What Tiger’s return really means

Tiger Woods' return to competitive golf is a lot of things......

Maybe it’s because I grew up as and still am a Tiger fan.  Maybe it’s because I work as a golf pro.  Or, maybe it’s because I’m so excited to see someone successfully compete at something that’s tortured them for so long, but when I saw this piece by one of my colleagues here at Entry Revel all I could think was, you dumb Son of a Bitch.  You don’t get it.  At all.  You don’t have one fucking clue what the hell you’re talking about.  This is the first time Tiger has played competitive golf in almost two years, and you want to talk about the infidelity stuff that happened seven years ago?  

I get that it’s supposed to be funny.  It’s not.  It’s distasteful, it’s outdated, and it’s simpleton bro humor of the laziest level.  What, do you think Tiger’s going to meet up with his buddies Monday morning and spend his time talking about the hospitality tent girl he snagged a number from and is debating sending a dick pic to?  Is that who you think he is?  The man has overcome multiple surgeries plus all the mental demons and this is what you’re hoping culminates his return to the tour?  Go find somebody else to get pumped about.  Maybe Aaron Hernandez is looking to make a comeback, he seems more your type.

I’m not upset somebody shattered the idealized notion I had of Tiger.  I didn’t decide to like the guy because I was in awe of how he handled his marriage.  I’m upset because this is just another stereotypical hot take fresh off the armchair quarterback presses from somebody who has never been there, who will never be there.  When Tiger first faltered I had to put up with this shit daily.  Golfers would come in everyday and deliver their judgement on what he needed to do to get back.  Prophecies like

“He’ll never win another major, probably never play again, he’s lost it.”

“He should have seen this coming, those women are crazy”

“He needs to take five years off, he’s probably an alcoholic too and we just don’t know”

rolled in nonstop.  Thirty something handicappers that had never played a hole of competitive golf in their lives suddenly became experts on a man they’d never met, on a world they’d never entered.  Please, tell me more about how easy it must be for Tiger to come back, you would know because it was so easy for you to comeback and start shooting four man scramble 77s.  

I can understand how people can misconstrue the kind of person Tiger woods is.  His demeanor on the course and his interactions with the press and his fellow players on tour could easily be seen as being, “coached in how to be an asshole from his elementary school days by his father, Earl Woods,” to those too lazy to look past a person beyond the superficial.  I mean, we all know a silent TV camera is the best way to reveal a person’s character, right?  

If you’re of the looter persuasion and you think Tiger Woods exists on this Earth for your entertainment, sure, I can see how you’d think he’s nothing but a long ball hitting skirt chaser out there ticking notches in his belt, living the kind of life you want but possess neither the talent nor the personality to achieve.  But for those of us with a bit more empathy, consider giving this  a read.  ESPN author Wright Thompson takes an extensive look into the fundamental nature of Earl and Tiger’s relationship, detailing how the solitary, stringent military style of Earl’s parenting had a late maturation effect on Tiger, how the suddenness of his father’s death left such a void in his life that he sought to fill it with the only ways that were familiar to him, following in his father’s footsteps of military pursuance and infidelity.  Perhaps after the slightest bit of research you’ll come to see the father of two a little differently.

Unlike our author here, I get it.  I can’t make it from my office to the range or the tee without getting accosted by some member that feels entitled to butt his nose into my golf game.  If I’m on the range it’s, ” I know what your problem is, you’re standing on the wrong side of the ball,” (I’m left-handed).  If I’m playing, they feel it’s my privilege to have them join me.  I get screamed at, “Hang on I’ll give you some company!”  If I hit an errant shot or have a bad day they can’t believe it, I’m supposed to live in golf Candyland because it’s what I do for a job.  As bad and impossible as it is for me to not have a bunch of busy bodies butting themselves into my life because they think they own the property rights to it, I can’t imagine how it must be for Tiger.  I just do this locally, I’ve just got one course worth of assholes that won’t leave me the hell alone and let me do what I want for a living, I couldn’t imagine having millions thinking they suddenly know exactly what the hell you need to be doing. And no, don’t give me that, “He should be used to it he chose that career,” BS.  Tiger chose his career, he didn’t choose to have assholes writing crap pieces about his infidelities to try to piggyback some relevancy off his life.  How would you like it if a bunch of people suddenly showed up to your shitty desk job and stared you in the face while you punched numbers all day?  Or if after a shit day that millions got to watch you got to have a microphone shoved in your mouth by some guy who wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for you.

Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf is a lot of things.  It’s a man’s successful culmination of almost two years of physical therapy.  It’s an admission and hopefully a defeat of the mental and psychological handicaps and disorders plaguing an incredibly talented individual.  It’s someone’s return to something they’ve publicly loved and dominated for over a decade.  It’s not a reopening of some nonexistent boys’ club.  

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