There has been some huge coverage in global media about Tiger Woods over the past month or so. But, I just ignored all of that as yet another usual saga of a philandering icon, a kind of not so unusual story.
I should share of course that I did enjoy some of Accenture’s old ads – “Go On. Be a Tiger”, “We know what it takes to be a Tiger”, etc., recently, though that corporate ad series really had not gotten my attention over the past six years that it has been running. Though, I did remember one slogan – “High Performance. Delivered” or something like that.
I was browsing NYTimes.com as usual, and spotted an Op-Ed article by Frank Rich – “Tiger Woods, Person of the Year”
Of course, these are opinion columns, so one can just ignore again. However, I read through and was not amused.
Tiger Woods remains as the Golf Icon, the best ever this world has produced. That status has since not changed, and cannot be changed so easily. Tiger’s maniacal focus, concentration and determination to win changed the game forever. His colour hardly mattered anymore in the ivy league golf courses around the world. His record remains unmatched.
All this won’t change just because he strayed away from his wife, an all-too-common phenomenon. People are crazy about Tiger, and no wonder there were women who were crazy about him as well. Yes, he committed judgmental errors and mistakes, and wrecked his blissful home life. But I firmly believe this should not wreck his golf career. If he does let that happen, he has nobody to blame except himself. In fact, if he cannot fix his home problem now, then he should forget about that and focus even more aggressively on his game and retain his position as the “king of professional golf”.
Frank Rich writes “A con like Tiger’s may be more typical of our time than a one-off domestic terrorist attack, however devastating.” He goes on to state “What’s striking instead is the exceptional, Enron-sized gap between this golfer’s public image as a paragon of businesslike discipline and focus and the maniacally reckless life we now know he led.”
What nonsense ? Where is the relationship between the things that Frank is trying to compare ? Why should there be a relationship ? Anything that Tiger did was related to golf. If the world and the media made him look like a paragon of virtue, that should not be construed as his fault. After all, he is a human with the same temptations that power, fame, and money bestow upon one. What is the difference with Tiger ?
Tiger is who he is – a regular guy from the American Citizenry at the end of the day, while also being the Golf Champion of the 21st Century. If that disturbs common people (like Frank Rich), so be it. Let us not try to be “holier than thou”. In the U.S., everyone who has something hidden gets roiled publicly once it is discovered and if he/she happens to be a celebrity. Let us respect that celebrities deserve some privacy. In what way the general public has been affected due to what Tiger did in his extracurricular time, apart from the damage he caused to his wife ?
All the best to Tiger Woods as he tries to fix his family life, and I wish he gets back on the golf course soon.
24th December 2009
I played Golf today after a very long gap of 21 months.
It took me couple of hours yesterday to get ready to golf – I had to first locate where my golf bag was ! Luckily my ENA golf clubs were well preserved, I got all the stuff I needed including my Footjoy golf shoes ! I tried some practice swings, but I knew for sure it was going to be hard and very different when I actually hit the course – it’s most certainly going to be very challenging.
Getting ready to play golf is always exciting – it requires preparation, and a certain calmness to go with it. Anxiety almost always spoils the game. I reached the Club early – first time at the Willingdon Club spank in the middle of South Mumbai – and decided to practice a few shots. First I tried pitching – one of the hardest parts of the game – and it was real hard, though I did manage to lift some balls nicely onto the green. The more balls I tried, the worse was the performance – the swing was not correct I guess, I was trying the half-swing while my caddy was wondering why I was not doing the full swing and lobbing the balls easily ! But I knew for sure that this phase was necessary before I really hit the course. I then moved on to long-distance shots with the 7 and 5 irons, it was bad at the beginning but then improved considerably once I got the swing right. I realised that I should have continued with the game, atleast once a month. I can easily blame Mumbai, but it is more to do with oneself to find the time and drive to practise what is essentially a one-man army kind of game.
Willingdon Club was undergoing some renovation, so only 15 holes were in use today. It’s a wonderful course, not very difficult to play, but demanded accuracy to break par. My team mates were good – one of them has the Club as his home course – and they were doing very well. I tried, but I was fighting against my own shortcomings and lack of practice. Gradually I improved, and did couple of holes rather well. My putting was good, and pitching was occasionally good, saving some face !
I had a young caddy, Ravi, who was enthusiastic about my abilities, despite observing all the goof-ups. He continued chattering in Hindi as to the necessity for accuracy rather than power of the shots, the need to swing the club high enough and then finish it fully, the need to change my shot angles as most of my shots were going to the left instead of the middle of the fairway, et al. It is good to have someone like that accompany you while you are trying to locate where the hell you hit the ball off, the caddy is the best friend to find the ball ofcourse ! And, advise you which club to use depending on where the ball is lying vis-a-vis the hole.
I noticed it was a bit dangerous when the fairways were parallel or cut each other ! Due to lack of space, the design of the course was constrained I guess. Especially if a poor shot landed on the parallel side, it could cause significant damage, I thought. Luckily, there was no such incidents…….I did tee off at Hole No. 12 which landed on the parallel side, but no damage. I located the ball, let some smiling golfers pass by, then got to my side !
Overall, it was real fun and challenging to play after such a long time. I resolved that I should atleast play once a month, let me see whether I can live up to that promise. Golf is a real great game which constantly challenges one, and motivates as the game improves and shots deliver their promise ! It took 3 hours to finish 15 holes and I made two good friends on the way……networking is the name of the game !
Have a wonderful weekend !
8th March 2008