Tiger Woods winced his way through the final round of the Barclays. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Tiger Woods is getting closer to being ready to play competitive golf again.

Woods, who has been sidelined since having back surgery in late March, is again taking full swings with his clubs, including his driver, the Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte reports.

The next major on the calendar for Woods, who has missed the Masters and last week’s U.S. Open as he recovers, is the British Open in five weeks. It begins July 17 at Royal Liverpool, the site of his 2006 victory in the event.

Golf could use the boost that Woods’s return would bring. U.S. Open ratings approached record lows, which were no doubt made worse by Martin Kaymer’s wire-to-wire win.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.