Most sports legends wait until they are in the twilight of their career to publish a compendium of their life story. With the 'best' years behind them, they look back, reflect on their career and attempt to pull all the pieces together. As with everything in his career Tiger Woods doesn't wait, when he feels the time is right, he pounces. Tiger - The Authorized DVD Collection is a 3 Disc collection documenting his life story, his professional career and his massive impact on the game of golf
Tiger Woods Part 1: Tiger's Prowl - His Life (85 Mins):
The first disc in this collection focuses on Tiger Wood's childhood - from his first golf swing at 11 months old, to his win of the US Junior Championship at age 15, all the way to the point when he was named the PGA 'Rookie of the year' in his 20's. In the first documentary you get a real sense of Woods beyond his golf game, including a look at his relationship with his parents, the role of his golf coach and how the events of his childhood crafted Woods as an adult. Some of the most interesting aspects of this first documentary is just how shy and introverted Woods was growing up, and how amazingly determined he was to always compete and excel at his absolute passion - golf.
All three of the documentaries in this collection are narrated by Lawrence Fishburne who does a good job providing the glue to tie all the sections together. Most of the interviews are really tight and there's a great deal of time spent with Tiger himself who gives his perspective on growing up as a golf prodigy.
While this first disc didn't drag much, it was a pretty hefty helping of Tiger and it leaves no ground of his early career uncovered.
Disc 1 Extras:
Tiger Talk (10 mins) This featurette is a supplemental to the main documentary. It primarily focuses on Tiger's relationship with his parents and their impact and influence on his life. It's a nice segment which could easily have been a part of the main feature.
Tiger's Tales (6 mins) A collection of interesting anecdotes and stories from friends and observers of Tiger including: Mike Douglas' tale of Tiger's early appearance on The Bob Hope Show, broadcaster David Feherty's story about an extraordinary shot by Tiger and the amazing reaction of another golfer 'on air', Ken Griffy Jr.s' story about winning the betting pool with his team mates when Tiger won The Masters, Golf Coach Rudy Duran's story about Tiger's childhood meeting with Jack Nicholas and Tiger Wood's own story about how he practiced his flop shot in his childhood home over his golf trophies.
Photo Gallery Several pictures deconstructing several of Tiger Woods' swings as well as key shots of Tiger from some of his notable games. This gallery is probably of interest only to the real hardcore golf fans.
Tiger's Amateur Chronology A complete timeline following Tiger's amateur career, from his first golf swing at age 11 (1976) months through age 20 (1996)
Tiger Woods Part 2: Tiger's Prey - His Majors (75 Mins):
While the first disc in this collection focused more on Tiger's life, the second disc focuses much more on Tiger's golf game. This disc will probably be the one which most appeals to golf fans, as it captures the drama and excitement of Tiger's quest to hold all major golf titles at once.
This second documentary spends less time talking about golf and a lot more time showing it. Seeing some of Tiger's big wins is extremely entertaining and speaks volumes about his career.
Disc 2 Extras:
Tiger's Clinic (25 mins) A very welcome special feature for golf fans, this featurette is a 'best of' from 'The American Express Golf Clinic' in Atlanta with Tiger Woods. Tiger covers all elements of his golf game from warm up through this finishing game. Tiger talks about the advice of other golfers which have been of help to his game. Tiger's instructions are intercut with key people in his life commenting on Tiger's game and the history behind some of his shots.
Tiger's Favorites (4 mins) Tiger talks about his favorite course - St. Andrews (the birthplace of golf), his favorite hole - the 12th hole at Augustus, and his favorite shot - Hazelton out of the bunker on the 18th. What he likes about the courses really sums up why Tiger is such a phenomenal golf player.
Tiger at The Majors A timeline of Tiger's showings at the Majors from 1997 to the present with links to the main documentary for many of the featured Majors.
Tiger vs. Jack A head to head comparison between Tiger Wood's major victories and Jack Nicholas.
Tiger Woods Part 3: Tiger's Prints - His Legacy (65 Mins):
While the first two discs in this collection focused on the history of Tiger Woods, the third disc is more focused on Tiger Woods as he is now. Disc three is very much a Tiger Woods 'love fest' which focuses on why exactly Tiger is considered to be one of the top sportsman in the world. As with the first disc in the collection there's a little more talking than golf which ends up making it drag.
The most interesting thing to me on disc 3 was hearing Michael Jordon's perspective on Tiger Woods, a point of view of one great sports legend on another. Unfortunately the third disc in the collection is longer on talk than showing golf.
Disc 3 Extras:
Tiger's Five (9 Mins) A top five count down of Tiger Wood's top five shots. Each shot is set up by his fellow golfers, journalists and his family, then we get to see each shot. If you every had any doubt about how amazing Tiger Woods is, watch this extra and you'll be a Tiger believer. This was by far my favorite extra in the collection.
Tiger's Spots (1 min) Two American Express commercials with Tiger woods, the first has him for only a few seconds, the second features him fishing (a passion of his). Unfortunately missing here is the American Express 'Caddyshack' commercial, which I think it Tiger's best.
Tiger's Cubs (6 mins) A segment looking at the Tiger Woods Foundation. This segment is narrated by Lawrence Fishburne and seems like it was deleted from the main documentary on this disc. One of the main things you get from this feature is the sense of how important connecting with and inspiring kids about excelling in life and in the game of golf.
EA Sports Trailer (45 seconds) A sneak peek at the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 game, which looks very cool.
Tiger's Wins A timeline of Tiger Woods' wins from his 1984 Junior World Golf Championship to the 2004 WCG Match Play Championship.
On the Collection as a Whole:
One of the biggest assets of the Tiger Woods Collection is also one of it's biggest problems - it's just so damn extensive. While I understand the decision to release this collection as a 3 disc collection, it might have been better if all three were condensed down into 1 more concise 2 hour documentary. While the duplication from disc to disc is pretty minimal, there are aspects of Tiger's life and game which seem to get revisited over and over again. By far the most annoying thing about the Tiger Woods collection is the music, which is so repetitive through out all three discs that it simply drives you crazy.
Having said that, there are some really great moments in this collection. The 2nd disc which looks at Tiger's drive to the masters is really the star. When it comes right down to it, the most amazing thing that ever could be said about Tiger Woods, is said by Woods himself with his golf club on the course. This collection is at its best when it's showing off Tiger's game and at its worst when it drops into long talking segments.
Of the three discs the strongest is definately the second one "Tiger Woods Part 2: Tiger's Prey - His Majors" which is focused on the most dramatic and compelling part of Tiger's life and career. Some of the real 'gems' in this collection are tucked away in the special features on Disc 2 & 3. Avid golfers will not want to miss Tiger's Golf Clinic on disc 2 and anyone who is even remotely a fan will watch 'Tiger's Five' more than once.
The Tiger Woods Collection is presented in full-frame, its original aspect ration as this is a direct to DVD release. The collection is a compendium of a lot of footage from many different sources including old photographs, home video, broadcast TV and higher resolution content shot for the DVD. The quality of these materials are all over the map, generally good, with the notable exception of some of the broadcast TV material which probably could have come from a better source.
The collection is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. There's nothing exceptional about the audio for this DVD. A lot of the collection is dialog which is crisp and clear, even when it's backed by the amazingly repetitive music, which will absolutely drive you crazy.
For huge fans of Tiger Woods the Tiger Woods Collection is a dream come true. It's 225 minutes of Tiger, his life, his game and his legacy. It's by far one of the most comprehensive DVD sports documentaries I've seen. If you're not an enormous fan of golf, this collection might just be the thing that peaks your interest (especially if you check out Disc 2).
At the end of the day, the most compelling thing about Tiger isn't his life or history as much as the incredibly way he hits the ball, the unbelievable way he plays the game. While this collection is really good, it misses greatness by spending a little too much time talking about Tiger and not enough time showing him play. It would have been very easy to condense down these three documentaries into one and then use the rest of the space and time featuring Tiger playing golf. But for Tiger Woods fans, this collection is a real treat, and if somehow your not a fan, this collection will surely make you one. Highly Recommended for big fans of Tiger Woods, Recommended for everyone else.