Will Tiger Woods' Antics Be Detrimental To Professional Golf?

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIDecember 9, 2009

I have had my fill of the TV being inundated with talking heads, voicing their opinion of the many indiscretions of Tiger Woods . I do not write much about golf, however I have been giving much thought to the sport lately.

I have played golf sparingly and very poorly. I only hit two good balls the whole time I was playing…..I know, you’ve heard that one before.

When a fan looks at the impact an athlete has on a particular sport, he or she cannot be unimpressed by the dominance Tiger has demonstrated since coming onto the golf landscape in 1996. He has been such a front man and dominant figure of the sport for so long it is hard to remember golf without him.

What a talent Tiger is!  He shot a 48 over nine holes at the age of three. At three years old, I was still getting stuck in Molasses Swamp in Candyland .

He became a millionaire so fast it was insane. Nike and Titliest were more than willing to wave millions at the “chosen one”. Truly, he is the tallest tree in the forest we call golf.

How will the sport deal with his alleged peccadilloes? So far, Gatorade is the only sponsor to come forth with any negative news concerning his endorsements. And this transaction took place prior to the train wreck we can’t stop looking at.

Endorsements notwithstanding, can the sport endure, as prosperously, with arguably the best golfer in history embroiled in such a public relations dilemma? He had to pull out of his own tournament due to physical injuries administered by his Cadillac or his hostile spouse.

Can he, as great a golfer as he is, overcome these problems? For that matter, how long will it take him to come outside of his house? These negative personal and financial strains can only damage a human psyche.

I am not a psychiatrist, and I don’t play one on television, but I have been to one. I don’t need to hang a shingle outside my office to know that he is damaged goods, and will be for quite some time. Will he be the dominant figure he once was on the links? Or will he be a mere shell of his former greatness?

He is spending money faster than a drunken sailor, a ship full of drunken sailors, to try and minimize the personal scorn that is clearly due him.

Is Tiger the first athlete or public figure to stray from his bedroom? No, but he may be the richest, at least for now. I am sure many of the famous golfers of yesteryear hooked up with another woman or two. Then again, they didn’t have the profile, or cast the shadow that Woods does. Most of them could have met at a bar and not been noticed. The only place to go, for a man with the notoriety and recognizability of Tiger Woods is his own fantasy world.

It is hard for me to believe that golf will be the same as it was before all this became public knowledge. What are your thoughts?

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