If Tiger Woods is to play this week at Augusta National, at least part of the reason will be his legendary grit. Few if any players have summoned comebacks from more dire circumstances than Woods, whose body has been through the wringer over the years.
Woods channels that grit into a ridiculous level of preparation to get his battered, beaten body into playing form. The back surgeries, the car crash, the torn ligaments – it all adds up. As a result, gearing up for a round is a taxing process.
To this point, Woods’ routine for getting his body right has remained largely a mystery, but thanks to a surprising character with some inside information, we know more about it now that we used to. Enter: Peyton Manning.
The Hall-of-Fame QB was Woods’ teammate during a made-for-TV match two years ago, and while Manning had hoped to take things easy in his prep for Medalist Golf Club, Woods just wasn’t having it.
“Tiger made me go to his house on the morning of that match,” Manning said this week on the Drop Zone podcast (which you can listen to below). “I had to go through his full body warm-up routine. I’m like, ‘Tiger, I usually get there about 20 minutes before, hit some balls, maybe have a beer and go play.’
“He’s like, ‘Well, I want you here at 8 am to work with my body masseuse. We’ve gotta get in the sauna. We’re gonna work out together. We’re gonna hit balls and putt. ‘ So, he was in full grind mode. He wanted to beat Phil, so I didn’t want to let him down. ”
And he didn’t! Manning clearly outplayed Tom Brady that day, while clearly Woods outplayed Phil Mickelson. Sounds like the sauna, masseuse and practice range grind session works plenty good. Woods and Manning triumphed 1 up, and looking back on it fondly, Manning is pretty happy with their work as a team. The only problem is that he misses Woods as a teammate pretty badly these days.
“It’s kinda made my golf matches with my buddies and a couple member-guest [tournaments] disappointing since then. It’s been a major letdown when my friend Eric Black can’t get up and down from some of the places Tiger did. ‘Like, what are you doing? Tiger gets up and down there all the time. ‘ And he’s like ‘Yeah, I haven’t won that many majors. ”
Manning joined the Drop Zone to talk all things Augusta National and the Masters, in addition to discussing his new Give a Little Project, which will benefit golf courses with funds from sales of his new Sweetens Cove Kennessee bourbon.
Manning even offered up a bunch of golf advice via listener questions. How to watch the Masters at Augusta National? How to prepare mentally for TPC Sawgrass? How to have the perfect day on the golf course? Manning shares his thoughts on all of it in the podcast below or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.