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

 

  

Wednesday
Dec022009

So Windy You Can Hit It Backwards!

If there's any consolation Tiger, you aren't at New South Wales for the Australian Open this week playing in this wind! From the Australian Golfer blog:



Wednesday
Dec022009

The Tiger Voice Mail Released...

Gawker reports US Weekly paid $150,000 for it. For the amount of damage this will do to Tiger's image, it does make you wonder if he turned down the opportunity to pay for this himself?

From USWeekly.com:

 

Tuesday
Dec012009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 5

Still plenty of bickering about the PR side of Tiger's post-accident reaction, but Steve Elling sums up the feelings of most when it comes to the Florida Highway Patrol's investigation and Tiger's $164 ticket:

Its probative hands tied, the FHP was whipped, 9&8. Even after speaking with state attorney Lawson Lamar, it was agreed that there was no legal reason to seek Woods' medical records. The FHP still doesn't know if any blood was drawn when Woods went to the hospital. He was never given a DUI exam. Lamar must have winced when his name was dropped by Williams during the drive-by press conference -- he's up for re-election soon.

Finishing off his lopsided win, Woods not only dodged the cops, he gave the general public a straight-arm worthy of the guy on the Heisman Trophy. Rather than play this week at his charity event in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where every camera on the property would have been photographing his facial lacerations, Woods withdrew, claiming he was too bloodied and bruised by the accident to play. He won the U.S. Open with a blown ACL and multiple leg fractures, but he couldn't compete with a fat lip. Hey, it's plausible deniability, right?

On the silence issue, the opinions continue to vary. Sally Jenkins, writing as Tiger's thought bubbles for the Washington Post:

Let me pause to express my disapproval of the vicious rumormongers who continue to spread untruths, when no actual truth is being offered by me as an alternative. I don't see why people won't just accept my evasions at their word. Especially given my many good and charitable works, like keeping dangerous fish away from my yacht, "Privacy," and smiling for TV cameras, and studying the word "disingenuous" so I will know it when I see it or hear it.

Tom English in the Scotsman takes the opposite view:

If there's turbulence in his marriage what business is it of ours? If Woods and his wife had a domestic, let them sort it out.

There is a voyeurism going on here that is unpleasant and hypocritical. We're seeing the worst of some people in this vexed business. A thirst for scandal is being dressed up as a pursuit of truth. People want to know what happened, not because it is in the public interest, but because of a naked hunger for gossip, particularly gossip about one of the most glamorous couples in the world. All this stuff about 'he owes it to his fans to come clean' is duplicitous garbage. Let's be honest. We would like to know if Tiger is screwing around and we'd really like to know if that was the source of what happened in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

Len Shapiro spelled these thoughts out today for WashingtonPost.com...

But this time, Woods is making a huge mistake in not being more forthcoming about what really happened outside his home last week. By doing so, he essentially has lost control of the story, and in this new age of 24/7 information, that can be very dangerous, particularly to a man with a virtually spotless public reputation. Various gossip Web sites are publishing all manner of salacious rumors about Woods and the status of his marriage and whether that had any relationship to the events of Thanksgiving night.

Brett Haber in the USA Today, keeping with our left-right, left-right theme here:

Ever since the TMZ's of the world succeeded in mainstreaming themselves onto the landscape of acceptable media, we the public have slid down their slippery slope to a place where it's OK to probe with impunity the private lives of public figures. And if those figures don't give us what we want when we ambush them with a camera outside the restaurant where they're eating, then we'll climb up a tree outside their homes with telephoto lenses or chase their cars on motorcycles until we've succeeded in trampling on what little privacy they maintain.

That's not journalism; that's stalking.

Perhaps the most interesting read comes from one of Tiger's oldest foes. Thanks to reader Bob for Charles Pierce's forthright assessment of the situation, which doesn't come as a surprise from the man who was embroiled in the 1997 controversy over remarks Tiger made in a GQ profile.

Tiger made some distasteful remarks and told some puerile and sexist jokes. Seeing as how they occurred during my limited interview time, I included them in my story, along with some not-overly-subtle intimations that Tiger had a reputation even among golfers as something of a chaser. The quotes were a Media Thing for a brief time, and the ensuing dust storm looks positively charming compared to what's certainly coming after the events of this past weekend, which already appears to be something between Al Cowlings on the highway and an episode of The Real Housewives of Gated Communities.

And...

But the more impenetrable Tiger's cocoon was, the more fragile it became. It was increasingly vulnerable to anything that happened that was out of the control of the people who built and sustained it, and the events of last week certainly qualify. Now he's got one of those major Media Things on his hands, and there is nothing that he, nor IMG, nor the clinging sponsors, nor anyone else can do about it. He is going to be everyone's breakfast for the foreseeable future. (Among his many headaches, there is absolutely no way that the Enquirer quits on this story. See Edwards, John.) And he's going to be some kind of punch line for the most of the rest of his public career. There is some historical irony in all that, and not just for myself.

Jim McCabe talked to players at Sherwood today about their views on the case and writes:

But off the record? Well, a handful of players expressed surprise that Woods did not go through with his commitment to a tournament that means so much to him personally, that it outweighs the media scrutiny he would be subjected to, scrutiny that is going to be there no matter when he comes out.

Brian Keough fills us in on Padraig Harrington's press conference today and his views on the situation:

"It's a phenomenal story. The spotlight is massive," Harrington said at Sherwood Country Club. "It's pretty legitimate for people to be discussing it and talking about it, but as I said, we just don't know what the facts are. We do know there was a car crash, we do know he was injured. I'm sure if I was unconscious for six minutes I wouldn't be playing golf the following week, wouldn't be high on the agenda.

Ed Sherman suggests that ads with Tiger will now be viewed differently...

Yet with all the furor swirling around him, won't it seem strange to see Mr. Woods pitching Gillette razors or Nike golf clubs? Admit it: You're not going to think of him as a 14-time major winner. You've going to view him as fodder for the National Enquirer, TMZ and much idle gossip. At least in the short term.

And finally, David Wild writes: "I'm a tremendous fan of Tiger Woods. This man has done so much to make golf more interesting. Also driveways."

With that, he compiles an itunes playlist for Tiger fans. Some highlights:

"TIGER RAG" - Louis Armstrong
"NIGHT DRIVER" - Tom Petty
"I GOT A TIGER BY THE TAIL" - Buck Owens
"SINNER'S SWING!" - Van Halen
"IT DON'T MEAN A THING (IF IT AIN'T GOT THAT SWING) - Ella Fitzgerald
"ACE IN THE HOLE" - Paul Simon
"WOODS" - Bon Iver

Tuesday
Dec012009

China Planning "Major Crackdown" On Illegal Course Construction

Trent Baker reports for the Scotsman:

Construction of new courses has been so rapid, widespread and unregulated that Beijing officials can only estimate how many have been built. One guess, appearing in the China Daily newspaper yesterday, put the number at 2,700 by 2015 – up from none before 1984 and more than 500 today.

"We still don't know the exact figure, but we're working on it and will have the information by 2010," the head of land planning at the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, Dong Zuoji, was quoted as saying. "The culprits will face harsh punishment."

Oh boy...just what we need, golf architects jailed in China.

Alarmed at the loss of arable land in this crowded nation of 1.3billion people, China began restricting golf course construction in the earlier part of the decade, with Premier Wen Jiabao vowing in 2007 to enforce a total ban.

Tuesday
Dec012009

Stewart Cink Puts Duct Tape On His Wedges!

In his weekly notes column, Doug Ferguson leads with Stewart Cink offering compelling evidence that he has too much free time on his hands, putting duct tape on his wedges to see how little fun golf can be to see what it's like to play with no spin.

With new regulations for grooves to take effect next year, the British Open champion wanted to experiment with clubs that spin less than his current wedges. He took it to the extreme by covering them with duct tape.

“I played a round of golf and practiced with them for a week or so, just to see what it was like with zero spin,” Cink said Tuesday. “Because with tape over the wedges – duct tape, in fact – there was no spin. And it was really not fun to play golf that way.”

His thought was that using duct tape on his wedge would make him feel like the new wedges produced more spin than they did. That might have worked, but only for a little while.

“I quickly adjusted back to realizing that the new grooves don’t spin that great,” Cink said.

Tuesday
Dec012009

Q-School Storylines Aplenty

Seems like there more great Q-School finals storylines than normal? John Strege lays out his favorite stories and Sean Martin singles out several to follow.

Tuesday
Dec012009

"10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger"

From Golf Digest:

In the upcoming January issue of Golf Digest, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde is going straight to the top in the name of improving golf’s image in Washington D.C.  That’s why President Obama, along with Tiger Woods, is on the cover:

The message to Congress and the Obama administration?  The golf industry accounts for 2 million jobs with a total economic impact of $195 billion annually.

In addition to the cover, the feature article focuses on 10 things Obama could learn from Tiger—and vice versa.  Providing the tips is a group of influential writers and players, including Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Brokaw, Mark Whitaker, Don Van Natta Jr. and Steve Rushin.  The piece is attached below:

Additional highlights include:

·       Golf Digest Survey – “What’s a Reasonable Amount of Golf for President Obama?”:  45.9% of readers said “As much as he can without affecting his work,” compared to only 7.8% who said “Never”

·       Fun Fact:  Using Golf Digest’s Presidential Rankings, we compared the Dow Jones Industrial Average on both the inauguration and final day in office of our best golfing Presidents.  Nine out of the top 10 saw increases in the Dow during their terms.

Tuesday
Dec012009

Chinese Reenactment Of Woods Accident

Thanks to reader Kyle H for this:

Tuesday
Dec012009

Latest Tiger Clippings, Barkley: "I think he is making a serious mistake."**

Steve Elling has all of Charles Barkley's comments to a Philadelphia radio station about his take on Tiger's handling of the crisis:

Barkley, who has had more than a few notable run-ins with cops over the years, said Woods needs to stop hiding behind his spokespeople and man up, so to speak.

"I don’t want no PR person talking for me cause they don’t make it work," Barkley told WIP radio. "They aren’t going to make it better. I think he is really making a mistake in not talking to the cops and things like that. I think he is making a serious mistake.”

Emily Smith of the New York Post scores an exclusive interview with Rachel Uchitel about the National Equirer story linking her to Tiger Woods in which Uchitel denies the facts as presented in the story. Based on the comments and no mention of Gloria Allred's name, it sounds as if she is not representing Uchitel (I've emailed Allred for comment): **Gloria Allred responded: "She is still my client and my understanding is that this interview was conducted befoe she retained me. I have no comment."

"It's just dumb stuff. I was happy to answer any of their [the National Enquirer's] questions, but they didn't want to listen to me when I denied it. I look like a home wrecker and an a- -hole.

"And its horrible to Tiger's family. His wife must feel horrible. The worst part of it, it's not true.

"That's a horrible thing to read: 'Tiger's telling Rachel he loves her.' It's just so dumb.

"[The source of the story] is not even a friend of mine. I've met her twice in my life. I've got some really horrible things that I can say about her and her past. I am toying around if I should go after her, because she's not a credible source.

"This girl was never around me for any of the time she was saying she was. If I was having some big, lurid affair, I would not tell this girl. It's just ridiculous."

Meanwhile several sites are reporting that US Weekly is preparing to reveal another purported Woods affair and is claiming it will post a Noember 24 voicemail from him on Wednesday morning.

Radaronline has new images of Tiger's car under covers and apparently headed for storage.

Tuesday
Dec012009

FHP Charges Tiger With Careless Driving; Case Closed?

One thing really leaps out from today's Florida Highway Patrol announcement of Tiger's $164 fine and four point addition to his drivers license record.

The FHP is not pursing criminal charges in this matter, nor is there any testimony or other evidence to support additional charges of any kind. After reviewing the evidence available to us, and in consultation with the Office of State Attorney Lawson Lamar, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence available to issue a subpoena for additional medical information that may exist in this case. We cannot speak to the existence of any blood evidence, nor are there claims of domestic violence by any individual.

Based on what we learned earlier today, state law does not require a "claim" of domestic violence for an agency to purse an investigation and possible charges. Was this because it's out of the FHP's jurisdiction to investigate domestic violence, above their pay grade or just something they chose not to pursue?

Tuesday
Dec012009

"Because of Florida's domestic-violence laws, admitting to the police that Nordegren in any way harmed him would virtually guarantee that the glamorous Elin would be led out of their mansion in handcuffs, even if he protested it."

Since the first AP alert on Tiger's accident, I've ascribed to the theory that he needs to just say what happened, maybe crack a joke or shed a tear, and move on ala Letterman or Kobe.

However, evidence is mounting that Tiger has been correct in remaining silent, though not for the reason these two more columnists noted today (here and here, thanks reader Tom).

There is mounting evidence that TMZ's assertion of a domestic violence charge is in play. And as Hanna Rosin lays out in a must read piece on Slate, there is very good legal reason for Tiger's silence, yet that may not be enough to make this go away.

Now, women are arrested in about 20 percent of domestic-violence cases. As such scenarios played out across the country, the updated domestic-violence laws accidentally created a new mythical woman: the Female Abuser. Never mind that the sociological research does not really support her existence in any great numbers.

A close legal reading of Woods' statement suggests that he desperately does not want his wife to fall into this category. "He is going out of his way to protect her from any concern that she's committed a crime," says Kimberly Tatum, a professor and domestic-violence expert at the University of West Florida. In Woods' narrative, the car accident, not Nordegren, caused his injuries. She used the golf club to get him out of the car after he'd crashed. "She was the first person to help me," he said. "Any other assertion is absolutely false." (He also then says that "this situation is my fault" and that he won't do it again, although it's unclear what, exactly, he's taking the blame for in this version. It's his fault he crashed his car? His fault he didn't rescue himself?)

Perhaps that statement wasn't such a great idea. And this is a key point that several pundits have made:

The Woods case brings up the uncomfortable problem with the new domestic-violence laws, which is that strict gender equality often confounds common sense. It is impossible to imagine Tiger occupying the same cultural brain space as Rihanna, with Nordegren playing Chris Brown. If Tiger had been chasing down his wife with a golf club and she had shown up with bruises, even if she had cheated with, say, K-fed, we would be a lot less ambivalent and complacent. If Nordegren had then issued a statement calling her husband her courageous savior, we would be outraged and filled with disdain and pity. All of these gender-dependent reactions make some instinctive sense. But legally speaking, they are beside the point. The law no longer makes the distinction.

Another bizarre wrinkle just arrived in the form of the voluntary outing and evidentiary offering by his neighbors' attorney today. He said that his 911 caller-client saw no indication the golfer was beaten or driving under the influence and that Elin did seem "upset about her husband's injuries" and "asked them to call 911."

Odd for the neighbors wanting privacy to be injecting those assertions into the case today, no?

I can't imagine the police are happy they went public with that statement?

And how could these young men know how to determine a golf-club-inflicted injury?

Tuesday
Dec012009

FHP Schedules Press Conference: 3 p.m. EST 

Date:                    Tuesday, December 1, 2009
 
Time                    3 p.m.
 
Location               Florida Highway Patrol Station, 133 South Semoran Blvd. Orlando, Fl. 32807       
 
SUBJECT:          Updated information in the Tiger Woods single vehicle car crash.
 
 

Monday
Nov302009

Tiger Woods Accident Clippings, Vol. 4

The good news for Tiger? Most of the written conjecture has shifted from the particulars of the accident to a focus on his handling of the crisis.

The bad news? Most experts and non-experts alike think silence is not the way to go about putting this to rest.

Joseph Berger and Larry Dorman talk to criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara (yes, really) about the investigation and the talk of warrants for medical records:

O’Mara said that if the injuries were serious enough, the police could investigate what caused the accident and perhaps obtain records. Such a request can be done with or without a search warrant, he said, depending on the severity of the civil infraction or crime.

“If they are truly investigating a criminal offense, they have more basis to seek medical records,” he said, noting that the police would need to show probable cause. The police have not indicated that a crime has occurred, he said.

Mark Lamport Stokes offers a rare "analysis" and writes:

Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communication at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, believes Woods should have "come clean" immediately.

"The first rule is tell it all, and tell it fast," Argenti said. "With the addition of social media to the mix, this has become even more important.

"The blogosphere and crackpot gossip-mongers now control this story. Why would Tiger Woods want that? He is a public figure and as such the speculation will not end until he discusses what really happened."

AP's Nancy Armour also talked to image gurus who say look to David Letterman, take control of the story and offers this:

“Men and women have been forgiven by their public for misbehavior or misstepping, and even philandering,” said Gene Grabowski, who guides high-profile figures through public relations crises as a senior vice president with Washington-based Levick Strategic Communications.

“But what they have never been forgiven for is the cover-up,” he said.

Mark Bradley appears to be the lone writer agreeing with Tigers lawyers.

Should he paint himself into a Clinton-esque corner by wagging a finger and saying, “I did not have sex with that woman”? Should he risk being caught in a lie? Or should he admit to being an adulterer and thereby expose his already-exposed family to deeper public humiliation? Where’s the upside in that?

Steve Elling talks to Orlando attorney Joel Wilson who says not much can come of this on the legal side:

The way Wilson sees it, even if the Florida Highway Patrol is hopping mad about being stonewalled and has David Caruso and Laurence Fishburne tracking the investigation, Woods is likely facing the legal and social equivalent of a one-shot penalty.

"Everybody wants to blow this into something bigger, and while we can all speculate about what may or may not have occurred, when you get down to it, I don't believe they have any witnesses and aren't going to be able to bring any criminal charges against Tiger," Wilson said. "I don't think they have anything, really."

Bill Fields at GolfDigest.com suggests that the golf media's attitude to the story may not be impacted by concerns of access to Tiger in the future:

Some time ago I wrote something mildly critical of Woods. It's not unusual for people to write in when the topic is Tiger, who can be a lightning rod for people on either side of an issue, but this reader phoned, concerned that Woods might get upset and stop talking to the press. I had to inform the gentleman that Tiger wasn't in the habit of giving me -- or anyone else, for that matter -- one-on-one interviews. Woods gives pre-tournament press conferences and post-round post-mortems as obliged, and he can be expansive when talking about the game that he has come as close as anyone to mastering. But he prefers to let his play and his life speak for themselves, as DiMaggio and Hogan, among other American sports icons, did.

Alan Shipnuck believes Tiger's handling is straight from his playbook, not that he thinks it's a good idea:

The official word that Woods is taking his ball and staying home came in a terse statement on his eponymous website, which declared Tiger was "unable" to play "due to injuries sustained in a one-car accident last week." Oh, really? The dude won the U.S. Open with a broken leg but can't play in a glorified exhibition because of a fat lip? The World Challenge is the fifth most important tournament in golf to Woods — behind the four major championships on which he's built his legacy — and for him to skip it is evidence of how seriously Tiger is taking the first misstep of a very public life. It is also the only logical endgame for an image-obsessed control freak.

Jason Sobel and Bob Harig also debate Tiger's WD from the Chevron and the ramifications for next year while Michael Arkush ponders what all of this means for Tiger's quest to win more majors than Jack Nicklaus:

Tiger Woods had an aura about him. He maintained it with all his effort and intensity. It worked for him on a self-motivating level and was also an intimidation factor against his opponents. It was the same off the course as he never showed any cracks in the armor.

Now it’s different. There is controversy and drama and more scrutiny than ever. And seeing him clearly not know how to handle the situation has made his vulnerabilities even more apparent. If it doesn’t die down soon, the aura perhaps will have been shattered for good, and there’s no telling how that might impact his performance.

Lawrence Donegan says Tiger's WD this week will make for a less enjoyable week for top players:

The likes of Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington may have made the long journey to southern California concerned only with winning a very sizeable cheque, but now they find themselves in the centre of a media maelstrom. Without Woods to talk to, the press will turn their attention to his fellow golfers.

James Corrigan suggests that withdrawing this week was a mistake:

Yet the suspicion that Woods may be trying to hide something will inevitably now only grow after he pulled out of the event and, perhaps more pertinently, out of the press conference he was due to give at the Californian country club today.

Randell Mell suggests that no matter what happens, it's going to be a long 60 days for Tiger.

He likely won’t play a tournament until the Century Club of San Diego Invitational, which begins on Jan. 28.

That’s 60 days.

Check that. That’s 60 hellish days if Woods doesn’t address the mysterious circumstances surrounding his crash.

You know who will relish those two months if Woods remains silent about the events that night of the crash? TMZ, National Enquirer, Star Magazine, People and other celebrity news and tabloid journalism outlets. They’ll be more than delighted to try to fill in the missing details Woods won’t provide.

Speaking of TMZ, they say Tiger is not exactly ingratiating himself to the neighborhood now that the area is on lockdown and one resident had their camera memory card confiscated.

We've officially hit rock bottom: you can now wager on how Tiger's situation will play out.

And finally, Lisa Gutierrez reports the material George Lopez has added to his stand up routine. Should make for an awkward bump-in at The Lodge next year during the AT&T National Pro-Am:

Referring to rumors that Tiger's wife attacked him with a golf club, Lopez cracked: "My theory is you know a woman is pissed off when she wants to beat you with the thing that you make money with. She doesn't want to just hurt you, she wants that ass-kicking to be symbolic."

Summing up Tiger's predicament - the rumors about an extramarital affair, the car crash, etc. - Lopez said: "Let me put it in terms that golfers would understand. He played the wrong hole, had an errant drive and now he's got to get out of a bad lie."

And if that wasn't bad enough, Lopez pulled out a blonde Barbie doll wielding a golf club over a Tiger Woods doll lying crumpled on a golf green. "It's the Tiger Woods Ass-Kicking Trophy Barbie Doll," he said.

Monday
Nov302009

Golf Channel Offering Half Hour Show @ 7 EST

It was sounding so good until the Curt Schilling part:

Tonight at 7 p.m. ET, Rich Lerner will host a Golf Central Special: Tiger Woods, examining all of the news and providing analysis on the Tiger Woods situation.  Contributing to the show will be the network’s team of reporters and analysts including Steve Sands and Jim Gray reporting from California and GOLF CHANNEL contributor John Feinstein and business reporter Adam Barr reporting on Madison Avenue’s reaction to the situation.  In addition, six-time MLB All Star Curt Schilling will join the show via telephone to discuss the situation from a professional athlete’s perspective.
 
Golf Central Special: Tiger Woods will re-air at 7:30 p.m., 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. ET.
 
Golf Central tonight at 6 p.m. ET will deliver viewers with the latest up-to-the-minute news on the Woods situation, and also will preview the upcoming tournament action at the Chevron World Challenge and the final stages of the qualifying tournaments on both the PGA TOUR and the LPGA Tour.

Monday
Nov302009

KABC, TalkRadioOne Appearances Tonight

I'll be appearing on KABC 790's John Phillips show tonight at 7 PST and TalkRadioOne.com's Mark Germain Show at 8 PST. Both sites stream online.

And in case you want to clear your calendars, I'll be on with Peter Kessler's XM/Sirius show at 10:40ish a.m. Wednesday. It has been known to stream at PGATour.com.

Monday
Nov302009

"We're being given the runaround."

Nick Allen in the Telegraph offers an update on the possible warrant situation and shares some insight from a "police source" about the tone of the investigation.

Officers from the Florida Highway Patrol want to establish whether Woods' facial injuries were caused by the incident, in which he hit a fire hydrant and a tree outside his mansion at 2am, or a domestic violence incident.

Last night two officers were seen visiting Health Central Hospital in Ocoee, Florida, where Woods was treated following the accident on Friday.

Police also want to see if the moments leading up to the crash was captured by security cameras at Woods' £1.5 million mansion in a gated community in Orlando, Florida.

Woods, 33, the world's number one golfer, and his wife Elin Nordegren, 29, have declined three times to speak to patrol officers about the crash.

They are under no legal obligation to do so but their decision has been described as "unusual" by police and led to a swirl of speculation about the circumstances of the crash.

A Florida police source said: "There is a feeling that the police are being made to look foolish in this matter.

"They have tried to be accommodating but it has been thrown back in their face. Tiger has refused to help on three occasions. We're being given the runaround."

TMZ now has what it claims is an accident eyewitness account.

And Lawrence Donegan files an in depth look at Tiger's backstory and how it plays into the media handling of the accident, with yet another excellent reminder of how best to deal with these things:

If modern media manners have taught us anything, it is that nothing works as well as the swift mea culpa. Woods, an avid sports fan, will know only too well about the case of baseball star Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, who, after repeated denials he had used performance-enhancing drugs, was revealed before the start of the 2009 baseball season to have tested positive for steroids.

Stephanie Wei takes a look at the media coverage and in particular, the golf media's take on the accident:

This is also unfamiliar territory for the media that covers him. Even though many columnists are prodding Tiger to tell the truth, they’re doing it for selfish reasons — they want to stop writing about it, too. It makes their jobs a lot tougher if one of the greatest athletes of any generation with a pristine reputation turns out to be a(n) (allegedly) womanizing jerk who is (literally) above the law. The media is so enamored by Tiger that even if he were to spit in an old lady’s face or slap a child taking a picture of him in the middle of his backswing, many writers would still probably find a way to compliment him on his competitive drive.

Monday
Nov302009

Tiger Not Coming To The Chevron World Challenge***

As I Tweeted about half an hour ago, Golf Channel is now confirming that we won't see Tiger Woods at this week's Chevron World Challenge. Their sources are saying that doctors are advising against travel due to post-accident headaches he's suffering.

Here's the current field:

Tiger Woods**
Steve Stricker
Kenny Perry
Jim Furyk
Sean O'Hair
Lucas Glover
Stewart Cink
Zach Johnson
Anthony Kim
Mike Weir
Vijay Singh
*
Camilo Villegas
Y.E. Yang
Paul Casey
Padraig Harrington
Lee Westwood
Martin Kaymer
Ian Poulter
*Justin Leonard (replaces injured Singh)
**Graeme McDowell (replaces injured Woods)

Monday
Nov302009

Latest Florida Highway Patrol Statement - 11/30/09

Looks like they are trying to defuse some of the TMZ reports, but leading off with a reminder that Tiger is refusing to speak only maintains the intrigue...

As of Nov. 30, 2009, the Florida Highway Patrol has been unable to speak to Mr. Woods about the crash he was involved in on the morning of Nov. 27, 2009, despite attempts to do so.
 
Mr. Woods’ representatives have provided us with his driver license information, vehicle registration and current proof of insurance, as required by Florida Law.
 
Contrary to various media reports, the Florida Highway Patrol has not made any comments regarding the details of the ongoing crash investigation involving Tiger Woods as it relates to medical information, or any other aspect of this investigation.
 
The crash investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.
 
At this time, the agency has not scheduled press conference, and the FHP is not conducting any on-camera, recorded or telephone interviews.  All updates will be sent via e-mail.

Monday
Nov302009

A Few More Woods Accident Stories-Monday Morning

FoxNews.com is refutting TMZ's claim of a warrant search for medical records with a quote from the Florida Highway Patrol's Chief of Affairs.

"We don't need a warrant to get records, that is incorrect," said Florida Highway Patrol Chief of Public Affairs Capt. Mark Welch.

However TMZ now reports that the warrant may be in a quest to obtain surveillance video footage or as they are now reporting, a continued quest for medical records after a morning visit to the hospital.

And SportsByBrooks notes that TMZ mistakenly claimed that Elin's latest story of driving out in a golf cart could not be possible since no cart was visible in crash scene photos, when in fact there was one visible.

Erin Geiger Smith contemplates the possible charges police could be investigating, narrowing it down to DUI, Filing a False Police Report or Domestic Violence.

Meanwhile Woods was criticized on most morning news shows for his Sunday statement and more writers are chiming in that he's taking the wrong approach to this.

Crisis manager Kevin Sullivan at Yahoo:

1. Don't delay. Hold your scheduled press conference Tuesday to kick off the Chevron World Challenge, which, since it benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation among other charities, makes it the perfect backdrop. Without going into every private detail, provide a sense of what led to the collision. Give an explanation, take a couple questions, and then move on to previewing the tournament and how it will benefit the work of your foundation.

2. If you have something to own up to, do it completely and you will be forgiven. Just ask Kobe Bryant.

3. If not, disarm the skeptics with your sense of humor. Gary Peterson of the Contra Costa Times had a suggestion: Say you were excited about a Black Friday sale and got carried away. Then give a sincere explanation.

George Vecsey in the New York Times:

This is a man who has never had the yips in public. But we are now witnessing his hooking and slicing his image straight into the rough, into the trees, into the drink.

 

Phil Mushnick in the New York Post:

It comes as thin surprise that Woods and Team Woods have been less than cooperative with authorities in the three days following his 2:25 a.m. domestic car wreck/whatever the heck happened. From the time he was 15, he was taught to beat the rules.

As a kid, identified as a can’t-miss pro, his father and the monolithic rep firm IMG teamed to circumvent USGA rules by funding Woods’ amateur career. IMG hired Earl Woods as a “talent scout” — with the tacit, Rumpelstiltskin-like agreement to deliver Tiger the instant he turned pro. Done and done.

U.S. PGA Tour rules disallow appearance fees. Team Woods beat that, too. It made multi-million dollar endorsement deals with several PGA tournament title sponsors, Buick, among them, thus, although Woods skipped many Tour events, his participation in his sponsors’ events was guaranteed.

Rex Hoggard finds one attorney who says Tiger is doing the right thing by staying silent.

As a rule, Samuel Kohrs, an Orlando-area criminal defense attorney, tells his clients to never give law enforcement officials a statement.

“People think they can talk their way out of things and they can’t,” Kohrs told GolfChannel.com on Sunday. “If they are going to arrest or charge you it will not matter what you say. If they aren’t going to arrest you nothing good can happen from (giving a statement).”

Kohrs has seen all of this before, sort of. Much of the way this has been handled by FHP is standard except for the repeated trips by officers out to Isleworth, the tony gated community where Woods lives.

“I’ve never had a client who said they didn’t want to talk and (officers) kept coming back,” Kohrs said. “It’s kind of weird.”

And legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was interviewed by his network, CNN:

Toobin: Woods may not talk to them because there is possibly something unpleasant and embarrassing that he doesn't want to share with them, and he has that right. Based on what is publicly known, Woods has a public relations problem much more than a legal problem. He's arguably the most famous athlete in the world, and his team's overall strategy is a gamble that his general statement of responsibility won't be overtaken by events or other disclosures.

Sunday
Nov292009

Woods Accident Clippings, Vol. 3**

Today's LA Times Special Section Front Page (click to enlarge)This should be the final Woods accident clippings edition but after reading various accounts, it appears the decision to avoid the police Sunday, hire a criminal defense attorney and offer an incomplete statement is only raising more questions both in the press and law enforcement circles.

TMZ.com is reporting that the Florida Highway Patrol apparently is focused on obtaining a search warrant to seize medical records from the hospital to determine if wounds Tiger sustained are consistent with a car accident or domestic violence. They also are getting conflicting stories:

One big piece of evidence showing probable cause ... sources tell us Tiger's wife, Elin Nordegren told FHP troopers she went looking for Tiger in a golf cart, came upon the accident and then used a golf club to break the window to gain entry. That's a very different story from what she first told Windemere cops shortly after the accident -- she never mentioned a golf cart. Nordegren told Windemere police she had walked out of her house, saw the crash, went back inside to get a golf club and returned to the vehicle.

Also startling from a media perspective was this series of questions posed by AP's Fred Goodall in the main wire story, most definitely not column setting:

Even with his first public comments on the 2:25 a.m. Friday accident, Woods left several questions.

— Where he was going at that time of the night?

— How did he lose control of his SUV at such a speed that the air bags didn’t deploy?

— Why were both rear windows of the Cadillac Escalade smashed?

— If it was a careless mistake, why not speak to state troopers trying to wrap the investigation?

golf.com's Michael Bamberger talks to several lawyers and concludes:

Tiger Woods's post-accident strategy, legal and otherwise, is now becoming clear: say as little as possible. And do whatever he can to make sure his wife, Elin Nordegren Woods, does the same.

And he shared this from attorney Bill Wallshein:

"The public is expecting the state to do a thorough job here," Wallshein said. "Woods is in a Catch-22." Had he answered investigators questions, Woods would have given information that he regards as private to, in essence, the public. He also would have opened himself to possible perjury charges had he made untruthful statements. But by not answering investigators questions, he risks increasing their desire to dig deeper. The bottom line, though, is that there are no serious injuries and only minor physical damage. The legal upshot will likely be nothing more than a traffic ticket.

No one nailed it better than Steve Elling in a must read column explaining why Tiger needs to confront this publicly, do it now and move on.

With every passing hour that he remains holed up and mostly unresponsive, public sentiment is turning against Tiger Woods, a guy with a Teflon image, a Q-rating that's off the charts and a public persona that has made him a role model to millions of impressionable fans.

The tide of sentiment is growing into a tsunami, even among the striped one's faithful.

It has come to this: Woods is being excoriated by visitors to his own website, where his evasiveness and stonewalling regarding the details surrounding his mysterious late-night car crash and alleged extra-marital relationship have turned the site into a free-fire zone

After sharing some of the more interesting site posts, Elling notes this about the Team Tiger support and response:

Woods employs an armada of managers, spokespersons and website writers -- more than any other sports figure I can think of. Off the top of my head, between his charitable foundation, personal spokesman, his IMG management and such, I can think of a half-dozen different founts of potential information at his disposal. Either they aren't giving him the counsel he seemingly needs, he's not listening, or he's getting bad advice and choosing to follow it.

And he makes several killer points to wrap it up, but none more powerful than this:

There are a trillion examples in sports where honesty, or at least some degree of full disclosure, has bought a prominent athlete some currency with the public. That path eventually led to forgiveness. Even for the likes of Kobe Bryant. Andy Pettitte came clean on the steroid front and survived just fine. They all faced the music, but Tiger is turning a deaf ear.

That said, Elling then points out in a blog post why it's unlikely we'll see Tiger this week at Sherwood.

Lawrence Donegan of The Guardian offers this about a possible appearance this week:

Whether or not he will be able to hold back the tide of speculation that has engulfed his carefully nurtured reputation over the last three days remains to be seen. He is due to make his first public appearance since the accident at a press conference on Tuesday in southern California, at his annual golf tournament, the Chevron World Challenge, at Sherwood country club.

In normal circumstances, his meeting with the media would concentrate on the event – it raises funds for his charitable foundation – and the state of his golf game but, assuming Woods does not withdraw because of his injuries, it now threatens to rival Michael Jackson's funeral as one of the most watched cable news events of the year.

James Corrigan on the email from tournament organizers still don't know Tiger's status for this week:

Organisers of the Chevron World Challenger admitted yesterday they were still in the dark as to whether Tiger Woods would be playing in California this week. And seeing as the world No 1 is the host of the event this was an unprecedented situation.

But then, the game of golf never has known anything like the furore created by The Great Tiger Car Crash Mystery.

Frank Nobilo at Golf Channel also weighed in with some interesting thoughts on what this will mean for Tiger on the course (not much), of course (a lot) and this week (not sure).

Besides Tiger's statement (check out Deadspin's take on it) and the release of the 911 call Sunday and new images of the Escalade, the Florida Highway Patrol released a less-than-cheery-sounding statement.

But in keeping with the say-nothing theme, agent Mark Steinberg reiterated to CNBC's Darren Rovell that his client doesn't have to say anything and won't:

"We have been informed by the Florida Highway Patrol that further discussion with them is both voluntary and optional," Mark Steinberg, senior vice president and global managing director of golf for IMG, told CNBC.

"Although Tiger realizes that there is a great deal of public curiosity, it has been conveyed to FHP that he simply has nothing more to add and wishes to protect the privacy of his family."

And I know you were worried, but Tiger has Nike's full support:

"Tiger and his family have Nike's full support," the statement said.  "We respect Tiger's request for privacy and our thoughts are with Tiger and his family at this time."

Randell Mell tells us more on Tiger's attorney, Mark NeJame:

NeJame, whose name didn't emerge in the investigation until Sunday, appears to be more than a criminal defense attorney. He has proven an effective spokesman for clients under intense media scrutiny.

NeJame was described as “media savvy” by Orlando Weekly Magazine when it first ranked him among the 50 most powerful people in Orlando a few years back. When Orlando Magazine put him in its 50 Most Powerful People listing in 2005, it touted him as having a client list “that includes public officials who find themselves in hot water.”

This past year, NeJame represented Jonathan Speegle, who was accused of pushing his girlfriend, Nichole Hammond, to her death over a balcony at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort on New Year’s Eve. All charges were dropped. NeJame once represented Cindy and George Anthony, the parents of Casey Anthony, who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee

John Hopkins of The Times contemplates Tiger's recent on-course issues and drops this tidbit:

Now, though, Woods is in the Age of Mystery and Scrutiny. The mystery surrounds his marriage, which is rumoured to have been in trouble for some months. There have been stories of confrontations when Elin has tackled her husband.

As for Rachel Uchitel, it was just your basic low profile arrival at LAX. Based on the National Enquirer's first response to her denials, attorney Gloria Allred, hired by Uchitel, is going to have her work cut out for here.

Finally, beyond the emotional and physical bruises this has inflicted on Tiger, The Times' Simon Barnes gets to the heart of why this is so intriguing to the public and why the incident is both revealing and potentially deadly to Woods' earning power:

But for a dozen years Woods has presented himself to the world, and been represented by just about everyone he has come into contact with, as someone from another order of being. He and those around him have conspired to hide his humanity.

Why should anyone do such a thing? Because there’s money in it, obviously.

Whatever you do, whatever you think, whatever you say, never, never, never rock the corporate boat.

That is what Woods has made himself: an expression of the central importance in life of the corporate dollar. So he has made his millions and the companies around him have made their billions — and it has all come about by presenting the world an illusion. A pseudo-Tiger, a false vision of a perfect being, so perfect that scarcely an atom of his real personality — any personality — is discernible.