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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best seller based on years of reporting and interviews with more than 250 people from every corner of Tiger Woods’s life - this “comprehensive, propulsive...and unsparing” (The New Yorker) biography is “an ambitious 360-degree portrait of golf’s most scrutinized figure...brimming with revealing details” (Golf Digest).

In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune living what appeared to be the perfect life. But it turned out he had been living a double life for years - one that exploded in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving-night crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional lives over a cliff. In this “searing biography of golf’s most blazing talent” (GOLF magazine), Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian dig deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to the question that has mystified millions of sports fans for nearly a decade: who is Tiger Woods, really? 

Drawing on more than 400 interviews with people from every corner of Woods’s life - many of whom have never spoken about him on the record before - Benedict and Keteyian construct a captivating psychological profile of a mixed-race child programmed by an attention-grabbing father and the original Tiger Mom to be the “chosen one”, to change not just the game of golf, but the world as well. But at what cost? Benedict and Keteyian provide the starling answers in this definitive biography that is destined to linger in the minds of listeners for years to come. 

“Irresistible.... Immensely readable.... Benedict and Keteyian bring us along for the ride in a whirlwind of a biography that reads honest and true.” (The Wall Street Journal

Ultimately, Tiger Woods is “a big American story...exhilarating, depressing, tawdry, and moving in almost equal measure” (The New York Times). 

©2018 Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Tiger Woods

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A Balanced Look at One of Golf's Greatest

For this major biography of Tiger Woods, the authors completed more than 400 interviews over a three-year period. Woods declined to participate with the project after the authors refused the conditions Woods and his team imposed on them. Still, fans of Woods will find this to be an interesting, and I believe fair, look at his life thus far.
Everyone knows Woods’ golf accomplishments, so I will focus on what readers may hope to gain from reading this book that they can’t get in previously published books about Woods. We have to start with Wood’s family, and primarily his father Earl. His parents were the only people Tiger could trust, for him, family was everything. Unfortunately, it was a dysfunctional family that he grew up in. Earl cheated on his first wife with Tiger’s mother, actually marrying her a few years before he was divorced from his first wife. In addition, Earl is portrayed as a father who took advantage of his son’s talent to benefit financially, and at least bent the rules on how to finance his travels to amateur tournaments. In addition to infidelity, Earl had vices of alcohol and porn. Unfortunately, some of those vices were passed on to Tiger. Earl would often interject race into interviews, while Tiger tended to avoid the subject. We are told that Earl is buried in an unmarked grave.
We read about a four-year relationship (in high school and college) that Tiger had with Deana, which was abruptly broken off, and another relationship he had prior to marriage. He had his first knee surgery while in college at Stanford.
We hear about Tiger’s conflict with members of the media, primarily John Feinstein and Jimmy Roberts, and his friendship with golfer and neighbor Mark O’Meara and his family.
Especially after he turned professional, Tiger was always under a microscope. Everyone wanted a piece of him and he made millions in endorsements. We hear about his increasing rudeness, failure to tip in restaurants and gambling in Las Vegas with Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan. The book addresses his obsession with working out and becoming a member of the Navy Seals.
Woods was married to Elin Nordegren for six years. The book spends a lot of time on his well-documented fall from grace, detailing his cheating on her, often times with multiple women at the same time while she was caring for their two young children at home. Woods was living a lie as a sex addict. The authors point out that he interestingly played some of his best golf when his personal life was out of control.
The authors state that Woods was in a dark place after Earl’s death. He became surlier with the media and would eventually become addicted to sleeping pills and pain medication. They address rumors whether he took PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), offering testimony from those close to him.
The book details his work with swing coaches such as Butch Harmon and Hank Haney, and in more recent years his injuries, surgeries and missed cuts. It ends with his return to competitive golf in early 2018 and his desire to be a good father to his two children.
The book contains a significant amount of adult language, much of it quotes from Woods. Golf fans, particularly fans of Woods will be interested in this well-researched and written book.

10 people found this helpful

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Schadenfreude For Non-Fans

If you don't like Tiger Woods, you're going to love "Tiger Woods". If you're a fan of Tiger Woods, "Tiger Woods" will infuriate you. Consider me infuriated. If you're a fan of good gossip and tabloid journalism, you're going to doubly love "Tiger Woods". If you're a fan of good investigative journalism, "Tiger Woods" will infuriate you. Consider me doubly infuriated.

This is a hatchet job that revels in Tiger's downfall while diminishing or demeaning his accomplishments (as much as that is possible given how unassailable some of those accomplishments are), and even tries to invent new scandals out of rumors.

The authors reveal up front that they could not interview anyone with an NDA or anyone who felt close enough to Tiger to ask his permission before talking to them (permission was denied). The authors tell us up front that most of their source material was already out in the public. Most of the people who did talk to the authors had at least one ax to grind. The authors turned down a chance to talk to Tiger because of his onerous demands, even though by that time, Tiger was for the first time ever giving out numerous candid interviews to just about everyone who asked.

Their primary goal, they say, was to present a balanced view of Tiger, but in their world, that means holding up gossip and innuendo against sworn testimony, giving more weight to the former while dismissing the latter (see my full review at Good Reads for detailed examples). Only in their tilted world of hit journalism can Tiger's desire to practice or upgrade his swing, or play through pain to the point of injuring himself, be a moral failing. Totally infuriating.

The narration suffers as well. The glee with which the text tears down Tiger is equally conveyed in how it is read. And it is poorly recorded -- I could hear (at least through my earbuds) every edit, with one sentence spoken differently and at different volume than the preceding or succeeding sentence. For a book to be recorded this poorly in 2018 makes no sense, although you will likely not notice if you listen in a car.

I was looking forward to reading a balanced biography of Tiger Woods. I thought balance would mean tempering the tabloid mentality that caused the feeding frenzy over his personal scandals, which seem kind of tame in today's world where worse behavior does not disqualify people from holding higher office. Instead, we have rehash journalism and gossip mongering masquerading as serious biography. Maybe for those who would enjoy the schadenfreude of listening to Tiger being trashed. But not for me.

Update: Tiger just won the 2019 Masters. These two guys stated flat out that he would never win another major. They were wrong. On so many counts. And yet, one can imagine a future edition in which they find some way to minimize this latest accomplishment.

8 people found this helpful

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I couldn't stop listening!!

Narration is half the battle with audiobooks. This book was the best narrated book I've ever heard. Written beautifully and researched relentlessly, this book has all the emotions you could desire. Tiger Woods's story is already an interesting one but these authors take you behind the scene of every event in his life.

3 people found this helpful

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Not sure how factual this biography actually is...

I question much of the veracity of this book. There was a lot of writing about what Tiger thought throughout his life, but the authors acknowledge that Tiger did not talk about his feelings to anyone. It seems unlikely to me that the authors could get this much information about his private feelings to write a book about them. This is a frustration I have with many biographies, especially when they are unauthorized. Otherwise, the objective events are described well, the writing flows, and the story was engaging. I don't think that there is really any way to write about Tiger's life without a somewhat judgmental, depreciating tone at some points in his story, but that can be said for most of our lives. I didn't think that the narrator was the best I have ever heard, but he was most certainly not the worst. Sadly lacking is this book is Tiger's improbable, triumphant comeback. I hope that the writer's include an epilogue or additional chapters at some point, especially since there were numerous mentions toward the end of the book about how Tiger's career "ended".

2 people found this helpful

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Must read

I loved this book, from rise to stardom to fall from Grace. Woods did it all and has seen it all. Loved the narrator and how the story line went. Definitely worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely Terrible!

This audible book is by far the worst purchased I've made, completely biased commentary; this book took every instance, good or bad, and try to make it bad! Tiger is a flawed person and golfer, but this attempt to smear the man and his father in every single chapter made it nearly impossible to complete the book...Terrible!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Engaging Book but Horrendous Narration

The book seems as well researched and written as an unauthorized biography can be and provides the most complete picture yet of Tiger Woods the person. However, I wish I had purchased an actual book and read it rather than the audio version. As others have mentioned, the editing and narration are wildly inconsistent. One can regularly detect a different tone of voice, a different pace of speaking, and variable levels of volume, often all within a three sentence stretch. The narrator sometimes seems like he is trying to channel his inner Barry White and then minutes later sound soulless like he is reading the phone book. This has nothing to do with trying to give voice to a quotation, it happens in all facets of the narration. Quotations from characters in the book are read in inconsistent voices from one chapter to the next.

If the content of the book was not so interesting, I would have given up on this book after an hour. Audible would be well served to have this book re-recorded. Only Audible's generous return policy would convince my to buy any future book read by this narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, terrible narration

The book is great, lots of interesting stories and information.
The narrator was awful. The worst cadence and odd pronunciations. Additionally, the narrator would often change his voice to tones that did not fit the story. Multiple blatant incorrect pronunciations of words. Made the book almost unpalatable.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating subject, solid writing, meh audiobook

I grew up one of the biggest Tiger fans you'll ever meet. I've cheered for him since he first came up on tour, and I still think he's one of the most impressive athletes we'll ever get to witness. That's why I was so excited to listen to this book and get to know more about the man I've idolized for most of my life.

The picture painted by the authors differs from the picture I had painted in my mind. Obviously they did a lot more research into him than I ever have, and there's some pretty inexcusable things that he's done in his life that they documented well. That being said, I felt like they oftentimes merely alluded to the great aspects of Tiger, but never dug in deep to that side of the man. Instead, they spent the majority of the book poking holes in his legendary status and making him look like an immature weirdo. Now maybe that is truly who he is, but there's plenty of accounts to the contrary that I've seen other places which never received any attention in the book.

When it comes to the audiobook performance, this was the most uneven reading I've ever experienced. There were times when three consecutive sentences were clearly all recorded at different times. The voice intonations, volume levels, and and tone of the reader would change much too sporadically for my liking.

All in all, I was captured by this book and tore through it, but wasn't that impressed by the quality of it when I finished.

3 people found this helpful

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GREAT READ! (LISTEN)

I truly am a Tiger Woods fan, and this book covers alot of stuff I did not know. His life story is like no other, the ends at him playing at Torrey Pines in 2017. Only a few events after his back fusion surgery, as we know now the story only gets crazier! He will win 3 more tournaments including the greatest sport event I have ever witnessed, 2019 Masters. Roger Casey is wonderful to listen to and the book is a really great read, WELL DONE!

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  • James Broadest
  • 02-20-19

Very insightful to a non golfer

prior to listening, I was completely ignorant to what Tiger Woods'history and what he had g9ne through. This book, although very lengthy gave a really interesting insight into where he came from and how he progressed through his career.

1 person found this helpful

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  • __Steve__
  • 01-26-19

Excellent Book

I started this off thinking it was going them ripping on Tiger but have to say as I got into the book the detail on his life was really excellent. I was happy to see that was an equal of the bad & the good of Tiger. Well worth a listen, you won’t be disappointed

1 person found this helpful

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  • K. Tobin
  • 12-31-18

Informative biography of one of golf's greats

Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian's biography of one of modern sport's all time greats is very well researched, informative and balanced. Given the extraordinary and bizarre lengths Woods' legal team has gone to over the years to silence past colleagues, friends and lovers, this is no mean feat.

No doubting Woods' incredible achievements on the world's finest golfing greens, especially 1997-2008. Woods' early life is marked with sadness given how his parents never let him grow up normally, instead spending every waking hour practising golf. His father Earl is depicted as a nasty bully and treats his family very poorly. The cold, emotionless upbringing however does offer a lot of explanation for his rude, often brutal, rejection of friends and colleagues who helped him become 'the Michael Jordan of golf' as soon as he disagrees with them (the Mark O'Meara Hall of Fame snub in 2015 particularly was appalling). It also explains a lot behind his compulsive sex addiction that ruined his marriage and brought down his business empire in 2009.

Although Woods is of course as well known for his sex scandals as his sporting achievements, the biography doesn't dwell too much on that time, and rightly so as he deserves better from history than that. It would have been good to have heard/read more from the authors on Woods' road to redemption to the present day, which is remarkable given the serious back and knee injuries he endured.

The authors' clear writing style ensured that those who are unfamiliar with the sport could read/listen and enjoy this book. There were a lot of excellent biographies written in 2018 and this was certainly one of the better ones.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marc Studholme
  • 08-04-18

Great Insight

For Tiger fans much of the insight isn’t that new, but pulled together well. The books sails past some of his greatest victories and on course duals, focusing on his character and what made him.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adam Noble
  • 03-15-21

great listen

loved it really interesting and gripping, couldn't recommend it enough to all not only sports fans

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  • Jim 8888
  • 12-31-20

Excellent

Interesting and candid biography focusing on Woods as a person more than his golfing achievements. He’s a hard person to like and, for me, isn’t in The same class as Nicklaus and Palmer, but as a golfer he may well have been the best ever - until his character undid him. This books tries to explain how it all happened and does a good job of it.

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  • Cherryblossom
  • 12-09-20

Very good book

Just don’t know what didn’t make it 5 stars. Good book and performance though I liked it 👌👌👌👌👍👍👍👍😀😀😀😀

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  • Keith Elsender
  • 11-08-20

An average listen

I worried this book would be a put down of the greatest golfer ever (in my opinion) and I wasn't too wide of the mark. It was OK as a slight insight but it's definitely slanted against him.

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  • Brian Murgatroyd
  • 10-29-20

Full of incites

I found the book to be fascinating & full of invites; all it needs now is an update!

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  • David Kelly
  • 09-02-20

Best Ever Book,thank you

Best Book Ever,a super insight into one of the best sport athletes ever to play

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John quinn
  • 10-19-18

Sounds accurate

Well told, like TG alot less though after listening to it so take this as a warning it may turn you off him

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-18

Good, but can feel like a personal attack

enjoyable. interesting. but sometimes feels like an attack on the person the writer is profiting from.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-28-21

great insight into tigers life

very interesting book. there was so much unknown about the man and his past. he will always remain on of, if not, the greatest sportsman on earth

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  • Craig
  • 01-19-21

Tiger Fan

Whilst the story is written in a way that paints Tiger in a very bad light, it appears that this is the reality of his life. If you have followed his career over the years you will know about the poor behaviour and his indiscretions that should make most people cringe. For many readers it will shed some light on his upbringing with Earl being very outspoken and people of generally the product of their upbringing (the circle effect).

The good stuff is about the dedication he has to the game of golf and that nothing else matters (not even those closest) more than performing at his best. If it wasn't for injuries and some poor life choices he would of already shattered every record possible with no chance of them ever being broken. Listen and be open minded that this is just someones view. There are always 3 sides to a story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-04-21

Fascinating account of nature VS nurture

Found the middle third dragged a little bit with just countless stories of tiger's poor behaviour while he won tournament after tournament. First third focusing on his ascent to global celebrity and final third documenting the implosion of his immaculate reputation were enthralling.

I found the constant switching of narrators a little distracting and quite annoying.

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  • Wendy Ross
  • 04-13-20

Boring

Persisted until Chapter 8 but couldnt handle any more. Just did nothing at all for me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-28-20

Exhilarating ride of Tiger

Beautifully articulated story of the rise fall rise and fall the humbling of Tiger. This story will leave you shaking your head in disbelief of the pressures one human has overcome.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-19

Very enjoyable

really enjoyed this book. recommend it to any sports fan. download this book and enjoy

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  • Arron
  • 04-30-19

WORST BOOK WRITTEN. PLEASE READ MY REVIEW

dont buy this book. it's no way near the truth about tiger woods. this book makes tiger look like the worst person ever to play sports.. this book is just used tigers name for money. this is disgusting and will leave you bitter about tiger no way near the truth!!. this isn't written by tiger but by white supremacists trying to erase tigers history. please review the book for it's worth. this is disgusting.

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  • Ann
  • 09-17-18

Absolutely excellent

I hung on every word. Incredibly detailed giving the listener a full picture of events without swaying opinions.