Is Tiger Woods a fundamentally charmless, unpleasant person or not?

I was supervised to hear someone discussing golf on the radio the other day go after Tiger Woods not for his womanizing but just his charmless, unpleasant attitude toward fans and people in general especially in light of the fact that golf had given him so much. The person also said he “lacks respect” but I’m not sure how to process that in a golf context. Respect for what?

I’m not a golfer so I was surprised to hear this level of anger at Woods just for his personality. He’s never seemed to be a particularly effusive person, but I never got impression he was widely consider an asshole by those in the sport. It was always just a sort of low key superstar vibe via the media.

Is this just one ranters opinion or does it really reflect a view in golf circles that he’s kind of a jerk?

Don’t believe everything you’re supervised to hear.

I’ve never read anything good or bad about Tiger’s attitude towards fans, etc.

I have not personally dealt with him while I was still in the service industry. I have worked with a few people who claimed to have though, and they claimed he could make a nickel squeak, he was so tightfisted.

Which isn’t to say he was demanding, or a jerk; but personally, when I worked in the hotel industry, I didn’t mind demanding so long as the guest tipped well. and I preferred those guests to the bland and cheap. YMMV.

Well he doesn’t make this list Top 30 good guys on tour

Golf has given him so much. Sounds like secret code words to me. At least he didn’t call him “uppity”.

Tiger is not fan friendly, but neither was Ben Hogan. Some guys would rather win than be loved. Some guys are able to interact with the crowd between shots, others consider the course their office, and are all business.

Off the course, he seems to have a good sense of humor around his pals, but he considers the press idiots at best (they ask the same stupid questions every week), bastards at worst (they print stuff he thought was off the record, or just plain do hatchet jobs), and treats them accordingly, so their articles about him are generally not flattering.

He also has the problem of being so popular that he can’t help disappointing people. At every tournament, whether he’s in contention or not, every reporter there wants to interview him. If he signed autographs for six hours, there would still be a long line of fans who didn’t get one. And of course, every charity wants his time and/or money. At some point, he has to say “No more,” and leave a lot of fans/reporters/charities disappointed or angry.

I remember a fairly recent incident where he got out of his car and was walking to the clubhouse, and saw some fans holding out stuff to be signed over a metal fence. He started walking over there, and immediately there was a huge surge of people against the fence, squashing little kids against it. He did a 180 and went into the clubhouse, and everybody there probably said, “What an asshole.”

As for giving back, he WAS golf for almost 20 years, giving the players and sponsors income and ratings they could only have dreamed of before he came along. No worries on that score.

IMHO, it is code. It implies that Tiger did no work for what he was given. It ignores/denigrates the thousands upon thousands of hours of practice, the lessons, the tournaments, everything. Golf just GAVE it to him and now he’s ungrateful.

I remember reading an article several years back about the Ryder Cup team staying together when they played in the UK. According to the article’s sources, Tiger was really friendly and a good teammate. It was Phil Mickelson who was charmless and unpleasant - with his teammates.

It’s not uncommon for fans to be able to interact with golfers during a tournament practice round. Some golfers are more approachable than others. In my experience and from what I’ve heard, Tiger is among the not-so-fan-friendly. I don’t hold it against him, and I certainly wouldn’t call it a lack of respect. Tiger’s also been known to throw a mini-tantrum on the course when things aren’t going so well. I don’t have so big a problem with that, either, but some fans think it’s disrespectful to the game or something.

I think he’s an intense competitor and those characteristics have a tendency to rub people the wrong way. You hear a lot about how Michael Jordan was an asshole. I’ve heard Wayne Gretzky is not the most likeable person.

Since his game has fallen off and he doesn’t win big tournaments anymore probably has something to do with the perception. He has expected to himself to win and win often and hasn’t in recent years. He isn’t the same person inside that he was back when he was dominating. He has been frustrated for a long time. The field has caught up to him and passed him. I don’t remember Palmer, Player or Nicklaus thought of negatively back when they were nearing the end of their championship contending days. Things are different now with technology. Everyone knows in an instant what others do and say.

Like someone else said. Many view the course as their office and are all business.
Though not recently, I have been to many pro tournaments and one guy actually conversed with me in between shots years ago. It was awesome. Fred Couples was that guy and he was and still is one of my favorites.

If you have a career in golf - you didn’t build that.

No doubt this is much of it. A thousand people are waiting for autographs, and Woods signs a hundred autographs. A hundred people think he is great, nine hundred think he is an asshole.


I could maybe understand this as a criticism against an actor, given that it’s their job to interact well with people (or at least, to present a convincing facsimile of the same). But he’s not an actor, he’s an athlete. His job is to hit a ball with a stick and make it go into a little hole, and he’s very good at that job. Why is it even relevant how well he interacts with his fans?

No athlete has ever been more fellated by the television networks covering a sport than Tiger Woods. Endless praise on what a great father-son relationship when his father died away. No other golfer could possibly hope to match that.

An actor’s job is to act well on screen or stage. Why is it relevant how well he interacts with fans – for the same reason it’s good that a golfer does. They are entertainers. Their jobs are to attract fans to watch the movies/tournaments. Presumably the more charm he displays, the better that purpose is served. In fact, it’s probably more important for an athlete like a golfer who is in close proximity to the fans to interact well than for a movie actor who might seldom meet fans.

Moreso with the fact that golf is on the decline, probably in part due to Tiger declining. That’s why the “golf has given him so much crowd” aren’t entirely wrong. At a time when golf is struggling it needs all the positive attitude & publicity it can get. I assume the golfing industry right now is laying off people by the bucket-load. The industry, and people in it, are hurting right now. This leads to allsorts of finger pointing.

Not a Tiger fan, but my one experience with him was pleasant. I was with a few friends at Augusta for a practice round before The Masters. Tiger and several other pros were at the putting green. The players walk off through a roped off area. Everyone gathers around the ropes to see the players up close as they leave. As Tiger was walking by, my friend says, “We’re pulling for you Tiger.” (he wasn’t) Tiger looks at him and says, “Thank you, sir” and then gives him a high-five. He had a huge smile on his face.

Well he was a classless jerk to his wife and his kids but beyond that I neither know nor care. He doesn’t owe golf a thing. A lot of people have made a lot of money off of Tiger Woods. He revolutionized the sport and dragged it into the TV age. He owes very few people in the game (maybe a coach or a caddie or a mentor) anything.

It’s a decline only when viewed in comparison to its recent high mark, which it got mostly from the rise of Tiger. It’s not only wrong but completely backwards to say that “golf has given him so much”: Quite the contrary, he has given golf so much.

He’s actually quite well liked on Tour. In my experience, almost all really good gollers are a little…prickly

Never met him, but he always impressed me as a jerk. Not that any athlete has to present any particular personality. At least for a while, Tiger was the most dominant golfer (and I think athlete) of all time. He put a ton of money into many many pockets.

He always impressed me similarly to the most hypercompetitive folk I’ve encountered in sport and other endeavors. Most of them have impressed me as jerks in some way or another. It is a pretty rare individual who can carve out your spleen and make you feel good about him as he’s doing it. But you look at Snedeker or Kuch, and they look like they are having fun out there. Tiger almost always looks pissed.

When he was dominant I never got the impression that he was overly open to the press, or overly open with fans. And his behavior towards his wife suggests some character/judgment issues. But I’m sure he had friends who enjoyed his company - and probably not just when he was picking up the tab. And I imagine his sponsored tourneys supported some charitable goals.

I don’t think too many pro golfers - or pro athletes of any sport - are brilliant raconteurs, and friends of the common man. Why should he be any different?

The nicest golfer on Tour is probably Steve Stricker, and he and Tiger are great friends.