Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball. To be worthwhile, this purpose must excite and hold interest. If it fails in this, the character of the architecture is at fault.
MAX BEHR

 

  

Sunday
Dec132009

Gil Hanse, Architect Of The Year

Nice write-up by Joe Passov of on Golf Magazine naming Gil Hanse its Architect of the Year after the opening of Castle Stuart. The piece accompanies Golf's best new public courses of 2009.

Sunday
Dec132009

Golf Digest Best New...Last For A Couple Of Years?

Cal Club's 9th (click to enlarge)I finally got around to Golf Digest's Best New Courses feature and soaked it all in since it's hard to see this appearing in its current form the next couple of December's thanks to the complete stoppage of new course construction.

In the Best Remodel category, the only course I had seen was 3rd place finisher Cal Club, which lost out to Charlotte Country Club and Olympia Fields. While I'm sure those are both fine efforts from Ron Pritchard and Steve Smyers, I would have been disappointed if Cal Club won. Since it's the most remarkable transformation of a golf course I've seen, I would have had a tough time surviving knowing the Digest panel had seen the same thing. Had they, I might have started resorting to Ambien and we know how well that can work out.

Cal Club's 16th (click to enlarge)Pick a category--design, maintenance, environmental sensibility, aesthetics, maintenance meld--and Kyle Phillips' restoration with Mark Thawley, George Waters and Josh Smith is as fine a piece of work as you could want to see. Throw in the fact that it's artfully managed by fast-and-firm guru Thomas Bastis and team, and well, we just can't have the Golf Digest panel rewarding that!


Sunday
Dec132009

Accenture Drops Tiger Campaign After Six Years And Still No Discernible Idea What The Company Actually Does

But they were cool airport ads while they lasted...


However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising. Accenture said that it wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family.

Accenture will continue to leverage its “High Performance Business” strategy and “High Performance Delivered” positioning in the marketplace. The company will immediately transition to a new advertising campaign, with a major effort scheduled to launch later in 2010.

Guess this means we no longer have to say the Accenture WGC Match Play is a guranteed appearance on his schedule?

Sunday
Dec132009

More SNL On Tiger, Tim Finchem**

The opening sketch is brilliant...

Tim Finchem, Geoff Ogilvy among others were hauled into this Woods saga, with a nice Bernie Madoff connection too:

Wanda Sykes also opened her show with a great skit, but because Fox has some weird video player I refused to download. It'll be on YouTube soon, hopefully. If you want to risk downloading their suspicious player, the episode is here.

Saturday
Dec122009

Tiger Indefinite Leave Clippings, Vol. 2

It appears that Tiger's statement is having the desirable effect of shifting from speculating about what happened to what will happen. One downside? It seems the admission of infidelity has given his peers the green light to talk.

First though, AP's Tim Dahlberg files an extensive and important essay essentially recapping every key element to the last two weeks, and concluding that no one will ever look at Tiger the same way again. This, however, was not something I had seen anywhere else:

Even his own management company piled on.

Barry Frank, IMG's executive vice president for media sports programming, was on a panel about college sports media, where all the panelists were asked what sports business story they would be following closely in the next year.

"How many girls Tiger was with," Frank said.

Stevie Williams felt the need to once again speak out and let us know that his head is spinning, the media has been "made it very difficult" for his family, and that Rick Reilly really should just not ever get near him again.

"I had no knowledge of what Tiger's indiscretion was. And for Rick Reilly to turn around and say that I am a liar and there is no way I couldn't know – and that I should be fired – that is sensational journalism at its height right there.

While Bob Harig talked to several players expressing varying degrees of shock while playing the Shark Shootout, it was Monty's remarks Saturday that seemed to be the most pointed.

James Corrigan reports what Monty had to say about lost Woods aura:

Speaking the day after the world No 1 announced his self-enforced exile, Montgomerie talked of the boost his rivals will receive. "There was an aura, and that wall has been split slightly, so there are cracks and it gives us more opportunity of winning big events," said the Europe Ryder Cup captain. "He is suddenly – I hate to say – more normal. If that is normal! There is a mystique which has been lost and let's hope golf isn't damaged. It shouldn't be. Let's hope the tabloid press finish quickly but it will impact on every tournament Tiger plays next year."

Golf.com shared this from Annika Sorenstam:

"It's tragic. I think this whole thing is tragic. I am in touch with his wife Elin Nordegren now and then. Me and my husband Mike have been out dining with Elin and Tiger on a few occasions. Perhaps it won't happen as often now." - Former top-ranked women's golfer, Annika Sorenstam.

Hank Gola states that "suspending Woods is reasonable and it's right."

One can argue he will pay the price with a reputation beyond repair. Sorry, Tiger cannot be above the game if he has disgraced the game. Correctly or not, golf has always held itself on a higher moral plane as a sport ruled by principles of honor. Has any such publicity created a bigger stain on golf? And, if so, how can Finchem not try to eradicate it?

James Corrigan astutely analyzes the ramifications of Tiger's leave and among many fine observations, notes this about the PGA Tour's stance on Tiger: "In Tim Finchem's own rulebook it says Tour members will be banned for "conduct that brings unwelcome publicity". It's fair to say this publicity hasn't been welcome."

He also offers this about Team Tiger:

Is there any way they can all survive; from the guarded manager to the gruff caddie, to all the other support staff seemingly trained to satisfy his wishes? Jay Townsend, the former pro turned BBC pundit suspects not. "It comes down to his wife Elin," he said yesterday. "I think she's running the show right now and I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of people disappear from his inner circle. They had to know about what was going on. In her mind they have to be part of what happened."

Mark Reason makes an interesting suggestion about Tiger's best spot for a return:

His return to competitive golf will depend greatly on his wife Elin's attitude. The Masters in April would make some sense simply because Augusta restricts entry to individual media who have a history of covering the tournament.

Bill Elliott on Tiger's statement:

This plaintive, if delayed, short burst of humanity from Woods is as touching, in its way, as his earlier prolonged and arrogant refusal to confront the demons gathering daily on his doorstep was disappointingly typical of a man who always has taken the view that he knows best. It is not in itself enough to restore much of Woods's old aura but it is a first step towards some kind of refurbishment of an almost totally shattered image.

What seems likely is that while his image is forever tarnished, his ability to block out the world and retreat inside his head to play the highest-octane golf available is now vitally damaged as well.

Tom English writes in the Scotsman about the indefinite leave:

There was no choice for Woods. He's staying in hiding for family reasons, sure. But you'd have to be naive to think that it was purely an attempt to salvage his marriage that drove his decision of Friday. With all of this lunacy swirling around his head, how could he come back in the medium-term and face public scrutiny? One sighting of him would have caused a media stampede.

Tim Finchem will send a Christmas gift to ESPN.com's Jemele Hill for what is a very astute case for Tiger getting back to playing ASAP:

Since your life erupted in scandal over Thanksgiving weekend, you've made a series of mistakes and miscalculations as you've tried to recover from this continuous assault on your character and family. But announcing Friday that you'll take an indefinite leave of absence from golf is, by far, your worst idea yet.

An indefinite leave of absence doesn't solve anything. It just shows the tabloids and these alleged mistresses that they've won and you're afraid of them.

Mistresses and tabloids: 1-under.

Tiger: 5-over.

Golf isn't the problem. But it could be the answer. Certainly a lot of people are fascinated and disappointed by your train wreck of a personal life, but most people want to see you back on the golf course, competing in -- and winning -- tournaments.

If you play, and especially if you win, it will remind people why they were drawn to you in the first place. It wasn't your wooden acting in those Gillette commercials that made you must-see TV; it was chasing down Jack Nicklaus' record and winning the Masters at 21.

Jason Sobel on the decision to disappear for a while:

This latest decision to take an indefinite leave from golf will only increase the scrutiny when he does return. The first public interview, the first golf shot, the first major championship -- each will be viewed under a microscope that even the most popular golfer has never seen, the eyes of the world fixated on his every word and movement. Until then, he will retreat further into privacy in an attempt to produce what he called a "safe haven we will need for personal healing."

A Murray Deaker interview is about to air in New Zealand where Tiger talks up his devotion to family values.

The veteran broadcaster secured the one-on-one interview, recorded in Melbourne prior to Woods's philandering being exposed, through the golfer's Kiwi caddie Steve Williams.

The exclusive for Sky TV was to be aired on Christmas Day. However, the network had a change of heart last week because, according to their promotional blurb, the "story just won't wait". It will now be screened on Tuesday.

In a 30-second promo on the Sky TV website, Deaker asks Woods: "Family first and golf second. Always be like that?" "Always," is the golfer's reply.

Jay Busbee delves into 2010 and beyond, contemplating how Tiger's decision impacts everyone from Phil Mickelson to the tabloids, offering this summation of the coverage:

The tabloids: For all the criticism that the mainstream media and the American populace heaped on the tabloids, the fact remains that TMZ, RadarOnline, the National Enquirer and others were well ahead of everyone else in the Woods story. Sure, there were some major missteps, and yes, the air of celebrity frenzy they generated left everyone wanting a shower, but this entire scandal should bury once and for all the idea that tabloids are simply creating news out of the air.

As for Elin Woods, several outlets confirmed her long-in-the-works purchase of a six-bedroom home on a small island near Stockholm.

James Desborough & Carole Aye Maung report for News of the World that Elin has been talking to divorce attorneys and will move to Sweden after the new year.

And not much of a surprise here, but Radar reports there is friction in Camp Woods and no real clear idea how to handle the crisis management. No kidding.

Saturday
Dec122009

“As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs"

Whoever said corporations aren't thoughtful and considerate? That's Gillette dropping Tiger.

Friday
Dec112009

Tiger's Indefinite Leave Clippings, Vol. 1

Before we get to the initial reactions to his take-out-the-trash-day statement, I must say that the admission of infidelity and Tiger Woods' decision to take an indefinite leave provided the most striking example of the tabloids being out in front of so many elements to this story. This ought to give us a three or four day reprieve from the hand-wringing "Tweets" of golf writers preaching to their limited followings about the sheer outrage of bloggers citing tabloids as legitimate news sources and daring to cover this tawdry, ugly, nasty...GOLF story.

Just to refresh, a Sun story I decided not to link yesterday because of its preposterousness nature turned out to be accurate: Tiger is leaving the game to save his marriage. And while they're hot and probably not exactly going out on a limb, The Sun also says Elin Woods has ordered her husband to put their homes up for sale after the New Year. While the Daily Mail showed photographs of Tiger's yacht Privacy in obvious preparation for a voyage.

Now for the reactions to Tiger's statement. Bob Harig at ESPN.com puts the sheer absurdity of the last two weeks into perspective:

Who would have ever dreamed Finchem and the PGA Tour would be in favor of Tiger skipping tournaments?

And yet, that is what this Tiger tale has come to, the game's best player benching himself for his own good.

Steve Elling has been tough on Tiger but he likes the move he's made with this statement:

It was the smartest thing he has done in weeks -- and anybody associated with the game should be saying a silent prayer of thanks.

Simply put, Woods had dragged the tour and its players into the mud with him. The splatter and collateral damage had not yet been tallied, but it was palpable. Players were angry, like everybody else. Not that they had been misled or betrayed, a sentiment conveyed by many Woods fans, but because they had done nothing wrong and were being painted with the same broad brush.

That game of honor and integrity had been besmirched like at no other time in its 500-year history. It was a stain that no amount of Clorox could remove.

"He screwed all of us," a prominent player said earlier this week.

Randell Mell at TheGolfChannel.com hopes this is the turning-point the story needs:

Maybe we’re finally nearing the bottom of this awful story, but there’s no guarantee with media outlets continuing to dig. The appetite for the scandal is staggering. The depth of the allegations is equally staggering.

The story still needs a bottom, and here’s hoping Woods moved us closer to it with his statement. Here’s hoping he’s on his way to turning this story around and leading us all out of this mess.

Ron Sirak noted the Friday timing in his lede:

One of the things learned after decades working as a journalist is that when news is announced on a Friday evening, it's never good. The announcement made on Tiger Woods' website that he is taking an indefinite break from professional golf falls into that category. The statement sent shudders through all who care about the game, in large part because it is such an open-ended proclamation.

I wonder if Alistair Tait's reaction to the statement will be the first of some tough-love pieces from what has been a shockingly quiet golf media to this point:

We were sold a myth. Instead all we got was a well-worn cliché: Another brilliant sportsperson whose real life doesn’t even come close to resembling the myth.

We all bought it. Swallowed it whole and were hungry for more. We even helped perpetuate it. We took pride that our hero was a cut or three above other sporting heroes. We were willing to forgive the F-bombs, the occasional sulkiness and the club throwing as part of the pressure that came with being the best.

We scoffed at other sports, where scandal and salaciousness seem to come as part of the package. Our sport was above that. The honorable game.

What saps we are.

Doug Ferguson managed to get an email reaction out of Tiger agent Mark Steinberg. You have to wonder if the timing of the indefinite leave announcement along with the suddenly humble sounding agent suggests he is working with a bunch of companies on the verge of jumping ship:

“The entirety of someone’s life is more important than just a professional career,” Steinberg said in an e-mail to the AP. “What matters most is a young family that is trying to cope with difficult life issues in a secluded and caring way. Whenever Tiger may return to the game should be on the family’s terms alone.”

And..

Steinberg said it would be “premature and inappropriate” to talk about Woods’ specific business relationships.

“Suffice it to say, we have had thoughtful conversations and his sponsors have been open to a solution-oriented dialogue,” Steinberg said. “Of course, each sponsor has unique considerations and ultimately the decisions they make we would fully understand and accept."

Radaronline reports that AT&T is reconsidering its relationship with Tiger, at least according to their unnamed source: an AT&T spokesperson.

"We support Tiger's decision and our thoughts will be with him and his family,” the statement read. “We are presently evaluating our ongoing relationship with him."

Earlier in the day, Stephanie Wei did a nice job piecing together circumstantial evidence to suggest deteriorating relations between Tiger and sponsors, including the disappearance of Tiger's image at Accenture's site and suggestions by this FoxNews.com story that there were intensive meetings taking place Friday.

A cynic might suggest the meetings, the campaigns magically meeting the end of their life cycles and the Woods statement are all linked. But of course, I'm no cynic.

Prior to the statement, ESPN.com's Bill Simmons suggested that the Woods accident and scandal is the biggest story of the decade.

Sixth, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down; if anything, it's gaining steam like a hurricane plowing toward Florida. Seventh, it involves three of the gotta-have-it basics in any gigantic story: sex, (possible) violence, and a (possible) cover-up. Eighth, there's an unanswerable question looming over everything: Even if Tiger did cheat on his wife, should it matter to anyone other than them? (My answer: It shouldn't. But that's the rub of being a public figure. If you don't want to be a public figure, don't do commercials, don't cover yourself in Nike logos and don't sell a video game with your name on it.) And ninth, it's a conspiracy-friendly saga that lends itself to all kinds of inventive angles, an absolute must for any story to maintain dominance.

If you ever want to see a sign of how shallow and introverted the golf community can be, check out Ben Crane's agent's remarks to Steve Elling about the Life and Style tabloid report that incorrectly quoted his client yesterday. He says that if that story got it so wrong, the other tabloid stories must be wrong too. I think Tiger kind of killed that theory with today's statement.

Oh and I loved this from Crane agent Tommy Limbaugh...as if bloggers control the world:

“Once something is out there, how do you pull it back when it’s wrong?” Limbaugh said. “When the bloggers get hold of it, how do you fix it?”

And finally, not to take away from the gravity of Tiger's statement, but there was this other little item in the ongoing mainstream media feuding over sourcing of stories. From golf.com:

The Associated Press has never cited TMZ.com or Radaronline.com as sources in its news stories on Tiger Woods, as was stated in this week's PGA Tour Confidential.

Friday
Dec112009

Tiger To "Indefinite Leave" From Professional Golf**

A statement posted on his website Friday afternoon, December 12th:

I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try.

I would like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding. What's most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing.

After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.

Again, I ask for privacy for my family and I am especially grateful for all those who have offered compassion and concern during this difficult period.

Friday
Dec112009

Tiger And Golf After The Accident: Vol. 3, What Happens Long Term?

Sorry to get all focus-testy again, but...

Does he come back the same player, better or worse?

Friday
Dec112009

Tiger Wins Injunction To Prevent Publication Of Photos That Don't Exist

Reuters reports.

Friday
Dec112009

Latest Late Night Material On Tiger's Accident

Jimmy Kimmel is selling Tiger Woods commemorative plates in conjunction with the good people at the Franklin Mint:

Letterman's top 10 Tiger text messages:

George Lopez's latest monologue, with Tiger material 3 minutes in:




Thursday
Dec102009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 13

While the golf world may be tired of the Tiger saga, it appears the tabloids are not letting go. Perhaps emboldened by Tiger's lecture on privacy, they are moving full steam ahead on several stories. More on that in a moment.

On a positive front for Tiger, several people came forward in his defense. Unfortunately the list included John Daly and Donald Trump. OJ wasn't available apparently. Still recovering from his prison beating.

Mike Walker relays the highlights from The Donald's television interview:

"He's had a very interesting and very traumatic couple of weeks," Trump told TV's Extra. "But I know Tiger and he's a wonderful guy. Tiger is going to be hotter than ever. Mark my words."

Winning will also cure any problems Woods might have with his endorsements, Trump added.

"It may affect his endorsements a little but, but it's like Kobe [Bryant]," Trump said. "No one remembers the Kobe incident anymore. He went out and won a championship."

Randell Mell reports on Greg Norman's Golf Channel interview:

“I hope Tiger sorts these issues out,” Norman said. “Things like that should stay behind closed doors, but then again we are public figures. There are times when people feel like they can reach through the TV screen and say `I own you, I know you because I buy a product you represent.’ That’s a part of it. You have to accept that responsibility.”

Jack Nicklaus was cornered today and offered a "none of my business" to AP, while Reuters quoted him this way:

"He'll figure it out. We've always been a forgiving society," Nicklaus said at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida where he was honouring the boys' golf team that won the state championship.

John Daly wanted to let us know Tiger has made a lot of golfers rich and therefore they should support him in this time of...whatever this time is.

Daly said: "I wish them [the Woods family] the best. I'm not too happy with what some players have said.

"Golf needs him. Because of Tiger is why we're playing for so much money."

Tabloid critics can rejoice after the most glaring fiction yet published was quickly debunked by a skeptical golf media that knew neither Ben Crane and especially Charles Warren were capable of saying something interesting.  

Christine Brennan summed up the saga this way:

We are in the midst of something so jaw-dropping and out of the ordinary that were we to use a term to describe it from a now-suddenly distant, quickly fading past, we might call it Tigeresque.

What Tiger Woods has caused to happen to himself and his image over the past two weeks is the sports world's most remarkable fall from grace, ever. No athlete has ever held a perch so high in our culture — right up there with President and Mrs. Obama, and Oprah — and fallen so far so fast.

Of everything I read, Jason Whitlock wins a special citation for the most awful mess of a column I've read on the Woods saga. Though anyone who blames Orange County for something does deserve some respect:

As far as I know, Tiger grew up on golf courses in suburban Orange County, raised by an African-American, Chinese and Native American father and Thai, Chinese and Dutch mother. That is not the recipe for falling in love with sistas regardless of Tiger's brown skin and full lips.

By profession and diction, the dude would be considered a nerd by most brothers and sisters. Take away his billion dollars and many of the sisters whining that Tiger prefers blondes would continue their search for a tatted-up, corn-rowed, slang-talking real brother.

(If that description doesn't fit you, then don't complain. Destiny's Child sang and sold "Soldier" because somebody was feeling it.)

Tiger's choice in women isn't a statement about how he feels about us (black folks). It's a statement about where and how he grew up.

Jordan Robertson of AP reports on huge website traffic surges since the accident, including a seven-fold jump at golf.com.

An item on the Daily Record blog has this interesting quote about Tiger's endorsement future.

I talked to Baltimore ad firm TBC’s Howe Burch this week about the potential sponsor fallout from Tigergate and he says this is only the beginning. Burch takes issue with those who say Woods’ transgressions have made him seem more human.

“I find that to be a misguided perspective on the whole thing,” said Burch, a former marketing executive with Fila and Reebok. “Tiger was affiliated with big blue chip brands and any brand that is successful is built on a foundation of trust…Tiger has violated their trust. They did not sign up for someone who is duplicitous.”

Toby Tobin suggests that Tiger's already troubled Cliffs project will not be helped by this saga, particularly with a schmaltzy promotional video where Tiger talks about his family life.

The new National Enquirer leads with a cover story that is sure to get plenty of attention, with suggestions of a love child and sex tape.

According to Radar, Gloria's back! The L.A. lawyer is representing "a number of women" on the Tiger front including an apparent woman number thirteen.

TMZ reveals a new document from Tiger's lawyers in Britain filing a motion to stop the publication of revealing photos and videos that they say do not exist.

Tiger Woods' lawyers sent a letter to multiple UK papers and blogs, stating the court order "prevents the publication of private and confidential information contained in the Order.... this Order is not to be taken as any admission that any such photographs exist, and in the event they do exist they may have been fabricated, altered, manipulated and/or changed to create the false appearance and impression that they are nude photographs of our client."

The court order also covers any possible videos. It blocks the publication of "any photographs, footage or images taken or obtained of the claimant [Tiger] naked or any naked parts of the claimant's [Tiger's] body or of him involved in any sexual activity."

The lawyer's letter says, "Our client is not aware of any images and in any event he would not have consented to any such photographs being taken nor would he have consented to the dissemination or exploitation of the same."

Radar says Mistress #4 is going on the Today Show Friday and also appearing in a special Dateline Friday night titled "The Secret Life of Tiger Woods."

On the comedy front, George Lopez only devoted half of his monologue to Tiger on Wednesday night.



Letterman features the latest EA Sports Tiger Woods game:

And finally, Jimmy Kimmel reveals Tiger's new reality show:



Thursday
Dec102009

Tiger And Golf After The Accident: Vol. 2, What Happens In 2010

This is a simple one.

Where does he start his 2010 golf?

How many starts does Tiger make?

How many starts outside the U.S. does Tiger make?

How many wins?

The majors?

Thursday
Dec102009

“She really believes in the importance of parents staying together.”

Soraya Roberts of the New York Daily News says People magazine will report in Friday's edition that Elin Woods is not going to divorce Tiger.

I understand that it's not our business what they end up doing, but the primary behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt centers around what a marriage salvation scenario means for Tiger's professional support team. Since some were either enablers or turning a blind eye to his antics, it's been suggested Tiger will not be able to save his marriage while continuing on with certain key people in his life.

However, at the moment I'm wondering what impact this might have on Tiger's run at history. He has assembled a team that, like it or not, was very good at structuring his professional career to allow him to concentrate on golf when he was inside the ropes while also laying the groundwork for unparalleled success in the sports marketing world and in charitable endeavors. (On the golf course design side, not so much).

I know a lot of readers here work in the corporate world and I'm curious how you would advise Woods in finding a balance between personal and professional considerations, and how he should go about evaluating the roles of his team members going forward?

Thursday
Dec102009

TigerWoods.com Examined By NY Times

In a first page NY Times Sports section story, Richard Sandomir examines all-things-Tiger's-website, from the traffic boost in the last two weeks to nasty reader comments to the relationship between Golf Digest and Tiger Woods.

An intriguing, even unusual, aspect of the site is its editor: Mark Soltau, a respected longtime golf journalist and contributing editor at Golf Digest. It is rare for a journalist to work simultaneously as the editorial overseer of the Web site of the most important player in the sport. To do his job, Soltau gets time with Woods at tournaments that other reporters evidently don’t. Reporters want to be on the inside but rarely get there. Soltau declined to comment on his working relationship with Woods.

Jerry Tarde, the editor in chief of Golf Digest, said he did not consider Soltau’s role a journalistic problem.

“Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest, not a staff writer,” Tarde wrote in an e-mail message. He said Soltau’s work was restricted to Woods’s bylined pieces and the “What’s in my bag?” equipment feature.

“Mark does not write feature articles for the magazine, so I don’t consider his work for TigerWoods.com a conflict,” he wrote.

Woods is listed as a “playing editor” for the magazine, where he has had a longstanding deal.

Tarde said there were no plans to change that relationship in light of the Woods scandal.

If you're Golf Digest, do you keep Tiger on staff?

Wednesday
Dec092009

Must See: Caddyshack: The Inside Story

Biography channel has put together an incredible two hour look at the making of Caddyshack.

They've tracked down and interviewed just about every living person involved with the film, including Mr. Wang and feature some incredible stories about the making of the film. Do not miss it. Listings here.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Senators McCain, Coburn Single Out Sharp Park

Julia Scott reports on a photo opp hosted by the two Republican senators to single out 100 examples of "waste and mismanagement," highlighted by $2.2 million slated to convert Sharp Park's irrigation system to

Specifically, the report questions whether it's wise to spend $2.2 million to pump recycled water to a golf course that "might not exist much longer" — a reference to the fact that San Francisco has been under threat of a lawsuit by environmentalists who favor converting the 18-hole course into a nature preserve for the sake of two federally threatened species that live there. Golf lovers have fought equally hard to keep the public course, which is owned by San Francisco and located in Pacifica.

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department recently weighed in on the golfers' side, circulating a study intended to demonstrate how the golf course could be redesigned to accommodate wetland habitat for the San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog while keeping all 18 holes. The compromise plan was widely praised by Pacifica officials and by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough.

Speier said that McCain and Coburn have deliberately conflatedthe debate over the future of the course and the recycled water project, which will create 275 jobs and irrigate some high school playing fields in addition to the golf course — all while conserving about 50 million gallons of potable water each year.

"This golf course is not going away. This is a classic example of trying to make half-truths make your case," she said. "The senator from Arizona probably has the highest number of golf courses per capita in his state. I'd like to ask him how many of his golf courses are irrigated with potable water when recycled water is more efficient."

Wednesday
Dec092009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 12

We're finally seeing some more thoughtful coverage from the mainstrean press as the tabloids pursue Tiger's mistresses and the dreaded digital trail he left behind.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell says the state attorney who denied a subpoena in the Woods accident "has a history of taking it easy on the well-heeled and influential in this town" and reviews the list of State Attorney Lawson Lamar's questionable decisions involving high profile criminal activity.

And Mike Walker at golf.com noted on this topic: "The knock is against a system where the rich and famous play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. That's the real story here, not the salacious details of Woods's personal life."

Very interesting piece by Robbie Vorhaus at Huffington Post on what is likely going on behind the scenes with Team Tiger. (Thanks reader TS.)

Up until now, Tiger Woods kept his everyday spokesperson, Glenn Greenspan, the head of communications at the Augusta National Golf Club, home to the Masters Tournament, to speak on his behalf. Without question, due to pressure from Tiger Wood's leadership team, management at IMG, all the attorneys, and probably the overwhelmed Mr. Greenspan himself, the Tiger Woods team is now in warrior mode, and need a bigger gun than Mr. Greenspan.

Every PR and crisis professional on the planet is trying to figure out how they can get their foot in the door, sending emails, faxes, text messages and Twitters to anyone connected to Tiger Woods. But it won't work.

Behind the scenes, there is more than likely a scramble to engage a large and well-resourced PR and crisis management firm, and every suggested firm is a referral from someone close and important to Tiger Woods. The PR firm winning this piece of business is already in the major leagues, will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and will use this Tiger Woods engagement as their crown jewel for winning other business for years to come. As a betting man, and with no prior information or vested interest, the Tiger Woods team will probably choose either Hill & Knowlton, Burson Marsteller, or Washington-based Levick Communications.

Annika Toernqvist of SFGate.com compiles the reaction in the Swedish press while AP's Lousie Nordstrom contends that Elin's parents are used to the scrutiny due to their careers.

Lawrence Donegan takes up Elin's defense after several recent spoofs of her alleged behavior the night of the accident.

It takes a rare form of inhumanity to argue that the public's "right to know" means the public has a right to revel in the misogynistic portrayal of Elin Nordegren as the villain of the piece when she appears to be one of the main victims. Did people really fight and die for the right of porn stars to claim they had clandestine affairs with world-famous golfers and that this idle boasting would then be treated as the gospel truth.

Phil Taylor in this week's SI ponders the events of recent weeks and writes:

Just a few months ago Woods was visiting President Obama in the White House, but it's hard to imagine another invitation coming anytime soon. The golf community, well-known for its conservative mien and low tolerance for public indiscretion, will be especially slow to forgive. In short, the world's greatest golfer is used to the public's swoon, but for the first time since he joined the PGA Tour he will feel an awkward chill, anger even, and it will have nothing to do with whether people are still buying Nike gear.

Steve Elling posts and responds to a compilation of reader emails listed in chronological order, which ends up serving as a fast reminder of how many twists and turns the matter has taken as it's devolved over the past 14 days.

Michael Bamberger
wasn't too taken with the suggestions that Tiger sit down with Oprah.

If he goes on Oprah, he'll really be saying, "This is about image," while mouthing words from a script for our benefit. If he doesn't go on Oprah, he'll be saying, "This is not about you, whoever you are, but about my family." He'll be showing us and, more importantly, his wife and children that they are the priority.

Alexi Mostrous of The Times says there is one beneficiary in the Woods saga: the author whose book was seen in Tiger's smashed SUV.

John Gribbin, the author of an obscure 2003 scientific manual. Get a Grip on Physics was photographed in the wreckage of Woods’s car on November 27 and has since shot up the Amazon sales rankings from 396,224th place to 2,268th.

Dr Gribbin, an astronomy professor at the University of Sussex, said he was delighted that Woods read his book, which was aimed at “non-scientists interested in big physics stories”. Only two copies of the out-of-print American edition remain on Amazon.com, selling for $75 (£46). One wag wrote on the website’s review section: “This book is great, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping it in your car. It is so good that it might distract you.”

Emily Steel and Suzanne Vranica in the WSJ try to figure out where Tiger stands with his sponsors and it may be telling who made themselves available and who didn't:

Wednesday, representatives of Nike, Procter & Gamble's Gillette, videogame maker Electronic Arts, PepsiCo's Gatorade sports drink and laser-eye surgery chain TLC Vision said their relationships with Mr. Woods hadn't changed. (Pepsi said its recent decision to drop a Gatorade product named for Mr. Wood's wasn't related to the scandal.) Jet-rental company NetJets said Monday that it continued to support Mr. Woods.

AT&T and sports-collectible retailer Upper Deck declined to comment. Consulting-firm Accenture and watch maker Tag Heuer, an LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton unit, couldn't be reached for comment.

Jessica Shambora at Fortune notes this about Tiger sponsor Gillette:

But Gillette may win the award for unintended innuendo. In an all-star ensemble campaign for the Procter & Gamble-owned megabrand, Woods appears with Roger Federer and soccer star Thierry Henry as dapper men about town, sporting black suits and sly expressions.

In a related feature on Gillette.com, Woods reveals one of his favorite gadgets is his "phone for texting." He also appears in a blurb about the importance of pre-game rituals, "whether it's getting ready for the big game or the big night out."

Oh boy.

Proving once again the folks on Wall Street have too much free time on their hands, there is now a Tiger Woods stock index now according to Bloomberg's David Wilson. Here it is.

And according to the latest Rasmussen Report, Tiger's favorable ratings have plummeted.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 38% of Americans now have a favorable opinion of the golf superstar. That’s down from 56% a week ago, shortly after the stories first broke about Woods’ auto accident. Two years ago, 83% had a favorable opinion of Woods.

In 2007, even NFL stars like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady couldn’t come close to the name recognition or favorable ratings of Woods. Manning was viewed favorably by 59%, Brady by 49% and golfer Phil Mickelson by 50%. All three men were unknown to large segments of the population.

The new data shows 49% holding an unfavorable opinion of the embattled Woods, up from 27% a week ago. The latest figures include 12% with a Very Favorable opinion and 21% with a Very Unfavorable view.

Tag Heuer says it's just a coincidence that advertising related to Tiger is disappearing in Australia, writes Chris Thomson in The Age.

SportsByBrooks readers aren't buying Stevie's story that he didn't know about Tiger's off-course activity.

Saving the worst for last, the New York Post published Tiger's text messages with Jaimee Grubbs.

Hamlet Pericles of Examiner.com tries to get to the bottom of one of Tiger's cryptic references. Yes, this is what it's come to.

The Bone Thugs-N-Harmony reference comes out of nowhere and can render a few interpretations, but two are logical: (1) because Bone is known for canceling shows and showing up late for events, perhaps his comment stems from that; or (2) because Bone is known for its rapid-fire rapping style, perhaps his comment stems from each member's quickness. The latter seems more logical.

Exactly what I was thinking. Big fan of Bones here.

Tiger was also a busy email writer and US Weekly has one in particular that speaks to a man in love.

Bits and hints about Tiger's lifestyle are starting to be dug up, like this 2005 discussion board rumor sent in by a reader.

This video posted today by TMZ is another doozy of an example, though it was in reference to his bachelor party.

And finally, cameras will be rolling soon on a film around the Tiger fiasco. You'll never look at him in that red shirt and black hat the same again. The quote from the adult film producer:

“Tyler Knight is the only actor who could play this part,” Lord said. “I thought of him immediately when we were writing the script. Once Tyler signed on, everything immediately fell into place.”

I'm sure Tyler has been waiting his entire career for this role of a lifetime. And there is certainly no shortage of material for Tyler to use in researching the role. Okay, I've lived in this town too long. I'll stop now.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Tiger And Golf After The Accident: Vol. 1, Will You Root For Him Edition

As the news cycle slows down and Tiger-news-fatigue seems to be setting in, I'd like to look ahead and ponder what all of this means for golf. Over the next few days or weeks, I'm going to throw out some questions worth addressing about the near and distant future.

While some have complained, I believe Tiger's accident, the ensuing coverage and the ramifications will go down as one of the most significant stories in the history of the game due to the possible impact on his quest to re-write record books and his overall presence in the game prior to the accident.

Before we delve into specific golf topics, I'm curious about your most basic view of Tiger the golfer and man. Not to sound like a focus group host but...

What did you think of him before this and now?

Will you root for him more, less, the same?

Will you want to watch him more or less?

And what kind of attitude toward Tiger the golfer are you sensing from people you know and have talked to about this saga?

Wednesday
Dec092009

Driveliketiger...

...finished third in today's second race at Hollywood Park.

And in the you-can't-make-it-up-files, last Friday he was scratched from the sixth race.