<
>

Tiger Woods hitting full yardages, says sport should roll ball back

play
Tiger has work to do before being competitive (2:29)

Bob Harig calls the Hero World Challenge "a nice soft landing" for Tiger Woods to make his return and explains why the bar for expectations must be set low due to his time away from the course. (2:29)

Tiger Woods thinks that unless officials make wholesale changes to the golf ball, PGA Tour events will need to be played on courses approaching 8,000 yards.

"We need to do something about the golf ball," Woods said in a wide-ranging interview with UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma on the Holding Court with Geno Auriemma podcast. "I just think it's going too far, because we're having to build golf courses, if they want to have a championship venue, they've got to be 7,400 to 7,800 yards long.

"And if the game keeps progressing the way it is with technology, I think the 8,000-yard golf course is not too far away. And that's pretty scary because we don't have enough property to start designing these type of golf courses, and it just makes it so much more complicated."

The 41-year-old Woods, who is making his latest comeback from fusion surgery in his back in April, told Auriemma that he has been awestruck at how far he has been hitting the ball while preparing to return at the Hero World Challenge on Nov. 30.

"I can't believe how far I'm hitting the golf ball,'' said Woods, who has not played competitively since February. "I'm back to hitting it my full numbers [yardages] and not really trying to do that. I didn't realize how much I had dropped off because of the pain in my back and from me going at it and hitting it normal just because I just lived it from day to day and I really couldn't tell the difference. But now I can tell the difference.''

During the interview, which took place two weeks ago, the 14-time major champion said he would be in favor of a huge change in the game -- rolling back the golf ball.

"The USGA's already looking at it," Woods said. "They're doing some research on what would the world look like if you rolled [the ball] back 10 percent, 15 percent and 20 percent."

Woods said he was pleased at how his fitness level was coming around and that his posture was better.

"I really couldn't get into that posture, because any time I tried to build a good posture over the golf ball, I get pain down my leg and my right foot wouldn't work,'' he said.

Woods also acknowledged he has many obstacles, including getting past the mental issues associated with his previous back pain and fear of further injury.

"Still in the back of my mind I remember making those swings and ending up on the ground and having people come get me because I couldn't walk anymore," Woods said.