking at his journey spanning 6 years with one of the world's most renowned athlete, Hank shares his challenging experience as Tiger's swing coach and describes how Tiger operate as a golfer. Besides the account of the ups and downs in various championships and the training regime, Hank delves into the technical side of game, discussing merits of techniques and giving insights into Tiger's areas of improvement. Fans following Tiger closely will relate to some of the highlights and certainly, d...more
Robert
The Big Miss is supposed to be a golf book, but really everyone is reading it for the behind-the-curtain look into Tiger Woods’ life while Hank Haney was his swing coach for six years. In fact, there are many parts of the book that break down things like Tiger’s swing plane and where he should put his hands in relationship to his hips in the downswing, and…zzzzzzzzzzzz. I found those parts of the book really rather boring actually.

In relation to Tiger’s game, the parts I found most fascinating w...more
Jeff Stafford


Although I thought Hank was wrong to write this book, I found it to be very insightful. I found it hard to put down once I got 50 pages in. I sort of knew Tiger was a private person but expected he was more open with his inner circle. It would seem there are few or any person he has a true friendship. I always thought Tiger was a fun loving jokester amongst his inner circle and maybe he is but this clearly was not the case from Haney's viewpoint. Woods would be amongst many people's dream fours...more
Minna
BLEEEEEEEEEEEEECH. To be honest I skimmed most of it. SO. MUCH. GOLF. I get it, Hank Haney was Tiger's coach, so he spent a lot of time analyzing his game. Yes, I get it. BUT. Unless you are SUPER INTO GOLF this book will mean nothing to you/possibly put you to sleep/bore you to tears. Literally 80% of this book was in-depth, detailed, INCREDIBLY detailed, meticulous analysis of golf. Swings. Putts. Angles. Chips. Blahblahblahblahblah don't care. Another 15% was self-indulgent, self-congratulati...more
Nick
This was a pretty good read. An interesting tale of six years spent probably as close as anyone can get to Tiger Woods. Of course you have to take things with a grain of salt, as you would anytime reading a book by someone formerly employed by the person they are writing about. That said, Hank Haney paints a very fair picture. He seems to genuinely like Tiger, and wants him to succeed, but the task is just too difficult. It eventually borders on pathetic, with Hank texting, emailing and calling...more
Kay Wall
I hadn't intended reading this book but my friend read it and some of the comments she made got me interested. I read it in three days and enjoyed it. The insights Hank Haney offers about Tiger Woods make watching him in tournaments on TV more interesting. Considering how golf has been such a huge part of Tiger Woods' life, almost since birth, you wonder what sort of person he really is. Not a lot of social skills, it seems, but really good at presenting what his sponsors and public want to see....more
Grant Guthery
Grant Guthery
Honors English III
Choice Book Review
23 May 2012

The Big Miss: Tiger Woods

The Big Miss is Hank Haney’s review of his brief time teaching Tiger Woods. It is simply a reflection upon what Hank knew would be his last and most pressure filled coaching job ever as the tutor to what he considers to be the greatest player ever. Tiger is a very complex person to whom Hank had to instruct on a day-to-day basis under powerful media scrutiny as Tiger was in his prime during the “Haney years”. H...more
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