Tiger Tales

A lot has been written on Tiger Woods and his accomplishments on course. Away from the bright light of tournament play he has been equally impressive – with a foundation that does great things in the field of education for children.

This week his Target World Challenge returns and while it is primarily a charitable event with a little competition thrown in for entertainment value, it never fails that at any Tiger appearance people will forget why he is there and crash headlong into the usual subjects. Slumps, marriage, world issues, Phil Mickelson – when Tiger is around certain topics always seem to surface. Unfortunately in a week like this it takes focus off the good that his foundation is doing.

Remarkably Tiger has been very gracious and skilful in deferring the inquiring minds and directing them towards the topic at hand. All credit to him for that.

While many people get to see the end result of this in the various stories that will run in the press, I am fortunate to get to see and hear this first hand sometimes. It is unbelievable the microscope that this man lives under –all for being the most talented golfer on the plant.

We will see (or hear in my case) if his ability to keep attention focussed is still intact when the PGA Tour holds a teleconference from Sherman Oaks, California, the site of the Target World Challenge, tomorrow afternoon. Coincidentally the PGA Tour will also be announcing the 2006 PGA Tour Player of the Year. You get one guess at whom that might be.

Hopefully Tiger will be able to have time to update the world on his foundation’s work AND his great season on tour – with the foundation coming first.

Based on what he has done already with his fame and fortune, I would have to agree with Earl Woods’ assessment that eventually Tiger’s impact may be felt more off the golf course than on it. Much like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and the work he and his wife have done to use their money to benefit others.

I just hope that everyone pays as much attention to Tiger for that reason as much as his ability to win golf tournaments, how his swing is doing, or if he and Phil send each other Christmas cards.

For more about the Tiger Woods Foundation and the amazing things they have been doing see www.twfound.org/

Critics may say that Tiger’s foundation is nothing but a tax write-off but I would dare them to say that to the face of just one of the young people who the foundation has helped.

Tiger will tell you himself, with all honesty, that just one success in his Foundation programs means just as much to him now as another PGA Tour win.

It is an approach like that for which Tiger really needs to be admired, not simply for his athletic ability.

So, for those weeks when Tiger is not in the field at a PGA Tour event, just remember that he may be away for the purpose of enriching the life of someone who really needs it.

Hopefully that will make your T.V. snacks go down a little easier.

In the meantime, this week you know he will be in the field.

Enjoy and admire…

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