(this donkeytale article was originally posted at FDL onJUNE 16, 2011)
Tiger Woods’ career went into the ditch about the time he drove his SUV into one, with his wife enthusiastically chasing him from behind, swinging a nine-iron through the rear window more effectively than had any of his on course pursuers during his heyday.
My own theory is that Tiger’s dominance became as dependent on illicit sex as he himself had become on illicit sex during the uhhh, Bush years. After all, what enhances a man’s swagger more than knowing that he is desired by persons other than his wife and can have them all, including his wife, whenever he decides to pull his putter out of his bag?
Tiger Woods was the all-time all-confident, expressively charged, alpha male ruling the sports world as well as the PGA tour as it had never before been ruled by those genteel, one-woman legends in the previous decades before the era of the Tiger, those old-school gentlemen named Nicklaus, Palmer, Nelson and Hogan.
I’m sure his opponents could sense, perhaps even smell, the sexual dominance oozing from the Tiger as he strode down the fairway, the master of all things golf, and this subconsciously worked to his advantage on the course. Golf is the most exacting mentally and emotionally focused of sports.
You have to exist in a very delicate zone, a zenlike state, in order to play so consistently well. Just the slightest bit of imbalance, self-doubt, or distracted worry at the edge of your mind can be all it takes to get out of rhythm and throw your shots wildly into the trees or pull your four foot putts offline just enough to miss and kill your score.
Once Tiger’s self-image took a hit and his bravura deflated, so did his game. This is not so very shocking a psychological phenomenon. I recall my own rather less celebrated experience with cheating and golf many years ago during the reign of another famous cocksmith, from the neighbouring state of Arkansas.
This was during my second marriage before children came along to mar the erotic vistas of a rather cocky young man. I participated in a short-lived fling with a much younger woman who I had met through work.
We would get together at her place on weekends whenever possible, my excuse to the wife being that I was “going to play golf”. The actual game I was playing required balls, alright. Golf required 5-6 hours and you could come home believably drunk and slightly worn out.
Soon enough, the delicate balance between wife and lover that had ever so momentarily made me feel like the king of the jungle was shattered. I remember getting the phone call one day while I was actually out on the course with a client. It was a weekday, which were always the best days to play the game, at least in those quainter, more physically active times before blogging became the preeminent American worklife time waster.
She had some news. She wanted my reaction and advice on how she should handle it and was careful to say that she was comfortable with my decision either way, and wouldn’t demand that I divorce and marry her, nor would she even be requesting child support. What a great woman she was. Hopefully, somewhere, she still is. I’m sure of it, in fact. I have long since paid back all the bad karma dues for the both of us. Willingly, if begrudgingly.
Bet on it.
Lets just say that I don’t remember a single shot from the rest of my round, much less my score or whether I pressed the bet on the back nine. One thing I know for sure, I lost the bet that day, any way you slice it.
But I definitely cemented for eternity my pro-choice bona fides.
And from that point forward in our relationship, whenever my girlfriend suggested that we hook up on a weekend, I would explain that I couldn’t make it over to her apartment….because I was going out to play golf….and then I went out and actually played golf.
Now, I hear that Tiger and his wife may be getting back together for the sake of the kids.