“A confident and substantial book...It has torque and velocity...It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball. I found it exhilarating, depressing, tawdry, and moving in almost equal measure. It’s a big American story.” —The New York Times
Based on years of reporting and interviews with more than 250 people from every corner of Tiger Woods’s life—many of whom have never spoken about him on the record before—a sweeping, revelatory, and defining biography of an American icon.
In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune living what appeared to be the perfect life. Married to a Swedish beauty and the father of two young children, he was the winner of fourteen major golf championships and earning more than $100 million annually. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years—one that unraveled in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving-night car crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional lives over a cliff. Still, the world has always wondered: Who is Tiger Woods, really?
In Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, the team behind the New York Times bestseller The System, look deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to that question. To find out, they conducted hundreds of interviews with people from every facet of Woods’s life—friends, family members, teachers, romantic partners, coaches, business associates, physicians, Tour pros, and members of Woods’s inner circle.
From those interviews, and extensive, carefully sourced research, they have uncovered new, intimate, and surprising details about the man behind the myth. We read an inside account of Tiger’s relationship with his first love, Dina Gravell, and their excruciating breakup at the hands of his parents. We learn that Tiger’s longtime sports agency, International Management Group (IMG), made $50,000 annual payments to Tiger’s father, Earl Woods, as a “talent scout”—years before Tiger was their client. We discover startling new details about Earl, who died in 2006 and to this day lies in an unmarked grave. We come along as Tiger plunges into the Las Vegas and New York nightclub worlds alongside fellow superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. We are whisked behind the scenes during the National Enquirer’s globetrotting hunt to expose Tiger’s infidelity, and we get a rare look inside his subsequent sex-addiction treatment at the Pine Grove facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
But the portrait of Woods that emerges in Tiger Woods is far more rewarding than revelations alone. By tracing his life from its origins as the mixed-race son of an attention-seeking father and the original Tiger Mom—who programmed him to be “the chosen one,” tasked with changing not just the game of golf but the world as well—the authors provide a wealth of new insight into the human being trapped inside his parents’ creation. Most of all, we are reminded, time and time again, of Woods’s singular greatness and the exhilaration we felt watching an athletic genius dominate his sport for nearly twenty years.
But at what cost? Benedict and Keteyian provide the answers in an extraordinary biography that is destined to become the defining book about an authentic American legend—and to linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We think this biography will stand the test of time as the definitive account of the making and unmaking of a golf legend. Related in meticulous, gloriously unauthorized detail, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian’s book takes apart not only the myth of Tiger Woods but also the mythmakers who hyped him up, including Woods’ father and agent and a cadre of fawning journalists. By the end, we’re left with the impression of a shattered idol: a man who fell from a grace he didn’t deserve in the first place.
I’ve read every book ever printed about Tiger Woods and this is the best compilation ever written. Extremely well done, thorough and engaging.
When I first started reading this book, I was a bit cautious because it’s not from Tigers point of view. However, the author has so many sources, articles, etc that paint the story so well. I have followed Tigers career closely over the years, but this book sheds light on things I never knew. This book gives a true and authentic look into Tigers upbringing, his affairs, addictions, dominance on the course, and everything in between. Highly recommend.
So much more than the documentary
The vivid words and detail add so many more dimensions to the documentary. The story soars, dips, and soars again like a plane on the verge of crashing that emerges to an uncertain language. I wished it had continued through the present day and hope Tiger continues to show his resilience in life that he displays on the green stuff.