A Talk With Tiger Woods
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. Now with the release of 3 Disc collection documenting his life story, his professional career and his already massive impact on the game of golf, Tiger Woods opens the book on a new chapter in his life, one that seems to be focused on a bigger picture than what happens on the green.
"The DVD is an extension of what we're trying to do with my foundation. In many ways this is an inspirational piece: How did I get here? How did I become successful? What avenues lead me to where I am now? On top of that I hope to inspire people with some of my results and show them what they can do."
Dressed in his trademark Nike black golf shirt and black cap Woods exudes a sense of focus and seriousness. He's passionate, especially when he speaks about the experience of playing golf. He has an uncanny knack for remembering in vivid detail almost every stroke from his games...what the conditions were, what happened when he hit the ball.
"Golf is a game for a lifetime, you can play it almost to the day you die. And you can always get the full enjoyment. Why would you not want to be out there right now enjoying yourself playing a game of golf? It's so peaceful and so much fun, and you get so much enjoyment out of it."
Tiger has turned the passion he has for the game of golf to his DVD, bringing together a complete compendium of almost every aspect of his golf career, from his first swing to his crowning achievements.
"On the first disc I tried to describe how I grew up, the second is a recap of my major championship play since I turned pro, and the third is focused on the possibilities of what I can do for the game of golf. I want to be able to have that positive impact in the game of golf."
In many ways the process of producing the DVD has been a labor of love and a stroll down memory lane.
"I've been working on the DVD for just about a year now. I had to work on a lot of different things with the DVD to make sure that I got in there everything that we wanted to get in there. There were some flashbacks looking at the photos. Mom's scrapbook. Being a pack rat like she is, she's kept all the stuff. I haven't seen a lot of this stuff in over twenty years, so it brought back some great memories of being out there on the golf course with my dad and some of my buddies. I remembered all the old times dirt biking and skateboarding and all the different thing we used to do. You know stupid stuff. Getting in trouble. It brought back a lot of those great memories. "
So what is Tiger's secret to success? Tiger speaks often of the love and support of his parents, the tenacity he learned at a very young age and most importantly the way he approaches failure.
"Ultimately the reason why I've been successful is that I've never been afraid to fail, because I knew when I failed that it was going to be OK. I could come home to mom and dad and everything was always going to be fine. They always told me as a kid 'go out there, compete as hard as you can, we love you no matter what happens.
If you're not afraid of failure, you're going to succeeded. Because along the way you're going to have your successes. But you're going to have a lot more failures, and learn from your failures. It's OK to fail. If I fail I'm going to pick my self up and come back and win the next one, because I failed. In most other sports you have a higher win percentage than failure rate. In golf it's the exact opposite. You lose ALL the time, and it's very rare that you do win, and when you do win it's like the biggest emotion you could possibly have in the sport, because you don't win very often. In that respect golf is very much a microcosm of life, you have to deal with a lot more failures in order to succeed."
This season, Woods has experienced his own share of failures on the golf course. For the first time since grabbing the top spot in golf he's trailing the pace, rather than setting it. Some have speculated that this has to do with his drive to win, but Woods is quick to dispel those rumors.
"The people who do question my drive are the people who don't know me and the guys who aren't out there all the time."
Speaking with Tiger Woods you get a real sense that he isn't concerned about his competition, that his real competition has been and always will be Tiger Woods.
"What I like about the game of golf is you're always competing. You may not be competing against other people, but you're competing against yourself and you're always trying to beat that golf course. That golf course is out there all the time, it's not going anywhere and you go and try to beat it each and every time. There are so many little things that golf brings to the table that other sports can't and i think the biggest thing is longevity."
So what does the future hold for Tiger Woods? It's hard to say. He's archived a level of success that almost no other sportsman has ever archived, and he's done it all before the age of thirty. In many ways the release of The Tiger Woods Collection marks a new era for Tiger Woods, one that focuses on a bigger picture than any one particular tournament or series. Woods who has benefited so much in his life from the game of golf seems focused now on giving back.
"If I wasn't playing golf I'd probably be doing some sort of motivational speaking. That to me would be something that would be really cool to do: to be able to motivate people and help them do something positive with their lives."
Now, as golf's biggest evangelist, Woods is determined to set the records straight on what exactly is the definitive golf DVD.
"There's only one golf movie in this world, and that's it. There's only Caddyshack. Everything else is not acceptable."
- Geoffrey Kleinman
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