Originally created 10/09/01

Tiger makes another debut - as an author



Another book about Tiger Woods will be released on Tuesday, but this one will be vastly different than the other five dozen.

For one thing, it's his.

Woods makes his debut as an author with "How I Play Golf," an instructional book that includes tips he has given Golf Digest magazine the past several years with fresh reviews, anecdotes and seven secrets to his success.

The expectations are mammoth. Warner Books has printed 1.5 million copies, and it will be available in 14 languages. The cost for the 306-page book is $34.95.

"A very good first printing for a hardcover, nonfiction book like Tiger's might be 50,000 to 100,000," said Rick Wolff, vice president and executive editor at Warner. "This is the level of a John Grisham or a Stephen King."

Woods wrote the book with Golf Digest editors Pete McDaniel and Guy Yocum.

From the time he won a record third straight U.S. Amateur in 1996, to becoming the youngest Masters champion and then the first player to win four straight professional majors, Woods has been a popular topic for books.

His agents estimate at least 70 books have been written about Woods.

"This is the first and only book he has authorized," Wolff said. "And it's an absolutely beautiful book. We decided to use every bell and whistle we can to represent Tiger in the best way. Most people who have seen the book said, 'You could have charged a lot more.' We wanted it to be accessible to a lot of people."

Unlike other well-known instructional books, such as the "Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan and "Golf My Way" by Jack Nicklaus, Woods' book uses his own terminology and was designed to appeal to both serious players and young people.

One chapter is titled, "How to handle problems when it starts getting ugly."

"We tried to make the book fun, which is hard to do with an instruction book," Wolff said. "But it's meant to be a hip, humorous, fun book to read."

McDaniel and Yocum have worked with Woods in his Golf Digest tips. McDaniel, who also wrote "Uneven Lies," a book on the history of black golfers, said those who think they know everything about Woods will be surprised.

"The first part of the book is pure instruction and a lot of that stuff you've read in Golf Digest," McDaniel said. "The second part of the book is what's inside his head, and that's what most people will be interested in."

Woods teaches readers how to play golf from green back to the tee, the way his father taught him. McDaniel said the book includes caricatures of Woods to illustrate points, and every lesson comes with an anecdote.

He also reveals seven secrets, such as his strategy when a tournament comes down to a match-play situation.

"He will intentionally use less club off the tee so that he can hit first into a green and apply the pressure," McDaniel said.

The first time Woods used that strategy as a professional was in Las Vegas in 1996, when he defeated Davis Love III in a playoff for his first victory. Woods hit 3-wood off the tee, and hit his approach into about 20 feet; Love hit his approach into a bunker.

McDaniel said another secret from Woods was how to maximize his power by snapping his left leg through impact.

"These are things that he has never revealed," McDaniel said.

Other topics in the book include what goes through his mind before a shot, how he deals with the emotion of bad shots, and keys to a good diet and fitness plan.

McDaniel said the book makes no promises.

"He doesn't claim you're going to play like him," McDaniel said. "It's intended for people to be the best they can be by emulating the best player in the world."