As a golf fan, it is truly hard to watch the struggles of who is arguably the second greatest golfer who ever lived. When I was in college in 1994, I worked at the Western Open as a caddy in the Pro-Ams on Monday and Wednesday. The Monday Pro-Am normally hosts the lesser known players, but I got lucky that week. Tiger Woods was right off his first United States Amateur title and was given an exemption into the Western. I got to caddy in his group. Being a total golf geek at the time, I was thanking the gods above as I knew how good of a player he was and watched his amateur career from his junior days. Back then, really no one was watching Tiger. Crowds were minimal. His dad Earl followed the group and a few others. But what I saw that day made me firmly believe that this guy was special.

Normally a Pro-am round is meant for the “pro golfer,” or in this case, a high end amateur, to entertain the four other customers who paid good money to walk the fairways of a tour event. Needless to say, I do not think Tiger cared about helping people with their wedge game or telling stories. It was all business. His focus was so fierce that it looked like the last round of a US Open. His swing and effortless power and the ease in which he hit any shot was utterly amazing. I had seen enough pro golfers even then, and one could tell he was special. Looking back, it was like watching Mozart conduct a symphony.

Fast forward about 20 years, and that ease is gone. The wiry strong body now looks more like a cornerback from the NFL. The natural swing he once had looks something like a big bruiser now trying to force the club through impact. It is sad to see. I truly feel he needs to get back to just playing golf. Hitting the “9 different shots” that Hank Haney instilled. Forget the technical side. Just play golf. Because when I saw him when he was 18 years old up close, I promise you, there were zero technical thoughts. See target, imagine the shot, hit the shot. No fear. I miss that Tiger. I hope he gets back to that guy. It’s good for the game.

Jason Hiland is the Founder and CEO of Hurricane Golf and Diamond Tour Golf Wholesalers Inc.