Tiger Woods says he’s probably never going to play golf full-time ever again.
The legend of the links suffered serious leg injuries in a car accident last February and came clean to Golf Digest on his future plans.
He admitted that going on the PGA tour full-time probably isn’t in the picture.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day – never full time, ever again – but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” Woods told the publication.
“I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
The 45-year-old injured himself after his car crossed a median and two lanes of oncoming traffic, hit a sign and traveled off the road, rolling several times before coming to a rest.
Woods said that after previous injuries, he had felt the urge to prove he could still compete at the highest level, but he no longer feels that compulsion.
“I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life,” he told Golf Digest before using a mountain-climbing analogy. “After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. Everest one more time. I had to do it, and I did.”
“This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest, and that’s OK. I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK, I can still click off a tournament here or there. But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”
Woods also warned that he is a long way from returning to any PGA tournament.
“I have so far to go … I’m not even at the halfway point,” he said. “I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg. At the same time, as you know, I’ve had five back operations. So I’m having to deal with that. So as the leg gets stronger, sometimes the back may act up.”
Although Woods acknowledged that recovery is “a tough road,” he said he’s just happy to watch his son play “or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing.”
He added: “I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”
You can read the full interview at Golf Digest.