In Search of Tiger
A Journey Through Golf with Tiger Woods
By Tom Callahan
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9781400051403, 256pp.)
Publication Date: February 24, 2004
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Tom Callahan has written the seminal book on golfing great Tiger Woods. Woods, who has gone out of his way to protect his privacy, has never allowed himself to get close enough to a writer to be properly examined on the page. And, as a consequence, his fans know relatively little about him except what’s divulged in quick tournament interviews or the scarce information parsed out on occasion by one of his handlers. Which is to say, we know next to nothing about one of the most famous people in the world. Callahan, commonly regarded as one of the best all-round sports writers in the country, has followed Tiger around the world of golf for more than seven years, enjoying a certain access to the man and his family. He even went so far as to travel to Vietnam to learn the fate of the South Vietnamese soldier who was Earl Wood’s best friend during the war—and his son’s namesake.
Tiger is twenty years old when the book opens and twenty-seven when it closes. During those years, Callahan covered Woods at all the Majors, including the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open, culminating in Tiger’s heart-stopping race to make history by clinching the string of Majors affectionately nicknamed the Tiger Slam. As the pulse of golf was measured by the curve of his swing, Tiger made everyone’s heart skip a beat as he attempted to win the Grand Slam a year later.
Along the way, Tom Callahan hears from everyone who is anyone in the world of Tiger Woods, including Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Butch Harmon, Ernie Els, and, of course, Tiger’s rather ubiquitous mother and father. As much as we learn about Tiger—how he sees himself in relation to the courses he plays on and the players he has learned from and competed with—we also enjoy a bird’s-eye view of golf as it is now with Tiger on the scene, and as it was for
In Search of Tiger catalogs and dissects moments and influences in Tiger’s guarded life and unprecedented career—moments that unveil him, his awesome drive, and his enormous talent. Tom Callahan has written a classic of its kind, a book to rank with the best in its genre. He has done what few have even attempted—
he has found the real Tiger Woods.
Tom Callahan is a columnist at Golf Digest. He is the author of more than thirty Time cover stories on subjects ranging from Joe Montana to Pete Rose. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Tom Callahan is the most complete sports writer in America. He knows the most and writes the best. In this journey, In Search of Tiger, he discloses the athlete and the man and makes us like and understand both. Pure Callahan excellence.”
—Roger Rosenblatt, Time
“We all relate to the relationship between father and son or parents and their children. That’s where Tom started looking for Tiger, and he found him.” —Gary Player
“When it comes to style, fresh insight, and perspective, few in a crowded field can even make the cut. As expected, Tom betters par by several strokes.”
—Bob Costas, NBC
“Tom Callahan writing about anything is like Julia Child saying, ‘If you don’t have
any plans, stick around and I’ll make you dinner.’ ”
—Tony Kornheiser, Washington Post
“Tom Callahan knows the game of golf as well as anyone in the business. Many years, not just many nights, went into the telling of this story. A lot of Tom’s heart is in
here, too.” —Jack Nicklaus
“In Search of Tiger deserves a place among the finest books ever written on golf or sports. It is the only Tiger book you ever need to read.” —Dan Jenkins
“Nobody now writing about sports brings more substantial gifts to that strange line of work than Tom Callahan. The voice is untheatrically eloquent, wry, and wise, frequently letting us in on unobtrusive truths that turn out to be strikingly relevant. His enthusiasm for his subject is tempered by a civilised worldliness. He is never cynical but, as was said of the great Chicago columnist Mike Royko, he is baloney-proof. I have long been convinced that he has a clearer understanding than anybody else I know of the essence and implications of the Tiger Woods phenomenon. In Search of Tiger reinforces that conviction.”
—Hugh McIlvanney, The Sunday Times of London