When did ‘The Second Life of Tiger Woods’ truly begin?

April 2, 2020

Michael Bamberger has watched the arrest tapes. He’s pored over the dashcam footage. He’s been to the Jupiter Police Department. He’s sat where Tiger Woods would have sat post-DWI arrest on Memorial Day 2017.

“He was certainly a person that night who was out of control,” Bamberger said on this week’s episode of the Drop Zone (which you can find below). “And it was a day of reckoning. And then the question became: ‘Who do I want to be?’ As a public figure, as an athlete, and I think most significantly as a father. And I think he reached bottom, and I think that’s when the second life of Tiger Woods began.”

Bamberger joined the Drop Zone podcast to break down his new book, The Second Life of Tiger Woods. The interview marks a particularly important moment to co-host Sean Zak and I, not just because it’s Bamberger talking Tiger (which I never tire of) nor because it’s a fantastic book (it is) but because we’re re-launching the Drop Zone as more of a weekly storytelling podcast. Our goal is to produce episodes that take you deeper inside a story from the golf world, and this means an upgrade in production, audio quality, editing, everything. We hope you listen, that you like the changes and continue to enjoy the stories we’ve got in the hopper. Click here or the banner below.

Back to Bamberger, and to Woods. We’ve seen the chapters of Woods’ life play out in front of us for nearly three decades. Mostly, they’ve been inspiring — though not always. Bamberger takes a look at Woods’ recent years with a discerning but empathetic eye and teaches us new ways to see his most recent journey. That journey began Memorial Day 2017, when Woods was arrested for a DWI. It culminated with his dramatic win at the 2019 Masters. And it continues on today.

Several times — in his book and in our interview — Bamberger evokes Woods’ post-Masters press conference. One line stuck out to me:

“You never give up. You always fight — giving up’s never in the equation.”

When asked what we could learn from Woods, here’s what Bamberger had to say:

“I think you look at Tiger Woods’ life, and you look at this game that we all love, and you realize how much free will we have. To what degree we can control our own destiny. Whatever it is you are doing, you can choose to work harder. You can choose to work harder in your relationships, you can choose to try to understand yourself and others more.

“I think the lesson of Tiger Woods is, ‘What are you going to do in your own life to dig deep to get better at something? Because Tiger Woods has always been about trying to get better. And when he can’t get better, at least try to hold onto what he has for as long as he can, which is I think really what he’s doing right now.”

I hope you’ll give this week’s episode a listen at any of the links below — and to consider leaving a rating or review. Enjoy!

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