Benedict and Keteyian construct a psychological profile of an African American child programmed by an attention-grabbing father and the original Tiger Mom to be the "chosen one" to change not just the game of golf, but the world as well. But at what cost?
...a confident and substantial book that’s nearly as sleek as a Christopher Nolan movie. It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball. I found it exhilarating, depressing, tawdry and moving in almost equal measure ... This book is littered with the bodies of those Woods cut out of his life without a thank you or goodbye — girlfriends, coaches, agents, caddies. If you stripped most of the golf out of this book, you might sometimes think you are reading the biography of a sociopath, a nonmurderous Tom Ripley or Patrick Bateman or Svidrigailov from Crime and Punishment ... This intense book gives us Woods’s almost mythical rise and fall. It has torque and velocity, even when all of Woods’s shots, on the course and off it, begin heading for the weeds.
...[a] rich, thorough, and depressing new biography ... The most depressing episodes of the book are those that follow the revelations about his adultery, when it becomes clear he didn’t learn much from hitting rock bottom ... one can’t help but question whether these changes too are a product of the same old carefully constructed PR operation—feeding the press corps just enough morsels to launch the narrative that he’s become a better person. It’s a temptation that even Tiger Woods, a book that so rigorously avoids convenient narratives for its first 403 pages, succumbs to in its final paragraph.
It’s hard to know whether to give the co-authors of Tiger Woods an approving review or a consoling hug. Their task was intimidating: to illuminate a subject who spent decades plying his considerable intelligence into relentless opacity and manufactured dullness ... Staring down high hurdles, the authors deliver lush detail, from a depiction of the walls of Woods’s kindergarten to his 'dimly lit' room on the eve of the magical 2000 U.S. Open ... It is an achievement to captivate readers with a story about something as stultifying as golf equipment ... Many details will be illuminating, except to the most knowledgeable of Woods students ... Despite its occasional blips, Benedict and Keteyian have turned out a book of surpassing quality against untold odds.