The HBO Tiger documentary is a fascinating look through the 15-time Major winner's rollercoaster life and career


6 Things We Learnt From The HBO Tiger Documentary

The new Tiger documentary on HBO has received mixed reviews, and personally I’m not entirely sure why.

It goes through a very detailed journey through Tiger Woods‘ life, from a young boy to the 15-time Major winner and father of two that he is today.

We hear some brilliant insights from a childhood family friend of Woods, his first girlfrend, a close friend growing up, Steve Williams, the infamous Rachel Uchitel and many more..

As a huge Tiger fan, the two-part 3 1/2 hour film offered up some fascinating stories and memories, and gave me a renewed perspective on just how troubled he has been.

Whether it was infidelity, sex addiction, medication addiction, multiple surgeries, global press coverage, DUIs or the death of his father, the 45-year-old has been through more than your average person can get their head around.

From the Tiger Slam to the huge fall and comeback at the 2019 Masters, Woods’ life and career has been a rollercoaster.

Lots of books have been written about the American and there are plenty of facts and stories out there – but what did we learn from the documentary?

Here are six things I hadn’t heard before…


Woods, son of an African-American father and Thai mother, said that as a child he described himself as a ‘Cablinasian’, caucasian, black, Indian and Asian, whilst appearing on the Oprah Winphrey Show back in 1997.

Nowadays we do not hear Woods speaking about race so openly, whereas in his early days he was much more vocal on the subject.

Eating in the garage

Earl Woods used to hit balls in the garage with a baby Tiger watching on in a high chair.

Tiger loved watching his dad hit golf balls so much that he would eventually only eat his food in the garage whilst watching his dad hit shots.

We know that he was a child prodigy, and this came from watching his dad hit thousands of balls in the garage, with Tiger picking up a club pretty much as soon as he could walk.

Watch the new Tiger documentary UK: Sky Documentaries (Now TV Entertainment pass)
Watch the new Tiger documentary US: HBO Max
Watch the new Tiger documentary Australia: Binge

Scuba diving

Woods became unbelievably famous and hated the limelight, which led to him taking a keen interest in scuba diving.

His dad had taught him how to deal with mental battles on the golf course, but he hadn’t been trained to deal with being the world’s most famous and in-demand sportsperson.

His friend, Amber Lauria, recalled that Woods once said he took up scuba diving because the fish didn’t know he was Tiger Woods.

The press attention clearly became very tiring very quickly.

That 3 wood at the 2001 Masters

Woods finished three ahead of Mickelson in his 2001 Masters triumph as he completed the Tiger Slam. ( JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)

At the 2001 Masters, Woods completed the final leg of the Tiger Slam, where he held all four Majors at the same time.

During the final round of The Masters, he hit his 3 wood past playing partner Phil Mickelson’s driver on the par-5 13th hole.

In a story recalled by Steve Williams, Mickelson apparently asked Woods if he always hits his 3 wood that far, with Tiger replying: “I usually hit it further.”

This was great evidence of mind-games and Woods’ playful nature, coming out during the most important moment of his career.

That’s how mentally tough he was.

Mental training

As mentioned above, Woods’ golf brain and mental strength was unlike any other of his generation.

So how did he get so mentally strong?

Well, his dad Earl may have had a big part to play in that as he used to mess with Tiger in every round they played together.

Whether it was coughing, shouting, or making other noises during Woods’ shots, or walking on his line on the greens or simply trying to disrupt him, Earl wanted Tiger to focus only on his shot no matter what the distraction was.

This could be why he was exceptionally good under pressure and in huge moments with packed out galleries.

‘I promise you, you’ll never meet another person as mentally tough as you, in your entire life,’ Earl Woods told his son.

Men’s Fitness

In 2007, the National Enquirer found out that Woods was having an affair and they made it clear to Tiger’s team.

Woods, at the time, appeared as a squeaky-clean family man to the outside world with endorsements from some of the globe’s most famous companies.

To try and keep the National Enquirer off of his back, a deal was made.

To stop the Enquirer reporting on his infidelity, Woods appeared on the front cover of Men’s Fitness, a publication owned by the same company.

Let us know if you knew these already and what else you found interesting from the Tiger documentary

Watch the new Tiger documentary UK: Sky Documentaries (Now TV Entertainment pass)
Watch the new Tiger documentary US: HBO Max
Watch the new Tiger documentary Australia: Binge