Tiger Woods 101

With the sports world focused primarily on Tiger Woods “the man,” as opposed to Tiger Woods “the golfer”, the 2010 Masters served to be the next lesson plan in TW101.  But would this lesson plan cover a new chapter in the Tiger Woods textbook? A chapter that tells of a different Tiger on the golf course; one who remains “centered” in all situations, during both the good and the bad moments?  On the contrary… the 2010 Masters was simply a review of everything we have learned about Tiger Woods “the golfer” over the years.

What’d you expect?  Tiger showing up unprepared to the most prestigious tournament in golf?  A Tiger that shows no emotion after making an errant tee shot or an improbably birdie putt?  A missed cut?  If so, you haven’t been doing your homework.  Tiger Woods is, and always will be, one of the most competitive athletes on the face of this planet.  His passion for winning is shown in the amount of effort he puts into the game of golf, as well as his words and actions on the course.  He will let nothing, including “minor” personal issues come between him and what has always been his goal:  to become the greatest golfer ever.   Why?  Because he was born and bred that way.  Let’s review…

Tiger Woods has played the game of golf since he could barely walk.  He played competitively, and won, before most of us even considered picking up club.  His father, Earl Woods, made it clear at an early age that his life would be defined by what happened on the golf course.  The values Earl Woods instilled in Tiger at an early age, no matter how valuable they may be in any situation, were meant only to ensure that Tiger succeeded on the golf course.   Thus, the only thing Tiger can associate these values to is the game.  It’s all that has ever mattered to him and all he has ever known.

So is this a bad thing?  Only when the animal’s taken out of its natural environment.  When he’s asked to devote himself to something other than the game. Something his hero and mentor (Earl) deemed “unnecessary”: the sanctity of marriage.  The damage to Tiger’s image would not have been nearly as severe had he been single when the stories of his personal affairs emerged.  For all we know, they may never have.  It took an accident filled with speculation, including drug and spousal abuse, for the media to begin its witch-hunt.  Had Tiger lived the life he was raised to live… a life devoted only to the game… there would be no discussion of Tiger Woods “the man,” only Tiger Woods “the golfer.”  Not now, anyway.  Not until he retired…as the greatest ever.

  1. April 13th, 2010

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