tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg December 27, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
he intends to double the number of youth attending college through scholarship this year. i'm pleased to have tiger woods at this table for the first time. tiger: thank you, charlie. charlie: we've been trying this for a long time. this has been an interesting several weeks for you. you werehe ryder cup, instrumental according to patrick reed, you were with him on the course, and he says you were in his head. you announced a new company, which will be involved in life events and golf course management and everything. you celebrated the 20th anniversary of the foundation. you announced that you would play at the safeway tournament,
and then you withdrew, saying your body was ok, saying that your golf was suffering. what did you mean? titer: before the ryder cup, i was playing and was able to shoot scores and metals at home. obviously i took some time off during the ryder cup and was focused on that. i never quite got my scoring. i was so excited to play. i wanted to compete. i went to stanford right before safeway, and i was practicing with the team and hung out with them and really working on my game. it is a hard realization knowing that i am not scoring like i should be. my feel for hitting 150 yards, 7-iron's and taking stuff off of it, or jumping on a 9-iron and hitting the correct distance, sheeping shots, all that stuff i kind of lost, the feel of that
. as a competitor, i wanted to compete, but in my heart of hearts, i knew i could not go out and shoot 63's or 64's. charlie: for the greatest iron player in the history of the game, as many say, to take a 7-iron or a wage and not be able to do what you have enabled the -- have been able to do before, what does it feel like? tiger: it was more the feel of hitting those shots, because i had not done it enough. i was in a groove playing at home. i took the time off with the ryder cup, and after trying to come back from that, it did not have the same feel. i thought it would pick back up right away. i was ready to compete, ready to go, but it was tough knowing that i see a shot, and i can kind of feel it, but it is not quite the area. hey, you have waited over a year to get back to this point. let's be smart about it and not
rush it. that's my brain saying that to me, but my heart is saying, tiger, let's play. let's go, come on. charlie: have you come back to it? tiger: gosh, i've done it so many times. i have damaged the body to compete at a high level so many times. this time, i took a lot of time off to get it right, and there was no sense in it. i want to do it all right at the same time, have it come together. at safeway, i thought i was ready for it, and i was not. ok, take a step back, you have waited this long. there is no sense in the urgency, make sure your stuff is ready, and when it is ready, let's go.
charlie: and you'll know? i'll know.yeah, charlie: but jasper and some others have said i have played with him and he is amazing. have you had those kinds of rounds? tiger: i have done it at home, but knowing i had to play the same scores i am shooting at home, good to low 60's and doing that again, i was not quite ready yet. because this was the longest layoff i have ever had in my career, my skills are not quite where they used to be. i just need more practice time at home, more play time, playing more at home. some of the younger guys, we go out there and play a bit. at medalist, i believe there are 33 pros who play out there.
we take a little bit of deer -- a little bit of dinner money here and there. charlie: it is the difference between the driving range and the course. there is a difference between playing around with friends and tournament. tiger: ranger rick is one thing, and then playing at the tour level is another thing. i am not quite at the tour progression yet. charlie: do you believe the talent is there? tiger: yeah. charlie: how do you know? tiger: i can get the shots, and can feel the shots, i do not quite have it all yet. i like having a full repertoire of shots. it was not there yet. charlie: putting is what made the you great. tiger: i can putt. charlie: there is no problem. the long irons?
tiger: not a problem. charlie: so what is it? tiger it is the overall scoring. : it is putting it all together. keeping it in the fairway, i am not quite as long as they used to be. charlie: by how much? 10 yards? charlie: i can carry the ball over 300 yards, but the big boys are now 330. it is a different ball game and the game has gotten a lot bigger. as i was there at the ryder cup watching some of the guys hit golf balls, it is 52 degrees out, and i am looking at the numbers going, i just carried .308. it is 52 degrees, and we are looking at each other going, can you hit that far? charlie: do you need to make adjustments to your swing? tiger: that is something having and flowing. i am making slight tweaks and that is something i have always done.
making a little bit of tweaks. charlie: the search for perfection. tiger: not perfection but professional excellence. we're not perfect. i have converted the word into professional excellence. charlie: you are thinking perfect. tiger: i am thinking tried to get better. charlie: but you have always done that. that is the search for different swing coaches. and that is the search to, what can i do, as good as i am. you were experimenting with your game when you were winning every tournament. tiger: i was doing that as a kid. always trying to get a little better. charlie: mindset, will to win. clear-headedness. that is there? tiger: sure. charlie: and those who suggest vulnerable means not just the game, but somehow not having the same sense of rightness that you had at the best of your game. tiger: i played my best almost
16 years ago. charlie: 2000. tiger: yeah. most guys are not jumping and doing 360 dunks at the age of 40. most guys are not taking off the foul lines. we have to make adjustments as we get older. i have done that throughout the years and throughout different injuries, played around them. this is no different. charlie: i get the sense that you do not want anymore surgeries. tiger: god, no. charlie: and for different reasons. you want to play with your kids and stuff. you have suggested you have had it with surgery. tiger: seven is enough. charlie: and you want to play and do these other things. you don't want to be in pain. tiger: i love playing soccer with my kids and tossing the ball around and playing golf. i love doing that stuff. that is the best feeling in the world. she plays soccer. for us to do soccer drills and have fun -- to me, when i was
hurt after the last surgery and i could not do any of that stuff for months at a time, that was brutal. that was hard to take because, daddy, let's play. daddy can't move. charlie: and i get the sense of what you're doing, announcing the company, that you are prepared if golf is over to have another life. tiger: the tgr branding is bringing all the businesses under one umbrella. they have been existing. i am setting up chapter two of my life. chapter one was the golfer. only the golfer of playing golf, winning golf tournaments. here, i am setting up chapter two without hitting a golf ball and trying to create a business empire and different business entities and growing that so i don't have to hit a golf ball. charlie: to be a happy person. tiger: well, to do other things that are of my interest. the golfer can still be there.
i can still play, i can still do those things, but it is not mandatory for my business to grow and for me to help kids with my foundation or the restaurant for all that stuff. i do not have to hit a golf ball. i can transition eventually into being strictly an entrepreneur. charlie: and involved with the foundation and other things. tiger: 100%. charlie: here is what is interesting about you. more than and the athlete i know -- more than any athlete i know. it is not just you, it's us. we can't let you go. there is a sense that we never -- tiger: you care? charlie: [laughs] but there is a sense that we never understood what it was to be so brilliant on a golf course. we did not get how one could be so dominant in a sport. we did not understand how you could lose that either. and we desperately -- and i think this is everybody, because of the mistake and because where was and how it was lost is to
understand and to want you to come back. they want to see it, that kind of dominance. it is reflected in television ratings. they want to see it one more time. you have thought about that. tiger: of course. i miss being out there, i miss competing, i miss mixing it up with the boys and coming down the stretch. charlie: you like being tiger woods. tiger: i like being those guys, and that is why practiced all those hours and why i trained and ran all those miles, is to be ready to take on those guys down the stretch. do i miss it? absolutely, 100%. and to be at my age now at 40 years old and to have gone through the things i have gone through physically, i am the first one to admit, i can't do the things i used to be able to, most people can't at my age. i have to find different ways to go about it.
charlie: you have to find other ways to win? tiger: yes, i do, but because of my mindset, i am naturally a tactician. even when i was hitting the ball long and blowing over the top of bunkers, that was the strategy. i used my mind and eventually the method i used a lead me to -- allowed me to master my craft. charlie: and that is why the mind is so important. you used your mind, you learned that from your father, i assume. you learned mental toughness. you learned how to win. you still have that. tiger: that part has not left me. i know how to get it done. i just need to get into position to get it done. charlie: but you have to do this yourself. there is no coach or psychologist who can tell you that. tiger: as an individual athlete, you are out there by yourself. i know joey is with me on the bag, but nobody is pulling the trigger. no one is bailing you out. the manager is not coming in and bringing the right thing when
you're struggling. you are by yourself, so there are no timeouts, and i am not feeling good, the guy come off the bench and fill your role for the night. you are by yourself out there. you have to figure out how to get it done. charlie: and that is what you liked about the game. like the grind of it and the ownership of it. tiger: what i really loved is, and i still love is, getting out there and figuring out a way to get it done. just figuring out a way. whatever you have, trying to figure out a way to dig down deep in myself to find a way to get it done. it may not be pretty, but finding a way to get it done, because i have won golf tournaments hitting it over four fairways left and right. chipping in and holing out. charlie: and when it was dark and you could not possibly see the hole. tiger: i am tiger, i am a cat. i have a night eye.
charlie: you said you were never the biggest or the strongest, the only thing i had was my work ethic, and that is what has gotten me this far. tiger: charlie, you can't take that away from me. that is one thing you can't take away. you can take away all my physical attributes, but you can't touch my mind. that part of it is being mentally prepared and having the mindset of preparing and digging in and doing the work. i have never been afraid of that. charlie: some have said to be tiger woods was both a gift and a burden. how is it a burden? tiger: it is a burden in the sense that the amount of obligations that i have at a tournament, the anonymity that was lost, if you look back, the only regret i have in life is
not spending another year at stanford. i wish i had one more year. charlie: that is the only regret. of all the things that happen to you. everything. tiger: all the things i have learned -- yes, all the things i have been through are tough, but they have been great for me. i wish i would have gone one more year to stanford. charlie: why do you say that? tiger: the amount of brilliant people that were there, the things i was learning at that time, was i ready to turn pro? physically, yeah. i won a bunch of tournaments. i won the college slam of the time, no one has ever done that. the college regionals and nationals, three years in a row. i was ready to go, but i wish i would have spent one more year learning from everyone who was there, people who were designing their own computers, people working on the accelerator. charlie: there is stories about you being interested in a range of things like that. but you can always do that. tiger: but being around this -- those people at that age, you do
not get a chance to do that again, and have two great years at stanford, it shipped me more than the subsequent, the two years really good shape me because -- really did shape me because of the amount of people, and also going away from home for the first time and for me to feel at home and comfortable around some of the greatest athletes on the planet, some of the brightest minds in the planet, they were also young and we were doing it together, and this is before the internet. so having the communication and trying to get through study groups, that is one thing i do miss. charlie: this is in the 1990's. i want to talk about how you became tiger. how you lost it, and how you can regain it. why golf in the first place? tiger: that is a great question. i have played it basically all my life. i played baseball, i was a pitcher, i ran track and cross country. i liked doing those sports, but
i did not love it. i kept coming back to golf. i kept finding myself running the miles in track and getting -- especially in cross country, getting all that mileage in to get ready to play golf. when i was on the mound throwing and thinking, ok, this is number one, i have to position my shot on the right side of the fairway so this fastball will be outside. i kept thinking of -- my mind kept coming back to golf. whatever i was doing, it kept coming back to golf. charlie: and you watch your dad watch -- he watched your debt hit balls against the net? tiger: i did. it was one of those el niño years. pops was not allowed to go out there and hit the amount of range balls because it was hosing down rain, storm after storm kept coming. i just happened to be born in december, and the very next year el niño hits, and here i am. ♪
turn to, a friend, mentor, a leader. and eventually, a follower. he put on so many different hats and was comfortable playing different roles, and that is something i really miss. charlie: what did he give you? tiger: my dad gave me so much, he gave me his heart and his soul, and the fact that we were able to have the conversations we were able to have through all my childhood and when i turned pro, and even when he was sick and he was battling prostate cancer three times, he would always find time and somehow find a way to talk to me. even if he was not feeling well, he would sit up and we would have a great conversation. charlie: let me ask about a couple of things, number one a
time that you jumped out of a plane at fort bragg or somewhere. and your dad said, now you know what my life is like. correct? tiger: i jumped out the golden knight at fort bragg. charlie: what did he mean? tiger: i had grown up playing at a military golf course and had been around the military and been around active duty and retired servicemen my entire life. but i have a -- i have not experienced what he had to do for his job. charlie: he was a green beret in vietnam. tiger: it is merely a transportation to get to your job. i was taking a car to get to the golf course, his was jumping out of an airplane. charlie: now you can see what made me. tiger: correct. the amount of physical work that it took for those guys to do what they do and still do, the operators that are operating in
the past and currently, it is physically demanding and it is brutal. it is brutal on the body and it is even tougher on the mind. and so, getting over fear and relying on others not only to -- basically save your life, that is something i never experienced, never understood. charlie: he helped you understand fearlessness? tiger: i would not necessarily understand it, because i was an adrenaline junkie to begin with. but i understood where he was coming from now. charlie: take a look at this video. he was here at this table, sitting where you are. earl.s tiger's pop, earl i maximize his opportunity : with his own assets and his own skills. i brought this out of him. he already had something, i might add. then i brought more to the
table, taught him how to refine it, and develop additional toughness in him through experiential things. since that time, since he graduated from what i call woods ' finishing school, he has exponentially gone even higher on the toughness scale. past even what i thought, and it is surprising him. he has called me and he says, pop, i'm getting so tough, and every time i see him and i have been away from him a little while, i am amazed at how much tougher he is. tiger: that is cool. that's cool to see him. charlie: and what he said. toughness, people believe what you have had on the course, certainly of the best of those years when you had such a remarkable, spectacular run, that it was toughness, that you
were mentally tougher than ever buddy else. -- then everybody else. tiger: i just knew i was going to beat you. charlie: you did. tiger: i did. charlie: but it was part of what happened to you. you were expected to win. tiger: that's fine, but i expected to win as well. the toughness came in through practice, and as you were alluding to, hard work. and me working hard and feeling comfortable in hitting all the shops and pulling it off, all the shots you have seen me pull off, i have already pulled off. i did it in practice. if i can do it there, i can do it anywhere. charlie: you're convinced you worked harder than anyone else. hogan felt that, too. tiger: i just know that as i alluded to, i was not always the biggest or the fastest, i was not the most gifted, but you can't take away my work ethic. charlie: but you wanted it more?
tiger: i wanted to beat you more. charlie: is this the same competitiveness that michael jordan has? tiger: i don't know. charlie cole and you know charlie: you know michael. tiger: i do know michael. michael is tough and he loves winning, he loves beating people. and i think there is a certain commonality between all levels, forget athletes, but for all professions, i think he just enjoys getting better and being the best. charlie: what happens when they beat you? tiger: you go back to the drawing board and do it again. charlie: is that right? tiger: absolutely. charlie: there is always another day, and i will be back and i will beat you. tiger: my winning percentage is not very high. we lose more tournaments then we -- than we win. it is like a baseball player. if you hit 300, you are in the hall of fame. so you lose 70% of the time. but you are one of the best to his ever played. in my sport, it is the same way. the winning percentage is not very high, but it is still a way to come back and get it done.
charlie: how do we measure the best? is it jack because he has 18 majors, or is it some general appraisal, simply that her son -- person had more talent and applied it better than anybody? tiger: that is a great question. we never got a chance to play against one another except for that one time, when we played with each other in 2000. when you cross generations, it is very difficult to see who is better than the other, in all sports. i just think that for me, i would take my skills against jack any day, and i am sure he would feel the same way. charlie: do you believe you will get 18 majors? tiger: to be honest, no. charlie: you have accepted that. tiger: i have accepted i will get more. charlie: [laughs] you are 40. jack won the masters when he was 46.
tom almost won when he was 49. but you have to get started soon. tiger: sooner or not, i need to get started and be ready to go. charlie: when your dad died and you took his body back to kansas, did that take something out of you? tiger: having to bury my father, that was very difficult. i have never lost a parent, my mom is still alive. that was the first person that has ever been close to me that i have had to go to a funeral and bury. it happened to be the person i was closest to. charlie: the most influential person in your life, bar none. tiger: correct, but also the person i was closest to. i do not know if i am the only one who has ever felt that way. but it hurt a lot. i grieved -- i did not believe -- grieve right away. i put it away for a while. i
missed the cut at the u.s. open. i still had not really grieved i still had not really grieved yet, but then i came back and played well, and for some reason it was the most interesting thing, playing the final round, i had this sense of calm. like, ok, what is this feeling? normally you get a chance to win, and i did. but all of a sudden i had this overwhelming calmness. it was like my pop was there. i finished the whole 18. i never cry, but this just started coming out. i just missed my dad. i knew he would never witness this again. that was really hard to take. charlie: he treated you like an adult. tiger: he did. one of the things i do with my kids that he did with me is, any
time we talked, he would always make sure he was at eye level. when he was above me, he would sit down. if he was laying down towards the end of his life and he was not feeling very good, he would sit up. we would always work at eye level. that is something that i think is so important. he never talked down to anybody, he never talked down to his child. we were communicating. charlie: there were times in which you were estranged from him, yes? tiger: i don't know about estranged. charlie: you were not getting along because you had some questions and your mother knew he was sick. is it true? because it's a perfectly natural thing for everybody to do. your mother said, you have to make up with your father. you don't know how long he is
going to live, and if you don't, you will regret it for the rest of your life. tiger: i wouldn't say we were that far apart, not like that. we were still in communication and still talking. but i needed to get my relationship back to where it used to be. charlie: what was wrong with that? tiger: when dad was sick, he said some outlandish things. i think it was just him being sick, but i took it personal. i said, you know what? you have been really sick, and the meds you have been on, his diabetes was bad. i didn't understand at the time. i was still playing golf and still focused on things i needed to do. a couple of times when he was sick, he would say, kentucky, how was kentucky last week? i would say, dad, i was here with you.
he said some pretty outlandish things at the time and chalked it up to being sick, but he gave me one last hurrah, about two weeks before he died. we talked for about an hour and a half, but my dad was old. he gave me one last bit of himself. from then on, he quickly eroded and then finally passed away. charlie: would you be the golfer you are without your dad? tiger: no. without my dad or my mother. there is no way. charlie: both of them. because your mother stood by you and by him. tiger: my mother was so supportive and loyal, and so great as a mother, there is just no way. charlie: she was also supportive after thanksgiving 2009 when you had a public humiliation. tell me about dealing with that.
tiger: my mom was my mom, which was great. she became a mother. she said, i'm always here. she gave me a bunch of big hugs. that was really cool. did i mess up? absolutely. but my mom was still there for me. charlie: and that was important. tiger: absolutely, because i didn't have my dad anymore. it was just her and i. charlie: some would suggest that that humiliation you went through publicly, your private life exposed, has a lingering effect on your mind and your game. tiger: i have heard that, too. i look at the fact that, yeah, i have made a bunch of mistakes, but in the end, my ex-wife is one of my best friends. we have two beautiful kids. we have better communication than we have ever had, and i have talked her about my life
almost on a daily basis, and she does the same. it was rough to go through, but in the end, here we are, better than we have ever been. charlie: how do you tell your kids, why mommy and daddy are no longer together? tiger: because daddy made some mistakes. i would rather have them hear it from me. charlie: you sat down? tiger: i haven't said that. i said everyone makes mistakes. the reason why mom lives in her house and dad lives in her house is because dad made mistakes and it is ok. but you know what? you guys are lucky to have two parents who love you so much. not everyone has that. i was lucky enough to have two loving parents. my father did not. his parents died by the time he was 11 or 13. he grew up without having parents. my mom's parents died early. that, to me, i think is important.
my kids know that no matter what happens, they always have dad. dad will always be there, and mom will always be there. we just don't live together physically. but emotionally and spiritually, we are always with them. charlie: you feel like you have apologized to those you need to in terms of family and people that you care about? tiger: yes. charlie: did it make you more vulnerable? tiger: not more vulnerable is the word. charlie: what would you say? tiger: i had to be honest with myself. that is part of going through what i went through, i messed up. i shunned a way a lot of things. i didn't communicate very well. i learned from it. on the flip side, fast-forward, i'm a better communicator now. i talk to people more on a deeper level. i learned a lot. charlie: and if she has forgiven you, then that is a starting point for you.
charlie: there is your dad, gone, the humiliation which you have dealt with, and then the injuries. when you look at losing, are those three things responsible, or is it something we don't understand? tiger woods, who has not won a major since 2008, has had good seasons, like 2013. player of the year. after all those things. so i am struggling understand why you are not playing like you used to play. as i assume you are. if you don't know, how can anyone else know? there are all kinds of suggestions. tiger: there is a lot of armchair quarterbacking. i have had three back operations, and that has taken its toll. charlie: not the athlete physically. tiger: i have torn achilles, blown knee, torn meniscus.
i have gone through, physically, a lot. i have changed my swing three times. trying to combat that. charlie: because of the pain and trying to get around certain injuries? tiger: and not duplicate them. charlie: what is the best advice you have gotten for getting back to where you want to be? tiger: the advice of my dad. his famous line, you get out of it what you put into it. you get out of it what you put into it. if you work hard, you will get the results. if you don't work hard, you don't deserve it. you didn't earn it. charlie: how much of it is physical and how much is mental? tiger: for me, the mental comes from the physicality. from having umpteen great practice sessions and training sessions at home, and going on the golf course with the guys,
taking that into a tournament setting, and then eventually into major championships. all of those progressions, it all starts with hitting putts. it is liked how i learned the game. charlie: me too. i am comparing myself to you already. tiger: but it is the progression. it does not happen overnight. it takes a lot of effort. charlie: and that's what will get you back. tiger: absolutely. charlie: the mental part, everybody knew you had early when you went into the u.s. amateur that you had all of the tools. but the mental stuff was so important. you wanted to win and you wanted to not just win, you wanted to win that tournament. you wanted to beat the hell out of everyone who was there. you were a killer.
tiger: winning was fun. beating someone was even better. charlie: why is that? tiger: i don't know. i have always had that. if you win a race by a second or two, it feels better if you win it by five or six. striking four or five guys out. winning a golf tournament by one or two is great. but five or six is even better. charlie: it must be terribly hard for you to accept this. tiger: it has been terribly hard not to be able to do the things it would take to get to that level. that is simply just practicing. charlie: you have a strong confidence, and your dad did, in hard work. tiger: that is where it stems from. charlie: ben hogan believed in the same thing. that is how he came back from a car accident.
he always said, it is in the dirt. tiger: correct. you have to go earn it. tiger: but you seem -- charlie: but you seem to be looking for all these swing at coaches and stuff, but somehow they would have a swing that works best for you. i wonder if you need a swing coach, because you had a good swing, but you say you have to adjust a new swing because of the injuries which changed your body? tiger: correct. and having the mindset, the correct mindset to go into a change, and applying it to creating a method that i think would be better and more efficient, that is what i was always trying to do. that is why i have gone through swing coaches. i have hurt my body. let's not repeat that. let's go somewhere else and try a different way. i believe in that mindset. let's create this method and go down that road.
let's master that. the next thing you know, ok, crap, that didn't work. let's do it again. charlie: there were people who have described you, you were so self focused and thinking about the game, you did not seem to pay a lot of attention to other people. tiger: people who were closest to me, yes. also, i was very uncomfortable being out in public. charlie: so it was shyness, other than arrogance and being a jerk? tiger: i have always been very shy. when i was little, i had a speech impediment, where i used to stutter pretty badly. i had to go to a special afterschool program to learn how to speak correctly. i sat in the back of the classroom. if you called on me, i could not speak. i would stutter so badly, but the teacher would just pass on me. i had to learn how to speak.
that was hard. i could read, i could write, but i could not speak. i just did not want to speak to anybody, talk to anybody. having to go through that difficult time early on in my childhood probably shaped me to what i am now. charlie: people who know golf and know you, they believe you can come back. they believe that the elite can come back. it is the belief, and also making sure that you face the new reality, which is what you are talking about. the reality is i hit it differently today. i have to compensate. pick out a new way to win. tiger: most 40-year-olds cannot dunk from the foul line. i have to do it a different way. that is part of the evolution of my game.
you have to find a different way to do it. there is nothing wrong with that. as you alluded to, jack won the masters at age 46. those guys were not overpowering golf courses. they did it with their mind, they did it strategically, and through patience. charlie: that is what you can do. tiger: that is what i have done in the past, but i also have the physicality to go with it. charlie: you have lost a little bit of the physicality. tiger: the bunker is now a 320. charlie: when you were at your best, the idea of laying up was not something that went into your head. tiger: because of the fact i could not only pull off the shots, but i was far enough down there. relative to the field, i was one of the longest players. but that was at 296. charlie: now it is 320.
tiger: the number coming back, most were still using persimmon. my carry number where i felt comfortable hitting a driver was 280. right now i can come out and hit a three with 280. it's a different game than what it was then. the game of golf has gotten so much bigger and longer. relative to the field, i am not what i used to be. but numbers wise, i am longer than i used to be. charlie: it is also said you don't intimidate like you used to. that is part of what you had, you intimidated everybody. you came expecting to win and they saw you they expect to lose. tiger: i don't know what they were thinking. i expected to beat them, yes. charlie: you expected to win. that is what the demand on me is because of what i have achieved. tiger: forget what i have achieved. i expect to win and i expect to beat you.
charlie: some people work hard. some people can't work as hard as i can. tiger: i don't know how they work or derive their own confidence. some players derive from practice. some like to play a bunch of tournaments. for the most of my career, since probably 1999, i really haven't played that much. some have played up to close to 30 events. i have never done that. i have tried to peak for four times a year. when i was younger, it was harder. charlie: but you won three years. tiger: three years in a row. i did that for a couple of years. then, as a pro, four times. charlie: one year, a caddy said you talked about giving up golf to become a navy seal.
did you? tiger: i told my dad i would want to become a person in the military, a golfer, or a businessman. i had the chance to become a golfer and businessman, i just did not go in the military. charlie: arnold palmer died in the last couple of weeks. what did he mean to you? tiger: he was a friend. a person that i could pick up the phone and call. we would rap about different things. and all the conversations and dinners i've had with him of were some of the great memories. one of the fondest memories i have was at napa in college. he invited me over for dinner. i went over and had dinner with him in napa. arnold picks up the tab. i'm not going to say no.
it's arnold palmer. my coach found out. did you pick up the tab? no, arnold did. i reported it to the ncaa, i'm declared ineligible, so i go to the all-american el paso. i have to write arnold palmer a check, $25 for my steak dinner. he has to cash the check, faxed a copy back to the ncaa, and then i was declared eligible to play in the all-american. charlie: how about jack nicholas? what is your relationship with him? do you believe he is the greatest golfer to live? tiger: i think i'm pretty good, too. i think he and i would have a hell of a duel. charlie: even though he has 18 and you have 14? tiger: i think right now i could kick his -- he's 71 right now.
charlie: 40 would beat 70. tiger: jack has always been one of my heroes. i have looked up to him. charlie: you have lusted for his record. tiger: i would not say lusted, but i think that was the gold standard. he had won the most majors and the second most tour events. he was the most efficient at the highest level for the longest period of time. how did he do it? one, he didn't play that much either. he played a limited schedule. he paced himself and basically tried to get ready four times a year. he was better at it that anybody else had come along. here he is at 18. charlie: and you are at 14. you believe you will have more than 18? tiger: correct. charlie: and if you don't?
you will say? tiger: i didn't get there. charlie: you said in another interview, anything i win is gravy. you know you are in the hall of fame, record books, regardless of what people say, you are the greatest because they saw the level of that game and i've never seen anything like it. the comment that bobby jones about jack, that's not a game i am familiar with. jack supposedly said about you, that is not a game i am familiar with. tiger: again, it is a generational thing. compared to bobby jones, what jack was doing was like, oh my god. what i was doing, jack could not hit it that far. technologies have changed. it has changed greatly. i was able to do things jack was not able to do because of
equipment, jack was able to do things bobby jones could not do because of equipment. one commonality, we all are efficient with what we did, and we did it better than most people did. charlie: some say that the great ones never lose the fire, they only lose their ability. that is true, isn't it? tiger: there will be a point in time where physically i will not be able to do it. charlie: how do you know that's not now? tiger: i won't be able to prepare and be ready to go out there and win. for me, if i'm not able to prepare to win, then i cannot do it anymore. charlie: what do you want to be known for other than a great golfer and a great businessman? tiger: what i am doing with my foundation. what we have done for all the kids, all the kids that have gone through our learning labs. i think what i do in chapter two
of my life with this whole new rebranding with tgr, i think the whole second part of my life will probably be even better and more impactful than what i did as a golfer. i think what we are doing to impact lives is going to far exceed what i have done on the golf course. charlie: take, for example, bill gates. bill gates is now known more for his philanthropy than starting one of the most successful companies in the history of business. tiger: 100 percent agree. that is a great example of what i think can happen. charlie: and right now you are going to try to do both, be the greatest golfer in the world and educate with the foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary, by the way. tiger: it's amazing. i've been doing it half my life. charlie: today, what is the legacy you want? tiger: i am a pretty good player.
i had some good years in there. i really loved competing. i loved being out there, and i loved being in that moment trying to pull off something. whether i did or did not, to have that opportunity to have that moment, fail or succeed, it was on me. charlie: thank you for coming. tiger: thank you, charlie. charlie: tiger woods for the hour. thank you for joining us. a conversation about not only performance, but the will to win. ♪