If you follow any official golf accounts on social media, you’ve definitely become familiar with the phrase “Golf is hard”. Usually, the #content creators in charge will tag an embarrassing moment, or a hard lip out with that as a way to post a clip, and remind everyone that all of the stuff that happens to you on the golf course can also happen to those playing for millions of dollars every week. It’s an easy way to post something that should lead to some cheap engagement.
Back in December of 2015, things were looking pretty bleak for Tiger Woods. Three months prior, he went in for surgery on his back for the second time and a month after that, he had to have another procedure done on the same area to relieve discomfort. At this point, it was hard to be optimistic that he would ever be healthy enough to compete at a high level again. So, when he showed up to host the Hero World Challenge, everyone knew he wasn’t going to play, but his words were far more impactful than any driver swing could have been that week.
“I think pretty much everything beyond this will be gravy”
These were the words coming out of the mouth of the most dominant, self-assured athlete of my lifetime. The man who, at least on the golf course, never showed any vulnerability, just told the world that he thought that, basically, he was done as a professional golfer. Even if many of us had thought something similar, it was still a shock to the system to hear those words out of the mouth of Tiger Woods, and that was a full sixteen months before he went under the knife again in April of 2017 to relieve more pain in his back and leg.
To say Patrick Reed is a complicated figure would be the understatement of all understatements in golf. As someone who is a firm believer of the “golf needs characters” theory, Reed’s overt brashness on the course is something that I quite enjoy, but the stories that are out there, both reported and unreported, present a challenge that is impossible to wrap up in hundreds, or even thousands, of words. Alan Shipnuck did a great job on Sunday explaining this for Golf.com and I encourage all of you to read it, even if we may never get a full picture from Reed’s side.