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About the Book
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. But it turned out he had been living a double life for years—one that exploded in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving night crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and
professional lives over a cliff.
In this “searing biography of golf’s most blazing talent” (GOLF magazine), Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian dig deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to the question that has mystified millions of sports fans for nearly a decade: who is Tiger Woods, really?
Drawing on more than four hundred interviews with people from every corner of Woods’s life—many of whom have never spoken about him on the record before—Benedict and Keteyian construct a captivating psychological profile of a mixed race child programmed by an attention-grabbing father and the original Tiger Mom to be the “chosen one,” to change not just the game of golf, but the world as well.
But at what cost? Benedict and Keteyian provide the starling answers in this definitive biography that is destined to linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
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About the Authors
Jeff Benedict is a New York Times bestselling author, a special features writer for Sports Illustrated, and a television and film producer. He has also written for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and his stories have been the basis for segments on 60 Minutes, 20/20, 48 Hours, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, the NFL Network, HBO Real Sports, CNN, and the Discovery Channel. He’s written fifteen books, including the New York Times bestselling autobiography of Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.
He lives with his wife and four children in Connecticut. Armen Keteyianis a CBS News correspondent based in New York and an eleven-time Emmy Award winner, he is widely regarded as one of the finest investigative journalists in the country.
A former writer-reporter at Sports Illustrated, he is also the author or coauthor of ten previous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Raw Recruits and The System. Born and raised in Michigan, he now lives with his wife, Dede, in Fairfield, Connecticut, and San Clemente, California.
More information about the book, including excerpts here:
BIG IDEA 1 (6:24) – Keep your friends close (but be nice to them)
Tiger Woods had a small circle of friends, particularly when he was growing up as he spent most of his time playing golf. Even with his small circle of friends, it seems that he didn’t share much with them.
The people who were close to him gave a lot to him, not because of any ulterior motive, but because they have a genuine interest and wanted him to be happy.
But those people were often suddenly dropped, without being told directly as to why. This happened with caddies, managers or agents and other various people around him (including his long term girlfriend). When these people were around there also wasn’t much gratitude shown to them.
This lack of support system played out later on in life, especially as Tiger was not good at admitting that he’s struggling.
In the book it talks a lot about how his father used prisoner of war tactics to toughen Tiger at such a young age. He would use racist slurs on him whilst Tiger played golf to toughen him up. This played out later in his life how he kept things to himself, didn’t ask for help or say ‘enough’.
The lesson here is to say thank you and have a support network. Know who’s around you and who you can be truly vulnerable with and ask for help, because at some point in our life you will be needing it.
BIG IDEA 2 (9:02) – Go back to basics.
At the peak of Tiger’s career, he redid his swing. His swing is the fundamental of what made him great. People thought this was absolute madness and career suicide.
He did this a couple of times, even at the height of his career. Once the change was brought about by the changes in his body. He got so strong from a lot of heavy weight lifting and bodybuilding that his body didn’t move in the same way anymore, he had to adapt his swing.
Tiger had such a deep understanding of the fundamental, core principles of golf and the physics of swing that he could identify the tiny tweaks required and how to put this into practice. He also has the dedication and obsession to put in the work to adapt to the changes in his game.
Lesson: don’t be afraid to tweak the basics, even if you’re on the top of your game.
BIG IDEA 3 (11:19) – Is this the cost of greatness?
Tiger suffered from separation from others. He had parents who are both extremes; his dad was really tough and his mom was incredibly protective.
Reading the book you could evaluate why he turned out the way he did. His parents extreme parenting styles resulted as to why he did what he did and why he fell into the trap of his actions.
According to some fields of psychology, determinism doesn’t exist, everything is your choice. Just because you were brought up a certain way, you still get to choose how you behave going forward.
However there is also this argument that you can’t be what you can’t see. So if Tiger never seen vulnerability or asking for help, being able to have friends and not see everyone as potential competition, he won’t learn those things.
Is this really the cost of greatness? Do you really have to go to some of those lengths, whether you are the one who is the achiever or the one supporting them or bringing out the best in them.
The lesson here is how we define success and how we rewrite what we idolise. All the media coverage about what Tiger Woods is doing in his life means that we consume that information and feeds the circus that surrounds the mentality that greatness is achieved in these ways.
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