Tiger Woods: I can't believe how far I'm hitting the golf ball

Tiger Woods says he has surprised himself by how far he can hit a golf ball as he closes in on a return to the game after spending most of the year sidelined.

Former world number one Woods intends to play his first round of competitive golf in nine months on November 30 at the Hero World Challenge in Albany, Bahamas, after receiving clearance from his doctor to play.

He has not performed in a PGA event since late January, when he shot a 76-72 and missed the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

Woods underwent back surgery in April, but believes he is now matching the kind of output that saw him rule over the game around the turn of the century.

"I can't believe how far I'm hitting the golf ball,'' Woods said on the 'Holding Court with Geno Auriemma' podcast.

"I'm back to hitting it my full numbers [yardage] and not really trying to do that. I didn't realise 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.''

Woods' comeback announcement came shortly after he agreed to a plea deal stemming from his May 29 arrest on DUI charges in Florida due to the prescription medication he was taking in the wake of his surgery. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was sentenced to 12 months probation after he agreed to enter a diversion program.

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