Follow That Tiger
Without any doubt, my favorite golfer is Tiger Woods. In the most non-creepy way possible, he has been very influential in my continued interest in watching and playing golf. He makes the game enjoyable to watch because you never know how he’s going to add to his legacy. Whether it’s a miracle shot, a come-from-behind win, a wire-to-wire steamroll or if he shows that he is mortal and just doesn’t play well at all. You just never know right now and that is what makes it so much more exciting. Well, as exciting as watching golf can get.
So when an opportunity came up that would allow me see Tiger at the Farmers Insurance Open, playing at Torrey Pines Golf Course — where he has been absolutely dominating in his career — and as a guest to a private suite overlooking the 18th green, I jumped (I actually did a mini fist pump, but that’s of no importance). After all these years of following him on the TV, I was being given the ability to follow him in person.
I have heard and read about the large crowd of spectators that follow Tiger around the course, so I was prepared for it. I had a game plan to go a couple holes ahead of him and camp out — waiting for him to pass by. But fortunately for me, I was at the tournament on Thursday, the first day of competition. This is usually the least crowded of the four tournament days.
Once I got onto the course, the crowd around him wasn’t too bad. In light of my game plan, I was actually able to walk around the course with Tiger. No need for me to set up in advance too much. Being with the crowd, you really get the sense of greatness and awe-inspiring feelings toward Tiger. Everyone respects his golf game. His presence is palpable — you can feel where he’s at by just the energy flowing through the course. He can get thousands of people to be dead silent, and then with a single swing of a golf club, have said people rise up in monstrous applause.
All in all, it was what I expected. Everyone in the crowd watching Tiger intently. Then after he hits his ball, the crowd claps and moves to the next spot. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Now I can say I’ve seen, in person, the best golfer of my generation, and arguably, in all of golf.
A golf-related bucket list item: Check