A Story of Redemption: Tiger Woods

A Story of Redemption: Tiger Woods


To make a long story short, Tiger Woods had it all. He was probably the most successful and famous athlete in the world in 2008. He had money and endorsements. He was beloved by many and admired by kids. He was married and had two beautiful kids. He was on his way to becoming the greatest golfer of all time. From 1997 to 2008, Tiger won 14 majors. He was all but destined to bypass 18 major wins, set by Jack Nicklaus.  He had the world by the tail.

In 2009, the tail began to wag Tiger. Tiger’s wife allegedly took a 9-iron to Tiger’s SUV while he was in it. Within weeks, the details of his extramarital affairs with at least 10 women becomes public. He loses many endorsement. He enters rehab for a sexual addiction. His wife leaves him. His life falls apart. He doesn’t win another major for 10 years, in the prime of his career. in 2017, he gets arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.

As the author of a book entitled, Role Models: Examples of Character and Leadership, I made the decision to kick Tiger out of the book. I didn’t feel like he was worthy of that title. I didn’t want kids to “be like Tiger.”  In my 2010 edition, I wrote, “It is possible to prove himself and reclaim the title of role model, but as of now, he doesn’t belong.”

Since then, Tiger has had 3 serious back surgeries, blown his ACL, tore his achilles, and endured a neck injury. He took long periods off from golf. When he did play, he mostly didn’t play very well. Most people wrote him off. He is done, they said.

And yet, in 2017, Tiger had back fusion surgery. He started to play better. He won the Tour Championship in 2018. And yesterday, at the age of 43, Tiger won his 15th major championship at the Masters.

Joe’s Perspective: While watching the Masters Tournament on Sunday with 12 friends, the host asked us who we were rooting for. All 12 of us said Tiger, me included. We all cheered when Tiger birdied 15 and hollered when he almost hit a hole in one on 16. Today, I wonder why. Ten years ago, he screwed over his wife. He let so many people down. He fell from grace. However, he came back. He made a comeback in his personal life and he made a comeback on the golf course. He endured. He tried. He changed. And America forgave. America is a sucker for someone who apologizes, makes a mends and overcomes all odds to make it back. America loves a happy ending. On Sunday, America got what it wanted – a true story of redemption. America fell in love with Tiger all over again.

Your Turn: Do you think Tiger has earned his way back into a book on Role Models or should he not be allowed back in? Explain.



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  1. I think that he is on his way but not yet. It does not matter that he apologized to America he also has to apologize to his wife and kids because that affected them more.

  2. I sincerely believe that given time, and actions, Tiger should be permitted reentry into Role Models, even though he made up to his fans his wife and kids still deserve an apology of their own. Following the apology and a fair amount of time without issue, Tiger would be a perfect entry into Role Models.

  3. Jury still out – let’s see how he exits the golf stage or when his body starts not performing as well. His win at the Masters was on par with Nicklaus, my hero, in 1986. The win captured everyone’s attention and admiration for his persistence at this high athletic level and how low he had fallen. Hi hugs for son and daughter were heart warming, I hope he has turned the corner on his indiscretions, time will tell!

  4. I think that he has proved that we can all learn from our mistakes no matter how bad they are. I don’t think it would be wrong to see him as a role model

  5. i think that if he has a good amount of time and shows and does the right things he should be able to rejoin. everyone makes mistake just some are bigger then others and everyone should have a chance to come back form them.

  6. I think he has shown that everyone makes mistakes in life and that everyone can learn from them and try to just better themselves from then on out.

  7. I think that Tiger Woods should be allowed back into the Role Model book because, although he made bad decisions, he worked his way out of them. Everyone makes bad decisions, it’s how you recover from your decisions.

  8. I feel like Tiger has earned his way back in as a role model because he had his downs and pushed through them and worked really hard to get to the top again. I believe that he is a great role model for many people.

      1. i think he was a good man but when he mess up i was like no he’s a bad man but he pulled toegther and people make mistakes.

  9. Tiger is a prime example of a role model. He worked hard and experienced success for awhile. But medical reasons caused home to go down hill. But he got himself back on track.

  10. I do not think that Tiger has completely earned his role model title yet but he is indeed on a good path to earn it back. I feel like doing one good thing shouldn’t get you everything you had just like that. It’s a process.

  11. I think Tiger Woods should be in the book about Role Models because making mistakes and learning from them to improve yourself is important part in everyone’s life.

  12. In my opinion Tiger Woods has showed the world that you can bounce back from your mistakes no matter the situation. From an athlete’s perspective, he makes a great role model.

  13. I think Tiger does deserve to be in the book on Role Models because making mistakes and learning from them is an important lesson that everyone can learn from.

  14. I think that Tiger is on his way to earning the title of role model back, but I don’t think that it should just be given to him because he won a tournament. I think he needs to do more to convince the public that he not only has come back physically, but mentally as well. He is on the right path.

  15. All have people made mistakes in life before. but he just needs to own up to his mistakes. America is a sucker for someone who apologizes, makes a mends and overcomes all odds to make it back.

  16. I feel if he owns up and has some type of change in him and can take responsibilty for what he did he may have a chance. Everyone makes mistakes soemetimes those mistakes can take us futher then where we want to be and we can do simple things to make a chance.