The Smutty Innuendo Of Tiger Woods's Golf Digest Columns

We mourn this week a towering man-of-letters: Tiger Woods. If you grow verklempt upon hearing the recent doleful news that Golf Digest is canceling Woods's 13-year-old column, you're in good company. But it's happening.

Readers of the 30 international and affiliate editions of Golf Digest may never have confused Woods with other accomplished writers such as John Updike or other golfers such as Tom Friedman, but they could only have appreciated his pedagogical concern for their performance on the links.

In hindsight, however, something seems awry when assessing the Woodsian oeuvre, as if the greatest golfer of our era were pondering other matters while penning his column in what I'd presumed was a state of perfect commitment to the craft of golf journalism, as if, perhaps, the author were trying to send us a message, a betokening, even. I can't quite put my finger on it. What I can say is that the following headlines from Woods's time at Golf Digest do not make me think of golf:

"Pitch With Your Body"
"Focus on the landing"
"Finding the feel"
"See the shot, then hit it"
"How to hit it higher"
"Pivot on chips and pitches"
"Belt Buckle To The Target"
"Be honest — where does your game need help?"
"Ease Up Under Pressure"
"Soften hands, save shots"
"Chin up for good posture"
"Stay tall in fairway bunkers"
"How to spin it from the sand"
"My new stinger"
"Sweep your 3-wood"
"Extend for power and accuracy"
"Compress the ball"
"Get Steep To Splash It Out"
"Control your curves"
"Turn your chest"
"Bump your chips"
"Face up in the rough"
"Try My Tee-Shot Stinger"
"Rip It Out Of The Rough"
"Play the chunk-and-run"
"Maintain A Quiet Head"

"I can't stress enough the importance of a quiet head," Tiger once wrote. The silence today is deafening.

"Sympathy for Tiger Woods on the Loss of His Golf Digest Column" [Vanity Fair]