Mark Nolan/Getty Images
Lacava and Woods study the course in Australia
I once watched Jose Maria Olazabal hit two or three bags of practice balls with seemingly the identical result while waiting for a chance to ask him some questions. Before asking the first one, I said, “Now I know why your short game is so good.” He smiled and replied, “Eeze no secret. Eeze practice.”
Finally, this fall, Woods was able practice which allowed him to improve.
“My practice sessions started building and building and building,” he added. “I got better each week, and that's because I was healthy and able to get the reps in.”
Woods revealed that until very recently, he was not able to do that.
"What people don't realize is that I wasn't able to—this year I wasn't able to play at home. You know, people don't realize at home how much golf I play when I'm getting ready for an event, how many holes I play." he said. " I play a lot, and I wasn't able to do any of that, because I was under a strict ball count for the day. So that—once that was released and I was able to go is when I started making some serious strides, you know, working with Sean, because then I could get the reps in.
“I've always felt in my career more comfortable when I was able to practice a lot, and I'm not one of those guys who can play a bunch of weeks in a row,” he added. “I'd much rather just practice a lot, come out, play and be fully invested in that one event and then go back and kind of tinker around what did I do right, what did I do wrong, let's learn from it and go again, build up, go play, come back down, build up, come back down, build up. That's the way I've done it. I've been I think somewhat successful over my career doing it that way and I don't see any reason to change that.”
He said between Frys.com and the Australian Open he played anywhere from 18 to 54 holes a day to get the feel of playing reestablished and to get the feel of different shots without concentrating on mechanics.
“That's something I was able to do in the past, had not been able to do it for a long time, and those rounds are starting to pay dividends now,” he added.