May 8, 2021

Who is the first person that comes to mind if someone asks you who do you think the greatest athlete of all time is? Some would say Michael Jordan, or Wayne Gretzky, or even Babe Ruth. One athlete who also stands out to many is Tiger Woods.

Winning 15 PGA majors, just 3 under the legend Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods is one of the most popular and well-known athletes in the world. Created by HBO, Tiger Woods has his own documentary about his life called, Tiger. You would be surprised about the journey Tiger took. It’s a challenging and truly phenomenal story.

In the documentary, HBO really dwelled on Tiger’s childhood and how his dad raised him. Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, was a U.S. Army infantry officer and had the attitude of a soldier, because he was one. In the eyes of the filmmakers, that was problematic to Tiger’s performance on and off the course.

In Tiger, filmmakers conveyed the message that Earl was moulding Tiger to be perfect. Nothing less than perfect. Earl would put Tiger in talent competitions as a child; he made Tiger observe his swing for hours a day; he would show Tiger off like a trophy. Earl wanted to make sure golf was Tiger’s priority. To me and many others, Earl’s force on Tiger seemed to pay off. How has this affected Tiger today? The film also covers that.

Photo by Peter Drew from Unsplash

Tiger Woods has had a life of success on the golf course. Tiger started playing professional golf at the age of 16. At 21 years old, he won his first major. Tiger even won the U.S. Open on a broken leg. Tiger was also the youngest player ever to win the Masters Championship. It seemed like he had it all together on the course, but maybe he didn’t behind the scenes.

The press came out with proof that Tiger Woods was cheating on his wife, Elin Nordegren. Not only with one woman, but with multiple. There could be many different personal reasons Tiger did that, but HBO wanted to justify it with how Tiger was raised.

Since Tiger was brought up to be perfect, he had no room in his childhood to “have fun.” Tiger’s parents made him break-up with his first girlfriend because she was a distraction to his golf game. It was always golf, golf, golf, nothing else was allowed. The documentary Tiger seemed to blame Earl Woods for Tiger’s mistakes, which I don’t think is right. The filmmakers clearly went extremely deep to find out what was the cause of Tiger’s affair. Tiger didn’t only have an affair, but he was put into jail for a DUI. It seemed to all be Earl’s fault in the documentary. No one will know what the reason for all that was except for Tiger himself.

Photo by Matt Aylward from Unsplash

Slowly recovering from his challenges and his father’s death, Tiger wanted to be in the Army like his dad. As well as training for golf, training for the Army got Tiger fighting his own battles physically. He was going to quit golf and be in the Army. It was his way to relieve stress and anger, until he got hurt.

In the 2008 U.S. Open, Tiger was playing on a broken leg and torn ACL in his left knee. He was determined to keep playing, so he did. Tiger could barely walk and each shot he took, hurt him even more. He was a fighter, like his father. Dealing with a sex scandal, a divorce, four back surgeries, an arrest, and his father’s death, Tiger needed a win.

After a difficult couple of rounds, Tiger was on his last round on the 18th hole, playing against Rocco Mediate. Rocco was struggling because he knew how great his competitor was. The game was tight. Rocco landed his tee shot in the bunker and hooked his second shot. Tiger was on the green in two shots. He two-putted for par and won his 14th career major. He got the win he wanted. A legendary win!

It didn’t end there. Tiger won another major and has continued climbing. Winning another Masters Championship, it seemed like Tiger had his life under control. Now Tiger’s son Charlie, appears to have the natural gift of golf as well. Watch out for him. There might a documentary about Charlie!

As a golfer myself, I understand the pressure of the game, but nothing compared to the pressure Tiger was under. It’s a game for mature people. Prepare to get frustrated. Tiger seemed to handle himself and the game well. HBO did a great job of capturing Tiger’s childhood and the amount of attention he got. That can be challenging for a child. They got great interviews to talk about Tiger’s life. Some people you wouldn’t think would be important in this story, were. They made the journey of Tiger’s life very intriguing. You wanted to find out more, and you got more.

Overall, I enjoyed learning more about Tiger and his story. Even though I don’t agree with how they blamed Earl Woods for everything, I would recommend this two-part series to everyone. It was a compelling and strong story. 8.5/10 for me!

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