OPINION: Why I Hope Tiger Woods Doesn't Quit Golf

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The British Tabloid, The Sun, has reported that Tiger Woods may quit playing golf in order to save his marriage.  A friend quoted as being close to the family had this to say:

“The easy thing for Elin to do would be leave him, take the children and get a divorce. She’d never worry about money again. She was close to walking out for good. She decided to stay for the kids’ sake – but on her terms. They have agreed to try and rebuild their marriage, but Elin will be the one calling the shots. It will be a long time before he’s travelling the globe playing golf unless Elin’s by his side. Tiger will have to work long and hard to get her to trust him again. Quitting golf shows he is willing to sacrifice something he loves so much to protect his family.”


There isn’t much to say about this except, “Whoa, let’s hope it’s not true.”
Here are some quick thoughts:
1) Tiger Woods has dreamed since childhood of breaking the record of 18 major championships, held by golfing great, Jack Nicklaus.  The idea that Woods might leave the sport would be devastating to his personal goals and legacy.  I was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of Tiger Woods getting married at the age of 29.  He is far too ambitious and focused to be able to manage a wife and children while becoming the greatest golfer in the history of the world. He would have been better off marrying at the age of 37,  giving him enough time to reach his personal objectives.

2) This possibility could signify more complications than we are aware of.  People who have affairs have  many things happen behind the scenes that are not quite public knowledge.  There are venereal diseases, pregnancies and other concerns that the Woods family may be dealing with.  If Elin has enough leverage to get Tiger to consider quitting golf, the situation may be more challenging than any of us can imagine.

3) If Tiger quits golf, the PGA goes back to becoming the land of the walking dead.  Before Tiger, there was no PGA.  The Pro Golfer’s Association was an exclusive club, completely lacking diversity, with very little vision and relatively weak endorsements.  Without Tiger Woods, we go back to the stone ages of professional golf.  What is most shocking about Tiger’s rise is that there has been no other significant African American figure to rise in his sport:  The one black guy has carried the world on his shoulders.  Even that burden likely doesn’t match the weight that Tiger Woods must be feeling right now.  It’s going to be interesting to see how he copes with the challenge.

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Dr. Boyce Watkins is a leading African American campus speaker and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit BoyceWatkins.com.

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