Tips for the Tiger: Nine ways for Woods to improve himself and golf

AS WE speak, Tiger Woods is in China for the HSBC Championship. Soon he will make his way to Australia, where, starting on Thursday, he will compete in the JBWere Masters at the wonderful Kingston Heath.

Estimates vary as to exactly how much the world's best golfer is being paid to make his first antipodean appearance since the 2002 New Zealand Open, but $3 million (1.8m) probably isn't wildly inaccurate.

Sadly, outside of the four Grand Slams and the World Golf Championships, the Tiger tends to roar only when compensated to do so.

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Which is not to say that the 14-time major champion isn't worth every penny; he is. Like Michael Jordan in basketball, it isn't possible to pay Woods a sum commensurate with his impact on a sport he plays better than anyone ever has before. Every aspect of the game is enhanced by the mere existence of arguably the world's most famous sportsman, a status never before held by a golfer. But, especially in these tough economic times, it says here he could do even more to promote golf across the globe. Here is a front-nine of things this column would like to see and hear from Tiger over the next 12 months, all of them aimed at making golf a better game and him a better, or at least more approachable, person.

1. Play somewhere for nothing

Just once. In 2010 and every year thereafter find a place where golf needs a boost, go there and play for free. Or take the appearance fee from a corporate sponsor and give it straight back to the local golfing body so that they can put it to good use. Whatever. Do the right thing once a year and see how much you can contribute around the globe.

2. Stop spitting and swearing on the course

I know, I know, you like to portray yourself as this peerless competitor, one who strikes fear into the heart of every other player with your patented death stares. But surely you have gathered by now that everything you do between the ropes is scrutinised to the nth degree. Which is why the not-so-great expectorations and the low-life cursing have to stop. It's just a terrible example to set any and every youngster. As your biggest sponsor might say: Just Don't Do It.

3. Join the European Tour for a year

This is asking a bit more, but hey, your good lady is Swedish and surely the grandparents would welcome easy access to the grandkids for a year or so. Besides, as you surely know yourself, playing the PGA Tour over and over is a bit boring, if lucrative. I challenge you to look out of your hotel bedroom window on almost any given week and have any idea where you are. The same cannot be said of the less well remunerated but more culturally stimulating European circuit. One more thing. It really wouldn't make that much difference to your overall schedule. Non-PGA Tour members get to play quite often enough in the States, so you'd still get to nip home more than occasionally and you'd enjoy playing a greater variety of courses.

4. Sign more autographs

Now, we all know that Phil Mickelson isn't exactly your favourite guy to hang out with. Not only does 'Lefty' whip you at table tennis, he is also, two or three times a year at least, the player currently most likely to beat you when it really counts – on the course. But there is one area in which the world's best left-hander thrashes you every time and that is in the hour or so after every round. While you are whisked off to who-knows-where by those terribly important agents of yours, Mickelson stays around to sign his name for the people who have made him a very rich man. He doesn't just sign a few either; he stands there until no one is left. Not only that, he engages with the fans, answers their questions, however inane, and generally makes them feel part of the process. You should too, at least a little more than you do now.

5. Use persimmon woods

Again, like the one-trip-a-year thing, you wouldn't have to do this too often. But my goodness it would be fun to see you taking on technology in such an overt way. Think of the fun you would have, shaping shots to fit the contours of the land instead of mindlessly blasting away.

6. Speak out more

Like everyone else who has been to even one of your press conferences, I'm bored to tears listening to you trot out the same old, trite phrases. You seem to think it is clever to give nothing away, but if I hear you say, "it is what it is," or "this course is all there in front of you" even one more time I will run screaming from the media centre. It isn't as if you have to be that controversial; I'd settle for interesting. So let's hear what you really think of the terribly predictable way tour courses are set up these days. Let's hear how you feel about the way modern technology has all but destroyed creativity and imagination at the top end of the game.

7. Win at least two majors in 2010

It is really this simple. The game needs you playing at your best. No one else really matters. So, unlike the stumbling, fumbling and bumbling you displayed in Grand Slam golf this year, go out there and find a way to putt well at Augusta, locate more than the occasional fairway at Pebble Beach, show us – again – how golf should be played at the Old Course and just win that last one no-one really cares about but which counts anyway.

8. Hit the first fairway at all four majors

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This is related to No.7. It has come to our notice that you have a bit of a problem when it comes to hitting even a half-decent shot off the first tee. Left into Carnoustie's Barry Burn springs to mind, as does that massive hook you hit onto the ninth fairway at Augusta – and let's not get into that lost ball at Royal St George's. Could it be that you – even you – get a little nervous at times? If so, get a grip.

9. Fire your caddie

Go on, make us all – journalists, spectators and, most of all, photographers – happy. Get rid of golf's biggest boor. Banish him forever to New Zealand. Anywhere will do though, even if nowhere will ever be far enough.