September 16, 2008

By Tiger Woods

My rehabilitation is going well. Although I won't be able to swing a club until early next year, my left knee is getting stronger and the doctors are pleased with my progress. I just can't rotate on my leg and I still don't know what my first event will be in 2009.

As for being away from the game, there are definitely certain things I miss. I miss the competition, and I miss the preparation. If I tried to play now, you would see some of the worst shots you've ever seen.

I plan to watch the Ryder Cup this week, but I will not attend. U.S. captain Paul Azinger has my cell phone number and he or any US player can call me any time. If I can offer any assistance, I'm happy to help. I doubt I can do much, since I can't play practice rounds and am not privy to their team chemistry. I also don't know who is playing well, who is injured, and have no feel for how the course is playing. But I'll be happy to offer my opinion. I wish the American team well and hope they can bring back the Cup.

The next big event on my schedule is the fourth annual Block Party on Oct. 11 in Orange County. This year, we're looking forward to a gourmet dinner prepared by Chef Mario Batali and a musical performance from Seal, who was fantastic at Tiger Jam III back in 2000. The Block Party has been a huge success for us and is our way of thanking the local community for supporting the Learning Center. So far, the event has raised about $3 million for the Center's career exploration programs.

I recently spent time at my golf course design projects, Al Ruwaya Golf Course in Dubai and at The Cliffs at High Carolina in North Carolina, reviewing the progress of both. The two are going very well.

I also spent a couple days in New York, where we launched my new EA Sports video game: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09. I attended a reception and U.S. Olympians Michael Phelps, Bryan Clay, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor stopped by to say hello. I enjoyed hanging out with them, and Phelps was naturally exhausted. It was nice of him to stop by and wish me luck with my new video game launch. I watched most of the Olympics on television and have to say his performance was definitely one of the all-time feats of any individual athlete in one Olympics.

I also went to a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game with a few friends. Afterward, I caught up with my buddy Derek Jeter.

I was hoping to go see Roger Federer play in the U.S. Open, but it never worked out. He had reached three Grand Slam finals in a row and I was glad to see him win. We always give each other a hard time. He now has 13 Grand Slam titles and is one way from the record held by Pete Sampras. He's closer than I am to the record; I have 14 titles and Jack Nicklaus has 18. But I might be playing competitively a little longer than him.

As you have probably heard, Elin and I will become parents again, and we're as thrilled as you can possibly be. Elin is doing great and is perfectly healthy. The only difference this time is we're getting less sleep because of Sam. We didn't want to know if it was a boy or a girl the first time, and we're not going to find out this time.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and talk to you soon.



By Tiger Woods, Golf Digest Playing Editor, Edited By Pete McDaniel and Mark Soltau

Belt Buckle To The Target

For distance control from the sand, turn your lower body through the shot

I'm always amazed at the confusion over the lower body's role in green-side bunker play. Here's a rule of thumb: quiet lower body on the backswing, active lower body on the through-swing.

A lot of amateurs fail to consistently execute greenside bunker shots because they lock the lower body in place and get real handsy or armsy with the swing. As a result, they often decelerate through the shot, sometimes leaving the ball in the bunker.

Rotating your lower body toward the target helps propel the ball from the sand and assists in maintaining acceleration. Try this for a swing thought: Turn your belt buckle to the target.

For me, keeping my lower body and upper body connected throughout the swing is the key to controlling distance from greenside sand. If one or the other is out of sync, you can bet my percentage of sand saves will decrease.

Keep your lower body moving through impact, and you'll become a better bunker player.


Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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