Sport on TV: Tiger was so deeply embedded he couldn't see Woods for trees

Somewhere in the jungles of Vietnam, a Special Forces officer called Earl Woods was dreaming of having a son who would change the world like Gandhi and Buddha did. In the event his boy would be rather lacking in morality compared to them, but he had a better short game than either.

According to the American sportswriter Gary Smith, Tiger Woods once told him: "My father's the kind of guy who would slit your throat and then sit down to eat his dinner." Presumably he used different knives. In Tiger Woods: The Rise And Fall (Channel 4, Thursday) Smith described the young Woods' education as "Vietnam on a golf course".

His talent was honed on the naval course in Cypress, California using the "standard operating procedures" of the US military (something about hiding in the bunker) but also a darker strategy based on the psychological operations witnessed by Earl in Vietnam.

He drafted in a character called Captain Jay Brunza to hypnotise Tiger, to the extent where, it is suggested, he may well have had long stretches of his surpassing success simply blanked out, even when he has been in his prime.

Tommy "Burnt Biscuit" from the black caddies' enclave of Sand Hill, a couple of miles from Augusta, also recalls Earl standing on a street corner completely unmoved as a little Tiger pinged golf balls past his head. Now that's crackers. Meanwhile Earl was basking in Tiger's reflected glory and cheating on his wife Tida with blonde on blonde. And Tiger was kept "in a bubble"; he had no friends. His only version of reality was his father's.

When, at 22, he was signed by his "corporate parents", IMG, in a $40 million deal, he was patently ill-equipped to deal with life outside golf. One of IMG's clients, apparently, was the Pope, but he seems to have had little influence.

So began the incessant fornication. Tiger organised his harem "with military precision" but in the end even that wasn't enough. The thrill of adultery became an end-away in itself, and a quickie in a church car park and a used tampon held as evidence by the scandal rag 'National Enquirer' proved his downfall.

Woods dictated what the media wrote about him for 13 years, according to the exceedingly seedy former 'Enquirer' editor Neil Bolton. And even their huge scoop was covered up in exchange for a front-cover picture in a sister publication, 'Men's Fitness'. Finally, a birdie who was sexy enough to grace their own front page, Rachel Uchitel, emerged from the rough and they ran the story.

This engrossing 90-minute documentary by Jacques Peretti ended with a little bit more titillation: the untold story of Tiger's lovechild. The "I'm Tiger Woods" campaign for Nike was his first major corporate deal. Like his father in the last commercial, those kids might be about to come back and haunt him.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Social Media Director (Global) - London Bridge/Southwark

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Social Media Director (Gl...

ERP Business/ Implementation Analyst

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This is an e...

Business Intelligence Program Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: BI Project / Program Manager BI Project...

Radian6/Social Media/Digital Analyst

£250 - £300 per day: Progressive Recruitment: LEAD DIGITAL ANALYST - CONTRACT ...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil