I love watching Tiger Woods play golf. Now, I can’t stand watching golf particularly, because to me it’s boring. I think I would rather watch paint dry on a wall, but when Tiger is playing I tune in. I like watching excellence in motion. The very way he carries himself both on and off the golf course is something to be admired and duplicated. You get the sense that no matter what situation Tiger is in, he always gets it and understands the broader scope of his actions and how they influence both young and old. Tiger will say himself that he learned it all from his Dad.
Tiger’s Dad, Earl, was his best friend. I remember when he won the 1997 Masters and the first person he came over and hugged was his Dad. His embrace with his Dad was so real and genuine that I was touched by it as were millions of other viewers that day. The bond between these two could never be questioned as it was friend, confidante, mentor, and Dad all rolled into one. Unfortunately Earl Woods passed away in 2006 from cancer. It struck me as very parallel to my situation. My Dad died in 2006, Tiger and I are exactly the same age, and we each have $500 million in the bank. OK, so the last part isn’t true yet.
What struck me in the latest issue of People magazine as Tiger was talking about his Dad he said, “My Dad was my best friend and greatest role model. Everything I do and everything I am is because of him.” Translation: You never forget when a parent or close loved one dies. There are always a part of you and they always will and should be. Tiger was also talking about the fact that his kids will never have a chance to meet their grandfather and he will never have the chance to ask him parenting advice. I feel the exact same way. You want someone who has been a Dad before for the advice, like “Hey, am I going to screw the kid up if I do this?” I don’t have children yet but I suspect I will feel the same way Tiger feels when I have children of my own.
His final quote when talking about his Dad: “A lot of things he taught me about being a father is just through example. How important it is to be there for the child, no matter what. To love them unconditionally. To earn their respect, earn their trust. All those things he did for me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that with my kids.”
Amen, Tiger, I could not have said it better myself.
How are you going to be the Dad or role model for your children today or in the future?
Always a friend to listen,
Eric Tomei-author I Miss My Dad
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