Since Tiger Woods’ scandal, he has been no where near his previous level of sporting excellence. He hasn’t looked like he is going to win a tournament and has missed the cut on several occasions, something unheard of earlier in Tiger’s career.
It has been said that Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, raised Tiger with one single aim; to change the world through the medium of golf. So naturally this is all Tiger knows. After the scandal about his many affairs was revealed, it becomes obvious that he is only a man with serious social and mental instabilities.
But the way Tiger was raised invites the questions of how ethical Earl’s decision to mould Tiger’s life was? Of course Tiger had the talent, but as far as having a choice in his career path, he had none. By the age of 2 he was already being forced into intensive training and at the age of 8 he had already appeared on Good Morning America to show off his golfing ability. Both ages where he can not make decisions for himself but simply complies with his fathers wishes. The main result of concentrating a young child’s life in such a way leaves a child deficient in other areas of their lifestyle; like their social life.
The pressures of a sportsman, both aspiring and professional, are phenomenal, especially in Tiger’s position. He was in a loving family, yes, but he had to spend hour after hour, day after day practicing golf swings and putts at his father’s will. I wonder if you had asked a young Tiger Woods whether he would want to swing a golf club or play with his friends what his answer would be.
The extremity and intensity of Tiger’s upbringing and training is not that different from the story of Richard Santrak; mini Hercules. Who, as a boy, was forced into extreme physical exercise and a bodybuilder’s regime at an extremely young age. The immoral approach to parenting that occurs around some children leaves them with a massive disadvantage as they have to recover their psychologies, in order to recover a normal life. It is always said with superheroes in comic books and movies that they always wish for a normal life, and when sportsmen and women excel to such a level as superstardom like Tiger Woods has, it is not too far a stretch to say that he is the closest thing that we have to a superhero, and of course the media act as the slandering super-villain, and unfortunately the media won. As far as the consequences of Tiger’s actions go, they have completely reformed the world’s opinion of him, but it has also revealed what lows a childhood deprived of normality can drop to.
As I believe that Tiger was set to rebel against a life of discipline ever since he lost the gift of choice about what type of person he could be, as his father used him as a puppet and traded a childhood full of joyous mistakes and innocence to one of maturity, and although Tiger is arguably the best sportsman of all time, he seems to have lost the gift of happiness along the way, and I can’t help but think of him as more vacant and lost as he plays around St. Andrews this weekend.