No one is more disappointed in the golf phenomenon Tiger Woods more than I. This man wields a lot of pull in public circles. But he squanders that influence in order to keep his public image safe and appealing. While many people would do their best to downplay this man’s importance to the world, look at it from a purely financial perspective. As a golfer, Mr. Woods has earned an amazing amount of money that most believe surpasses one hundred million dollars. That is a king’s ransom. But even that amount pales in comparison to the nine hundred million dollars he earns as a spokesman for a variety of corporate logos like Gatorade and Accenture stood in line to pay handsomely for Mr. Woods to endorse their brand. Corporate America will only pay that kind of money when there is an obvious benefit to be gained. And endorsing Tiger was like taking money to the bank.
However, the light that shines from Mr. Woods’ star is a bit tainted these days. It seems that the squeaky clean image of Mr. Woods as a straight shooter with the high minded morals of a man who could walk on water has taken a pretty significant hit now that it’s a sure bet that there appears to be proof aplenty that he’s been indulging in a number of extramarital affairs. Now, Mr. Woods, who would never have the audacity to publicly criticize anyone else lest it interferes with his non confrontational persona, appears to be roasting over an open fire of public criticism.
I just read an editorial that claims Mr. Woods’ future as a pitchman hinges on his wife Elin Nordegren forgiving him for his discretion’s. That makes sense because we all know it was Mrs. Woods who made Tiger the phenomenon that so many people around the world know him as today. She was the one that put the golf clubs in his hands and trained him to be arguably the world’s most recognizable athlete. If Mrs. Woods leaves she will take all the golf clubs in the house and Mr. Woods will never play again. Honestly, the way some people think defies description. While the loss of his family would no doubt be hugely devastating, Mr. Woods’ value to the world of golf will continue to gain financial momentum. The man is estimated to be worth a billion dollars. And even if Mrs. Woods took half, he’d still be worth a half billion dollars. That’s a hugely lofty sum.
In typical American parlance, a man with a billion dollars in the bank isn’t worth much if he can’t earn another billion dollars. It’s not how much he has in the bank. It’s all about how much more money he can make to put into the bank. If Mr. Woods never made another dime on the golf course, if he never made another dime donning another cap with a Nike logo, he will continue to make a small fortune off the interests from the large fortune he already owns.
What is really most interesting is the number of social pundits who are doing their fair share of dumping on Mr. Woods’ special brand, ready to slap the label of money making ‘has been’ on his already heavy shoulders. But on the other hand, this is the environment that Mr. Woods created for himself. It was Mr. Woods who made the choice to envelop himself in a world so conservative. Golf is to the conservative community what basketball is to the black community. It was Mr. Woods who made the choice to belong to a tight assed country-club, live in an ultra conservative gated community, and cultivate a persona that exudes discipline and perfection.
The idea that Mr. Woods’ career is on the ropes is pretty silly. As long as he remains the best ball sinker on the course corporate America will continue to throw money at him. His game might suffer a bit. But Mr. Woods is no stranger to personal turmoil. Obviously, the man knows how to handle a little turbulence. After all, dude was juggling a number of extramarital relationships for more than two years without so much as breaking a sweat. The man is as cool as a cucumber. He has patience and he has discipline. Some of his fans might feel betrayed. But they’ll be back. They always come back.
Like anyone whose life has been turned on its ear, Mr. Woods wants nothing more than to get through it all and go back to some sense of normalcy. As soon as it blows over he’ll go back to his life behind closed gates. His relationship with the world will forever be changed. But from what I understand about the way he plays golf, this is nothing but a sand trap in the middle of a long hole. This too shall pass and he will get back on stride. But it’s actually interesting to see Mr. Woods struggle with an uncomfortable situation that he’s totally unfamiliar with.