(Reuters) - Tiger Woods has yet to swing a golf club since missing the cut at last month’s PGA Championship but said on Monday his recovery from a back injury was progressing well and that he anticipated a full playing schedule next year.
Woods, speaking during a news conference for the Dec. 4-7 Hero World Challenge in Orlando, an event he hosts and where the former world number one is scheduled to make his return, said his focus until now had been solely on regaining his strength.
”I haven’t swung a golf club yet,“ said Woods. ”I’ve just been shadow swinging without a club, but I’ve been busting my butt in the gym pretty hard.
“I’ve got my strength back, which is nice. Now the next goal is to get my explosiveness and my fast twitch going, and that’s the next phase of my training.”
Woods, a 14-times major winner, has struggled to find form since recovering from back surgery in late March and his disappointing performance at the PGA Championship led to only the fourth missed cut of his professional career in a major.
Two weeks after the PGA Championship, Woods ended a four-year alliance with swing coach Sean Foley, whose redesign of the American’s swing failed to produce a major title.
Woods, who worked with Hank Haney and Butch Harmon before joining forces with Foley in August 2010, has no plans to name a new coach.
“Am I looking for a new coach? As of right now, no, I‘m not,” the 38-year-old said. “Right now I‘m just trying to get physically better, stronger, faster, more explosive.”
“I‘m in no hurry to look for one right now. As I said, I‘m just focused on what I‘m doing.”
Despite sounding upbeat about his recovery from injury, Woods, whose Hero World Challenge benefits his foundation and brings together 18 of the world’s top golfers, did not get into specifics about his playing schedule for next season.
“That’s all dependent on how I feel and how I‘m playing when I play in the Hero World Challenge here,” said Woods.
“I‘m curious ... how I‘m going to be feeling, how I‘m going to be playing, and if I don’t have any setbacks or any pain, then I foresee a very full schedule next year.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Clare Lovell