|Playing with Tiger Woods|
by Joe Hodge
I had the pleasure of playing in a Nike “Tee It Up With Tiger” event at the Reunion in Orlando, Fla. in 2005. The event was a treat for club professionals like myself. The clinic Tiger gave before the event dazzled the twenty-eight guest of Nike. One gentleman asked if Tiger could hook the ball at will, Tiger demonstrated a gorgeous draw with an eight iron. He then followed up with an equally impressive fade of the ball. The gentlemen asked, “Do you ever use those shots?” Tiger replied “my last name isn’t Woods for nothing.”
As the scramble format started to take shape, the event officials informed me that Tiger would rotate among groups for two holes at a time. They also informed me that my group would be first off Hole #1 when we started. The two to three thousand people watching made my group and myself a little nervous. The first hole was a double fairway and I was embarrassed to ask Tiger which way the hole went. I proceeded to play down the right side for a dogleg right. Tiger stepped up and aimed over the trees left and hit a rocket. The crowd commented that his ball might have been on the green. I felt like a true club professional.
The group made birdie and moved to the second hole, a par three about 125 yards long. My claim to fame was that I outdrove Tiger on this hole. My shot was about 20 feet away and all of my team members had missed the putt. Tiger knocked the ball in dead center. I asked Tiger what it would be like to see a putt four times prior to putting. He said in a soft voice, “I would never miss” and with that he thanked us for joining him.
Professional Golfers and Golf Professionals have different roles in the great game of golf but it is sure nice to share stories.