, Research Paper
Tiger Woods is undoubtedly the best golfer in the world today. His remarkable talent and his unmatchable power make him virtually unbeatable in many professional golf tournaments. Tiger Woods has struck a chord in mainstream America and it isn t limited to minority kids. Ironically, the enormous boom created by the Tiger Woods phenomenon has created an economic problem and potential pitfalls the sport has ever faced. The golf industry is wondering, and doing its best, to convert those inspired by Tiger Woods into true golfers and keep these people interested in the game. Many people have begun to question Tiger Woods’ impact in the sport of golf. People are beginning to say that someone like Tiger is only doing harm to the game. There is no question that the majority of the golfing population feels that he has done nothing but good to the game and will keep himself and the sport of golf on the right track for years to come.
Tiger Woods started learning golf when he was six months old from his high chair. He would watch his father s practice swings. At ten months old, he got down from his high chair and took a swing with a sawed-off club. A swing that may turn out to be more historical than Alan Shepard s six-iron on the moon. Tida, Tigers mother, has pictures of him on a practice green at eleven months. When Tiger was eighteen months old, he would go to a nearby driving range and hit a bucket of balls. When he was done, Tida would put him back in his stroller and he would go to sleep. While other toddlers frolicked in sandboxes, Tiger practiced chipping from sand traps. When he was two, he memorized his Dad s work number. He would call everyday and ask if he could play golf with him. Every day his father would pause, making Tiger think, then he would agree. This was the beginning of what is now the Tiger Woods era in the sport of golf.
Aside from its obvious impact as both a social and business tool, golf as an industry has a great deal of financial and economic importance. Throughout the world, golf is gaining popularity simply because of the emergence of Tiger Woods. As a result, new communities are being developed around golf courses, significant business, political, and economical decisions are made on the golf course, even family vacations are planned around golf. Golf gives players a chance to spend time with decision-makers who might not give them five minutes in the office. Playing a careful game that requires four or five hours on a course with somebody allows a person to experience a full range of emotions. By the end of that round of golf, the player typically has a new, if even temporary, buddy. No wonder the golf course provides such a venue for deal making, business agreements, and development. The rise of Tiger Woods has made the sport more popular with children and teenagers who have transferred some of their hero worship usually reserved for baseball and football heroes to Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods just recently became the first player in decades to capture the career grand slam. He has won the masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. open, and the British Open. Remarkably he won the last three back to back to back. This year alone he just missed the ten million-dollar mark for his total prize money won on the course, the most anyone has ever had. This past year pushed him over the twenty million-dollar mark for his career. A few tour players feel that this is only contributing to the downfall of the sport of golf. They feel that having one person run away with every tournament is not going to promote anything good about golf and people will eventually stop watching. The fact of the matter is most people feel that what he is doing is nothing more than helping the game. When asked about Tiger Woods impact on the sport of golf, Annika Sornstam, an LPGA tour pro, replied, I think it s great. I think he s brought golf into the public eye He s made more people get interested in golf
Not only had Tiger Woods single handily started the growth of a single sport among a society, he has also done his share to help the communities. He has started his own Tiger Woods Foundation, which has given thousands of needy children the opportunity to play a sport that was once for wealthy, upper class members of society. The foundation seeks to achieve this with golf clinics, support programs and events that promote racial harmony. Through the foundation, Tiger held clinics for 12,000 children in six cities. More than $120,000 was donated to the National Minority Golf Foundation to be dispersed in the communities where the clinics were held. This summer Woods held foundation clinics in St. Louis, Detroit, Atlanta, Louisville and Portland. Woods wants to teach kids something besides golf. Many tour players feel that the growth of golf among the younger generation and the minorities would never have happened if it were not for Tiger Woods.
Perhaps the best thing Tiger has done is introduce the game of golf to America s youth. He has donated time and money to programs that help get kids off the streets and on the links. His ride to stardom has helped the Tour become the most popular that it has ever been. Fans of all ages flock to the events to see Tiger hit a monster drive even though they may not even play golf. Tiger Woods is one of the most famous athletes in the world today. His ability as a golfer and as an ambassador of golf makes him the perfect choice to carry golf into the next century. He has brought the game of golf to people who ordinarily wouldn t have had the chance to enjoy it. It is conceivable that in terms of overall impact on the sport, when you figure in media, the dollars on the table for him, his ability to be a role model, that if he succeeds he might be the most important player ever. There is no question he has the potential to be the most important player to enter the game in fifty years.