A revealing and intimate biography of the man who influenced Tiger Woods the most-his father, Earl Woods
Tiger Woods has been with us since he appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show" as a two-year-old, hitting golf balls for Bob Hope. In the three decades since, he established himself as the most dominant golfer of all time and became the wealthiest athlete on the planet. And beside him was his father and best friend, Earl Woods.
In His Father's Son, bestselling author Tom Callahan recounts the life of Earl Dennison Woods and his son. Callahan recounts Earl's boyhood in Manhattan, Kansas, his days as a star baseball player at Kansas State, and his military career with the special forces. He details Earl's final tour in Vietnam, where he became close friends with a South Vietnamese operative named Tiger Phong. Earl picked up golf after his retirement from the military, and when he became a father for the last time, his son-another Tiger-would watch him hit balls from his high chair. As soon as Tiger could stand, he was swinging a golf club. Under Earl's tutelage, he went on to the most storied amateur career in golf history. He was a millionaire the day he announced he was going pro.
Callahan follows Tiger through every one of his major championship wins, discussing his complex and ever-changing relationship with his father. He places Tiger into the context of golf history, detailing his chase of Nicklaus's records and his interactions with fellow pros. He reveals that Tiger stepped away from golf after his father's death, and examines Tiger's recent troubles in light of his father's own womanizing.
Written in lyric prose and based on interviews with Earl, Tiger, and dozens of insiders, Callahan reveals in His Father's Son the man who made Tiger who he is.
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Tom Callahan is a former senior writer for Time magazine and columnist for The Washington Post. He is the author of New York Times bestseller Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas, Around the World in Eighteen Holes, The GM, and The Bases Were Loaded (as So Was I). He lives in Florida.From Booklist:
Is there anything left to be said about the Tiger Woods scandal? Probably not, if the focus is on what he did when with which cocktail waitresses, but veteran sportswriter Callahan takes a different tack altogether. Exploring the complex relationship between Tiger and his father, Earl, Callahan delivers a revealing portrait of a man and his talented son, the love they felt for one another, and the emotional scars that father passed along to son. Much of the book tells Earl’s story and a fascinating one it is. Unlike his son, Earl felt the full force of racism growing up, including four years at Kansas State University, where he played baseball, and later as a career army officer. Yes, Tiger became a stand-in for Earl (also a habitual womanizer), but Callahan shows that none of the simple explanations tells the whole story. In a book full of revealing anecdotes, perhaps the most striking is this comment from Tiger’s half sister: “I asked him once, Don’t you ever want to do a little dirt, Tiger, be a little bad?” The young boy answered, “I probably would if I didn’t know I was going to be famous someday.” HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A full media blitz is likely to bring the Tiger story front and center yet again, but this time Callahan may be able to offer some much-needed perspective. --Bill Ott
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