It’s been nearly a year since the famed golfer’s famous Thanksgiving driving debacle and subsequent tales of infidelity and sexual addiction.
I’ve watched the feeding frenzy surrounding Mr. Woods’ literal and figurative crash with great interest, and listened to the “what comes around goes around” sentiment shared by many commentators who seem to have taken great joy in his suffering.
While Tiger’s success on the golf course did not, and should not, justify his being an A-hole, I can think of no greater pain than having one’s darkest secrets and sins broadcast 24/7 to all four corners of the earth. Not to mention losing one’s marriage and relationships with friends, family and children at the same time.
About his fall and recovery Woods writes:
“At first, I didn’t want to look inward. Frankly, I was scared of what I would find—what I had become. But I’m grateful that I did examine my life because it has made me more grounded than I’ve ever been; I hope that with reflection will come wisdom. Golf is a self-centered game, in ways good and bad. So much depends on one’s own abilities. But for me, that self-reliance made me think I could tackle the world by myself. It made me think that if I was successful in golf, then I was invincible. Now I know that, no matter how tough or strong we are, we all need to rely on others.”
I hope the public will give Tiger a fair hearing, and that he will have the courage to openly discuss his personal journey, regardless of whether or not he’s able to win on tour.
He has an opportunity to serve as a true role model—not on how to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose (to quote Churchill)—but as a model for how to carry forward with dignity and humility following a very public fall from grace.
Far too few of our public figures have been able to do so.
I am rooting for Tiger to once again break new ground.
Good luck, Eldrick.