Goodbye, World

Saying goodbye is never easy. Been there, done that numerous times over the years. Whether it involved packing up the family and moving to a different part of the country/world and having to say goodbye to friends, or perhaps those rare instances on more of a local scale with migrating to a new golf club and leaving old golf buddies behind – the dynamics were always the same. Awkward, uncomfortable, and often times fraught with the uncertainty of a different life that surely awaited.

Tiger Woods, for the better part of a dozen years, put professional golf on his shoulders and carried it to the forefront of where it is today. Any attempt to discount the positive impact he made in the game all those years would only be comparable to downplaying the roles that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates played as it relates to our society’s current day-to-day reliance on technology.

But the irony can’t be glossed over. The game that Tiger Woods carried all those years is now carrying him.

As the late, great Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” That quote of his ties neatly into another famous quote credited to him. “It’s like Deja Vu all over again.”

Tiger Woods back .jpg

Woods has undergone 3 different back surgeries, undoubtedly performed by the best surgeons in the world. He’s basically been required to take off the past two seasons for rehab and recovery. And yet apparently there are still some major problems, two full seasons later.

The PR aspect of everything involving Tiger’s future seems cluttered in this wait-and-see purgatory that his fans have endured on more than a few occasions in recent years. But this time it seems completely different, much more disconcerting.

Although Tiger withdrew from this week’s tournament at Riviera, he expressed his intentions to at least show up to support his sponsor (who is sponsoring the event this week at Riviera) and partake of a Q&A news conference, which also ties into his personal foundation.

Only to find out the day prior that his doctors advised him to not attend.

Folks, it wasn’t like he was being required to sit in a plane for several hours to fly from his home in Jupiter, FL to Los Angeles. HE WAS ALREADY THERE IN LA.

“Based on the work they did the last couple of days, they advised he just stay horizontal.” 

The reality here cannot be overlooked, and that reality is that Tiger Woods is finished as a professional golfer. Everything that he does from this point forward should be devoted to improving his quality of life moving forward, if for no other reason than to be able to enjoy his life with his kids while they’re still relatively young.

And, I’m guessing, he realizes this more than anyone. What he’s yet to figure out is his exit strategy, how this is all supposed to end. But for those of us who’ve followed him all these years – it has already ended as far as we’re concerned.

All that’s left is figuring out how he’s going to officially say Goodbye.

That isn’t easy, not even for a guy like Tiger Woods.

That Time of Year…

Most people are ecstatic about football season finally arriving. Tailgate parties, the wonderful aroma of burgers and brats sizzling on the grill, the weather being more enjoyable with comfortable daytime temperatures and the beautiful, colorful transition of the foliage reminding us that God’s magnificent artistry is second to none… it is indeed a great time of the season to both enjoy and appreciate for countless reasons, but especially if you’re a diehard football fanatic.

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But if you’re an avid golfer living in the Northeast (like myself) – this time of year also forces one to recognize what it essentially represents: the dwindling days remaining to get out and enjoy what is truly a wonderful pastime, at least under somewhat normal and comfortable playing conditions.

Back in August I was ready to put the clubs away for a while. I’d already more than fulfilled most golfers’ quotas as far as number of rounds played for a season, the weather was sticky hot and uncomfortable, and although it is indeed a wonderful plight that most golfers would love to experience – I really struggled to actually want to be out playing. But just a little over a month later, I find myself longing for an extended Autumn, just so I can get out and take advantage of what few rounds remain.

Out with the old, in with the new, the end of one chapter and the beginning of another… all of these old commonly-used adages don’t get much appreciation until one finds himself somewhere in between, waiting for the new, waiting for the next chapter. That’s where I am today, holding on to the last throes of a golf season that will come to pass much too soon.

Appreciate the coming weeks, because Old Man Winter just fired up his engine and will soon be making his rounds.