Why Tiger should listen to Jack

Tiger Woods made the news again this weekend but not for his golf game.  This time, the local police in Florida noticed a car stopped along the side of the road at 3AM, and Tiger appeared to be asleep and was unable to pass the local DUI protocol.  He was arrested and stayed in jail for a few hours before being released.

Woods has been recovering from another back surgery recently.  It was fusion surgery on his lower back.  Definitely not good if you ever plan on returning to play a game which causes so much torque to your back in the first place.  Especially if you swing a golf club at the high rate of speed that Tiger has done for most of his golf career.

Most of us know that Tiger Woods’ primary remaining quest (admitted or not) was to reach the record of 18 major championships that Jack Nicklaus obtained over a 25-year span of his illustrious PGA career.

Tiger had reached 14 majors by the age of 33 when he won the US Open in 2008.   By comparison, Jack Nicklaus had won 11 majors before the age of 33 and then added six more before turning 41 and a final major at age 46 with a thrilling come-from-behind rally on the back nine of Augusta in the 1986 Masters.

From all appearances, Tiger Woods’ life seemed to be defined by the quest to become the best golfer of all time. However, his physical issues surfaced during his 14th major as Woods literally hobbled on one leg through an excruciating 18-hole playoff win over Rocco Mediate in 2008.  First, it was his knee and, later, serious back problems.  And, of course, Tiger’s personal fall from grace.

There was one person that Tiger seemed to listen to over the years – his father, Earl Woods.  Tiger always respected his Dad – a tough guy who served in the US Army Special Forces during a 20-year military career.  Earl Woods died in 2006 – some two years before Tiger’s last major championship, the injuries, and the saga of personal tragedies.

Tiger’s Dad is gone, but there is one man whose accomplishments Tiger certainly respects.  Jack Nicklaus spoke out this week and offered some fatherly advice (again) to Tiger.  Nicklaus knows what it takes to win at golf, but Jack is also a father of five children and has many grandchildren.  Based on his words, Jack Nicklaus seems to really care about Tiger Woods – as a person and a professional.

And, right now, I think Tiger Woods could really use a father figure he respects like his Dad.  This time, I am hopeful that Tiger is listening and will take Jack up on the offer soon.