August 9, 2010

"SO WITH TIGER WOODS’ GOLF GAME NOW SUCKING LIKE A BILGE PUMP..."

"... can we entertain the hypothesis that his prior slutting around was actually essential to his performance?"

Asks Glenn Reynolds.

Here's what I said back in February, when he made his big "apology":
Deep down, what does he really believe? If I were writing a fictionalized version of his story, I'd have him believe that he is the greatest golfer of all time and that this grand stature authorizes him to do what fits his fabulous mind and body. People get to see the manifestation of that mind and body on the golf course and in those idealized advertisements, but outside of that he must do what has worked, and that means having the anchor of a beautiful family and the whole range of intense sexuality that belongs to him — because he is what he is. Now, he's been called to account by conventional minds and all those people who make money through him — the PGA, the sports networks, advertisers — and they are dragging him down to their mundane morality with no concern for what it took to build the superior mind and body that is Tiger Woods. He is cornered and contemptuous, but he must abase himself for these little people and act as though he agrees. The outrage!
And I said, maybe he needs to throw of the image his father impressed on him and be openly the man he really is, someone more like Hugh Hefner.

What was most essential to Tiger's performance that he's missing now?
Lots of dirty sex.
The love of his wife and stability of his family.
Being regarded as an icon of excellence, which he fed on since early boyhood.
That big, seemingly endless flow of money, from advertisers feeding on his image of excellence.



  
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90 comments:

AllenS said...

Receiving a 9 iron to the head, will throw off your golf game.

Scott M said...

Reading that quote over at Instapundit was this morning's LOL moment.

I think the main problem is that he was planning on personally bankrolling being the first person to play a full 18 holes on the moon...and that's gone all swirly on him now. As an aside, no matter how much I tell my wife it will improve my golf game, I'm simply not allowed to whore around with porn stars. I know, I know...the injustice of it all.

Chase said...

SO, it can't be that Tiger's constant lying and deceit- as with a drug abuser after many years, such as for example a Whitney Houston - that he messed up his focus and talent?

Hugh Hefner - when the story fully comes out about him - he'll have to be dead first - what a difference it will be from what is presented now.

Maguro said...

What was most essential to Tiger's performance that he's missing now?

Tony Galea.

traditionalguy said...

Golf requires a mental self control muscle for every shot. Tiger has messed up his self control muscle by using it on sexual desire lately, but he can go through this switch over and get it back.

Salamandyr said...

I think it's none of those things, simply that the turmoil of this year have disrupted his ability to focus on the game.

Scott said...

Tiger needs to do what Michael Jordan did -- take a few years off and do something else. Maybe he could finish his degree at Stanford, and get his MBA. Take up ping-pong, whatever.

Then he can come back to the game he redefined and see it again with a fresh perspective.

Fred4Pres said...

How about getting you life and family totally torn apart by your own weaknesses tends to have a negative impact on your professional performance?

What do you guys think you are, political pollsters or something?

Brian said...

It can't help when he's on the green and taps a putt, and that guy yells "get in the hole!"

Undoubtedly causes flashbacks.

Seven Machos said...

Poor Tiger Woods. It seems a lot like Samson, when they cut off his hair. For Tiger, they cut off his crazy sex with sluts and whores.

Seven Machos said...

Tiger needs to do what Michael Jordan did -- take a few years off and do something else

I believe but cannot prove that Michael Jordan received a two year suspension for gambling.

AllenS said...

Brian,

Too funny.

Michael said...

I would imagine that the now constant observation of his every move off the course impedes his acquisition and use of steroids.

Plus, he has lost it. I predict forever.

Seven Machos said...

I would imagine that the now constant observation of his every move off the course impedes his acquisition and use of steroids.

This I suspect as well. Tiger looks fat, which is what often happens to people who stop taking steroids.

k*thy said...

He's rudderless. The myth that he is some kind of 'icon of excellence' and that he can control every aspect of his life has been blown to smithereans. Turns out he's human and he can't (presently) handle that.

And, oh yeah...that karma thing.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

His marriage is completely kaput now, right? No hope of salvation? So, why would we assume that he's not still (or once again) slutting around? Seems like he has an incentive to do it even more now.

I would chalk it up to the stress of the nasty divorce, parenting issues, and negative media attention.

- Lyssa

former law student said...

Was Tiger a man-whore at Stanford, when his golfing excellence first caught my attention?

I agree with Fred4Pres -- Tiger's concentration is shot. The scandal occupies his mind and everyone else's.

7M -- Does stopping steroids cause one to bloat? I used to know a lovely young woman with severe arthritis, whose facial features would periodically be distorted with some sort of swelling. I knew she took steroids for the arthritis.

GMay said...

I didn't vote because I didn't see a "distracted" option.

The guy was phenomenal before he was rich...and famous...and married...and a father...and getting laid all the time.

His empire is crumbling, he's lost much of his adoring public, he's constantly hounded about his 'issue', and his sponsors he's had for years have dropped him.

He was going to go down in the golf history books and referred to reverently like Jones, Palmer, Nicklaus, Hogan. Each of those guys has a great personal story to accompany their golf achievements and most who ardently follow the game know them. Tiger's personal story to accompany his achievements is now this.

All the guy has left is his golf game and that's leaving him too. It's going to spiral out of control unless he gets hold of it.

MadisonMan said...

Meanwhile, Elin sits back and eats another gold-flaked chocolate.

El Pollo Real said...

What was most essential to Tiger's performance that he's missing now?

Moral imperative for lack of a better phrase. He had it and may get it back. It depends on his own integrity. He may also be having performance anxiety. He knows he may have blown his chance to be on a stamp (or it was blown rather).

People still do get second chances. His kids deserve the best out of him. I wish him well in that sense.

Seven Machos said...

You don't just get big taking steroids. You have to use your muscles as well. Otherwise, you will simply be fatter.

lemondog said...

He is 34 years old. His whole life has been on public display.

I don't know when golfers peak but it may be a combination of age, lack of physical conditioning, and emotional stress affecting his ability to focus to the exclusion of all else.

He needs an Oprah moment.

Seven Machos said...

He needs Anthony Robbins.

Lincolntf said...

After his divorce numbers were made public, I think he was still worth well into 9 digits.
He should buy an island with it's own golf course, have his thick-thighed flavors of the week flown in from Vegas and just party, golf and debauch himself for a year or two. Kidding, but he obviously needs something. When Tiger Woods is finishing near LAST on Sunday, something major is wrong.

Scott M said...

He needs Bobby Fisher.

Scott M said...

...or to caddy 18 holes for the Dali Lama. He'd have that going for him...

michael farris said...

He needs to save his relationship with his hos and sluts and try to put that whole tawdry 'wife and kids' episode behind him.
How he thought he could shortchange his hos with a 'real family' is beyond me.

edutcher said...

Surprised so few people went for #4.

I do have a feeling the threat of legal trouble is eating at him, plus the intensified observation.

Fred4Pres said...

How about getting you life and family totally torn apart by your own weaknesses tends to have a negative impact on your professional performance?

Home and family anchor a man, no matter how much guys joke about fooling around.

lemondog said...

He is 34 years old. His whole life has been on public display.

I don't know when golfers peak but it may be a combination of age, lack of physical conditioning, and emotional stress affecting his ability to focus to the exclusion of all else.


Another excellent point.

Tim Windsor said...

OMG. He's Don Draper!

Scott said...

"I believe but cannot prove that Michael Jordan received a two year suspension for gambling."

Based on personal knowledge of the relevant facts?

I believe but cannot prove that Seven Machos fucks goats. :)

Seven Machos said...

Scott -- He was a known gambler. He switched to baseball at the height of his career. He forewent millions of dollars. It doesn't make any sense.

A much more reasonable conclusion is that Jordan was suspended privately by the NBA for gambling. This also makes sense for the NBA, which would have had serious problems if it suspended him publicly.

I also think the Duke-UNLV game where Duke beat UNLV and the UNLV players kept senselessly turning the ball over was fixed. Call me a basketball conspiracy theorist.

traditionalguy said...

A little talked about part of a sexual fooling around is that it is not damage free to a human soul like drinking too many Coca-Colas would be. The long term effect of multiple sexual relations includes mixing (Adulterating) the human soul until at a critical point the loss of self, once disguised by drugs, can no longer be denied. Tiger is not his old self anymore. He is a shell of the old Tiger.

John said...

I look at the downfall of his golf game as evidence that Tiger Woods has a conscience. If he were a sociopath, he would have said all of those things and gone merrily along. Golf is not a reaction game. It is a thinking game that requires a clear head. It is not a game you can escape your problems in.

Tiger, like many of us, had some self control issues. And he also like many people rationalized his behavior. But once it all came out and he lost his wife and kids because he wasn't a sociopath but just a weak person, I think really devastated him and thus his golf game. If Tiger were as bad as everyone thought he was last winter, his golf game would have been unaffected by this. He would have continued practicing just as hard. And there would have been no thoughts of his lost wife and kids to bother him on the course.

knox said...

It could be that whoring around for so long without getting caught gave him a feeling of invincibility. That would be a pretty good thing to have as a pro golfer.

When it all fell apart, it wasn't just "I'm caught!!" It was a huge blow--like a superhero losing his powers or something.

John said...

"The long term effect of multiple sexual relations includes mixing (Adulterating) the human soul until at a critical point the loss of self, once disguised by drugs, can no longer be denied."

That is a fantasy. There have been any number of examples of horrible womanizers who had long careers and seemed to be unaffected by such. I am not saying you should do what Tiger did. But if you think that everyone who does so will end up in some horrible miserable state, you are kidding yourself. Depends on the person. And indeed, such womanizing is usually a sign of an underlying problem rather than a cause. He was clearly looking for something he didn't have.

Seven Machos said...

New Pussy Syndrome is a terrible affliction suffered by every man at some level, from latent to out of control.

John said...

"New Pussy Syndrome is a terrible affliction suffered by every man at some level, from latent to out of control."

Show me a beautiful woman and I will show you a man who is tired of sleeping with her. That is why women hate Tiger so much. They see his gorgeous wife and see that she can't hold him and it sends a shiver down their spines about all men.

Scott said...

@Seven Machos: Yeah you have a point.

Seven Machos said...

Women will never understand NPS.

former law student said...

"New Pussy Syndrome is a terrible affliction suffered by every man at some level, from latent to out of control."

Latest victim is Mark Hurd. I'm going to update the professor's comment to cover him:

If I were writing a fictionalized version of his story, I'd have him believe that turning around HP from the sorry state Fiorina left it in made him the greatest CEO of all time, and that this grand stature authorized him to use company money to seek sexual favors from a former Skinemax movie star.

Mark O said...

HGH. It really works and it makes a difference.

As to MJ. Let's see, yeah, it was a coincidence that his dad was found dead in a ditch. Not mob related. And, we know how much Michael loved to play baseball. He was so good he played for a team owned by----the owner of the Bulls. He was awful but he played every game.
He took a voluntary leave. On defined terms.

GMay said...

I read awhile ago that golfers are considered to peak at around 35, when their experience and maturity more than make up for any possible decay in physical conditioning.

And I doubt that use of steroids or HGH improves one's golf game.

HDHouse said...

Perhaps at the time he had what he perceived as 'control' of his life - out of control as it was. To him it was situation normal without the "afu" part. I suspect that he is pretty much unhinged by the last year as well to be expected.

Not taking away from his incredible golfing gifts, the game is highly mental and at that level with perhaps 25 or so top players just being a bit apart in skill set - last year he was, until all this, a full stroke better on average than the next group of 10. A reversal of 2 strokes puts him about 25th..so if he slips one he is 1 of 10, 2 and he is 1 of 25, 3 and he is off the tour.

A.W. said...

i thought it was only his mistresses who sucked like... um, never mind not going there.

MadisonMan said...

I'd be curious to know what the nephew thinks of this.

But I suspect that would be too much personal life in the althouse blog. And I doubt that pro golfers want to be quoted re: Tiger.

Flexo said...

It's no secret.

His heart is not in it. Not really. He has learned what is most important in life -- love and family -- and those have been destroyed. Golf is pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

In time, he'll get his head back on straight and begin to win again . . . or maybe he never will.

Bill said...

See the goatee? Isn't it obvious? The mirror-universe Tiger Woods doesn't play so good.

AllenS said...

Woods is growing a goatee because he was impressed with the Mitch Miller look.

"In memory of Mitch, I grow the goatee." -- Tiger Woods

Comrade X said...

He'd better get on the stick. The Earl inspired sports dads have been working on the next generation of robogolfers from birth for a while now, and they'll be coming on-line soon.

Scott M said...

The mirror-universe Tiger Woods doesn't play so good.

You wouldn't be able to either without the funky-cool sash they wear over there...along with the mandatory, wear-at-all times phaser.

virgil xenophon said...

I'm sure there are lots of other ex-athletes reading here who can comment, but as a once nationally-ranked tennis player in the amateur era in the juniors and college men's I can attest to the fine line between winning and losing in which confidence and concentration is often the only difference. I was surprised that Ann didn't have an "all of the above" choice as I really feel it's the cumulative combination of it all.

It was noted in the poll's comments section that his knee surgery might play a maj. role. I heartily second that notion. As in tennis, in golf it ALL begins with the legs. That's the X factor here. The slightest "favoring" of the knee would be enough to throw off his entire swing save for putting.

Some great comments here..

ricpic said...

I hate to burst the bubble of psychobabble concerning what ails Woods but his present slump is almost certainly a matter of a slight hitch in his swing. Something like a .330 hitter in baseball going into a slump because of a barely noticeable change in his stance at the plate. Once Woods finds and corrects the problem he'll be right back on top.

Joe said...

Four contributing factors, in order:

1) Other golfers have improved.

2) His knee surgery.

3) His coach (and now lack of one.)

4) Distraction from the divorce.

Old Dad said...

The rumored death of Tiger Woods' golf game is premature. He needs a coach he can trust,and he needs to play more competitive golf. He may not catch Jack, but he will win more majors. Don't bet against him at the PGA, either.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

GMay, FLS, They are different kinds of steroids. The ones used by athletes and body builders are anabolic steroids, which are based on the testosterone structure, so they increase muscle mass (and cholesterol levels, skin oil production, etc.) The ones used for inflammatory and allergic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, are corticosteroids (Prednisone and the like), which are similar to naturally produced corticosteroids made in the adrenal glands. Long term use of them can cause changes in fat distribution, leading to a moon face, shoulder hump, and thinning of the legs, among many other things.

Toy

HDHouse said...

ricpic said...
"Once Woods finds and corrects the problem he'll be right back on top."

isn't that the way with all things? once we find out what the problem is and correct it won't we all be on top?

veni vidi vici said...

This is all psy-ops PR for the impending comeback of epic proportions, and the nauseous wave of inspiring media stories that will attend the events when they begin to crescendo.

Scott M said...

This is all psy-ops PR for the impending comeback of epic proportions, and the nauseous wave of inspiring media stories that will attend the events when they begin to crescendo.

You do realize, don't you, that if Tiger has that "epic comeback", he'll be able to get any whore he wants.

El Pollo Real said...

You do realize, don't you, that if Tiger has that "epic comeback", he'll be able to get any whore he wants.

And you can bet that this time around there will be cameras in the courtroom (or cameras in the camera so to speak).

Lynne said...

virgil xenophon said:
"As in tennis, in golf it ALL begins with the legs. That's the X factor here."

The legs feed the wolf, gentlemen.

Gosh, that just works on so many levels here.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"he'll be right back on top."

Isn't that the root of the problem?

Scott M said...

Isn't that the root of the problem?

Not necessarily. Tiger always struck me as a Cleveland Steamer type.

HT said...

And I said, maybe he needs to throw of the image his father impressed on him and be openly the man he really is, someone more like Hugh Hefner.

Well there goes, then, the 'anchor of the beautiful family.'

GMay said...

"Long term use of them can cause changes in fat distribution, leading to a moon face, shoulder hump, and thinning of the legs, among many other things."

Hence my comment doubting their ability to improve one's golf game.

MamaM said...

No one can serve two masters...

The public image Hefner crafted reveals a man devoted to enjoying and marketing hedonism. Hefner's name, his dress, his lovers, his parties, his baby oil, his brand and merchandise all symbolize and reflect the lifestyle and values he promotes. His life appears consistent with his beliefs

The values Tiger was promoting in his public life were not consistent those driving his private decisions and behavior. The semi-secret lifestyle he was living behind the scenes was the antithesis of the integrity, devotion, and will power he was marketing as part of his game.

Too many Masters screwed up the Game!

Jim said...

I think everyone is missing out on the obvious because the "slutting around" is so much more salacious.

Tiger Woods was a drug addict.

The drugs that he was taking: Ambien, Xanax, etc. were all - essentially - nerve-calming drugs.

My best guess? That his famous calm and cool under pressure were more a result of constantly being under the influence of the drugs than of any intrinsic "cool" in his personality.

Golf is often a game of millimeters, and the guy who can shut out the outside world and put every bit of focus into his next shot is the guy who will inevitably perform the best.

Now that he's not doped up 24/7, he can't perform the way he used to any more. I doubt he'll ever get that back unless he goes back to using. I sincerely doubt that he's EVER competed at the professional level without the aid of all these (for golf purposes) "performance enhancing" drugs, and therefore I don't think he really knows HOW.

phil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rialby said...

Something tells me we're going to end up asking the same questions about our POTUS, especially after Michelle's solo trip to Spain.

Lucien said...

Some random thoughts:

1)Does anyone think that Tiger Woods has such bad taste/luck that every woman he slept with after he was married decided to go public (If not, how many discrete ones are out there)?

2)An analysis over at Slate showed that his drop off had to do with putting consistency, so why think that steroids had anything to do with it?

3)Still ranked N0. 1, right?

4)If Tiger slept with fewer than two new women every six months during his marriage, does that seem like very many, given the opportunities he likely had?

Sixty Grit said...

He is being tested for performance enhancing drugs, so he is probably not taking detectable ones. Not sure he is being tested for using and abusing cheap whores, so we have no evidence for or against his continued use of them.

He may never get his game back. He might need some time off - I heard today that he has stopped practicing. Maybe he should go away, count whatever money he has left, and think about what he wants to do when he grows up, if he ever does.

WV: tioshlo - Uncle Shlo in Spanish.

GMay said...

I might have bought into his "sabbatical" from golf had it not coincided more or less with his normal off-season. If he had skipped the Majors, then he would have shown he was serious about turning his life around.

The guy is still going to have gobs more money than the vast majority of people no matter what happens.

MamaM said...

Elvis and Michael Jackson had gobs of money too. Along with talent, fame and fans.

jr565 said...

He just lost his mojo. He was sitting on top of the world, and thinking he had the perfect life, with the wife and the mistresses, and the golf. Now that he's back down to earth he's doubting his natural abilities and as such is playing badly.

MeTooThenMail said...

$.02

1) And yes, golf in particular, and professional sports in general, require maximum and sustained physical and mental excellence. In this, Mr. Woods was a rare and true genius. It's his putting which has left him more than anything else.

2) There is reason to believe that Mr. Woods had a substance abuse and/or dependency problem; sedative hypnotics, ? other. Some of his performance problems may relate to the effects of state-induced learning and having to play clean (and sober.)

3) I would further speculate that he is on some type of mood stabilizing agent; lamotrigine, e.g. and his concentration and performance may be altered by this.

4) As to whether he was using HGH or other performance enhancing substances is interesting idea. If the PGA was anything like MLB (think Bonds, Sosa, McGwire) calling out Mr. Woods for HGH use was not going to happen, until perhaps now.

5) Lastly, I like the idea of Tiger playing Possum. I like that idea a lot (Actually thought of it after watching him miss a 5 foot putt on Friday.)

In any case, it must have sucked to be him.

Really.

I'm not really invested in the idea of his getting his game back, his wife back, or whatever. Tiger was an extraordinary entertainer, for his own sake (not mine) it would great if he found some humanity.

Just sayin'.

Milwaukie guy said...

What, I can't list them all in order of importance, but Tiger had it all. All of the above. Family, ho's, a money hose and a tradition of not screwing up. Now, not so much.

No wonder his game is off!

GMay said...

"And yes, golf in particular, and professional sports in general, require maximum and sustained physical and mental excellence."

I think the poor physical conditioning of guys like Craig Stadler, John Daly, Phil Mickelson, and yes, even Jack Nicklaus tends to cast doubt on the idea that "golf in particular" requires maximum sustained physical excellence.

Hell, Nicklaus was in contention in the Masters several years ago at the age of 62, and Watson more recently has been thrilling galleries in his sixties. Neither one of those guys is anywhere near the physical condition of the young guys they were up against.

Physical conditioning may help some golfers, but it is hardly a requirement for excellent golf.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

The Yips.

Eric said...

As an aside, no matter how much I tell my wife it will improve my golf game, I'm simply not allowed to whore around with porn stars. I know, I know...the injustice of it all.

Turns out Tiger's wife wasn't too keen on it either.

Pogo said...

In shirt, Tiger figured out that he, too, is human. That'll throw your game off a bit, I reckon, when you had once firmly believed the usual rules didn't apply to you.

The real test of a man is what happens after he figures out that the world works quite a bit differently than he had once thought.

Lonetown said...

I think that to compete as well as he does requires an intense internal conflict in which a champion must subdue doubt.

The chicks are just a side benefit. (unless you'd rather a wife and family). (doesn't that seem so odd these days?)

Mr. Bingley said...

Well, Nike better start buying him some hookers or their stock is toast.

HDHouse said...

Thinking about this some - if you will remember Nancy Lopez when she came to the LPGA tour...she won everything in sight and with very low scores for woman's golf - very long drives and a great short game...she didn't get "worse" over time, the field got better.

The PGA is filled with super players who are driven competitors - these guys would rip your eyes out with a smile and a handshake, nothing person, just personal honor.

Tiger set the mark like Nicklaus set the mark and everyone notched it up.

That Tiger had a mortal game is probably all mental at this point but for him to get back to the top is going to be a climb - and over others who want to get there just as bad.

Joaquin said...

Tiger needs to embrace the dark side. Grow a fu. Buy a couple of black Ferraris. Advertise for BoDog or GoDaddy.
Guys like Tony Stewart, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Dale Earnhardt, John Daly, even Joe Namath were 'bad guys' and were successful by being who they are.
Don't be a fraud. Be who you are and if you're good, people will love you.

Clyde said...

Spinach: Popeye as Poontang: Tiger.

Simple as that. Unless he busts some out, he's gonna continue to get beaten up by golf's Blutos.

MeTooThenMail said...

GMay,

I wrote physical excellence, not conditioning.

Ever watch Nicklaus putt? The intensity, focus, and stillness were incredible.

Physical excellence in golf is ability to reproduce perfectly the swing, with the right timing, tempo, and speed. It does not necessarily require great conditioning.

Just as easily as someone is at the top of the world in golf, they can easily (or so it seems) lose it, think David Duval.

What makes Tiger and Jack so incredible is their ability to consistently win, despite any and all competitors, advances in technology, etc.

Theirs is a combination of sustained physical and mental excellence - perhaps unmatched in sports, or at least they are amongst the greatest in any sport at any time.

Your mileage may vary.

As for John Daly, he has freakish flexibility and eye-hand coordination for a guy who should be dead by now. He can barely play at the pro level but he can't win.

k*thy said...

As for his weight gain, I think it's more likely that he's just plain ol' not taking care of him self (and I would add, not just physically, but also mentally).

He's got a right to do this his own way, which clearly he is. Things will change when he becomes willing to listen to those who have been where he is and have gotten out.

GMay - I agree. He'll never be homeless or go hungry. All of this is really not that big a deal.

GMay said...

MeTooThenMail,

I see what you're saying, but the context of the thread was around steroids and HGH, which are not going to help the physical excellence to which you refer. Bigger muscles aren't going to increase your clubhead speed or improve your accuracy.

As for John Daly, while his day is probably over, his record is better than most professional golfers and there are many higher profile golfers that would kill for the majors he's won.

MeTooThenMail said...

GMay

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

Actually, anabolic steroids and more importantly HGH allows not only for strength, but for recovery from injury.

This is probably the greatest effect of HGH (and to a lesser extent steroids) is the ability to recover quickly and completely.

It keeps you in the game and on your game longer than without.

In any case, if Tiger can figure out how to putt again, no matter what else, he could win.

Tom DeGisi said...

He needs to be younger. At the highest levels golf is not actually a old man's game.

Yours,
Tom