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In Search of Tiger: A Journey Through Golf with Tiger Woods [Paperback]

Tom Callahan
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 24 2004
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
centuries before.

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Golf Digest columnist Callahan draws on seven years of interviews with Tiger, his family, friends, coaches and fellow golfers to unmask the man behind the growing legend. This well-written narrative examines Tiger's early years, how he got to the top of his game and his vision for the future. Anecdotes and insider insights highlight portraits of major Tiger victories. For example, when 15-year-old Tiger first met Jack Nicklaus, the old pro said, "Tiger, when I grow up I want to have a swing as beautiful as yours." Tiger thought, "I'm taller." Callahan discusses the differences between Tiger and his competitors with chapters on Ernie Els, David Duval, Sergio Garcia and more. Tiger's thoughts about race, endorsements, psyching out other players (he gives all competitors a nickname) and the infamous Fuzzy Zoeller affair at the 1997 Masters Tournament lift this entry above the crowd of Tiger books. The author even journeys to Vietnam to discover the fate of South Vietnamese soldier Tiger Phong, father Earl Wood's friend and Tiger's namesake. This is a comprehensive examination of the man, his talent, his competition and the world of professional golf, a must-read for fans and players alike.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A pastiche loosely organized around Tiger Woods' consecutive conquest of golf's four "majors" in 1999-2000, Callahan's assemblage of anecdote and conversation is more a sequence of digressions than an unfolding narrative. It certainly slakes the informational thirst of the duffing masses for all things Tiger, including the source of his nickname, but a biography this isn't. Perhaps one isn't possible, given Woods' guarded privacy and cautious public relations (a posture protective of his $100 million-plus endorsement contracts). More expansively, Callahan tracks what fading greats (Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino) and contemporary second-tier players (David Duval, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson) think of Woods' game, mental and physical. When that peters out, Callahan is apt to toss in golf lore (e.g., the prejudice endured by black professional golfers), before boomeranging back to hole-by-hole commentary on Woods' de facto grand slam. (Technically, a grand slam must be achieved in the same calendar year.) In spring's annual bloom of golf books, Tiger titles are highly popular perennials. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
ON AUGUST 28, 1996, the morning Tiger Woods turned pro, I met his father at the Greater Milwaukee Open. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite April 25 2004
By A Customer
This book is a compelling read for someone with a starting knowledge of and interest in Tiger Woods, but it doesn't quite make you feel like you've found Tiger. The book seems to be too choppy, more a series of isolated chapters thrown in that dont seem to connect. And there are too many questions that you are left with after reading it. If you're going to brag that you covered Tiger at all his first 8 majors, why have chapters only on the 3 in 2000? And if you're going to focus on those, why soak them with background info and then glaze over the tremendous performances? Callahan's description of Tiger during the 2000 PGA is particularly weak; why he decides to condense that great final round with May and the great back nine and the putts on 18 and 16 the second time around into about a page and a half befuddled me. And most of all, why devote so much of the book to learning about golfers other than Tiger? It's true that if you were to write the definitive, thoroughly detailed Tiger book, you could not ignore Lefty, Sergio, Ernie, etc. But when the chapters on the other golfers seem to take up half of this relatively short book, you've gone too far. It's true that this book is well written and will provide you with some nice tidbits about Tiger (such as the fact that his mother was the one to get him to wear red on Sundays), but you will likely leave the book hoping for more detail, more coherence, and more depth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Callahan Pens the Definitive Tiger Bio Feb. 13 2004
There is simply no sportswriter on earth with as much meticulous insight into the minds of both the golfing legends of old and the stars of today as Tom Callahan. Admittedly, my expectations were lofty going in here, esp. after reading the astounding accolades bestowed upon Callahan on the book jacket alone -- from the likes of Costas, Kornheiser, Jenkins, Reilly, Nicklaus, and others. Thankfully, for once, they were all right. This book is indeed the whole package on Tiger, presented (ingeniously) not only via Tiger's own eyes, but those of his peers and predecessors. The golf history in the book is cleverly detailed yet pleasurably digestible. The first hand interviews with Tiger and his family are unprecedented. And the "Journey", for anyone REALLY interested in Tiger, is remarkably satisfying. Kudos to Tom Callahan for giving the sports world the preeminent Tiger bio.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! A golf writing double-eagle** Jan. 29 2004
By M. Bell
Let me say this up front --- Tom Callahan is an immensely gifted writer. He is able through words to take the trite/boring and turn it into the phenomenally sublime. With an encyclopedic knowlege of all things golf along with up-close-and-personal profiles of current & past players, coaches, and associated fathers, he paints through annecdotes a circular, but no less complete picture of Tiger and his place in the great game of golf. This book is NOT per-se, a purely biographical sketch of Tiger Woods, but more of a wholistic and entertaining presentation of the past, present and future of the game and Tiger's place in it. If you love golf, watch golf, and love to read, you'll get more "bang for your buck" here than any other golf book I know of! And I've read quite a few....
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