Tiger's Action Plan: Golf's Ponzi Scheme

Larry SnarkvilleAnalyst IDecember 8, 2009

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10:  Tiger Woods speaks about his father Earl, unable to attend due to his health, who started the Tiger Woods Foundation at the dedication ceremony of the launch of the Tiger Woods Learning Center on February 10, 2006 at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Reuben Canales/Getty Images)
Reuben Canales/Getty Images

For the longest time, I fought the urge to jump on the Tiger Woods bandwagon. The one that proclaimed him as the greatest golfer/athlete/person/role model in the known world.

As a lifelong golfer (I started playing in 1977 as a fourteenyearold and have been playing and caddying since), I always held the game as bigger than any one person. It troubled me that so many folks propped him up as "bigger" than the game. This game was too hard (for me, at least), for him to be so good. 

But I tried something different this year.

I had been looking for a character education/career planning/goal setting program for my eighth-grade students. I found it through the Tiger Woods Foundation. On the website is a link for teachers and students called "Tiger's Action Plan."

"This is the answer to my prayers!"

So I put it in place this year.

My students took to it well. I implemented the program with my kids and I saw some real progress. Some of my students even went as far as developing their own "community service" projects as suggested in the plan.

I was proud of their work.

And then two weeks ago happened.

Now I'm stuck because many of those same students are asking me questions that I don't have answers to. Questions like, "Why should I do Tiger's Action Plan when he has been having affairs?" And "Isn't Tiger Woods a hypocrite?" And "My parents won't let me participate in Tiger's Action Plan anymore because they say he's a .......?"

To me, this is about way more than what the latest scandal "TMZ" is reporting on or which corporate sponsor is going to bail on Woods first or the private vs. public argument.

This is grassroots stuff.

It's on the frontline of what happens when a fraud is exposed. 

I'm furious about how badly I've been "had" by the whole image (mirage) that Woods has perpetrated upon us all. And spare me the argument that I don't have to watch him or I don't have to buy the products he's been paid a king's ransom (our ransom) to promote.

It's too late.

I've already "bought."

I've already watched.

And I don't like what I see.

I want a refund from a store that's going out of business.