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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tiger Woods becomes a dad, big deal?

What's all the fuss about Tiger Woods becoming a dad? Is there a valid argument that his fatherhood will affect his golf game? Just the announcement of his wife's pregnancy led to a disgusting number of media stories about how this baby will affect his focus on golf. The bigger question is whether fatherhood affects careers, not whether Tiger can still play golf well.

Sentinel column columnist Dave Hyde takes on the issue. He calls it new-age nonsense. His reasoning: Woods is a man. If Woods were a woman, Hyde says, the pregnancy would have affected his game already, like female golfers such as Nancy Lopez, who withdrew from a tournament with nausea. Or he probably would have had to pre-plan his life and career years in advance, deciding how long to play, when to start a family and what matters most, as Annika Sorenstam clearly has done. "If you want to start a family, there's a time when you just can't play," she has said.
As long as the baby is healthy, nothing changes drastically for most male athletes. Ask Nicklaus. He won all 18 of his majors after the birth of his eldest son, Jackie. Dan Marino is a father of four and a very involved parent. Look at all he accomplished. All this talk around Tiger and childbirth is ridiculous. As Hyde points out: He'll find what all new fathers do. Lots of things change in life. The golf swing isn't one of them.


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