“A confident and substantial book...It has torque and velocity...It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball. I found it exhilarating, depressing, tawdry, and moving in almost equal measure. It’s a big American story.” —The New York Times
Based on years of reporting and interviews with more than 250 people from every corner of Tiger Woods’s life—many of whom have never spoken about him on the record before—a sweeping, revelatory, and defining biography of an American icon.
In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune living what appeared to be the perfect life. Married to a Swedish beauty and the father of two young children, he was the winner of fourteen major golf championships and earning more than $100 million annually. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years—one that unraveled in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving-night car crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional lives over a cliff. Still, the world has always wondered: Who is Tiger Woods, really?
In Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, the team behind the New York Times bestseller The System, look deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to that question. To find out, they conducted hundreds of interviews with people from every facet of Woods’s life—friends, family members, teachers, romantic partners, coaches, business associates, physicians, Tour pros, and members of Woods’s inner circle.
From those interviews, and extensive, carefully sourced research, they have uncovered new, intimate, and surprising details about the man behind the myth. We read an inside account of Tiger’s relationship with his first love, Dina Gravell, and their excruciating breakup at the hands of his parents. We learn that Tiger’s longtime sports agency, International Management Group (IMG), made $50,000 annual payments to Tiger’s father, Earl Woods, as a “talent scout”—years before Tiger was their client. We discover startling new details about Earl, who died in 2006 and to this day lies in an unmarked grave. We come along as Tiger plunges into the Las Vegas and New York nightclub worlds alongside fellow superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. We are whisked behind the scenes during the National Enquirer’s globetrotting hunt to expose Tiger’s infidelity, and we get a rare look inside his subsequent sex-addiction treatment at the Pine Grove facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
But the portrait of Woods that emerges in Tiger Woods is far more rewarding than revelations alone. By tracing his life from its origins as the mixed-race son of an attention-seeking father and the original Tiger Mom—who programmed him to be “the chosen one,” tasked with changing not just the game of golf but the world as well—the authors provide a wealth of new insight into the human being trapped inside his parents’ creation. Most of all, we are reminded, time and time again, of Woods’s singular greatness and the exhilaration we felt watching an athletic genius dominate his sport for nearly twenty years.
But at what cost? Benedict and Keteyian provide the answers in an extraordinary biography that is destined to become the defining book about an authentic American legend—and to linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
Eldrick Tont Woods (born December 30, 1975) better known as Tiger Woods, is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. He has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years. Following an outstanding junior, college, and amateur career, Woods was 20 years old when he turned professional at the end of summer in 1996. By the end of April 1997, he had won three PGA Tour events in addition to his first major, the 1997 Masters. Woods won this tournament by 12 strokes in a record-breaking performance and earned $486,000. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997, less than a year after turning pro. Throughout the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf—he won the 2000 U.S. Open by a record 15-shot margin. He was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 (264 weeks) and again from June 2005 to October 2010 (281 weeks). Woods took a hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in order to focus on difficult issues in his marriage. He and his estranged wife Elin eventually divorced. His many alleged extramarital indiscretions were revealed by several women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011. He ended a career-high winless streak of 107 weeks when he triumphed in the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25, 2013, he ascended to the No.1 ranking once again, holding the top spot until May 2014. Woods had back surgery in April 2014 and September 2015 and has struggled since to regain his dominant form. By March 29, 2015, Woods had fallen to #104, outside of the top 100 for the first time since 1996. In May 2016, Woods dropped out of the world top 500 for the first time in his professional career. In July 2017, the Official World Golf Ranking placed Woods at number 1,005, the worst of his career and only time he has ever been out of the top 1,000. He had ranked number one for a total of 683 weeks, more than any other player in history. Woods has broken numerous golf records. He has been World Number One for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 14 professional major golf championships, where he trails only Jack Nicklaus who leads with 18, and 79 PGA Tour events, second all-time behind Sam Snead (82). Woods leads all active golfers in career major wins and career PGA Tour wins. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, Woods is only the second golfer (after Nicklaus) to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999. Woods and Rory McIlroy are the only golfers to win both The Silver Medal and The Gold Medal at The Open Championship. ..
I’ve read every book ever printed about Tiger Woods and this is the best compilation ever written. Extremely well done, thorough and engaging. 55
Such an interesting look behind the curtain at one of our most polarizing athletes of my lifetime. I couldn’t put it down! 55
No one is accountable for El Tigre’s actions but the man himself. Say, let’s try a few rounds of word association shall we? Just shout out the first word that comes to mind. Ready? Athlete. Champion. Trophy. Fortitude. Grit. Strength. Endurance. Did the term “golf” , “golfer”, or anything even remotely related come to mind? Doubtful. 15
Spot on and well written. Pinpoint details and talk about being along for the ride, hop in! 55
Great summary of Tiger’s life. Helped me love him, dislike him, feel sorry for him and envy him all at the same time. A worthwhile read. 45
Sports writing at its worst. This book would have been better off never published. Multiple factual errors and based on hearsay. Only legitimate sources were angry journalists that dislike the protagonist. 15
Embarrassing fact checking error for a college coaching legend 25