Theodore's World: It Was Golf or Special Ops for Tiger Woods

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July 05, 2007

It Was Golf or Special Ops for Tiger Woods

Ty Boley, 12, receives hands-on instruction on his golf swing from Tiger Woods during an April 16 golf clinic at Stryker Golf Course at Fort Bragg, N.C. Tiger Woods spent his time instructing the children of the military.

It Was Golf or Special Ops for Tiger Woods
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2007 – If Tiger Woods weren't a professional golfer, he'd probably be a member of the military's special operations community, Woods told reporters today at the Congressional Country Club here today.

"I told Dad if I didn't make it (as a golfer) in the first few years, that's probably where I'd go," he said. "I'd probably end up going into the military - and I don't know what branch - but I'd certainly want to be in the special operations community."

Indeed, Woods underwent four days of Army special operations training at Fort Bragg, N.C., in conjunction with a golf clinic he hosted there in April 2004. Woods' late father, Earl Woods, wore the Green Beret for 12 years as a Special Forces soldier during his 20-year Army career.

"That just seems to be more of a fit considering what I grew up with, and I certainly understand it and can relate to it," Tiger said. "But somehow I ended up here. I made a couple putts in those years."

Woods is hosting the AT&T National golf tournament here July 3-8. Besides "getting a W" - or winning the tournament - Woods said honoring the men and women serving America was one of his overarching goals as the event's host.

Tomorrow morning, the world's top-rated professional golfer will play a practice round, called the Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am, with pairings that include Army Sgt. Maj. Mia Kelly and Air Force Master Sgt. Andrew Amor.

Woods said he is excited about playing alongside the servicemembers.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "I've seen their bios, but I haven't met anyone yet, so I'm really looking forward to that, and hopefully I won't get beat too bad."
The golfer said that when he turned 10 years old, he began to play on military golf courses, using his status as a "military dependent."
"I had my little card, and I could flash that and get on the golf course," he said. "The only frustrating thing was a lot of military bases had an age limit of 10. I thought I could play before that."

Woods has since hit the links on many of America's military courses, and he especially likes the Air Force Academy's course in Colorado Springs, Colo., he said.

As a tribute to golf fans in the military, Woods has arranged for tournament sponsors to distribute 30,000 free tickets to active U.S. military personnel. Those attending will be able to enjoy the view from a special seating gallery, and snack on discounted concessions after showing military identification.

"I know I can't serve with them, but I just want to say, 'Thank you' in some way, and this is our way of being able to do that," he said.
"Even though my dad was retired, I basically grew up on a military base, and just understanding the commitment that it takes each and every day, for the service men and women, what they do for us, I just think that it was something that should be honored," Woods said.

America Supports You: Tiger Woods to Honor Soldiers, Families

America Supports You: Tiger Woods to Honor Servicemembers

Tiger Woods Trains, Hosts Golf Clinic at Fort Bragg

Wild Thing's comment.............

I was so glad to see this story. I don't watch Golf but I am always thrilled when our athletes appreciate our military. Heck when anyone does I love it!

I have always thought it would be awesome to gather together athletes from across our country and schedule trips to visit the troops. Similar to what the USO does only make this specifically athletes in all sports including swimmers, baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, boxing, wrestling, extreme fighting etc. Every sport and take them to Iraq and Afghanistan and all the places around the world our troops are stationed, and deployed to.

Also schedule events at VA hospitals and Veterans groups. And classrooms of the children on our bases.

Sports have off seasons for some of them and the others have breaks that the athlete has to take, so scheduling would not be that hard once a commitment is made and funding is provided.

Many of our athletes are the same age as those serving in the military and let's face it, the freedom our athletes have to do what they do is brought to them with the high price of our service men and women and our Veterans.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 5, 2007 12:47 AM


Nice story, I knew his father was military but didn't know it affected him that much. We can always use another celebrity on the side of freedom.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2007 03:46 AM

This is nice. Another celebrity to add to our village. One who genuinely cares about our military and truly wants to do something for them.
Kids really look up to him.

Posted by: Lynn at July 5, 2007 06:41 AM

I knew Wood's father was SF. I am glad a lot of that rubbed off on Tiger. He has always kept his reputation clean, which must have been difficult with the attention he receives. You know those military folks at Ft Bragg and Pope AFB are thrilled. I only watch a little golf, but I sure like Tiger Woods.

Posted by: TomR at July 5, 2007 07:06 AM

It's always nice to find another celebrity good guy. There aren't enough of them. Go, Tiger!

Posted by: Trish at July 5, 2007 05:17 PM

Jack I agree, I was surprised actually.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 6, 2007 12:08 AM

Lynn yesss one for our side, I always like that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 6, 2007 12:09 AM

Tom, Nick watches some golf too. I am usually on the computer when it is on, the last time I watched I fell asleep from the soft voices in the background. heh heh

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 6, 2007 12:12 AM

Trish I agree, I smiled really big when I read this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 6, 2007 12:13 AM

Earl WOOD regularly played golf with one of my buddies from Special Forces.

At New Years Jim McMahon, Dave Price of "The Early Show," Kerri Turner (Lt Harriet Sims on JAG), and Kevin Butler - Chacago Bears Kicker came to Iraq to see us. You felt like they thought you were the celebrity when you were around them.

Three retired NBA player made the rounds through Iraq last month. One was 7 foot 6 inch Shawn BRADLEY and his team mate Thurl BAILEY. Greg MINOR was with them and they really enjoyed meeting the troops.

They support the troops as well. I have PICS too.

Posted by: Joe at July 7, 2007 11:29 AM

Posted by: Joe at July 7, 2007 11:48 AM

Hi Joe, nice to meet you. Thank you so much for the link and also for sharing too. This is great!!! It makes me soooooo happy.

Joe thank you for serving our country.

Stop by again, anytime and as often as you like Joe.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 7, 2007 11:29 PM