Training a Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life


Golf superstar Tiger Woods, one of the best-loved role models in shorts today, has attracted countless new young fans to the game with his record-breaking skills, mental toughness, confidence, and integrity. In Training a Tiger, his father Earl Woods gives a personal look at the philosophy, instruction, and training that went into raising Tiger, and shows parents how to teach their children to love golf, and play the game with confidence, patience, and proficiency. Earl's teaching method starts with the simplest ...
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Golf superstar Tiger Woods, one of the best-loved role models in shorts today, has attracted countless new young fans to the game with his record-breaking skills, mental toughness, confidence, and integrity. In Training a Tiger, his father Earl Woods gives a personal look at the philosophy, instruction, and training that went into raising Tiger, and shows parents how to teach their children to love golf, and play the game with confidence, patience, and proficiency. Earl's teaching method starts with the simplest swing - putting - and concludes with the full swing once the basic elements are mastered. He includes numerous games and competitions to make golf fun and interesting, and reinforces good skills, correct posture, balance, set-up, and grip.
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
"Golf is a sport based upon honesty, integrity, and gentlemanly conduct, with a good dash of common sense thrown in. Our lives, and the lives of our children, should be based upon those very same principles." —Earl Woods

Tiger Woods has become a household name. If you put aside the facts that he is one of the youngest players on the Professional Golf Association tour, that he won three consecutive Amateur championships while in college at Stanford and three consecutive Junior Amateur championships prior to that feat, that he notched four PGA tour victories and one international victory in his first year of play, that he was named the PGA Rookie of the Year, despite only eight tournament appearances, and Sports Illustrated magazine's 1996 "Sportsman of the Year," that he drives the ball farther from the tee than any other player currently on the tour, and that his partnerships with various companies whose products he endorses, coupled with his winnings, have made him one of the richest players in the game of golf, you still would be left with one remarkable man. Add to that list "youngest Masters champion" and, of no less importance, the first man of African or Asian descent to wear the coveted green jacket from Augusta, and you have a legend in the making. Tiger Woods set tournament records by winning the 1997 Masters by a remarkable 12 strokes, at an even more remarkable 18 under par, and he did it with class and composure, as a true sportsman. He has sparked interest in the game among fans who once thought golf to be only for the wealthy and the exclusive.TigerWoods has been groomed as a golfer, and taught as a gentleman, from a very young age. For that honor, he is indebted to his father.

Earl Woods sees the tutelage of his son Tiger as the culmination of his life's work. He will tell you that love is given, but respect is something to be earned. "The best way I have found to work with children," he writes, "is to offer a challenge.... A little one-upmanship can go a long way toward attracting and sustaining your child's interest." Earl Woods shares these sentiments, and others, along with in-depth tips replete with photographs and detailed instructions on how to learn the fundamentals of golf, in Training a Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life. Together with Golf World magazine senior writer Pete McDaniel, Earl Woods has outlined the steps he took to teach Tiger how to become the successful golfer that he is, and, perhaps even more importantly, he shows how parents and children can grow closer through a joint involvement in the game and how the lessons of patience, hard work, mental toughness, and courtesy that children learn on the course will help them mature off of it.

Is it premature to predict that Tiger Woods may someday be remembered as the greatest player to ever tee up? Probably. But it is safe to say, even at this early stage in his career, that he will always be known as a fundamentally sound and etiquette-minded athlete, and much of that is due to his upbringing and relationship with his father and coach.

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Thus far, the U.S. has not produced an African American golf superstar, although there have been athletes, such as Lee Elder, who have been very successful on the PGA tour. If any candidate is likely to break through, it's Tiger Woods, already a comer, though only 20. Tiger's success is partly the result of training by his father, who authored this instructional guide with Golf World editor McDaniel. Earl Woods was an unusually talented baseball player who did not venture onto the links until he was 42, but when he did, he was captivated. He began training Tiger when his son was an infant, and the youngster began to play at age two, winning his first under-10 tourney two years later. The author explains how he taught the fundamentals and mechanics and moved his pupil from putting to the short game to driving, always stressing that if play is not fun, there's no point to it. The crystal-clear, gently didactic text is supplemented by 200 photos, some of them baby (with golf club) pictures, and numerous line drawings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788199745
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Pages: 190

Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, July 24th, welcomed Earl Woods, author of TRAINING A TIGER.

JainBN: Thank you for joining us, Mr. Woods! We're pleased you could temporarily leave the green.

Earl Woods: You're welcome, it is a pleasure to be here.

Question: I always see you at Tiger's tournaments. Have you gone to every one of his professional tournaments? Did you go to his tournaments when he was growing up? Does he want you in attendance when he plays? Thanks, and I loved the book.

Earl Woods: Thanks for liking the book. It was a labor of love. No, I do not attend all of his professional tournaments. I only go to the ones that he wants me to. When he was an amateur and junior, I traveled to all of his tournaments with him, primarily as security and as a concerned parent. Besides, if I had allowed him to go on his own, my wife would have killed me. We have always been conscious of security for Tiger, and this concern will continue.

Question: So what is next for Earl Woods?

Earl Woods: My next book, which is currently being written, is about my continuing support for Tiger and my responsibilities as president of the ETW corporation and the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Question: What was it like having such a talented son? Did other parents show any jealousy?

Earl Woods: Yes, very much so! There was considerable jealousy manifested by other Junior Golf parents who were envious of Tiger's talent and success and the quality of person he is. This was handled routinely and was used as a positive learning experience for his growth and development.

Question: Any chance we will see you or Tiger endorsing new products?

Earl Woods: The answer to that has to be traced to Tiger's declaration of professionalism. We decided that the first year would be devoted to getting him adjusted and comfortable with his status as a PGA Pro. Policywise, nothing must interfere with his development. Therefore, commercial endorsements were limited to a very select few. And a limit was placed by me. After the Masters we reevaluated his progress, and the limit was lifted for a second phase of endorsements. It is currently in effect now. So the direct answer to your question is no. There are no endorsements coming up in the near future.

Question: Was it hard to train Tiger to golf?

Earl Woods: No, because the priority in training Tiger was to develop a good person, it was not to develop a good golfer. But the priority was to develop a good person. I strongly recommend the same for all the other parents.

Question: When Tiger was a young child, did you realize he had natural talent?

Earl Woods: Yes, I knew from the start that he was a prodigy. He was not only intelligent but also athletically inclined, and he possessed the natural confidence that a first-class athlete must have to be successful. He was very receptive to instruction and above all correction.

Question: Why did you write this book?

Earl Woods: I wrote it because since Tiger was eight years old I have been getting numerous requests from parents on how to do different things. I felt it was necessary to pass on my experiences, so they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. It is my contribution to them, to assist them in the development of their children as people and as golfers.

Question: Did Tiger play any other sports as a kid?

Earl Woods: He was naturally inclined to baseball, a natural switch-hitter, and to track and field--he was a natural runner. But he refused to get into these sports because it interfered with his golf. It was his choice.

Question: What would you say to the critics who say Tiger downplays his African American heritage?

Earl Woods: To them I would say Read his quotations carefully, and you will see that he always says he is African American and Asian American. I don't consider that downplaying. I consider it as being equal.

Question: How did you feel when you saw your son walking up the fairway on the 18th hole at the Masters?

Earl Woods: Immense pride!! And joy, because as a parent I was privileged to be there and watch my child achieve his dream. And I was further honored to be a participant in the dream. It was a very emotional moment.

Question: How long was it until friends and family members accepted that Tiger was a superstar?

Earl Woods: Friends who were knowledgeable in golf knew that he was special. Family members accepted him as a person, and it didn't make any difference if he was a golfer or a great golfer. This acceptance has always been there. Without exception!

Question: What was the hardest thing to teach Tiger about golf?

Earl Woods: Patience. It is the most difficult thing to teach any young person. By the very nature of youth, children are very instinctive--acting rather than thoughtful acting. This is an ongoing project for Tiger, as witnessed by his loss of temper on three holes at the recent British Open, which cost him the tournament. Eliminating those three, Tiger would have been tied for first place, but he learned. And it will be a continuing effort on his part and mine to harness the competitive volcano that exists within his frame.

Question: Who are your biggest golf influences?

Earl Woods: I had none. I learned golf on my own at a very late age, through books.

Question: Where did Tiger get the quality to never make excuses?

Earl Woods: He learned that from the game of golf. By accepting responsibility for his own actions when he was two years old. He would hit a bad shot and then bang the club on the ground. I would ask him, Who was responsible for that bad shot? The crow in the tree? The club? He would respond, No, Daddy, it is my fault. He learned that through the game of golf. That is the best thing to take from golf. Taking responsibility--that is what I point out in my book, learning about life through golf. It is an excellent vehicle to learn about life.

Question: Is Tiger dating anyone?

Earl Woods: Yes, he has a continuing love affair with the game of golf, and he dates her every day.

Question: How old was Tiger when he first broke 100?

Earl Woods: Tiger has never shot 100 in his life. When he was three years old he shot a 48 for 9 holes. But he was too young to play 18, so for years he played only 9 holes. But he has never come close to shooting 100 in 18 holes.

Question: Do you and your son have any time to relax out of the spotlight?

Earl Woods: Yes, I have the opportunity more than he does. I have two very important jobs that he has given me I'm president of his corporation and his foundation. I have an office, and I work like any other working stiff. The difference is I don't get paid. It is becoming much more difficult for me to be in the public view, by virtue of my book. At golf tournaments I am mobbed for autographs, and I have no security and no place to go. As for Tiger, when he is not playing in a tournament he can retreat to his gated community in Orlando, Florida, and be completely safe. So in answer to your question, yes, it is possible to relax, but it is very difficult--which goes with the territory.

Question: How old was Tiger when he first shot par on 18 holes?

Earl Woods: 11 years old. He shot one under par. I shot par and he beat me.

Question: What kind of clubs does Tiger have?

Earl Woods: Tiger is currently using Mizuno clubs and Cobra and Titleist woods. His equipment contract with Titleist permits him to do this until they develop a personalized club that is satisfactory to him.

Question: Hi, Mr. Woods. I am 12 and this is my second year playing golf. I also caddie! What way did you teach Tiger to drive from the tee?

Earl Woods: I taught him to drive always using a tee but never using a driver. Always it would be a 3 wood, 5 wood, or 7 wood. At 12 years old you are too young to be using a driver. Leave it in the garage, get the ball airborne, and enjoy the game.

Question: Where is Tiger playing this week?

Earl Woods: Tiger is not playing this week or next week. He is enjoying himself in the Mediterranean. These are the lessons we learned in his adjustments to the PGA tour; he needs two weeks after a major PGA tournament to recover.

JainBN: This will be our last question for Mr. Woods.

Earl Woods:

Question: Do you feel like Tiger is the Arthur Ashe of golf?

Earl Woods: No. Tiger is unique because he is an individual. Golf is a unique and individual sport. It is completely different from tennis, and it takes a completely different mind-set. It is a wonderful game because it is something you can play well for your entire life, unlike tennis. And there are so many lessons we can learn in the game of golf. Golf is a microcosm of life. Learn from it, enjoy it, and be happy. The name of the game is to have fun not to shoot low scores. It has been a pleasure to be here today. I am going to retire and go hit a bucket of balls.

JainBN: Mr. Woods, thanks for stopping by tonight, and give Tiger our best!

Earl Woods:

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