His back surgery was 31 March 2014, his last competition was 9 March 2014, and as I said on CNN… Tiger will be back – and not a moment too soon because golf has sorely missed him.
Even Tiger’s haters have missed him. Whether they like it or not, it can’t be denied that Tiger has had a profound effect on golf (which is an understatement). They called it ‘The Tiger Effect’ and there have been some amazing changes in golf since Tiger turned Pro in 1996. Tiger is the one who pulls in the crowds; you only have to look at the stats. The viewing figures for this year’s US Open were down 46% from last year – this could only be because the iconic Mr Woods wasn’t on the course. He’s the one we all want to watch.
Tiger has had a colossal impact on golf; the amount of money invested, the globalisation and the skill level of the game. It seems mad to attribute this growth to one individual, but this is the general consensus of golf pundits throughout the world. Just look at how golf has skyrocketed in Asia, the Middle East, Central America and Australia. Yes, I concede that golf was developed in Europe and played in Scotland for over 600 years, but it took the prowess and skill of Tiger Woods to make the tour what it is today.
Tiger oozes charisma, and it is this enthralling charm that has fuelled years of media coverage and a wider interest in the game. With this increase in popularity comes more sponsorship, more television rights, bringing even more money to the game. The TV channels need Tiger back to revitalise their waning viewing figures, but the sponsors need him too. It has been suggested that Nike might have been the biggest beneficiary from ‘The Tiger Effect’, but Nike’s competition are also indebted to him. When he is absent from the game, or even getting less of the PGA spotlight, almost every brand suffers. But the biggest victims in Tiger’s absence have to be the fans. Nothing beats the pleasure of watching Tiger glide across the golf course displaying a dexterity and precision that is just exquisite to behold.
Yes, golf has missed Tiger Woods. I am usually a strong advocate of the fact that no individual is bigger than the game, but that said, golf without Tiger is like peanut butter with jelly, the Yankees without their pinstripes and Beyonce without her dance moves.
Good luck and do your thing Tiger!