The Tiger Dictionary
August 08, 2020

PGA Championship 2020: Let's translate each of Tiger Woods' Tiger-isms from this post-round interview

Watch enough Tiger Woods interviews and you’re bound to hear some strange words used to describe the golf course, his golf shots and his body. “Glutes activated,” “Feels,” and “punch-cut” are just a few of his phrases that instantly come to mind.

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

Yet even for Woods, this post-round interview from Friday evening at TPC Harding Park featured some real doozies. After shooting a two-over 72, still good enough to make the cut at the 2020 PGA Championship, Woods reached deep into the Tiger dictionary when discussing the greens at the San Francisco muni:

What a mouthful. By the third buzzword, you find yourself wondering what the hell it all means. Never fear, we translated all these Tiger-isms for you below.

Springy (adjective): This means, on his approach shots, Woods’ ball was taking a huge first hop when it landed on the green, as if it were landing on a trampoline. Hence “springy.”

The crest (noun): Pretty self-explanatory. This means some of the pins were on the peak of a mound in the green.

Into the grain, then down grain (a bunch of words): This means on some of Woods’ putts, the grass was growing toward him at the beginning of the putt, but up near the hole, sometimes on “the crest,” the grass was growing away, meaning there would be extra roll out. That scared Woods from going after his putts, so he left a lot of them short. Next time you leave a birdie putt four feet short and your playing partners say “never leave a birdie putt short,” simply respond “well, it was into the grain at first, but it’s down grain up near the hole. I didn’t want to blow it past.” They won’t know what hit them.

Fuzzy (adjective): This means, “as the day wore on,” the greens got much slower and thus less “springy.” Another good word to use in this situation is “hairy,” as in, the greens are much hairier, like your dog when you don’t take him to the groomer for two months.

In summation, the greens at TPC Harding Park on Friday were fast, they were bouncy, but they were also soft and warm and fuzzy, and the grass was growing in many different directions. A nice peek inside the mind of one of the two greatest golfers who ever lived.