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While most New England golfers were packing their clubs away for the winter and planning their Thanksgiving menus and Black Friday shopping strategies, Tiger Woods was hiring a new swing consultant. Perhaps Woods is hoping that some fresh swing ideas will help him emerge from the black hole that enveloped him in 2014 as be battled back injuries and played just eight times. He parted ways with Sean Foley, his swing coach of several years, in September.

For those of you who might have thought Woods had retired from golf and was working full-time as Lindsey Vonn’s marketing coordinator, Tiger is actually preparing to return to competitive golf next month in the Hero World Challenge in Orlando, which raises funds for the Tiger Woods Foundation. He began hitting balls last month, after taking a hiatus from golf after missing the cut at the PGA Championship during which he struggled with back pain.

Woods announced yesterday that he will be working with Chris Como, a 36-year old instructor in the Dallas area who has a masters degree in biomechanics. Woods met Como last summer, and has been working with him for about a month.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer for ESPN, speculated that Como’s background in biomechanics suggests that, as with Foley, Woods is seeking to develop a swing that will alleviate some of the back and knee problems that have plagued his career. Como has studied “sport injury mechanism,” which involves how sports movements affect the body.  In Woods’ case, this seems pretty clear: severely.

It is unclear how Woods will fare when he returns to competition. He has become the phoenix of the PGA Tour — the mythical bird that repeatedly was devoured by flames and returned to life.  To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of his career demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Jack Ross writes regularly for NEGM and is the editor of Ross’s Rulings.

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