Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Damaged Game: Golf without Tiger Woods

He has won 93 tournaments since going pro in 1996 and has made a hundred million dollars in titles alone. Earlier this year, he hit the billion dollar mark. His name is Tiger Woods.

You might have noticed that I'm a big fan of Tiger Woods and have been taken aback by the media frenzy that surrounds him.

Every morning, I watch CNN International. Today, while on the breakfast table, news broke that Tiger Woods (the greatest golfer of his time) is leaving professional golf indefinitely, to focus on "being a better husband, father and person." To me, this is bad news. Golf without Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods has worked very hard over the years to brand himself and to be what we all know him to be today. Tiger Woods is golf! We can't talk golf without Tiger Woods. As a matter of fact, yesterday, while I was watching the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, a perfect swing was called - a "Tiger Woods" swing. That's what I'm talking about!

Since Tiger crashed his car outside his Florida mansion, late last month, he has been mired by controversy. I understand why it's big news. Afterall, he's Tiger, right? What I don't understand is why people can't separate Tiger Woods (the man) from Tiger Woods (the brand). Is there a conspiracy to destroy the brand?

Tiger is human and just like everyone else, he's prone to make some "transgressions". It's either people don't understand this or they're just out to destroy the brand.

Earlier (2 months ago), I explained 4 reasons why everyone is not happy about your success. The events surrounding Tiger Woods reminds me of the fact that not everyone celebrates success. When you're successful, there'll always be those who'd seize the least oppotunity to tear you down. Most often, they'd tear you down not because they don't love you, but because it makes them feel better for not working hard enough to attain your level of success. That's the way I see it.

That said. There're a couple to lessons to be learnt from the Tiger Woods saga:

  • There'll always be supporters and haters.
  • With success, comes greater responsibilty and media scrutiny.
  • Do not cheat on your wife/husband.*
  • Respond to situations promptly and apologise as soon as possible (if you must).
  • Avoid reading or listening to negative things about you. It drains your energy.
  • All human beings have difficult times.
  • A single "transgression" can destroy everything you've worked hard to build.
I must say I'm disappointed by Tiger's decision to break away from professional golf indefinitely. This makes the pundits, haters and losers feel better.

All in all, I'm confident Tiger will bounce back to the golf course soon. He has endured tougher times on his way to the top. He'll be back to safe golf, because he knows the game would be damaged without him.

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