What Would Fred(dy) Couples Advise Tiger Woods?

05/12/2015 01:52 pm ET | Updated May 10, 2016

A fanciful, fantasy exchange between Mr. Smooth and Mr. In Control after Tiger Woods finished his worst performance at the Players Championship

Tiger: Hey man, did you catch my score at the Players Championship?
Freddy: It was pretty hard to miss?

Tiger: I guess it was pretty ugly. And this is getting to be pretty humiliating.
Freddy: There you go yourself again. It's not getting to be humiliating. it already there.

Tiger: Hey, what do you mean! The pieces of my game are starting to come together.
Freddy: That's what I mean about yourself. What's embarrassing is not you're us anymore. We hear that from all kinds of superstars who may have peaked and can't let it go. What's embarrassing is how much you appear to be yourself.

Tiger: I am not myself, you don't...
Freddy (interrupting): Tiger, stop it already! Save it! Just accept that you're "not in control."

Tiger: I am too. I know exactly what I'm doing.
Freddy: Hey man. Your M.O. is either you're in control or out of control. That's a young man's game which you played better than anyone. But "Not in control" is not bad. In fact it's where the game of life is played. It's where I've played my entire career which may explain some of the longevity I've had. The older you get, the less in control you are. That doesn't mean you're out of control.

Tiger: But I know that all the pieces are coming back together.
Freddy: There you go again. Every and now every rare tournament you play one part of your game works and another part sucks. You need to accept that what is, is and what isn't, isn't and then lean into that vs. trying to dominate both.

Tiger: But isn't that capitulating and giving up your competitive edge?
Freddy: No, it's going zen. But to do that, you have to let go of needing to be in control 24/7 and I don't know if you're capable of that.

Tiger: What do you mean?
Freddy: It means letting go of the way your inner mind vs. the way your outer swing is configured, letting it all fall apart and then come back together organically and solid from the inside out. You've been fighting that ever since...

Tiger (interrupting): My dad died.
Freddy: What do you mean?

Tiger: Remember the 1997 Masters?
Freddy: Pretty unforgettable. You broke every record.

Tiger: Well you may not remember, but I shot 40 on the front nine of the first round and felt the wheels were coming off and looked to my dad who looked at me and simply said: "Tiger you've been here before, just do what you need to do" (becoming choked up).
Freddy: What's the matter?

Tiger: I think I got past my dad dying, but I don't think I ever got over it.
Freddy: What do you think your dad would say to you now?

Tiger: The same thing, "Tiger you've been here before, just do what you need to do."
Freddy: What would you say to your dad in response?

Tiger: I'd tell him, "But when I was there before, so were you."
Freddy: What would he say to that?

Tiger: "Hey Tiger, it's okay to let down and have your long overdue cry. I think until you do it, you'll never realize that I left your life only to live in your heart forever. Don't be such a control freak! Freddy's right!" (starting to cry)
Freddy: Tiger, its okay. Let it rip.

Tiger: I really miss him. Especially now.
Freddy: I know, just lean into it, lean into him (reaching out to hug Tiger)

Tiger: Hey I don't need that (pushing Freddy away)! I'm cool.
Freddy: Bullshit!

Tiger: You're right (accepting the hug, then releasing and pausing and looking back at Freddy). By the way, should I call you Fred or Freddy.

Freddy: Either is fine. I'm easy.
Tiger (laughing): Yeah, I should have guessed that.