By Luci Hagen
Photo by: myophoto
On January 17th, both the first and second parts of the “Tiger” documentary on HBO were released. Based off of the book, “Tiger Woods” by Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict, the series follows Tiger Woods from the very beginning of his life and slowly weaves its way through his incredible career as a golfer and his personal life, putting particular focus on his relationship with his father in Part One.
Tiger's list of accomplishments is so large, the fact that he was on live television at age two playing golf on the Mike Douglas show is often overlooked. It is revealed in the documentary that his father Earl would put him in his high chair before he was old enough to talk, to sit in their basement and watch him hit golf balls into a net for hours. By the time he was three he was shooting a 48 over nine holes. When he was 15, he became the youngest winner of the US Junior Amatur Championship and continued winning that competition until college. A few years later he went to Stanford before deciding to drop out and go professional in 1996. The rest is history.
$120,851,706 dollars earned on PGA Tours, 683 weeks at number one in the Official World Golf Ranking, 368 PGA Tournaments played, 199 top ten finishes, 108 world wide victories, 82 PGA Tournament wins, twenty hole in ones, 15 Majors won, 9 sponsorships, and 1 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Tiger is arguably the greatest golfer of all time, and this documentary shows why.
If not for all of the complicated issues with his health and romantic life, who knows how much farther Woods could have taken his career. Part two of “Tiger” does a great job of giving a deeper insight into how his physical and mental states were broken by these complications and had a complete affect on his ability to play golf to the record shattering standard he’d been playing for the past years. He divorced his wife Elin whom he shared two children with, her receiving full custody of them, after having multiple affairs that he publicly apologized to his fans for. He was arrested for DUI in 2017 and was found with five different drugs in his system, and went to a rehab center to avoid getting convicted. Along with the personal issues, he had multiple problems with health and had to undergo five knee operations and four back surgeries. He has still managed to win, but not nearly as consistently or frequently as before his conflicts. Now, only around a month after his documentary was released, he went off the road in a crash that could have been fatal and may end his golf career for good. But from what's known about Tiger Woods, if there is even the slightest chance he is physically able to golf, he will.
The problems critics had with this documentary is the lack of Tiger’s own voice in it. He did not participate in the documentary at all and his personal life and struggles are told from his friends, family, and lovers’ perspectives, which are all valid but will never truly tell what was going on inside his mind. The only clips of him talking are from national television and some videos from people close to him, so in that sense it is lacking in Tigers personal opinion and perspective. Going into creating the documentary directors Matthew Heineman and Matt Hamachek knew that Tiger would not be willing to open up and discuss these things. He is known for his very private personal life and it would be out of character for him to do such a thing, and he has yet to comment on the documentary at all.
But considering that, the directors in my opinion did an excellent job at getting as close as possible to perfect without having Woods and I’d definitely recommend this to anyone. Many might shy away from watching it because golf isn’t a largely watched sport and usually has a “boring” connotation put with it, however while the documentary is focused on Woods and his golf career it is much more riveting, inspiring, and interesting than watching a regular golf tournament. There's something everyone, not just golf fans, can take from it.