Monday, November 30

Tiger’s Trickiest Recovery













IN LIFE, LIKE IN GOLF, sometimes you get a bad lie. And sometimes you hit it in the rough. Tiger is in the rough. He admits it is his own doing. Now he must play it as it lies.

A brief aside: The story of Tiger’s accident and other alleged personal failings is not one I enjoy covering. I’ve always been most interested in covering what happens on the course. Yes, I make my living as a writer. But I’m a golf fan, not a golf journalist. (I don’t aspire to be a golf journalist.) However, I realized on Saturday morning that it would be silly to ignore this story. Tiger Woods is the face of golf for this generation.

Tiger has gotten a lot of unsolicited advice over the years from the media, players, swing gurus, PR types, fans and others about how he should conduct himself on and off the course. It seems that he has largely ignored it. Tiger calls his own shots. That’s who he is. As overwhelming as it may be, I doubt that his current predicament will change that.

So think of this situation as Tiger’s most difficult recovery shot. He’ll check his lie, get a yardage, consider the obstacles, listen to Steve Williams and pull a club. He’ll decide the shot he’s going to play and won’t look back. He’ll take his bogey, double bogey—or worse—and move on.

Tiger is smart. I have a hard time believing he hasn’t considered all his options in his current situation. I also have a hard time believing that those counseling him have been totally clueless as some have suggested. I’m pretty sure they’ve presented all the shots he could play, including the pros and cons. Tiger has made his choice and, I believe, is willing to face the consequences of that choice. Maybe they’ll be disastrous. Maybe not. I think he’s trying to protect his wife and family, which I can understand, but who knows?

I’m not a Tiger apologist. If you think I’m an unabashed Tiger lover, you would be dead wrong. I grew up playing and watching golf in the pre-Tiger era. Although I greatly respect Tiger’s golf prowess—Tiger is on his way to being the best ever—he is not among my favorite players.

Tiger may owe a more detailed explanation about his recent “situation” to his wife, family, friends, IMG, attorney,  sponsors, the Florida Highway Patrol, the PGA Tour and others. But he doesn’t owe me a thing. 

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)

7 comments :

Heather said...

Well said. I don't like writing or talking about such matters either.

So many people are all over Mr. Woods and my guess is that he is trying to protect his family—which is an honorable thing to do.

Black Friday is just trouble I tell you. ;o)

Robert said...

Good post, Neil.

I covered the subject from a similar angle on my blog.

HowToBeATrueGolfer said...

Great points. The last line struck me the hardest. "He doesn't owe me a thing." Well said and great read.

Lancer said...

You're absolutely right that Tiger owes us nothing except trying to be the best he can be at golf. He's always given that and I don't see it changing. Great post.

Average Golfer said...

This much is true......Barring injury,Woods will tee it up at the 2010 Masters practicing his craft and pursuing Jack. Anything else is pure speculation.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Tiger fan, mostly as a golfer, but I don't think I can separate the golfer from the person. Yes, Tiger is smart in his job. But I can say from personal experience that brilliant people have been known to make stupid decisions about their personal lives. And they're worse off than less gifted people, because they get stubborn about what they think is right; they disregard good advice, because they believe they're smarter than the advisor. And that can be their downfall. Plenty of examples in history. He needs to be less brilliant, follow advice, and he'll do better. I'm really worried for him, and worried it will cross over to his professional life.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Tiger fan, mostly as a golfer, but I don't think I can separate the golfer from the person. Yes, Tiger is smart in his job. But I can say from personal experience that brilliant people have been known to make stupid decisions about their personal lives. And they're worse off than less gifted people, because they get stubborn about what they think is right; they disregard good advice, because they believe they're smarter than the advisor. And that can be their downfall. Plenty of examples in history. He needs to be less brilliant, follow advice, and he'll do better. I'm really worried for him, and worried it will cross over to his professional life.