How I Play Golf

By: Tiger Woods

Text Structure

While explaining how to play the different aspects of the game, he shares experiences of his tournament golf where he applied his skills that he is describing in this book.


Tiger's Best Putt

Tiger's best putt was when he made a 30 foot putt at Pumpkin Ridge, which led him to his third straight U.S. Amateur Championship.

Grip the Putter

  • Back of right hand parallel to left hand
  • Right thumb extends just below fore finger
  • Back of left hand faces target
  • Left forefinger across right fingers
  • Put both thumbs directly on handle

Pressure, Posture, and Stance

  • Light pressure on your putter
  • Stand tall at address, then bend waist slightly until head is over ball
  • Choose a comfortable stance for you, there is no correct stance

Eyes and Routine

  • Eyes directly over ball
  • Eyeline is parallel to target line
  • Never change your routine
  • Keep the same pace, back and through
  • Dominant hand is in control
  • Swing path is straight
  • Shoulders and arms do most of the work
  • Arms and putter are one
  • Steady head
  • Wrists hinge
  • No peeking


Tiger's Best Chip

At the 1998 Million Dollar Challenge in South Africa, Tiger holed a 30 foot chip with his favorite chipping club to enter a playoff in the tournament.

Grip and Stance of the Chip

  • Hands set slightly ahead of ball
  • Grip it like the putter; not much hand action
  • Lean a little towards the target
  • Choke down on the club
  • Flex your knees a little
  • Narrow your stance
  • Position ball slightly back of center

At Adress of the Chip

  • Hold club softly and no tension in arms
  • Open stance to target line; limits action to arms and shoulders
  • Keep chin held high and back straight
  • Hold club very lightly

Hitting the Chip

  • Start backswing with shoulders; allow arms to follow
  • Don't let arms to far from your body; tempo is important
  • Hit down on the back of the ball
  • The stroke is not a stab
  • Return arms to the position the were at address
  • Keep eyes focused on the ball

Grip, Stance, and Position for All Shots

Grip for All Shots

  • Handle of club runs diagonal across base of fingers
  • Thumb positioned to right of center on handle
  • Thumb and forefinger form "V"
  • Right hand is similar to left

Stance and Position for All Shots

  • Stance is for balance and power
  • Inside of feet line up with outside of shoulders
  • Weight distributed evenly from heel to toe
  • Arms hang comfortably; vertical to shoulders

Hitting the Irons

Tiger's Best Iron

Tiger's best iron shot was at the 2000 NEC Invitational where it was pitch black outside and he had 168 yards to the pin and he hit his 8 iron within 2 feet of the hole.

Setup and Swing

  • Put the ball slightly forward of center
  • Choke down on the club
  • Keep your chin up
  • Wide, tight backswing
  • Start slow on the backswing, then use the power
  • Hit through the ball

Hitting the Woods

Tiger's Best Wood

Tiger hit his best wood shot at the 1998 Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he was 267 yards from the front of the green and he hit his 3-wood onto the green.

At Address

  • Set right shoulder lower than your left
  • Angle right knee toward target
  • Wide stance
  • Hold chin high
  • Be relaxed
  • Put ball forward of center


  • Sweep back to sweep through
  • Controlled swing
  • Keep the swing on plane
  • Impact should look like address
  • "Chase" the ball with your right hand

Hitting the Driver

Tiger's Best Drive

Tiger's best drive was at the 2001 Masters where he hit a drive that landed only 78 yards from the green, which led him to his second Masters win.

Setup and Swing

  • Widest stance
  • Pay attention to foot position
  • Angle knee inward
  • Extra width for extra distance
  • Don't shift your hips
  • Start powerful
  • Long and wide swing
  • Shoulders turn farther than hips
  • Left shoulder turns under chin
  • Square clubface at top of backswing

Setup and Swing

  • Lower body leads the way
  • Arms and shoulders should match up
  • Good balance
  • "Shake" hands with the target