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Justin Rose, and Tiger Woods, are proof that you only get out golf what you put into it

Hackers of the world can learn from the world’s best golfers this week in Hong Kong that expectations are earned, not assumed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 December, 2016, 3:07pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 December, 2016, 8:01pm

Hey, great news. There is a reason you stink at golf and while it may not be an issue for you, it is for the rest of us.

Do us all a favour and listen to Justin Rose, the reigning champion and headliner at next week’s UBS Hong Kong Open. Currently ranked number 15 in the world, Rose has seen his form slip of late because of a bad back that forced him to miss seven weeks before returning to play in the Hero Challenge in the Bahamas this week in an effort to knock the rust off his game before Hong Kong.

He played a practice round with a couple of formerly dominant athletes, and as great athletes often do when they get together, they moan about their endless aches and pain.

Alongside him was future Hall of Famer and New York Yankee icon Derek Jeter and a chilled out cat with a goatee and baggy shorts named Tiger Woods.

9 Holes with @tigerwoods today for the Hero World Challenge. #heroworldchallenge

A photo posted by Justin Rose (@justinprose99) on Nov 28, 2016 at 10:00am PST

There were a few similarities between the dude with goatee and the buffed up behemoth of some 10 years ago who imposed his will on golf like no one ever before.

Athletic and sturdy, he was nonetheless much slighter now and there was an easy, natural smile that was missing a decade ago. He was an industry unto himself then and took the game to places it had never been.

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Now here he was, lean and learned, hungry and eager. In a few weeks, Tiger will turn 41 and as his battered body attempted a comeback, he looked no further than Jeter, who came back one year after breaking his ankle to play a final season at the age of 40.

“[Jeter] said it took him three to four hours just to get him prepared to play a game,” said Woods. “And I was also discussing that with Rosey [Rose] and he also says he needs to spend upwards of an hour and a half in the gym before he tees it up each day of a tournament given he’s now 36 years old.”

Did you hear that? Let it sink in for a moment and remember when you are watching Rose out at Fanling next week that he has already worked on his body alone for close to two hours today.

And did we mention that occasionally he gets a bogey, sometimes even a double bogey, and that he is all of 36 years old?

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Yeah, but who cares that you are 20 years older than one of the best golfers in the world and a former US Open champion.

Let him have a couple of hours to get his body right to play 18 holes of golf because you just got off the phone after arguing with your wife for the last half hour while negotiating a never ending gridlock of gut wrenching traffic and sending three emails to that idiot at work.

Rushed and flustered, you show up on the first tee without a second to lose before proceeding to hit your drive all of 12 feet, well short of the ladies tee.

So you slam your club into your bag and kick the golf cart for good measure because they must be an integral part of all the forces that are conspiring to undermine your lawless round of golf.

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Standing on the third tee with smoke billowing out of your ears, you have already lost seven balls and then it truly hits you, all this misery and I am paying a tonne of money for it as well? Yeah bro, you need some peace in your game.

It was the peerless Tiger who once opined that when you are standing over a golf ball, nothing in the world exists but that shot. His levels of concentration were otherworldly and, consequently, so were his achievements.

But after being a golf industry unto himself, his myriad of indiscretions soon became public fodder and he was now a tabloid industry unto himself.

There was no longer any peace in his life nor his game and eventually it deteriorated because the greatest thing about golf is its integrity. If something is gnawing at you, it’s hard to shake it from your swing.

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Who knows where his comeback will go, but if his body is even remotely willing, it seems his disposition may finally be as well.

So take a lesson from Rose, and the new Tiger as well, expectations should be earned not assumed. Do the work or suffer the consequences because from one hacker to another, all we are singing is give peace a chance. If not for your sake, then most certainly for the rest of us.

Watch: Tiger Woods shot bogey-free 65