"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.