Tiger Woods’ journey from arguably the greatest golfer of all time to well, whatever he is today, has been well-documented since the sex scandal that derailed his career in 2009.
So as he nears the end of his storied career Woods conducted one of the most in-depth interviews he’s ever done for the new issue of Time magazine.
I won’t lie. It’s a really long read, but it covers pretty much everything and anything want might want to know about Tiger’s career and personal life. Hitting on everything from his injuries, to his relationship with the media as well as his relationship with his ex-wife Elin Nordegren, it’s a very good read.
Here are some of the key takeaways…
What would he have done differently before and after his scandal in 2009?
In hindsight, it’s not how I would change 2009 and how it all came about. It would be having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife. Having the relationship that I have now with her is fantastic. She’s one of my best friends. We’re able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time. We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then.
What kept you from knowing that?
Either that’s the position I was in, or I took advantage of opportunities. But, when it comes down to it, right down to it, it’s just having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife when we were married. Our frustrations would have come out if we had talked about it and been open and honest with each other. Which we are now, and it’s absolutely fantastic.
Discussing what he’s told his kids about that time in his life…
We’ve worked so hard at co-parenting, to make sure that their lives are fantastic. For instance, I’ve told her this, I’ve taken the initiative with the kids, and told them up front, “Guys, the reason why we’re not in the same house, why we don’t live under the same roof, Mommy and Daddy, is because Daddy made some mistakes.” I just want them to understand before they get to Internet age and they log on to something or have their friends tell them something. I want it to come from me so that when they come of age, I’ll just tell them the real story. But meanwhile, it’s just, “Hey, Daddy made some mistakes. But it’s O.K. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. But look what happened at the end of it. Look at how great you are. You have two loving parents that love you no matter what.”
How he feels about the way he’s covered by the media…
There’s no accountability in what they say. And what they say, it’s like it’s gospel, there’s no source behind it. Nothing like, yeah, I talked to X number of players, I talked to this player, this player, this player. It’s none of that. It’s jus, some of the announcers, they don’t even go on the golf course. And they look at a pin sheet from the booth, but they’ve never surveyed the golf course, even though the television coverage doesn’t come on until the afternoon. You have all that time to go walk the golf course, to see some of the early rounds, see what guys are doing, how they’re hitting it, how’s the course playing, is the wind coming up? All those different things that you could do. The only one who does that is Finchy [golf broadcaster and former PGA Tour pro Ian Baker-Finch].
So does he even like the media at this point?
I have a lot of good friends in the media. Guys I’ve gone out to dinner with on countless occasions. With respect. There’s also a flip side of people that I really don’t care for. Hey, they made their career being negative and being outlandish. They’ve made a career out of it. But that’s their take. They’ve almost created a character, per se.
On his failed relationship with Lindsey Vonn…
Well, with Lindsey, what was hard is we never had time together. We’re texting each other. It was a great relationship, but it was so hard, when I’m training to do my sport, it takes umpteen hours to do, and I can’t travel, except to my tournaments, because I’m here dedicated to my two kids. Meanwhile, most of her summer is spent in South America, at training camps in Chile and Argentina, and then you’ve got her season, which is mostly in Europe. And I can’t travel because I have the kids—my off weeks I’m devoted to my kids—and I have to be here. It’s a relationship that was fantastic, but it just can’t work on that level. It just could not work. It was doing an injustice to both of us.
Does Tiger even watch golf?
I can’t remember the last time I watched golf. I can’t stand it. Unless one of my friends has a chance to win, then I like watching it. I watched Jason [Day] win the PGA. But it was on mute. It’s always on mute and I have some other game on another TV.
Check out the entire, very candid piece over at Time magazine.