On the golf course, Tiger Woods is one of the greatest if not the greatest to ever play the game. He is a hero and role model to many and for years has stayed out of trouble and negative press. Woods has built up his foundation and has been the center of the topic: Why can't all professional athletes be more like Tiger Woods?
He is so precise and almost robotic when he is on the golf course, that many forget that Woods is just human. Over the years Tiger has built this image up and today he stands as a mega-international icon and the highest paid athlete of all time. A billionaire and the most heavily endorsed athlete in the world. This larger than life persona is exactly why people are reacting the way they are to his recent news of infidelity and domestic troubles.
All of Tigers previous success and triumphs have moved so far back in the minds of many in society in a newsflash. Woods is someone who would usually be described as an "ace," but it appears in the minds of most, he is now seen as over par for the course of life, off the straight and narrow, or best described in golf terms as in deep rough.
While everyone is jumping on Tiger's back, I think it is fair to say that he is human and that he is still a hero to many (count me in as one of them).
In his now famous statement from his website, Tiger apologizes to his family and states that he has not lived to his "values." Values that have appeared for years to be of the highest esteem and values that people in society have looked to for guidance and strength.
In an instant, the questions surrounding Woods has changed. "How many majors will Tiger win this year?" has changed to "How many women has Tiger cheated with recently?"
Currently, it stands at three alleged women, and expect that number to grow.
The new question in the bigger picture of things is: Will Tiger ever be able to live down his affairs? Or the way I like to see it: Can Woods get back to par for the course?
The Internet, magazines, and newspapers are cranking out more press on this issue, like being buried in a pot bunker at St. Andrews.
The reason people are eating this up so much is because it is like bringing royalty down to the peasant's level. What Tiger is alleged to have done, including the now infamous voice-mail to Jaimee Grubs, suggests that Tiger is more like everyone in society. Not any worse than what is normal in today's day and age.
The divorce rate is around 50 percent in our society and one of the leading causes is infidelity. Statistics on infidelity first began in the 1940s and 1950s in the controversial Kinsey Reports. In these studies, they found that 60 percent of men were unfaithful to their spouses before the age of 40. Women were found at the rate of 30 perecent to do the same. I can assure you that these rates have risen through the '50s to today.
How Tiger Woods deals with this within his family will determine whether his "transgressions" cause his family to join the modern day alarming statistics, or if they can survive these events.
Maybe it is already too late, and that will be something his wife determines. I like to believe that Tiger and his family can move past this if Tiger confesses and truly vows to never do anything like this again within the confines of his family.
Being in this kind of situation is not like what Tiger deals with on the golf course. On the course, Tiger can make the putt or make the improbable shot from the rough time and time again. We all know that.
On the course, Tiger is "better than most" even on his bad day, but in life it now appears Woods is right with the vast majority of society in his alleged "transgressions" and "sins."
In life, Tiger will not be able to make a shot or sink a clutch putt to save his marriage and salvage his reputation.
In fact, Tiger will probably never be seen as an "ace" again, but he has a very good chance to get back to par.
It is all in his hands, and if he does this with grace and dignity, maybe he once again can be seen as a role model to a society that scrutinizes those that fall from grace in order to make themselves feel better.
Image Courtesy of PGA.com