The Second Life of Tiger Woods

The Second Life of Tiger Woods

by Michael Bamberger


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“Fascinating...[Bamberger] knows the world of professional golf, and the pressures it exacts, like few others.” —The Wall Street Journal

It’s one of the greatest comebacks of all time. And for Tiger Woods—his game, his body, and his life in shambles—getting back to the winner’s circle was only half the story. Here’s the rest of it.

Tiger Woods’s long descent into a personal and professional hell reached bottom in the early hours of Memorial Day in 2017. Woods’s DUI arrest that night came on the heels of a desperate spinal surgery, just weeks after he told close friends he might never play tournament golf again. His mug shot and alarming arrest video were painful to look at and, for Woods, a deep humiliation. The former paragon of discipline now found himself hopelessly lost and out of control, exposed for all the world to see. That episode could have marked the beginning of Tiger’s end. It proved to be the opposite.

Instead of sinking beneath the public disgrace of drug abuse and the private despair of a battered and ailing body, Woods embarked on the long road to redeeming himself. In The Second Life of Tiger Woods, Michael Bamberger, who has covered Woods since the golfer was an amateur, draws upon his deep network of sources inside locker rooms, caddie yards, clubhouses, fitness trailers, and back offices to tell the true and inspiring story of the legend’s return. Packed with new information and graced by insight, Bamberger’s story reveals how this iconic athlete clawed his way back to the top.

Here you’ll meet the people who have shaped and saved Tiger’s life. It’s a disparate group: a Florida police officer, an old friend from Tiger’s boyhood, his girlfriend, his manager, his caddie. You’ll go inside the ropes and see Tiger’s interactions with fellow pros, with broadcasters and rules officials and Tour executives, with legends young (Rory McIlroy) and old (Jack Nicklaus) and in between (Fred Couples). On the Sunday before Masters Sunday, you’ll join Tiger as he takes a long, slow, contemplative walk across Augusta National, and you’ll be with him again seven days later in the splendid isolation of the tee at thirteen, in the rain, his right foot slipping while he swings his driver at 120 miles per hour.

This is an intimate portrait of a man who has spent his life in front of the camera but has done his best to make sure he was never really known. Here is Tiger, barefoot, in handcuffs, showing a police officer a witty and self-deprecating side of himself that the public never sees. Here is Tiger on the verge of tears with his children at the British Open. Here is Tiger trying to express his gratitude to his mother at a ceremony at the Rose Garden. In these pages, Tiger is funny, cold, generous, self-absorbed, inspiring—and real.

The Second Life of Tiger Woods is not only the saga of an exceptional man but also a celebration of second chances. Bamberger’s bracingly honest book is about what Tiger Woods did, and about what any of us can do, when we face our demons head-on.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


* The Second Life of Tiger Woods *

“With compassion and honesty, this book enthrallingly illuminates the extraordinary yet enigmatic comeback of Tiger Woods. Bamberger is a wise and resourceful reporter with an unsurpassed knowledge of the professional game, and he moves effortlessly between inside-the-ropes stories and human insight. I raced through this book joyfully, in about the time it takes to play a round of golf.”
—Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland

* Men in Green *

“Maybe the best golf book I’ve ever read.”
—Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal

“I wish Men in Green were about four hundred pages longer than it is.”
—Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times Book Review

* The Swinger *

“An entertaining, revealing, thought-provoking, and cautionary tale . . . It provides invaluable insight into the life and times of Woods.”
—Bill Pennington, The New York Times

* To The Linksland *

“One of the best golf travel books ever written . . . The book reminds us that the game of golf has many treasures yet to be discovered.”
—Michael Murphy, author of Golf in the Kingdom

* This Golfing Life *

“The ultimate insider’s view [from] one of the modern game’s brightest observers and finest writers.”
—Geoff Shackelford, Golf Observer

Library Journal


Sportswriter Bamberger (Men in Green) aims to shed new insight into the life of championship golfer Tiger Woods, who has made headlines for years, both for his long winning streak and for less laudable personal reasons: a failed marriage, an arrest in 2017, followed by a raft of physical injuries. While he might still be playing, his future was all but written off. In this book, Bamberger examines the golfer's fall from grace, his penance, and his road to redemption, examining Woods through the lens of golf as a sport that sustains the legacy of its forebears. Similar ground is covered in Curt Sampson's Roaring Back (2019). Here, Bamberger also focuses on Woods as he works to resolve personal struggles and open himself up in the process. Perhaps his only significant flaw is the inability to forgive those who, at least in Woods's mind, broke his trust. What Bamberger has done well is show how parents shape their children, in public and private. VERDICT Readers who enjoyed Roaring Back as well as Tiger Woods (2019) by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian will appreciate the insight here.—Steven Silkunas, Fernandina Beach, FL

Kirkus Reviews

The gripping story of the fall and rise of one of golf’s greatest players.

This isGOLF magazine senior writer Bamberger’s second book about a famous golfer whose career was damaged by a sex scandal.The Swingerwas a co-authored novel; this is real. As Bamberger tells it, Tiger Woods just didn’t fall; he crashed and burned, emotionally and physically. The author describes him as “an inherently private person who leads a massively public life.” At a time when “interest in him was almost insatiable” and news of a sex scandal broke on Nov. 25, 2009, the “National Enquirer was treating him as if he were Gary Hart seeking the presidency.” Two days later, he crashed his car into a fire hydrant. His wife, Elin, divorced him, taking his two children with her. Woods went into rehab for sex, alcohol, and drug addiction. He lost sponsors and his longtime caddie, Steve Williams. Bamberger offers up two overly long digressions on whether Woods had gotten away with rules infractions in some tournaments and the “messy” topic of whether or not he was taking performance-enhancing drugs. The author suggests readers can jump ahead if the second isn’t of interest. He chronicles, in less detail, Woods’ many injuries and surgeries. In 2016, Woods sat out the entire golf year, and he started to feel better. Then came May 29, 2017, when a Jupiter, Florida, police officer came up to a vehicle in the dark off the side of the road with two flat tires. In the driver’s seat was Woods, clearly impaired, and he was arrested. Woods “had been exposed as never before.” Bamberger is at his best recounting in detail Woods’ redemptive victory at the Masters in 2019. He thoroughly lays out Woods’ faults, but he is still clearly in awe of the “best player in history.”

Even non-Tiger fans might find this amazing comeback story appealing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982122829
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 03/31/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 55,002
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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