Tiger Woods Documentary
HBO Summary and Review
Below is a summary and review of the Tiger Woods HBO Documentary that was released in January 2020.
Tiger Woods HBO documentary is divided into two parts that covers the rise, fall, and Tiger Woods grand comeback in the 2019 Masters. The documentary is chock full of interviews with Steve Williams, Sir Nick Faldo, his father Earl Woods, Pete McDaniel, Tiger Woods first love Dina Parr, and Rachel Uchitel whom he had an affair with.
Alex Gibney executive produced Tiger alongside Sam Pollard, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Armen Keteyian, and Jeff Benedict. The two part documentary was directed by Matthew Heineman, who was nominated for an Academy Award and is an Emmy-winning filmmaker, and Matthew Hamachek who was an Emmy nominee as well.
The following review is a compilation of the following two articles, “In Tiger, a Portrait of a Phenom Who Was Never Allowed to Be a Kid,” by Jen Chaney, and “Tiger Woods’s famously guarded persona is HBO documentaries biggest handicap,” by Matt Bonesteel.
Although this was a documentary on Tiger Woods, he did not participate in the documentary. However, there are old video interviews with Tiger, home videos of him when he was a child, clips of his wins while golfing, and even clips of him when he got arrested in 2017 for a DUI, and for being under the influence of several drugs.
At the beginning of part one it shows Earl Woods, Tiger Woods father, speaking at the Haskins Collegiate Awards banquet in 1996, where Tiger Woods was being honored for his golf achievements at Stanford University. Earl Woods seemed to inspire Tiger to golf because he started him as a toddler. Earl would challenge Tiger by jingling his keys in his pocket, or talking loudly while Tiger was golfing to help him deal with on course distractions.
Although Earl started Tigers golf career, the documentary debates that Earl shaped the arc of Tigers life, even though Earl was flawed and put unrealistic expectations on his toddler, depriving him of life's oxygen. Later in HBO’s two part documentary, it suggests that Earl somehow influenced Tigers affairs by normalizing it because Earl would invite women to their country club while Tiger was golfing, according to their family friend Joe Grohman.
The second part of HBO’s documentary on Tiger Woods deals with Tiger’s downfall after his father passed away, when his marriage to Elin Nordegren shattered after his affair with Rachel Uchitel, and about the injuries he received in the previous decade. After his father passed away Tiger joined the Navy SEALS, and HBO’s documentary dedicates a lot of time to this portion of his life.
Even more time is dedicated to Tiger's darkest moments; having multiple affairs and trying to cover it up, and cheating on his wife with Rachel Uchitel which shattered his reputation as a role model.
Tiger Woods HBO documentary ends with Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters, where he triumphantly won his 15th major title. There is only about ten minutes dedicated to this major life event in the three hour documentary. Because Tiger Woods' win at the 2019 Masters was compressed into the last ten minutes of HBO’s documentary, it gave little in the way of revelation.
The audience is left in wonder at the end of the documentary. Earl Woods' voice is heard saying, “This is my treasure. Please accept it and use it wisely,” suggesting if Tiger will abide by his fathers ideals or do something greater.