Presidents Cup: Could Becoming A Coach Save Tiger Woods’ Image?

For the first time in months, Tiger Woods makes his way back to the golf course in what could become a role that defines the second half of his career.

The image of Tiger hoisting a Claret Jug or donning a Green Jacket in the future seems pretty bleak and uncertain. But Tiger Woods the coach could help turn his career around. A little while back, Woods’ first swing coach Butch Harmon was asked about if he would take Tiger back as a student. He answered ‘no’.

Not because he hated Tiger or because he is a grumpy old man. It’s because he thought Tiger didn’t need him. He went on to say that Woods is the greatest golfer on the planet and didn’t need a coach. Woods is so advanced in the sport that he can figure out the kinks in his swing without a second set of eyes.

The only thing holding Woods back is his injuries and even Woods doesn’t know what that timetable entails. He eluded to that in today’s press conference.

“As far as my health I am feeling great,” Tiger told the press Wednesday. “My timetable is based on what my surgeon says. As I eluded to last week I am hitting 60-yard shots. I am hitting it really straight.”

Then something happened, Tiger stopped being a robot for a second and became human. Like when Pinocchio transformed from a wooden puppet into a boy.

Tiger’s smile grew as wide as the table and said: “It’s a joke….smile,” as he laughed.

It’s interesting to see this lightheartedness from Woods. Maybe he’s coming to terms with the fact that this life is short and sometimes golf careers are too. As foreign as it may seem to some people.

Woods could start to transition to a new role in his golf life. Instead of being a player he could switch to being a swing coach for someone and indirectly help a guy like Justin Thomas or Rickie Fowler win major championships. We all – not just Tiger – need to come to terms with the fact that his career would eventually end and he would assume this image as an older man who imparts his wisdom upon the younger players. Nobody thought it would come this soon.

But this career switch could save Woods’ image if he can stay out of the tabloids. Plus it gives him a new challenge to work on while he maintains his relevance in the sport. It’s not like he needs to take on coaching jobs for money, he has plenty of that. By nature, Tiger Woods is a fierce competitor, hence why his father nicknamed him ‘Tiger’.

Challenges like coaching the next generation of golfers excite Woods, and it’s just as thrilling for the younger guys who get to learn from the guy who they used to watch on TV instead of watching cartoons.

U.S. assistant captain Jim Furyk can see the excitement from both sides in the beginning stages of this Presidents Cup.

“I think it’s great I’ve always said that a lot of the guys we have on our team – a lot of the young players on both sides – grew up watching [Tiger] our dominant player. He was the face of the PGA Tour. They grew up idolizing him, they wanted to play like him. A lot of them are probably playing on the PGA Tour right now because they grew up watching him.”

It’s pretty hard to hate Tiger Woods if he starts to transition into this role of a ‘wise old man’ who knows the game better than anyone. Think of it like golf’s Yoda.

Once that is painted into peoples minds, Tiger could become a beloved figure once again as he starts to grow old. Just watch, Tiger Woods the coach might save the image of the old Tiger Woods.