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Tiger: The Real Story
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Tiger: The Real Story [Hardcover]

Steve Helling
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 4, 2010
Born to a father who described him as the “chosen one” and a mother who called him the “universal child,” Tiger Woods was groomed for the fame and influence that his parents believed was his destiny. At age twenty, he made his debut in a Nike commercial. “Hello, world,” he said. “Are you ready for me?”

The world was ready.

For the next thirteen years, Tiger nearly lived up to his parents’ outsized expectations. He conquered the world of golf, settled down with a beautiful Swedish model, and started a family. His net worth approached one billion dollars. Everything was going according to plan—until the scandal hit.

Steve Helling has long covered Tiger Woods’s career, and here he draws on intimate sources— many speaking out for the first time—to create a never-before-seen portrait of the golfer.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

People magazine staff writer Helling tries to squeeze every last drop of titillation out of Tiger Woods' recent meltdown. Though he poses as one of the golfer's intimates, the author's mention of being "on hand for the... wedding" should cause readers to wonder if he was invited guest or part of the paparazzi. At any rate, he gives a somnolent recount created largely from previously released information: Tiger's early nerdy image was corrected in school when "glasses were replaced by contact lenses and his thick curls cut shorter;" the golfer places " first, school second, and golf third;" at the wedding reception, "Tiger had several drinks; Elin had none;" while Tiger had had affairs before his father's death, he "went into overdrive" afterward. Not one for declarative statements, Helling offers observations torn right from the playbook: "Tiger is still one of the best golfers to ever play the game...that will probably not ever be enough to fully restore his public image as perhaps the most beloved athlete in the world." This book may remind readers not to idolize their public figures, but anyone looking for revelations won't find them here.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Portland Book Review, 9/22/11
“A fascinating read, reminiscent of driving by a car accident; you don’t want to look but you do it anyway…The author did an amazing job keeping the facts just that.”

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306819295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306819292
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,251,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the digital ink it was printed with May 25, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
By the author's own admission he has had no meaningful interaction with Tiger Woods. As a result, most of what's in this book is a re-hash of newspaper and magazine articles. The reader will find no new insight into Tiger Woods or what makes him tick. There's really nothing here for someone interested in the game of golf. This is just another product of a culture mad about celebrity. The best parts of the book were mini-biographies of Tiger's parents who are in many ways more interesting than he is (off the course, that is). The book reads like a People magazine article which was explained when I got to the end of the book and found out that the author is a writer for the same magazine. If you like People magazine or other publications of that variety, then this may be your cup of tea. If you are looking for something substantive about Tiger, the spirit of an elite athlete or the game of golf you will be disappointed by this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you're a golfer, nothing new June 19, 2010
I've been golfing about 25 years now and have regularly been a fan of the PGA Tour.
Consequently, there is nothing about Tiger Woods in this book that I already didn't know. I learned a little about his mother and father, but to me it was irrelevant.
If you are not a golfer, this book may give you a little insight into Tiger's past. Anything you may want to know since last Thanksgiving, you can get more than enough from news reports on the internet, People mag, US mag, etc.
Also, way too much ink is wasted on the transcript of Tiger's public apology.
I plan on buying Unplayable: An Inside Account of Tiger's Most Tumultuous Season by Robert Lusetich and hope I will get more insight as to what made/makes Tiger tick. The reviews look promising.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Certain Understanding May 16, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Though I do not follow golf, it was hard not pay attention to Tiger. Naturally, I was left shaking my head with everyone else, wondering what drove someone so disciplined to make such a mess of his life. Steve Helling's book answers some of those questions, though it would be impossible to answer all of them. It is not a book of sensationalism or speculation, but well-written journalism that give us an inside look at both the life and the downfall of a paragon who never asked to be placed on the pedestal on which the world displayed him.

This book follows the clues that tell us some of what makes Tiger Woods who he is, starting with the breadcrumbs that were dropped long before his birth. While a bemused public looked on as a toddler putted against Bob Hope, not one of them could have predicted that that same child would grow to be not only the world's greatest golfer, but also a hero and role model with such a carefully constructed persona that even his handlers would forget that a real person lay behind the smoke and mirrors. Tiger Woods was not a god, but an unforgiving public would punish him for not acting like one.

While he is responsible for his mistakes, one can't help but wonder who Tiger would have been had he been allowed to be Tiger Woods rather than a meticulously crafted ideal.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A real scum bag. March 23, 2013
By dennis
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book shows more evidence that you can be great at something, and still be a crummy human being. Tiger is a mean spirited, filthy mouthed, vindictive out of control womanizer that is also a liar of the worst kind.

To do what he did and does, to your wife and kids and then have legal liars to get you out of everything is just pathetic.

You don't see Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer or Lee Travino, Johnny Miller or Gary Player on the front pages tearing golf down and making it in the same league as basketball or football thugs.
"Eldric" gets away with it, because he brings so much money to the game and ratings, that everyone is scared to say anything because they'll get on Tigers "banned list".

People don't know it I guess, but if Tiger never plays again, the game will be just fine and continue to be great as it has for hundreds of years before him. The media and reporters and players sacrifice the character of this game by keeping their mouths shut, and looking the other way in return for CASH, and many of us don't like it. No one could get away with what tiger brings to the game in terms of lack of class and breeding and anyone that tried would be shut out of the game just like that low-life John Daly.

In closing, I know a lot of today's low class bums will not like my review, because they're all brainwashed into loving "big names" and stars, and not the game or the kind of character it stands for, but to some of us we still look up to at least one thing or one game or person on the planet that is a good roll model, and has class and shows some etiquette and reverence or respect for something great. The game has lost that with Eldrick at it's helm, and won't ever be the same is my guess.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
"Hi, my name is Tiger Woods. I was a great golfer, I won a Masters or two, and everybody loved me and thought I was the coolest, and then I cheated with some chicks and my wife found out, we got divorced and I became the butt of everybody's joke, from Saturday Night Live to various talk shows to the radio and much, much more. Then, I tried to make a comeback and I was a shadow of the golfer I once was. Now, some dude who knew how to make good money off of this sad tale wrote a book about it. THE END"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
learned much about tiger
Published 6 months ago by frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the book
Tiger was a special athlete. Wanted an insight to his rearing. Enjoyed the book.
Published 12 months ago by Bob H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 months ago by Bell Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
interesting read
Published 21 months ago by Doug Cottom
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiger
I have now read over five books about Tiger. Love him or hate him, he is/was the greatest Golf talent during his prime. Read more
Published 23 months ago by nomdeplume
1.0 out of 5 stars nothing new
Probably written by tigers handlers to TRY to rebuild his image. Not worth buying or reading in my opinion. Poor poor Tiger Woods! Ridiculous!
Published on March 19, 2014 by Judy
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This is a good book about Tiger but not what I was really looking for.

His journey is awe inspiring and makes for a good read although I wanted to know more about his... Read more
Published on May 17, 2013 by misscoconuts
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday gift for boyfriend
He loves it as we are both "huge" Tiger fans and I plan to read it after he's finished. Love this guy
Published on March 15, 2013 by Janki
2.0 out of 5 stars Tiger
This book is not a real bio of Tiger. It mostly reports his fantastic winnings as a golfer but doesn't give real insight as to who he was as a person.
Published on January 27, 2013 by Arabella Hong Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiger: The Real Story, worth the time.
If you are looking for sensationalism and an expose` of Tiger's life this not the book for you, but if you love golf and golfers this is an enjoyable read. Read more
Published on January 14, 2013 by Tina
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