Incredulous, betrayed, and disappointed barely describe fans' bewildering emotions elicited after the Tiger Woods' philandering was exposed at its fullest.
But, I'm not going to tee-off on Tiger since that's been done already. Instead, take this into consideration while reading this perspective: I am a mother, wife and daughter of golfers who have been more than touched by his’ influence.
A part of their lives have revolved around the man who set the standard for the chivalrous sport; they have tried to emulate Woods' stoic, quiet, strong approach to the game for their own self improvement.
His wacked womanizing landed squarely in our own backyard, shattering more than just the image construed of him on TV.
You see, this household is a product of a life-long passion for the gentlemanly game of golf. Three generations of golfers have spent countless hours on the course, and watching and cheering the golf prodigy to victory on TV; my son, a high school varsity golf player, my husband a golfer, business and family man, and my father, a 74-year-old die-hard player who many a week-end also abandoned his family to knoodle with his own mistress: golf.
Reconciling Tiger’s upright public persona with his deceitful personal life is no longer easy. Wearing Tiger-approved apparel , drinking Woods-endorsed Gatorade and looking at his poster-lined walls for inspiration, the varsity player was disenchanted with Mr. Woods' depraved behavior. Following the supreme golfer during the local Buick tournaments was the highlight of the year for the aspiring player who would pay close attention not only to Tiger’s technique, but to his Champion-like demeanor off the course, too.
Try to copy the moves on the green and not his missteps off the turf is a simplistic way to recommend he view the seedy Woods situation. But, the jokes (and they are only jokes, I hope) rolling around on and off the links are about how he and his golfing buddies will try to score with the babes to improve upon Tiger’s moves on the back nine. Thanks Tiger!
My father's expectation of seeing Woods achieve legendary status has been dashed. He lived to see Jack Nicklaus attain 18 major titles, and invested time following Tiger’s steady assent to the top expecting to witness the golfing marvel conquer the previous record as his payoff. Now, with the golfing wonder in tournament hiatus, we’ll see if time is on my dad’s side.
My husband's take on Woods' debauchery is reduced to simply thinking about the kids and adults who wish to be born with the God-given ability to hit a 340-yard golf ball straight down the fairway. The least Woods could have done in return for his innate talent was to be a good husband and father. "I guess having won the Masters a few times and taking out the trash at home were not a good mix" he concluded.
The sport of golf has been held to high standard around here, and its messiah has just fallen from grace. But like many disgraced prominent people before Mr. Woods, this episode in the life of the greatest golfer in the world will likely blow over, sadly resulting in a divorced mother of two and a few disenchanted fans. Yet, if we as a society can look the other way as we’ve done with others — including a president — then in due time, I imagine, we can do this for Tiger Woods, too.
Before signing the final scor card on this latest round of celebrity misbehavior, I purposely waited for the divot repair tool to come out of the bag and replace the pieces of uprooted morale back in their spot. But much like Bermuda grass around the green does in wintertime, a short statement on the shamed players’ website confirmed his hibernation, and thus his ignominy.
At this low point in your life, Tiger, it’s tough to face the very people who put you on a pedestal, but suck it up and do it. Amass the support of those who won’t leave your side. You owe them this much. Bow your head and move forward.
Finally, I write this not just as the blogger who observes and writes about Hollywood’s influence on family values, but as a mother to another mother: Mrs. Woods, I feel badly for the humiliation and pain your son, one of the most respected men in a privileged position, is putting all of you through.
Stay close to your son and your grandkids. They’ll need your love and support as they wait out the rain delay before they return to finish the greatest round of golf that’s ever been played.