A bizarre adventure with the Navy Seals has probably cost Tiger Woodshis chance of overtaking Jack Nicklaus as the winner of the most golf majors, according to his former swing coach.
Hank Haney's book, The Big Miss, is sure to cause plenty of buzz when it goes on sale next week, just days before the Masters.
It portrays Woods as having a fascination for physical training and raises questions about how Woods incurred his leg injuries.
Haney cites Corey Carroll, one of Woods's closest friends, as saying that the former world No 1 injured his right Achilles tendon doing Olympic-style weightlifting as he returned from reconstructive knee surgery in December 2008.
Haney also tells of a woman who approached him during an outing in Minnesota last year. Her husband was a Navy Seal in California and told her Woods came in for training in 2007 at a Kill House - an urban-warfare simulator - and "got kicked pretty hard in the leg, and I think he hurt his knee pretty bad".
Haney said that matched a story from Carroll, who said Woods revealed to him that the complete tear of his left knee ligaments really happened in a Kill House when he had lost his balance and been kicked in the knee.
"My immediate thought upon hearing Corey's account, which so closely paralleled that of the woman in Minneapolis, was that it was true," Haney writes.
"And if so, it meant that if Tiger never catches Jack Nicklaus, it will very likely have as much to do with the time and physical capacity he lost as a result of his bizarre Navy Seals adventure as anything else."
But there is a bigger picture in the book, which chronicles the six years Haney spent as his swing coach.
He shows Woods to be a complicated person who sought change to keep stimulated; someone who was rarely satisfied, was self-centred in his pursuit of greatness and whose work ethic in the gym was geared toward being accepted as an athlete.
"In Tiger's mind, satisfaction is the enemy of success," Haney writes.
The injuries are relevant because Woods has had four surgeries on his left knee, and he withdrew from his last tournament two weeks ago at Doral with tightness in his left Achilles tendon. That is the same one that caused him to miss two majors last year.
The injuries apart, the book is sure to satisfy the curiosity of golf fans to whom Woods has revealed so little over the years.
Haney said he became increasingly concerned when Woods began workouts designed to build muscle. Woods so badly wanted to be considered a real athlete that he saw injuries as a badge of honour.
Haney does not consider the book a "tell-all", and much of it reveals Woods's pursuit of his place in history.